Author's Notes: Written for silver-nightstorm's Vocabulary Book Competition, the purpose of which was to write a story which conveyed the definition of an SAT word in a memorable way.

)O(

Rabastan remembered when his brother had told him that he was marrying Bellatrix Black. Rodolphus had known full well that Rabastan had harboured a secret fancy for the girl for years, but he had married her despite that, because Bellatrix was pretty and rich and Pureblood, and Rabastan was powerless against his older brother's wish to marry her.

He had pushed down the swell of hatred for Rodolphus that he had felt when he heard the news as best he could. But Rabastan could feel it sitting in his stomach, just waiting to force its way out. He resented his brother for plucking Bellatrix – the idea of Bellatrix, the possibility of Bellatrix – out of his hands, and he resented that Rodolphus patronized him, treating him as though he couldn't get himself a wife. He was invited to stay with them, but it seemed more like a chance for Rodolphus to gloat that he had lovely Bellatrix on his arm than any signal of fraternal generosity. Rabastan kept his eyes off Rodolphus and his wife as much as he could.

"Why are you so hateful?" Bellatrix asked him on one of the rare occasions that Rodolphus left them alone together.

Rabastan had told the stupid bint to shut her mouth. But her words stuck with him. Was he hateful? He didn't think hateful was the right word, not exactly.

It was only years later that he learned what the right word was, the word that described precisely the bitterness and resentment he felt towards his brother. Like hateful, but darker somehow.

Rancorous.

)O(

Fin