"I'm worried about Bellatrix." Said Druella in a tone that suggested her voiced concern had been in her mind for months.
"Why?" Asked Cygnus, not looking up from his book.
"She's such a sweet girl at time."
"Yes, that is worrying." Druella chose to ignore her husband's comment. She knew that he was not being sarcastic.
"It's those other times."
"What other times?"
"The other times. When she seems almost like a different person."
"How so?" Cygnus looked up from his book and paid full attention to what Druella was saying. He was not going to have a daughter with mental problems.
"She's such a nice, sweet girl but it's the other times when she. Loses her temper is a good example. Remember her fourth birthday? What she did to poor Narcissa?" Cygnus inwardly breathed a sigh of relief.
"That's part of her nature. It's nothing to worry about."
"She's my daughter Cygnus-"
"She's my daughter too."
"Oh please! You could never care for her! When she was a baby you couldn't bear the sight of her!"
"People and opinion's change."
"The only reason yours changed was because you could see some profit or gain!"
"How dare you argue with me and accuse me of not caring for my daughter!"
"Then show her that you love her! Show some affection you self-centred-" The loud smack of Cygnus's hand meeting Druella's face cut her short. Her hand immediately flew to her reddened cheek.
"Why did you make Daddy angry? You mustn't' make Daddy angry." Called out Bellatrix in a haunting voice as the drawing room door creaked open. There she stood, staring at Druella with a blank expression on her face and an uncaring look in her eyes.
"What have you done to my baby?" Screamed Druella. She fled from the room, tears running down her face, her sobs echoing behind her to a staring Cygnus and indifferent Bellatrix.
"Were you eavesdropping Bellatrix?"
"No sir. Mummy shut the door on me and told me to stay there."
"Oh she did, did she?" Said Cygnus. On second thoughts he decided to ask whether she was lying or not.
"No sir." Cygnus scrutinized his daughter carefully as she answered to detect any signs of her lying. He could find none.
"Why were you here in the first place?"
"To ask for another book sir."
"You'll be four years old in three days. There's no need for you to ask for a book. Just go to the library and take one."
"Yes sir." Bellatrix moved to close the door.
"Your Aunt Walburga and Uncle Orion will be coming here tomorrow Bellatrix. The reason for their visit is to meet you. I want you to be dressed in that green silk gown I bought for you for you're third birthday. Be on you're best behaviour, remember all you're manners and address them at all times as Ma'am or Sir depending on who is talking to you. I will not have you disgracing me. Now away with you." Bellatrix bowed her head and shut the drawing room door. Cygnus waited until he heard her barely audible light footsteps climbing the stairs before sighing and collapsing into his armchair. Did I make the right choice? He thought. Should I have married Druella Rosier?
The doorbell sounded and Druella opened the door to find Walburga and Orion Black standing on the doorstep.
"Hello Mr and Mrs Black. Please, do come in." Orion walked right past Druella as if she didn't even exist.
"Good day Rosier." Said Walburga, giving Druella a curt nod as she swept past her. Druella stared after Walburga and Orion for a moment before lightly slamming the door shut and disappearing into the kitchen to serve her guests tea and biscuits.
"Ah! Walburga! Orion! So glad you could come. How is Sirius?" Said Cygnus as soon as the parlour door opened to reveal Orion and Walburga. They took a seat next to each other, opposite Cygnus.
"He's doing fine enough. How is our niece, Bellatrix?" Replied Walburga.
"Fine enough. I am most pleased that I kept her."
"Let us see her then Cygnus!" Barked Orion. Walburga pursed her lips and shook her head at Orion.
"BELLATRIX BLACK! COME DOWN HERE THIS INSTANT!" Roared Cygnus. He strained his ears to hear the light, dainty footsteps of his eldest daughter but could hear nothing. A small knock on the parlour door signalled her arrival.
"Come in." Said Cygnus in a bored voice. The door opened slowly to reveal Bellatrix. She was wearing an emerald green silk gown with her curly black hair framing her beautiful face. Her walnut brown eyes gazed at her father. Orion sat up in his chair and the corner's of Walburga's mouth twitched, hinting at a possible smile, which was indeed a rarity.
"Come stand in front of us then child!" Barked Cygnus. Bellatrix slowly glided into the centre of the parlour and stood with her hands clasped behind her back, facing Walburga, Orion and Cygnus.
"What is your name?" Asked Walburga.
"Bellatrix Ma'am. Bellatrix Black." Bellatrix curtseyed to Walburga who seemed pleased.
"How old are you Bellatrix?" Asked Orion.
"I shall be four years old tomorrow sir." Said Bellatrix in a small, yet clear voice. She curtseyed to Orion who looked slightly pleased.
"Come stand in front of me child." Demanded Walburga. Bellatrix moved so that she was standing directly in front of Walburga, who reached her hand out and took Bellatrix's face in a tight grip. Walburga turned Bellatrix's head to one side and then the other side.
"Let me see you're eyes." Said Walburga. Bellatrix looked up (her eyes had been focused on the carpet previously) and Walburga looked impressed.
"You have lovely eyes child. You have a pretty face, a good posture and seem to be able to maintain control over you're facial expressions. You're manners also seem to be intact." Said Walburga.
"Have you touched a wand girl?" Asked Orion.
"Have you seen a wand and what it can do?" Asked Orion.
"Where?" Commanded Orion. Bellatrix looked to her father.
"I have let her see my wand and have demonstrated to her some spells that it can perform such as levitation, transfiguration, animation of inanimate objects." Answered Cygnus.
"Have you ever been on a broomstick girl?" Said Orion.
"Have you ever seen a broomstick?"
"Where?" Bellatrix again looked to her father.
"I showed her my broomstick."
"Do you read?" Asked Walburga.
"How many books have you read?"
"We shall have to raise that number." Walburga said, looking pointedly from Cygnus to Orion and back.
"Bellatrix. Go get Narcissa and bring her here." Said Cygnus.
"Yes sir." Bellatrix curtseyed to Orion, Walburga and her father before leaving the room.
"There is some potential in that girl." Said Walburga immediately.
"She is eager to earn you're approval, respect and love Cygnus." Grunted Orion.
"May she visit us sometime? Stay with us for a day or two Cygnus?" Requested Walburga.
"Of course. It will do her good to stay away from her mother and sister." Replied Cygnus.
"Why whatever's the matter Cygnus?" Asked Walburga.
"Druella thinks that there is something wrong with the child. She believes I have corrupted her eldest daughter and she is desperately trying to 'save her' as she calls it. All she is doing is harming the poor girl!"
"Well, we shall just have to put our foot down then won't we? She has talent, extraordinary talent within her. All she needs is proper guidance and the freedom to practice and to learn. She must not be exposed to Rosier. It will only confuse and madden the child and no good can come of it." Walburga said firmly.
"Divorce her or allow the girl to stay with us for a few years." Said Orion.
"It would do her so much good and help her. I know that she would be safe with you and there would be no way she could be exposed to anything like what her mother is doing. The only problem I have with it is the burden she would be to you." Replied Cygnus.
"I like the child already and I have only met her for a few minutes. Also, it's about time she learnt certain things Cygnus that you would find difficult to teach her what with Rosier sniffing about." Said Walburga.
"She would not be a burden to us Cygnus. We want to take as much interest in the child as possible. Also, she would have different companionship what with Walburga, Sirius and myself. I dare say she has got rather temperamental at times with her little sister."
"Yes. Her third birthday was rather eventful to say the least. Druella made the worst of it but I was proud of her."
"Whatever did she do?" Asked Walburga.
"She was thinking, the same look on her face as is on mine when I am thinking. Narcissa wanted to play and the child did not take too kindly to being disturbed as do I. She pulled her hand back and slapped her sister across the face."
"Oh, how perfectly delightful!" Said Walburga, clapping her hands together.
"Exactly what a true Black would do." Said Orion.
"Sir, Sir, Ma'am. Narcissa is here." Said Bellatrix. She was holding onto Narcissa's hand and guided her into the room. Narcissa's silvery blonde hair and twinkling blue eyes caught Orion's eye for a moment or two then he returned to his observation of Bellatrix.
"This is my youngest daughter Narcissa." Said Cygnus. Narcissa bowed her head respectfully.
"Bellatrix. Take Narcissa back to the nursery and then come back down here." Bellatrix curtseyed three times, for Cygnus, Walburga and Orion then left, dragging her sister behind her.
"Could you take her with you now?" Asked Cygnus.
"Of course we could. If you bring all of her possessions then she can stay with us for as long as we and you wish." Answered Walburga.
"Until she is six isn't too much to ask is it?"
"Of course not. We would quite happily take her until she was due to start Hogwarts."
"Keep her for as long as you can. Narcissa is already lost but there is a chance for Bellatrix." Cygnus said with a sigh.
"We shall of course bring her back for holidays and such." Said Walburga.
"This arrangement pleases me. How do you feel about all of this Orion?" Asked Cygnus.
"The further away she is from Rosier the better. You're youngest is ruined and might be able to be salvaged but focus mainly on you're eldest. She seems to be the most impressionable to Rosier's ways."