Author's Notes: In response to some comments, I've decided to rewrite my two-shot story, Rivals, as a longer piece that explains the relationships between Nagini, Bellatrix and Voldemort more fully. Here's chapter one. Hope you like. Rated for sex, some language and impending violence.

Comments and reviews loved! Please tell me what you think!


Bellatrix touched her lips to the Dark Lord's throat, and laid her head on his heaving chest.

"My Lord," she purred. "Did you enjoy?"

"It was most satisfactory, my Bellatrix," he said. "Most satisfactory."

That didn't sound good to Bellatrix. Satisfactory was not praise. Satisfactory was unacceptable.

"What would you like me to do, my Lord?" she asked, running her fingertips lightly over his bare chest. "What would make it better than satisfactory?"

The Dark Lord said nothing. He sat up, and gently lifted Bellatrix off him.

"My Lord?"

He settled her on the pillows and twisted a finger around one black curl.

"Beautiful Bella."

She sighed deeply, put a hand on his wrist.

"Lovely, sweet Bella…"

Her heavy-lidded eyes fell closed, and she tipped her head back against the headboard. The things he called her, in bed at night were not things usually associated with Bellatrix Lestrange, except in dark, paradoxical whispers, sweet poison, terrible beauty, lovely pain.

"My Lord?"

"Yes, beauty?" He pressed his lips to the swell of her breast.

"May I ask a question?"

"Certainly, Bella."

"But… will you answer honestly?"

"And why would I do that?" The Dark Lord lifted his head and looked at her with an ironic smile.

"As a reward?" she asked, her breath quickening because she knew she was treading on deadly ground. "For my service?"

"Go ahead and ask, then," he said, sliding a hand between her legs to work the tender flesh there.

"What do you think about?"

"Clarify, if you please, my Bellatrix." He slipped a finger inside her, teasing gently.

"When we're… you know…"

"If we're doing it you ought to be able to say it, Bella dear."

"When we're making love…"

He chuckled softly, and withdrew his finger, drew a design on her soft belly with her juices. Bellatrix moaned softly.

"Is that what you think of it as, Bella?"

"Fucking, then. When we're fucking, what do you think about?" Bellatrix's cheeks burned. She didn't like to talk about it that way. The act between her and the Dark Lord was near sacred to her, and calling it by such a base name seemed blasphemous.

The Dark Lord considered her, a cruel smile playing around his lips. "What does it matter to you?"

It was a question with no right answer.

"Will it make it any better if I tell you? Do you expect me to say I'm thinking about you? Don't lie, be honest if you want me to be, Bellatrix. Do you want me to say I'm thinking about you? About how much I love you?" His voice was mocking, and his nails dug into the flesh of her full hips. It was a punishment, she knew. A small enough punishment for a small enough crime, but it was the intent of it that stung.

She whimpered. "No, my Lord, never, my Lord, I was only–"


She squeaked as his nails pierced the skin and crimson pebbles of blood pooled along the edges of his nails.

"Honesty is a virtue, Bellatrix. Now tell me the truth."

"Yes," she gasped. "I am sorry, my Lord, but yes."

He released her.

"I don't, my Bella," he said. "Since it appears tonight is a night in which we are striving for honesty, I don't love you."

She could have cried. It hurt that much.

"Go back to your husband, dearheart," he said, his voice soft and painfully gentle again. He slid his tongue over the cuts on her fleshy hips, lapping up the droplets of blood. "I haven't any more time for you tonight. And, incidentally, I'll be curious to hear what Rodolphus will have to say about your new scars."

Bellatrix hid her tears until she had dressed again and left the Dark Lord's chamber. But as soon as the door shut behind her, she sank to the ground and clutched her head.

Why was he so damn cruel? He didn't have to talk like that to her! She had pleased him, hadn't she?


God, it hurt.

She had given him everything. Her body, her faith, her very soul was his, and this was how he repaid her?

But then, she had asked for honesty. She had asked for the truth, so she couldn't complain when she got it.

"Who the hell are you?"

Bellatrix's head snapped up, and she tried to scrub the tears from her face, but she had been wearing eye makeup and it had run, and she only succeeded in smearing it further.

"Don't see why that concerns you!" Bellatrix snapped, angry at being seen looking so weak.

Standing over her was a tall, slim woman. She was dressed in a fine, olive green kimono, so sheer that Bellatrix could see the lacy lingerie she wore beneath it. Her hair was long, silky and fine, and pin straight, dark brown. Her bony hips were tilted provocatively, and one hand rested on the higher one. Her legs, long and thin were scarcely covered by the short robe. A distinctive scent of spicy perfume hung about her.

Bellatrix, by contrast, wore last night's dress, pulled on quickly. Her black curls were wild and tangled, and she knew the scent of sex was still on her. Not to mention the teary makeup smeared on her face.

The woman shrugged. "It doesn't concern me, I suppose." She stepped past Bellatrix and made to open the Dark Lord's door.

"What are you doing?" Bellatrix leapt to her feet and stepped between the door and the woman.

"I'm going in," she said. Her voice had clear irritation in it.

"No you bloody well aren't! Do you know whose room that is?"


"Bite your tongue!" Bellatrix raised a hand to slap. "You will show him the proper respect! Call him the Dark Lord!"

"I'll call him what I please!" The woman grabbed Bellatrix's wrist. "It isn't any concern of yours. Who are you, in any case?" She pulled back the sleeve of Bellatrix's robe, and smirked at the raw Dark Mark that graced Bellatrix's arm. "Let me see… Death Eater, hovering about the Dark Lord's room… egotistical bitch… why, you must be Bellatrix Lestrange."

"You watch your mouth! The Dark Lord has favoured me beyond anything you can believe–"

"You mean he's gone to bed with you."

Bellatrix really did slap her that time. Her teeth came down hard on her bottom lip.

"I seem to have touched a nerve." She raised her eyebrows, and ran her tongue around her bloodied lips. "Or did little Bella not want it to get out that she's had knowledge of the so-called Dark Lord? Is little Bella afraid people will call her a slut if they know? Is little Bella scared her husband will find out?"

"Don't you dare patronize me!"

"Poor Rodolphus," the other woman sneered. "Does he know about you and the Dark Lord and is just too afraid to admit it? Or maybe he's got his own mistress hidden away somewhere. Maybe he finds the whole idea of you and he Dark Lord together to be arousing–"

"Don't talk about him like that!" Bellatrix felt no passion and little love for her husband, but he had never done anything wrong save for love Bellatrix, and this woman had no right to be so cruel to him.

"What is going on?"

The Dark Lord had opened the door, and both Bellatrix and the other woman froze.

"My Lord–" Bellatrix began, but the other woman pushed her out of the way.

"Evening, Tom," she hissed, striding over to him. She coiled around him, drawing her tongue over his shoulder, and rubbed her body sinuously against his.

Bellatrix literally shook with anger. She ought to have known he had another woman hidden away! No wonder he didn't love her, with this whore at him! Who could? This seductive slut of a woman was driving the Dark Lord away from her! Even Bellatrix, who was known among certain parties for having a promiscuous disposition would never do the things that this creature was doing, wrapping herself around the Dark Lord like a snake, and with Bellatrix standing right there! Didn't she have any shame? The whore! Who was she?

The Dark Lord kissed this other woman deeply, then smirked a little at Bellatrix.

"Bellatrix," he said, "allow me to introduce Nagini."

Bellatrix fled.