A/N: Written in response to Rosalie'sRevenge's Four Seasons Competition. This is for the Winter prompt, with Bellatrix and George as the characters :)


The wintertime was Bella's haven. The snow upon the ground dirtied with mud; the trees, plants, everything, dead; the very lifeless nature of the season itself—it all exhilarated her. She loved how the season brought upon its breath a soft silence that so forbiddingly blanketed the world. She loved the way it left the streets deserted as it carefully encouraged the populace to shut itself away from the biting chill, seemingly suffocating the towns.

The best part, though, was the hypnotizing way that blood would stain the purest, whitest patch of snow, bleeding and melting across the surface with vibrant contrast. She shivered slightly at the thought as she spun, glorious beneath the falling snow, her tattered robes flaring around her and the gentle flakes melting upon the hot skin of her arms. She grinned at the thought that she was dark enough, twisted enough, to decimate something so devastatingly pure just by touching it. Crimson drops flung from the slices she'd carved into her arms, and she paused a moment to watch, entranced, as the tiny jewels seeped briefly over the snow, and then burned slowly through it.

"Pretty, pretty, pretty bird," she sang, resuming her spinning. "Plucked him from his tree. Snapped his itty, bitty neck. And now he doesn't sing for me." A joyful laugh escaped her throat, a laugh of pure and unadulterated pleasure. She loved dancing in the snow—it made her feel so vivid, so alive. She noticed the blood was starting to congeal on her arms, so she stooped to caressingly wash it away, humming cheerfully all the while.

"Oi, George, wait up!"

Bella froze as two red-headed boys came running down the deserted street. Her curiosity spiked deliciously. It wasn't safe for bitty little boys to be out and about nowadays.

"Not a chance, mate," the second called, "If Lee catches us we're bloody well dead!"

"Like he'd be crazy enough to run after us. It's not exactly the smart thing to do, running through the streets!"

"Weasleys," she whispered with a grin, rising to her feet. Her wand trembled excitedly in her hand as her mind flitted through her catalogue of pleasurable spells and finally settled upon one. But just as she moved to slink into the road before her, Rodolphus appeared with a crack!

She smiled, pausing a moment to admire his presence, even as the twins halted, determined looks upon their faces, and drew their wands. Together they casted a reflexive and synchronized 'Expelliarmus!' which sent Rodolphus soaring through the air.

Her heart stopped, frozen in her chest. "No!" she screeched, watching as her love was sent crashing into a distant tree.

And then she was laying on a filthy floor. Her body shuddering as the cold crashed into her soul and she forgot to be disoriented. The thick darkness penetrated her very being, and icy fingers reached through her skin, searching, searching. She screamed and threw herself at the bars of her Azkaban cell, brushing away, somewhere deep within her, the knowledge that her sounds were incoherent.

Screaming and screaming. She needed to get out. Out. Now. The thoughts circled through her head sending her into an endless spiral that left her sobbing desperately on the floor. Dementors flitted past the bars and she cowered back into the corner, pressing herself so deeply into the rough wall that the rock gouged through her skin.

The sensation pricked something in her mind. A focus. A semblance of sanity. She focused harder on the pain—striving for something. Closer. Closer. Her arm stretched out before her, grasping blindly at the empty darkness. The tang of blood hit her nose. Almost… there.

It all came back to her. Hogwarts. The final battle. Her Dark Lord had failed—bested by a child. A growl leapt from the smothering shadows and she startled before realizing the hoarse sound had risen from her own throat. A derisive laugh escaped after it, a laugh which slowly became a cackle as she slipped back into madness and the memories overtook her once more.

The grass was wet and slowly greening under the sun's devoted attentions. She felt its warmth upon her bared arms, felt it heating slowly through the dark material of her robes. Birds were chirping cheerfully in the tree tops, proudly calling all the world's attention to the budding leaves that marked the branches' hard work. Life trilled everywhere around her, quivering impatiently, and she didn't care.

A vast emptiness had long consumed her—since her love had died. A bird dropped dead upon her command and she felt nothing, not exhilaration, not joy, not a flash of pleasure. She stared at it a long time, her eyes hard and cold. "Bitty little birdie," she finally whispered softly, "A-dropping from the sky. Bitty little birdie, all of us must die." She set fire to its carcass and continued on her way.

The spring somehow felt no more alive to her than the winter had. Rodolphus' life had fled him, leaving even the bitter flakes of snow, which brought so much death to the world, with too much life for her to bear their presence. Winter now was dead to her, dead in its vivacity. The flow of blood over the snow brought her no pleasure, the brittle twigs upon the ground no satisfaction. And so spring, with its chirping and growing and breathing… Spring could be no worse to her.

The war would end soon. The final battle would bring her blood and death perhaps enough to sate her need. It would bring victory and it would bring vengeance. But it would not bring back the winter, she knew; it would not give to her that perfect sense of absolute absence of life. It would not but for a moment give her that thrilling rushing awareness of death.

"Dead. Dead. All dead," she sing-songed. She felt the warm breeze on her face, and the empty darkness on her heart, and she felt herself ever falling, falling. Because there was nothing left.