A/N: Warning: When I write about Bellatrix, strange things happen to my grammar.
They start with spiders.
They start with spiders and move on to mice, to rabbits, to cats, to dogs, to horses, to monkeys. He uses the same progression as McGonagall, which makes it easy to go along with the fantasy that these are lessons, only lessons.
At night Bella dreams of green light and red eyes and dark hair and white skin and green light. She wakes up panting, aching for him.
Seventeen, and she knows she shouldn't. She knows it's dangerous, foolish, stupid. Seventeen, and she doesn't care.
After horses, after monkeys (Transfigured from twigs and stones by Evan and Lucius, Transfigured so they can still pretend it's only twigs, only stones, it doesn't count it doesn't it doesn't) – after monkeys they move on to Muggles.
There's only one, taken from a nearby village, a small pale girl of about fifteen. She's been Silenced and bound, but she moves as if she's screaming.
They do it together, Lucius Thorfinn Evan Bellatrix. At his word, they speak as one, send their jets of green light at the Muggle girl. The light moves too fast to know for sure, but Bella thinks it's her curse that makes the girl fall.
The Dark Lord moves inside their circle, stopping at each of them, congratulating. Evan vomits, narrowly missing the Dark Lord's boots. Thorfinn stares at the ground, dripping tears and snot. Lucius walls himself off, carves his face in stone.
Bellatrix looks into the red eyes and smiles. IwantyouIwantyouIwantyou she thinks (a distraction no not a distraction not really) and he laughs.
"Stay," he says, and the others leave, and then it's happening it's really happening and she's stupidfoolishdangerous and she's seventeen, she's (only) seventeen.
When he leaves she knows she's disappointed him, knows she has to make it up to him because she's in love she's in love and she's seventeen (it's funny isn't it, the Muggle girl didn't bleed but Bella can't seem to stop).
She goes home and doesn't tell Andromeda. She bathes, Vanishes her bloodstained robes, changes into a white nightgown and draws her wand.
She starts with spiders (next time she will show him this memory, he will like this image, Bella in white in the dark and green light green light and she will show him that she's not a child, she can do it right, she's seventeen she's seventeen she's [all of] seventeen).