Chapter 9

The morning after her initiation Bellatrix Black awoke to the strange but not unpleasant sensation of lying between silk sheets.

For a moment she was slightly disoriented but then she remembered. She was in the Dark Lord's chambers... in his bed. A grin spread slowly over her face when she remembered exactly what had happened the night before.

Bella lay there for a while, running the memory over and over again in her head. Though she had known what would happen when he summoned her to his rooms she hadn't been prepared for how very much she would enjoy herself. He was so rough... so intense... so dominant. So unlike any man she'd ever been with. He was, she admitted to herself, something she could easily become addicted to.

She streched luxuriously, letting a single sigh escape her lips. For the first time since she had turned sixteen.. and realized her mother was plotting the marry her off... she felt... almost... happy.

The only thing that spoilt it slightly was that she knew she would never get to share it with her sister. Andromeda had run away the evening Bella had confronted her... and married that muggle a week later. None of their family had been there.

Sirius had told her about it a few days later. Her cousin had mimed his mother pointing her wand of the tapestry and blasting Andie's name of it. He was too young at 12 to grasp the seriousness of the situation. Hah... sirius-ness. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth at that. Sirius certainly was precocious. In his second year and allready with a reputation for causing trouble. She had heard about many of her cousin's exploits in detail from Andie... who had seemed to find them endlessly amusing. Even she hadn't been able to stop from laughing when Andie had recounted how Sirius and his best friend James had shut Mrs Norris in a broom closet. Many times at Hogwarts she had fantasized about doing exactly that.

She pushed thoughts of her family away as she sank back into the pillows, lasping once more into vivid memories of the night before... and daydreams of what the night ahead might bring..

It wasn't till her stomach growled audibly that she reluctantly decided to get out fo bed. She slipped out from under the crimson covers and looked around for her robes, shivering slightly from the cool air on her bare skin.

She found it in a pile on the floor and tugged it quickly over her head. The thick, sooty fabric was at least warm she thought with a smile. Besides... she liked black. It suited her. She pulled up her left sleeve to run her finger over the brand on her arm, tracing the sinous curves of the snake emerging from the mouth of the skull. It surprised her how much she liked it... the physical symbols of belonging to the Death Eaters... of belonging to him.

Fifteen minutes later she had changed into a clingy dark green dress she knew he would like and managed to somewhat tame her wild dark mane of curls.

As she entered the dining room the delcious smells of breakfast hit her, and she was surprised... and rather pleased to see her family there. Cygnus, Druella and Cissy were all sitting there... close to the head of the table.

She almost flushed with pleasure to see that a seat had been left for her on Voldemort's right. A sly smile spread over his face when he saw her and he gestured gracefully to the empty chair.

Several Death Eater's glanced at her with expressions of curiosity as she walked to her seat, wondeirng no doubt why her and her family were accorded a place of such honor. One young female Death Eater, with unremarkable mud-brown hair and rather rough-hewn features... was looking at her with loathing and envy. Clearly she wasn't going to make friends with Alecto any time soon. She tossed the scowling woman her best haughty look as she swept past her.

His eyes were on her as she took her seat... and the look in them left her no doubt he was thinking about the night before. She slowly winked at him before turning to her food.

Between bites of delicious food she exchanged pleasantries with her family. Narcissa was her usual cheerful, effervescent self... her father looked undeniably proud of her... and even her mother looking like all her christmas's had come at once didn't irritate her too much.

She tried not to stare at him too much but she couldn't help peeking now and then. Everytime she did his eyes would invariably flick to her, looking at her in a way that suggested he knew what she was thinking. And if she wasn't very much mistaken he was thinking similar thoughts. It was impossible for her to stop a pleased, uncharacteristically giddy smile creeping over her place at the knowledge that she had pleased him.

A smug, self-satisfied look came over his face. Neither of her parents seemed to notice but Narcissa saw the smile on her face and gave her a knowing look.

Not long after she excused herself to go to the bathroom and Cissy excused herself too. She rolled her eyes at her sister as the blonde followed her into the hall.

As soon as they were out of earshot Cissy said in a sly voice "You slept with him didn't you?"

"What?" Bella said in a startled voice.

"Oh come on. He hasn't been able to take his eyes of you all morning… and every time you look at him the only thing missing from your expression is your tongue hanging out" Cissy said wickedly.

"It's none of your buisness" Bella snapped, turning to walk away.

"I'm curious! Is he any good? Is he big?" Cissy asked with a giggle.

Bella wheeled around to shoot her a scathing look. Cissy quailed slightly under her stare.

"If you don't stop pestering me about my sex life I swear I will curse you! Sister or not!" Bella snarled.

"Fine. I do have something else I need to tell you…" Cissy said with a smile.

"What?" said Bella peevishly.

"I'm going to be married. Next year… when I come of age" Cissy said rather proudly, happiness clear on her face.

Bella looked nonplussed. "Married?" she said softly. She couldn't imagine her sweet, impulsive and rather innocent little sister as someone's wife.

"Yes" Cissy said brightly.

"To who?" asked Bella, genuine curiosity creeping into her voice.

"Lucius Malfoy…" said Cissy softly.

"What? Please tell me your joking…" Bella said, voice and expression betraying her obvious shock.

Cissy pouted. Clearly that wasn't the reaction she'd been after.

"Of course I'm not joking! He'll be a fine husband. He's rich… smart… handsome…" she enthused.

"Well better you than me…" Bella muttered distastefully.

"Bella… how much do you love me?" Cissy asked sweetly.

"Why?" Bella said skeptically.

"Well you see I need someone to be my maid of honor…" she asked hopefully.

"Uh uh… no way… not happening" said Bella, throwing her hands up in horror.

"Please… please… please…" begged Cissy.

"Over my dead body…" snapped Bella, turning to go.

"If you do I promise not to say another word about your sex life…" Cissy said slyly.

Bella stopped, turned around and spoke in a low, warning voice.

"If you make me wear anything that's pink, poofy or frilly you will be spending your honeymoon as a toad…"