Author's Notes: As I read the end of DH, all I could think was "how did Molly manage to kill a witch as talented as Bellatrix?". So… here's my answer. I beg you, review. This story is destined for much editing. My thanks to Helena Bonham Carter for wearing such a cool necklace in the movies…

Disclaimer: As always, I don't own HP, and no money is being made


His scar had not pained him for 19 years. All was well.

For the moment.

'Idiot!' Bellatrix shouted. She picked up a vase and hurled it across the room, where it shattered against the wall.

'Idiot housewives, and their pathetic excuse for magic! Call me bitch, will you, you pitiful…' she trailed off, into a long string of mingled spells, profanity, and general abuse.

'Are you all right in there?' someone asked with a tap on her door. 'Only I thought I heard something–'

'Go away!' Bellatrix screamed at the interrupter. How she missed living in a house, where you could order out people you did not want.

'Keep talking that way and I'll have the landlord throw you out!' he threatened.

Bellatrix squeezed her hands into fists, shaking with fury. Keeping a low profile was not her strength. If she had her way, the sound of a vase breaking would be the least of that fool's concerns. He would be more worried about the sound of his fingers breaking, one by one, crushed beneath her boot… the cruciatus curse, her specialty… his own screaming, and at last, the two words that would end his life…

The thought of torturing a deserving muggle pleased her, and for a moment, she actually started for the door, fully intending to disregard her task and the related need not to call attention to herself.

But then she caught herself.

'I'm sorry,' she lied, in the sweetest voice she could muster. 'I dropped something, and was upset.'

She could almost hear his shrug as he ambled away. He didn't care in any case. He probably wouldn't have cared enough to go to the landlord, but there was no use taking chances.

Once Bellatrix was sure that he had left, she sat on the narrow bed, and drew her knees up to her chest. Her shoes left marks upon the bedspread, but she was far too preoccupied to care about the state of the rather disgusting room that these muggles had given her. She had always suspected muggles of being scarcely above animals, but she had not realized that they would put paying guests in accommodations that wouldn't suit a pig.

Anger rose in her throat again. What would the Dark Lord have said, seeing her, Bellatrix, reduced to tears of fury in a muggle room? Her, a Black, a Lestrange, his follower, his confidant, his…

It had been a mistake to think of the Dark Lord. His face, strange and beautiful, floated in front of her eyes, and the anger turned to misery. He could see her, she was sure, and he was disappointed.

'I am trying, my Lord,' she whispered. 'I will honour your memory, I swear it. But, please understand, I have to wait.'

Of course, that spinster Molly Weasley, firing spells at random, blind with anger had not even close to hurt her. Bellatrix wasn't even sure what spell she had been hit with, only that she had lost all ability to use her limbs, and fallen to the floor, limp and – she conceded – looking quite dead to someone across the room and fighting three people at the same time. She understood. She was not bitter about the Dark Lord's inability to tell that she was still alive. In fact, she had been flattered to hear him scream when she fell. Only then, that Potter boy, the half-blood brat…

Stop, stop, stop! She wasn't going to think about it. It only made the pain worse.

Nineteen years, Bellatrix had stayed quiet, skulking about London, renting muggle flats under a variety of stolen names, while she searched for the spell she wanted.

And so it had gone on for nineteen long years.

Now, after all this time, she was finally done.

The combined power of dozens of libraries, and hundreds of spell books – most of them confused for hoaxes by muggles – had finally resulted in the creation of a spell far more advanced and delicate than the ritual that Wormtail had used to bring the Dark Lord back to life.

She, Bellatrix, would revive her master, and she would do it far better than Wormtail had done.

Which was why she was back in London, and renting a squalid flat near King's Cross Station.

She had checked in under the name Bella, and her maiden name Black; having decided that enough time had elapsed that no one would see it as a coincidence. There was no special reason, only that she adored how obtuse people – muggles and wizards alike – were. She, who had once been the most hunted woman alive, could live in the city of her birth, under her childhood name, and still, she was unseen. She was right under their noses, and still they didn't see her. Why? Because they had forgotten.

Not for long.

She had chosen the flat for its proximity to King's Cross Station, thinking that nothing else mattered, but it was becoming increasingly apparent that it would have been wiser to choose one further from that so important destination, but with neighbors who were more tolerant of her occasional fits of rage.

Bellatrix let her legs relax out before her, and rested her head against the grimy headboard. It did not matter. After that very night, she would have no more reason to stay in that muggle dung heap than she would have to use a name not her own. By dawn, everything would be right again.

She had not eaten or slept for seven days, and had drunk only water. It was a cleansing, so that she would be free of earthly impurities when she cast the spell.

Of course, it had had the side effect of making Bellatrix near delirious with exhaustion and hunger, but through strength of will she had not known she was capable of, she had made it through the first three days. After that, her body had adjusted in some way, and she no longer felt either hungry or tired. By contrast, she had not felt so alert, so alive since the Dark Lord…

She stood, to stop herself from drifting off, and once more checked that the last horcrux was safe. It was tucked at the bottom of a purse she had stolen from an unsuspecting muggle, and wrapped it a shred of tissue paper.

It was a gift from him, a silver necklace with a pendant in the shape of a crow's skull. Holding it to her ear, she could hear the tiny heartbeat, and could sense the shred of the Dark Lord's soul within.

When the Dark Lord had realized that Albus Dumbledore knew of his horcruxs, he had dispensed with his idea of a seven-part soul. More important to have as many pieces as possible. So he made one, and gave it the ultimate protection: Bellatrix's loyalty. A horcrux that no one else could possibly know about, an item that could be worn by Bellatrix without anyone thinking it strange or out of place, that would be kept on her person constantly… that would be a safe horcrux. She had worn it every day since the Dark Lord had given it to her, and doubted anyone could even noticed it.

She pressed her lips to it, and hurriedly shoved it back into her bag.

'Tonight, my Lord, tonight,' she said under her breath. 'Tonight.'