Author's Note: Four little moments in the lives of Sirius and Bellatrix Black. A little overdone, but I especially like the second moment, so here it is. Read and review, por favor.
Disclaimer: Sirius and Bella don't belong to me, unfortunately.
Bellatrix was eight and Sirius was five. "Come on, Siri, let's go!" the girl urged, her ebony hair streaming behind her. Siri laughed into the wind as he chased after his cousin, his chubby fists clenched in excitement. Bella abruptly stopped running as she reached a small grove. "This is it," she breathed reverently.
"What is it?" Sirius asked in awe.
Bella smiled knowingly. "It's our secret hideout, silly." Sirius cheered as he followed his cousin inside the grove.
The two made themselves comfortable inside. "Can we stay in here forever?" Sirius asked, eyes closed in bliss.
Bellatrix considered, but shook her head. "No. We have to go to Hogwarts and learn magic."
"And then what?" Sirius wondered.
Bellatrix smiled, enjoying her role as the one who knew everything. "Well, and then we carry on the legacy of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black."
"What's that?" Sirius asked dreamily.
Bellatrix paused for a moment. "Marry a pureblood. Have children, no, have sons, to carry on the bloodline. And above all, follow the Dark Arts."
Sirius' eyes widened. "What if I don't do all that? What if I don't want to go in the Dark Arts?"
Bella smiled indulgently. "Oh Siri. You will. You have to."
Sirius frowned. "Will you still love me if I don't?"
Bella gasped. "Of course! Siri, I will always love you. You'll do it though, but I'll always love you. Promise."
It was the summer before Bellatrix started her first year at Hogwarts. She pounded on the piano, letting the music carry her into a rare peace. She was interrupted by a slightly hesitant knock on the door. "Bella?"
Bellatrix spun around, half-expecting one of her sisters to be standing there with an order from Mother to play a more ladylike song. No. It was Sirius. He was now eight, and his lanky body was covered with fading bruises. He sported a more recent bruise on his cheekbone that was slightly covered by a strand of his jet black hair, exactly the same shade as Bella's. Bella pointed to it. "How did you get that?"
Sirius grinned. "I hexed Regulus. Father was displeased." Bella giggled, but then stopped, her eager eyes scanning Sirius' face. "With what? A wand?"
Sirius shrugged. "My dad got a new wand. I found his old one. It's kinda messed up, but it works."
Bella's eyes gleamed. "Excellent," she hissed. "Mine is in my room. Let's go to our place and practice!"
"Practice what?" Sirius asked, but Bella ran to her room to retrieve her wand, ignoring Sirius.
A few seconds later, Bella was back, gasping with excitement. "Well? What are you waiting for? Let's go!" The two took off at a sprint, racing each other to their grove. They clambered inside and Sirius looked up at Bella expectantly. Bellatrix grinned and started rummaging through the leaves. She pulled out a fist full of beetles and Sirius gagged. "Oh, gross, Bella."
Bellatrix looked annoyed that he wasn't more pleased. "This is practice, Sirius! Watch!" She placed a beetle on the ground and pointed her wand at it. "Stupefy!" she whispered.
The beetle became rigid and Bella cackled. "Now you try," she said, shoving a beetle towards Sirius.
He gulped and pointed his wand at the insect. "Stupefy!" His beetle froze, as Bella's did. He looked up at his cousin and grinned. "I did it!"
Bellatrix nodded excitedly. "Yes! You'll be perfect for Slytherin. Now, I'm going to try a more advanced spell."
Sirius' eyes lit up. "I want to try too!"
Bellatrix nodded, focusing on a third beetle. "Crucio!" she quietly screamed. The beetle began twitching and Sirius felt like he could feel the pain radiating from the insect. Bella stared, fascinated, at the bug, a slow smile creeping over her face.
"Bella…." Sirius said slowly. "Stop it."
Bellatrix shook herself out of her trance and smirked at him. "If you insist." She pointed her wand at the twitching beetle. "Avada Kedavra!" The beetle abruptly stopped twitching. Bellatrix cackled. "That was so intense, Sirius! You try it!" She prodded the insect's lifeless corpse.
Sirius shifted. "I don't know. Those are bad curses, Bella."
Bellatrix pierced him with a glare. "Are you or are you not a member of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black?"
"I am," agreed Sirius miserably. Bellatrix merely raised her eyebrows, and Sirius pointed his wand at the beetle. "Avada Kedavra!" The beetle fell over, dead.
"You missed the fun part," Bella whined, but she gave Sirius an approving high five. "I guess you really are a member of the House of Black!"
Sirius fingered the bruise on his cheekbone and gave a bitter-sweet smile. "I guess so."
Sirius anxiously clutched his suitcase. It was the first day of his first year at Hogwarts. His cousin, Bellatrix, sauntered towards him. She was a confident third year now, with an established place at the school.
"Can I sit with you on the train?" Sirius asked quietly.
Bellatrix smiled kindly. "Sure, Siri." She nudged him to his parents, urging him to say goodbye.
"Goodbye Mother," Sirius said nervously. Walburga Black snorted, taking in the appearance of her firstborn son, so unruly, so disappointing. He had a recent slash of a wound on his arm, caused by her own wand. She never had to be so rough with Regalus, who was obedient and worthy of pride. She sneered at her son, and spat at him one more insult to carry with him to Hogwarts: "Try to be something other than an utter failure."
Sirius felt a familiar pang in his heart and turned to Orion Black. His father coldly studied him. "Uphold the family honor, Sirius." Sirius nodded, tears pricking at his eyes. He thought it would be different. He should have known better.
Bellatrix, noticing his discomfiture, stepped forward and took his hand. "Let's go, Sirius."
They walked to the train, hand-in-hand, and sat together, Bellatrix making Sirius laugh and forget about the emotional wounds inflicted by his parents. Bellatrix kissed him on the forehead- "For luck"- as Sirius stood in the long line of front years, waiting to be sorted. And when Sirius heard the hat scream out "Gryffindor!" he saw Bellatrix's eyes cloud over with disappointment. Bellatrix tried to reach out to Sirius after Dumbledore dismissed the students, but Sirius pulled away, angry and confused and ashamed.
"Sirius!" Bellatrix called after his retreating figure, not understanding. She would never understand. She could never understand.
Sirius wildly threw his things in his bags, muttering under his breath. He was sixteen, and he was leaving this house and everything it stood for. He looked up when a shadow fell across his bag- Bella, no, not anymore- Bellatrix was at the doorstep.
"What are you doing here?" he muttered. Bellatrix was nineteen; she had graduated Hogwarts two years earlier, and was now married. He barely saw her anymore, and when he did see her, he could barely look at her. She proudly carried the Dark Mark now, and fought for everything Sirius loathed.
"You're leaving?" Bellatrix asked, ignoring his question.
Sirius gestured to his torn-apart room and his open bags. "It would appear so."
Bellatrix's hooded eyes glinted with annoyance. "You're making a mistake."
"No, Bellatrix," Sirius spat. "A mistake was getting that thing tattooed on your arm. I'm saving myself."
Bellatrix's mouth twisted. "Saving yourself? No. You're ruining yourself. The legacy of the Most-"
Sirius cut her off. "Don't. I'm not a little kid anymore. You can't take me to our grove and tell me what I will do with my life. I'm making my own choices now."
"Your choices are wrong, though!" Bellatrix cried, clearly frustrated.
Sirius met her eyes for the first time. "Maybe. Or maybe yours' are wrong. Or maybe our choices are right for both of us. I don't know. But I need to find out myself."
Bellatrix stared at him for a second. "But Sirius, if you leave this house…I can never see you again. Our friendship will be broken. You know that, right?"
"I know," Sirius said. He saw the hurt expression pass over Bellatrix's face and stopped. "Bella, our friendship was broken the minute the hat said "Gryffindor.""
Bella shook her head. "I didn't want it to end then! I would have still been friends with you!"
Sirius laughed humorlessly. "I saw the disappointment in your eyes. It never would have been the same. I didn't live up to your expectations."
"Sirius," Bella pleaded. "I wasn't disappointed in you, just…" She bit her lip. "Well, I was a little, but come on! I expected you to be in Slytherin, we all did!"
Sirius zipped up his bags and slowly stood up. "Yeah, well. Our friendship ended there, five years ago. I've come to terms with it."
Bellatrix shook her head frantically. "We still hung out! During the summers…"
Sirius looked at her, with a look of almost pity. "It never was the same, and you know it. Look, Bella, I just, I have to go."
"Won't you miss me?" Bella whimpered, her eyes sparkling with sudden vulnerability.
Sirius looked down, fighting against the sudden lump in his throat. "I will always miss Bella Black," he rasped. "But Bellatrix Lestrange? No. I don't miss her. I never will. You're a stranger to me now, Bellatrix."
Bellatrix let out a strangled cry and spun around. She took off, searching for somebody to release her pain onto. She found an innocent Muggle man walking, his jet black hair flying in the wind. The memories of Sirius came flooding back, and Bella let out a cry of rage. "Crucio!" she screamed, pointing her wand at that man who so closely resembled her best friend. "Crucio, Crucio, Crucio!" She stood there, sobbing and cursing, until the man was dead.
And with that, Bellatrix killed her remaining feelings for Sirius. "Sirius Black, you're dead to me," she vowed, the insanity in her eyes glittering, her ebony hair streaming around her. "Dead."