Author's Notes: Written for Asking Me Where My Love Grows' First Kiss Challenge and ilovemoony73's Goodnight, Goodnight Challenge on the HPFC forum.

Largely unrequited Bellatrix/Rodolphus and off-screen Bellatrix/Voldemort. Rated M for strong, though non-explicit, sexual themes. Enjoy.


Rodolphus collapsed over his wife, panting and body heaving with pleasure and exertion. She didn't know half the joy it gave him when she allowed him to bed her. He had grown so used to her coming to bed only long after he was already asleep, or – far more often – not coming home at all, that the rare occasion she did come home – and the even rarer occasion that she bore some interest in sleeping with him – made Rodolphus the happiest man alive.

For a short while, at least.

Bellatrix, in stark contrast to Rodolphus, seemed wholly uninterested by the whole matter. As soon as Rodolphus finished, she shoved him off of her as though he hadn't affected her at all.

Which, he thought bitterly, he probably hadn't.

"Bella," he moaned, struggling to catch his breath, struggling to get the words out as soon as possible, "Oh God, Bella, that was…"

"Do yourself a favour and just shut up, Rod," Bellatrix snapped, rolling over to face away from him. She acted as though Rodolphus had just been pulling her teeth instead of making love to her.

Rodolphus sighed. What had he been expecting? Affection? Idiot.

"But it was amazing, Bella," he told her, wrapping his arms around her waist and trying to pull her against him.

She shrugged him off. "Don't get used to it."

Tears prickled at the backs of Rodolphus's eyes. That stung, and it angered him. "You know, Bella, if you don't want to sleep with me, don't. I don't see why every few weeks you get into bed with me if you so obviously don't want to." If Bellatrix just didn't touch him or have anything to do with him, he might have been able to forget how much he adored her. But as it was, he was constantly given hope that she might actually care for him.

Bellatrix turned over to face him again and sneered. "You think this has anything to do with what I want? If I had my way, I'd never even touch you. You know something, Roddy?" She sat up and leaned over him, that horribly sneer still twisting her mouth. "Do you know why I sleep with you at all? Because the Dark Lord has ordered me to. I only bed you when the Dark Lord orders me to. It's to keep you satisfied. It has nothing to do with my desires."

Rodolphus stared at her. He feared he wouldn't be able to talk, that he would burst into tears, but he managed to say, "Wh- what business of the Dark Lord's is it if we sleep together or not?"

Bellatrix snorted. "Are you really so naïve? You're an absolute idiot, you know that, Rodolphus? It's the Dark Lord's business because when I'm not bedding you, I'm bedding him."

No. Tears spilled from Rodolphus's eyes. He turned away hurriedly to hide them, not wanting Bellatrix to see how badly that hurt.

"Oh, Hell…" Bellatrix muttered. "Look, don't cry, Rod. I hate it when you get all emotional."

"Emotional? Well, how did you expect me to react to you saying the only reason you sleep with me at all is because your lover tells you to?" he asked, his voice broken and high-pitched.

"Jesus…" Bellatrix ran a hand through her hair. "I didn't mean to upset… look, would you stop crying if I did something to cheer you up?"

"What?" Rodolphus sniffed, then winced at his own weakness. He shouldn't have asked her what. He should have said no. She shouldn't be allowed to play around with his emotions so much.

Bellatrix sighed, and rolled Rodolphus onto his back, then leaned over him and placed a very soft, tender kiss on his lips.

"There," she murmured gently, touching his cheek. "Does that make you feel better?"

In spite of himself, Rodolphus nodded. One little gesture like that was enough to make him forgive Bellatrix under any circumstance. Again, he hated himself for his weakness.

"Good," Bellatrix said. The hand on his cheek was stroking it now. "So you'll stop crying?"

He nodded.

"Good. Sleep well, then, Rod."

She moved away from him and turned over so her back was to him once more. Rodolphus watched her for a moment, and then wrapped his arms around her waist again. This time she didn't pull away.

"Bella?" he whispered in her ear.


"I think… I think that was the first time you've ever kissed me."

She twisted to grin at him, and for once, the grin wasn't malicious.

"Again," she said, her voice unusually gentle, "Don't get used to it."