Narcissa crumpled, falling at Snape's feet, sobbing and moaning on the floor.

"My only son…my only son…"

"You should be proud!" said Bellatrix ruthlessly. "If I had sons, I would be glad to give them up to the service on the Dark Lord!"

But she didn't have sons, would never have sons. She'd known that then. She'd had one chance, one chance at a son, and it had all been swept away. She'd already known then, at that time, though she wasn't showing.

"You married me because that was what you were supposed to do," Rudolphus said, crossing his arms over his chest. His red-brown hair was cut to around his ears, and his little beard/mustache that stretched up into his side burns exactly like he had looked when they'd been married… well, not exactly, his face want much more gaunt and lined. "You realize that if we don't have a child, you will have effectively killed off the Lestrange line."

"Why can't your brother and his wife take care of it?" she snarled, pacing. She already knew the answer, but she was trying to avoid the issue.

"Rabastan did have children, they also died, and now his lovely wife is barren. He may be my younger brother, but he's still in his fifties. Besides that, Rabastan and Vega love each other," Rudolphus said with a cold tone, making Bellatrix wince just the tiniest bit. She knew it was a slap at her, for marrying him when she wasn't even the least bit attracted to him.

"And if I refuse? I am favored by the Dark Lord, I have many important duties," she responded.

"Do we not believe in pure blood above all else? Would it not be a matter of betraying the Dark Lord if we do not carry on one of the few remaining pureblood lines, especially when so many others have been snuffed out?" Rudolphus asked, pushing away from the table he was leaning against and striding over to her.

"You don't believe that," Bellatrix said stubbornly.

"It's not a matter of what I believe, dear Bella," Rudolphus said, laying his hand against her cheek and tipping her head up into a kiss. "What matters is what you believe… besides, consider this. Dear cousin Lucius has a higher rank than you, though you are by far more loyal, and more willing to do anything for the Dark Lord. Why is that, doyou think? When the Dark Lord himself recognizes your superior ability and your great loyalty? Lucius has provided the Dark Lord something you have not: a new generation, a new follower, a continued belief in his ideals," he said, his lips still resting against his wife's, brushing against them as he spoke in a soft, sultry tone.

"What are you saying, Rudolphus?" Bellatrix asked, though she knew, and he knew thatshe knew.

"Have a child Bellatrix, an heir who will have a pure line of Lestrange and Black, an heir you can offer to the Dark Lord's service. Is it not the ultimate sign of loyalty? To offer a firstborn son, even an only son, to our Lord? Will there be anyone who can say they are more willing or loyal than you, my fair Bella?" Rudolphus asked with a smile.

"No, no, of course not," Bellatrix murmured, mesmerized by the prospect.

That was how Rudolphus worked, with words meant to sway her heart when nothing else could. He'd known before they were married that she desired no one but the Dark Lord, and yet he had still been happy in the marriage. Bellatrix had disliked the idea of even sleeping with him, but he had spoken to her with his honeyed poison words, and he always convinced her in the end. He supplicated her by following her plans and giving her what she wanted… but in the end it always came down to what he wanted.

She didn't even believe that he'd wanted sons. If she could have found a way to prove that he'd done this to her on purpose, she would have. She'd wanted to give the Dark Lord a son; that was how Rudolphus had talked her into his little scheme in the first place. That was why she had gotten pregnant… but she wasn't having a son was she?

She was having a daughter.