A/N: Hello all~This is my first fanfic, though I've read many. I've had this OC's story in my head since the first book came out, but I'll start here. I have taken direct quotes from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for much of the dialogue between Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters and/or plots from JK Rowling's original and quite beloved canon. I have created the character of Bella and the events surrounding her life.
He was already tied to the headstone when my portkey—the strange medallion that Professor Moody had suddenly placed in my hand while I sat on the bleachers waiting for the end of the Triwizard Tournament—threw me to the hard ground. I saw Cedric's lifeless body not too far away and whimpered. I regretted the sound as soon as it escaped my lips because Wormtail looked up from his fumbling.
"Who is it?" a silvery voice hissed.
"It's her, my Lord," replied Wormtail, subserviently.
"Bring her here. Tie her...gently...beneath the boy. She should watch."
Before I could reach my senses, scramble to my feet and run, Wormtail was upon me, lifting me from the ground with one arm. I fought to get away from him, but with a swish of his wand, I was unable to struggle further. As he tied me gently beneath the headstone I looked up to see Harry, limp with pain, above me.
"Harry?" I whispered, barely audible.
"Who is it?"
"Silence!" hissed that silvery voice again, causing Harry pain.
"Bella?" Harry guessed. I nodded my head up and down, touching his leg at the top of the nod, letting him know he'd guessed correctly.
Wormtail began to perform the ritual. I can't stand to think of it. It was disgusting. I hated hearing the slice of Harry's skin and to see his blood enter the cauldron. I was repulsed at the sight of Wormtail cutting his own hand off. And then the Dark Lord rose again…
He called his followers to the graveyard by touching Wormtail's Dark Mark.
"How many will be brave enough to return when they feel it, and how many will be foolish enough to stay away?" he whispered, his gleaming red eyes fixed upon the stars.
He paced up and down before Harry, Wormtail and I, eyes sweeping the graveyard all the while. After a minute or so, he looked down at Harry again, perhaps failing to remember I was there. I thanked the Lord, praying he'd forgotten about me, but fearing his plans for Harry. Why was I here? I'd not had any run-ins with Voldemort, unless you count the one with Quirrell first year and then the memory second year, basically due only to Harry's adventures. His cruel smile twisted his snakelike face as he began:
"You stand, Harry Potter, upon the remains of my late father. A Muggle and a fool—very like your dear mother. But they both had their uses, did they not? Your mother died to defend you as a child…and I killed my father, and see how useful he has proved himself, in death…."
He laughed. It sent shivers down my spine. I wanted to look at Harry, but I was selfishly afraid it would draw Voldemort's attention to me. I was so afraid I would end up like Cedric. Cedric was an extra, he was obsolete; that's why he died. What, exactly, was my purpose in being here? Voldemort continued to pace, looking around as he walked, Nagini continued to circle in the grass.
"You see that house up on the hillside, Potter? My father lived there. My mother, a witch who lived here in this village, fell in love with him. But he abandoned her when she told him what she was…. He didn't like magic, my father…
"He left her and returned to his Muggle parents before I was even born, Potter, and she died giving birth to me, leaving me to be raised in a Muggle orphanage…but I vowed to find him…I revenged myself upon him, that fool who gave me his name…Tom Riddle…"
Still he paced, his red eyes darting from grave to grave.
"Listen to me, reliving my family history. Why, I am growing quite sentimental…but look, Harry! My true family returns…"
There was a swirling of cloaks as Death Eaters appeared from everywhere…from thin air it seemed. One by one they moved forward, slowly, cautiously, as though they could not believe their eyes. Voldemort stood in silence, waiting for them. Then one of the Death Eaters fell to his knees, crawled toward Voldemort, and kissed his black robes, sobbing "Mater…Master…"
The other Death Eaters did the same, and formed a circle around Voldemort, including Harry and I strapped still to the grave of the older, dead Tom Riddle. Their eyes glanced up at Harry, taking in the sight. Few saw me sitting on the ground, trying not to breathe, hoping the pumping of my heart could not be heard as loudly as I thought it could. There were gaps in the circle, but it seemed Voldemort didn't think anymore were coming.
"Welcome, Death Eaters," said Voldemort quietly, "Thirteen years…thirteen years since last we met. Yet you answer my call as though it were yesterday….We are still united under the Dark Mark, then! Or are we?"
He put back his terrible face and sniffed, his slit-like nostrils widening.
"I smell guilt," he said. "There is a stench of guilt upon the air. I see you all, whole and healthy, with your powers intact—such prompt appearances!—and I ask myself…why did this band of wizards never come to the aid of their master, to whom they swore eternal loyalty? And I answer myself, they must have believed me broken, they thought I was gone. They slipped back among my enemies and they pleaded innocence, and ignorance, and bewitchment…
"And then I ask myself, but how could they have believed I would not rise again? They, who knew the steps I took, long ago, to guard myself against mortal death? They, who had seen proofs of the immensity of my power in the times when I was mightier than any wizard living?
"And I answer myself, perhaps they believed a still great power could exist, one that could vanquish even Lord Voldemort…perhaps they now pay allegiance to another…perhaps that champion of commoners, of Mudbloods and Muggles, Albus Dumbledore?
"It is a disappointment to me…I confess myself disappointed…"
One of the men suddenly flung himself forward asking for forgiveness. Voldemort only laughed and hit him with the Cruciatus Curse. I prayed for someone to hear the screams of the Death Eater and come to our rescue. As everyone was distracted by the torture, I stole a glance up at Harry. He was in pain, white as a sheet. He looked down at me and the fear in his eyes said it all. This was probably it for us. I reached behind as best I could against the ropes to squeeze his leg in reassurance. I was there. We would survive this together, or die fighting together.
"Get up, Avery," said Voldemort softly, breaking my gaze up to Harry. "Stand up. You ask for forgiveness? I do not forgive. I do not forget. Thirteen long years…I want thirteen years' repayment before I forgive you. Wormtail here has paid some of his debt already, have you not, Wormtail?"
Wormtail just sobbed, cradling his bleeding stump of an arm against his body.
"You returned to me, not out of loyalty, but out of fear of your old friends. You deserve this pain, Wormtail. You know that, don't you?"
"Yes, Master," moaned Wormtail, "please, Master…please…"
"Yet you helped return me to my body," said Voldemort coolly, watching Wormtail sob on the ground. "Worthless and traitorous as you are, you helped me…and Lord Voldemort rewards his helpers…"
As Voldemort began swirling his wand in the air, somehow despite my fear, I wondered how vain and stuck-up a man might be that talks condescendingly to his saviors in the third person. Something silver-like came out of the wand, and a silver hand attached itself to Wormtail's bleeding wrist. At this point, his sobbing ceased and he crushed a twig into dust with his new hand.
"My Lord," he whispered. "Master…it is beautiful…thank you…thank you…"
He scrambled forward on his knees and kissed the hem of Voldemort's robes.
"May your loyalty never waver again, Wormtail."
"No, my Lord…never, my Lord…"
Wormtail stood up and took his place in the circle, staring at his powerful new hand, his face still shining with tears. Voldemort now approached the man on Wormtail's right.
"Lucius, my slippery friend," he whispered, halting before him. " I am told that you have not renounced the old ways, though to the world you present a respectable face. You are still ready to take the lead in a spot of Muggle-torture, I believe? Yet you never tried to find me, Lucius…Your exploits at the Quidditch World Cup were fun, I dare say…but might not your energies have been better directed toward finding and aiding your master?"
"My Lord, I was constantly on the alert. Had there been any sign from you, any whisper of your whereabouts, I would have been at your side immediately, nothing could have prevented me—"
"And yet you ran from my mark, when a faithful Death Eater sent it into the sky last summer?" said Voldemort lazily, and Mr. Malfoy stopped talking abruptly. "Yes, I know all about that, Lucius….You have disappointed me….I expect more faithful service in the future."
"Of course, my Lord, of course….You are merciful, thank you…."
Voldemort moved on, talking of the Lestranges, and those lost in service. He moved on to the other Death Eaters…Macnair, Crabbe, Goyle, and Nott. My breathing continued to be uneven, painful even, in my attempts to refrain from being heard. My heart was sill pumping loudly in my ears…it must be just as loud to them, I feared. I kept a hand on Harry's shoe behind me, as much for my own comfort as to let him know I was still there and would stay by his side no matter what.
Then Voldemort stopped, "And here we have six missing Death Eaters…three dead in my service. One, too cowardly to return…he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever…he will be killed, of course…and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service. He is at Hogwarts, my faithful servant, and it was through his efforts that our young friends arrived here tonight…."
My stomach flipped and I was sure I was going to be sick. Who could be the "faithful servant" at Hogwarts? Had Harry been in harm this entire year, to someone completely visible, and we didn't know it? Could Professor Snape be the evil man we all feared him to be? I wanted to scream.
"Yes," Voldemort continued, "Harry Potter has kindly joined us for my rebirthing party. One might go so far as to call him my guest of honor,"
There was a silence. Lucius Malfoy stepped forward to speak from under his Death Eater mask.
"Master, we crave to know…we beg you to tell us…how you have achieved this…this miracle…how you managed to return to us…."
"Ah, what a story it is, Lucius. And it begins—and ends—with my young friend here."
He walked lazily over to stand next to Harry, so that the eyes of the whole circle were upon the two of them.
"You know, of course, that they have called this boy my downfall?" The anger and resentment seeped through his voice. It sent a shiver down my spine. I stole a look at Harry, who was wide-eyed and still bleeding. The look I stole caused a couple Death Eaters to notice me. I stopped moving after that. Voldemort talked of his failure to kill Harry. All I could seem to hear was the loud pumping of my heart. I could tell our deaths were drawing near. He talked about how he possessed animals, how he came across Quirrell. I remember words like "Philosopher's stone" and "basilisk," so I imagine he talked of our meetings the first two years at school.
But the story came full circle, back to the "faithful servant."
"My faithful servant, as I discussed before, returned to me. I stationed him at Hogwarts after hearing from Bertha about the Triwizard Tournament to be held there this year. This was the perfect opportunity to have my servant arrange a meeting between Harry Potter and I. But after the first couple days of term I got a very interesting message from my servant." Voldemort turned and looked at me. I tried to look away, but I couldn't, as if some spell were placed upon me. Why would he look at me with such intensity? Why was he even keeping me alive? What did I matter in the scheme of things? Nothing. That's all.
"This message contained a description of a girl," his eyes bore into me. Was he talking about me? "Best friend to Harry Potter, blond, an orphan with no last name. She went by the name 'Bella,' some sort of nickname for a full name no one knew. She was extremely talented at magic, especially resisting dark magic. She was kind, considerate, brave…a true Gryffindor," he pronounced the last word with spite, sarcasm and a hint of venom. "But she possessed a quality unlike a Gryffindor. She was a Parsletongue. But the most disturbing description of the girl, was that she looked exactly…the spitting image said my servant, turns out he was right…of Ann Marie."
The Death Eaters fluttered it seemed, without moving. Obviously this Ann Marie played some sort of importance to the group, though I'd never heard of her. And why were they all looking at me and nodding their heads? He was talking about me, obviously. I'm the only person other than Harry who can speak Parseltongue. So, it had to be me. I could feel myself growing hot with the embarrassment of having all eyes on me. I began to sweat and my heart raced a little faster as Voldemort continued:
"My servant was sneaky and smart enough to obtain a small blood sample without the girl knowing. He tested it, and what he had supposed to be was true. I had no idea Ann Marie gave birth to a baby girl, my baby girl, before she was murdered. Arabella Rose Riddle is the name on the birth certificate. And her guardians? The Malfoys." Lucius looked at me.
"An honor, my Lord" he said, without taking his eyes off me. It hadn't hit me yet. The news.
"An honor my wife bestowed on you without me knowing, Lucius, but I trust you will take care of her, now that we know she is here, alive, and well."
"Of course, my Lord."
Voldemort approached me. He wave his wand and the ropes tied tightly around me gave away. He reached out hand to me, as if to help me up. I refused to take it, so instead he used magic to lift me to my feet. I heard Harry make a sound as if to protest, but he was silenced; whether by magic or fear, I don't know. Voldemort forcibly took my hand, scourgifyed me of the sweat and dirt from the trip with one wave his wand, and dressed me in dark green dress robes I'd never seen before with another wave. The dress fit me perfectly. It was full length, with green silk that flowed to the floor and created a pool of cloth at my feet. There was a sash of cloth around my waste, a curvy v-neck-line and sleeves that ran down to my wrists with a diamond of cloth that reached with a point to my middle finger across my hand. Black beads were sewn too the dress in swirling patters. He took my hand and twirled me into the center of the circle. My heart was in my throat.
"May I introduce to you, my loyal servants, my daughter, Arabella Rose Riddle."
That's when my legs gave way; he caught me before I hit the ground. Silent tears were streaming down my face. How could my father be the man trying to kill my best friends? How could my legal guardian be the father of a boy who has tormented my friends and me since the moment we got off the Hogwarts Express first year? I saw through blurry eyes all of the Death Eaters bow to me. I tried to come to my senses. Harry said something, but I only heard my name and "run." I tried to use my legs but they wouldn't work. How could this be true? How come no one told me? How could…What…no!
Mr. Malfoy came forward and took me from…my father. He held me close so I couldn't run, though I tried to struggle. He also supported me so I didn't fall. I was still too weak with shock. That's when Voldemort turned and addressed my best friend, still painfully tied to the gravestone of my grandfather.
"Your good friend Arabella here is my daughter, Potter. Your best friend, sidekick and fellow-orphan is not who she appeared to be." Harry's face contorted, taking on a look halfway between heartbreak and hatred. I tried to say something, to make Harry believe I had never known, that I was still Bella, always Bella, nothing but Bella. Me. Not Arabella. Not the daughter of this monster, but Voldemort continued before I had my chance, "So, young Potter, they all thought you were my downfall. But they were wrong, and now you will receive your wand back and you will fight. I will let you face death fighting, with dignity, like your father."
With a swish of Voldemort's wand, Harry was free. He was handed his wand.
"Harry!" I managed to croak out. I was scared, and I wanted to tell him not to fight, to run, to go to the portkey, to get to safety. It wasn't worth it. But his name was all I could get out. Mr. Malfoy's hand clasped itself over my mouth and he held me close. Voldemort didn't blink an eye. Harry looked at me hopelessly. Voldemort made him bow and they each yelled their first spell. Of course Voldemort's was the Killing Curse, and Harry's the Disarming spell. Harry ran as fast as he could behind the gravestone. Voldemort taunted Harry, telling him how admirably his father acted before he died. I knew that was a tender spot for Harry, and I wanted to cry, "Don't!" but the hand was still firmly over my lips. Harry, of course, came out wand at the ready. That's when it happened. They each yelled their "signature" spell and the wands bonded. The green flashing light of the Killing Curse collided with the red stream of light from Harry's Disarming Spell. Each had to grip his wand tightly, for they were vibrating violently. The hand came off my mouth as we all stood there watching in wonder. Harry pushed his light to the tip of Voldemort's and heads started coming out of his wand, ghostly white. Cedric came first, then a couple more. They were strangers to me, until I saw Harry's parents: it was whoever Voldemort killed coming out backwards. A bubble formed around the two dueling wizards and Voldemort was shouting directions at the Death Eaters, but I didn't hear what he said. I was watching the ghosts. They talked to Harry. All of a sudden, Harry broke the bond between the two wands and looked at me, while the white ghostly spirits bombarded the Death Eaters, blinding them. I was firmly in Mr. Malfoy's grasp, so I mouthed, "Go! Run!" His eyes looked pleading, but he ran, Death Eaters throwing spells after him. And then he grabbed Cedric and the Cup, and he was gone.
Lucius Malfoy's arm still grasped me tightly. I drooped slightly when I saw Harry go, but his arm didn't let me fall to the ground. Voldemort swirled around angrily.
"How could you let him get away?" he hissed. He yelled "Crucio!" and someone screamed in the darkness. I whimpered.
"Lucius, you're house is ready?"
"Yes, my Lord, always."
"Apparate there with Arabella. Then open the guards to let us all in. But no one else. You have 5 minutes."
"Right away, my Lord."
Voldemort turned to me in a softer voice, perhaps because he knew I was in shock, "Arabella, Lucius will apparate with you to Malfoy Mansion, there we will talk, okay?"
I didn't make a noise, though I wanted to reply with a bitter remark that I could hear perfectly fine what he had instructed Malfoy; but I felt Lucius tighten his grasp on me. Then I felt as though I was squeezed into a tube and we reappeared in the dark hallway of a silent house.
"Narcissa!" Mr. Malfoy called out. She came out of an open doorway a little bit down the hall.
"What happened?" she asked before she saw me, when she did she took in a sharp intake of breath.
"Not now I have to release the protective charms for the Dark Lord and the others, this is his daughter, taker her into the parlor." And he was gone.
Narcissa looked at me for a moment, before walking past me and going to a closet near the entryway. She pulled out a nice warm-looking blanket from the top shelf and put it over my shoulders. She walked me to a room on the opposite side of the hall from the one she had exited a little closer to where Mr. Malfoy and I had apparated. She sat me down on a couch and sat next to me, her arm still around my shoulders with the blanket. She snapped her fingers and a house elf appeared. While she asked for something I thought of Hermione and what she would say about S.P.E.W. Would I ever see her again? Or Ron? Or anyone? Was Harry ok? What about the Death Eater in disguise at school? My worried thoughts were interrupted: "One lump or two, dear?" Narcissa asked. I realized a house elf had brought in a tray of tea.
"None, thank you."
"No sugar? I'm surprised," she replied. I didn't explain but took the cup of warm liquid without another word.
"So you are the Dark Lord's daughter?" she asked. I nodded my head, not quite believing it myself. "Just found out?" I nodded again cooling the tea with by blowing on it. "You look just like your mother."
"That's what I've heard. I mean, tonight at least." I answered, politely. The distraction of the discussion was calming, even if it was not on a favorable topic.
"What's your name, dear?" she asked as if she already knew.
"Bella. But I guess it's technically Arabella Rose Riddle now," I replied. My voice was more confident than I was.
"Bella? Did you have a last name before?" I just shook my head. "I thought as much. Bella with no last name. My Draco talked about you when he was home." I raised my eyebrows in question. She continued without me having to urge her. "He said you were the sweetest person he ever met. Didn't know why you hung out with that Potter and his friends. He went on about how you never picked sides in the fights, never said anything mean, but tried to keep Draco and Potter from fighting. You were the peace-maker, not to mention powerful in magic. More powerful than anyone Draco had ever seen."
The door slammed then, but I was still looking at Draco's mother in surprise. Draco had talked about me on break? Why? Narcissa stood up as my father with a few select Death Eaters entered. House elves were showing the other Death Eaters where to go.
"Narcissa, I trust you are well?" Lord Voldemort said as he swept past her without waiting for a reply, his cloak billowing behind him. The Death Eaters who had entered lined the walls of the room, also blocking the exits. I started to feel trapped. I sat there in the Malfoy Mansion, with a cup of tea and a blanket around my shoulders staring at the people I'd feared most over the last four years. How had I ended up here? I'd thought that my life had changed forever in a drastic way when Hagrid came to the orphanage to gather me for first year, informing me I was a witch. Little had I known, that was only the beginning…
A/N: PLEASE review. What do you like? What don't you? I plan to jump to the future where Harry everyone are 20. Good idea? Bad? Constructive criticism welcome and appreciated greatly! Thanks for reading! Oh, and would it be better written in third person (partly omniscient), or do you like it in first person for Bella?
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