Author's Notes: Written for Colorful Soul's Taylor Swift Songfic Competition on the HPFC forum. Based on the song "Sparks Fly" by Taylor Swift.
I had intended to have this as my 100th fic, but the due date sort of snuck up on me…
I feel it merits mentioning that my idea of Tom Riddle (as opposed to Voldemort) is that he's manipulative and creepy (as opposed to evil). And that he still has hair and a nose. Right? Right.
Bellatrix locked the Manor door behind her, pulling off her sodden cloak and using her wand to dry it. She threw it down on the floor, wiped her boots on the mat, and went into the parlour, prepared to sit down in front of the fire to warm up.
She stopped when she saw Narcissa, Druella and Cygnus already assembled and looked at them, confused.
"Is something wrong?"
Druella sniffed and touched the corners of her eyes with a handkerchief. "Yes, dear, I'm afraid something is terribly wrong."
"What?" Bellatrix asked. "Where's Andi?"
There was a collective intake of breath and Bellatrix looked around, uncomprehending. "What is it?"
"Andromeda," Cygnus said, voice cold and toneless, "has decided that she no longer cares to associate with our family. She has run away. She has…" He paused and took a deep breath, "she has made a blood traitor of herself."
Bellatrix stared, dumbfounded, then burst out laughing. "No she didn't She's gone out on the moors and gotten herself lost, that's all there is. I'll go out and find her–"
"Tht is not what happened."
Druella dapped at her eyes again, then held a piece of parchment out to Bellatrix, who took it, stomach knotting.
I've left. Don't bother looking for me. I'm getting married. I'm happy. Goodbye.
Bellatrix felt sick. She stared down at the letter. No. Andi couldn't have gone, it wasn't possible. She had talked about it, yes, but…
She turned and hurried towards the door.
"Where are you going?" Narcissa asked tearfully.
"Out!" Bellatrix needed a chance to process this.
"But you just came in–"
"I'm going out again!"
She grabbed her cloak from the floor where she'd dropped it and rushed from the manor, slamming the door behind her. As soon as she was off the grounds she disapparated, reappearing in the dark, empty streets of Knockturn Alley. Lascivious calls came from the closed-up shops where people hid from the rain but she ignored them, running instead towards the only shop on the street that mattered.
Borgin and Burkes.
Bellatrix felt so fragile, so easily broken, like a house of cards. She knew from more experience than she cared to admit that there was only one person who could help her when she was in this state.
She banged on the shop door. "Mr. Riddle? Mr. Riddle, are you in there? I need to speak to you!"
Tom Riddle was the only person who she ever opened up to. With the rest of the world, she was on her guard, but with him she knew it was no good. Anything he wanted to know he would find out anyway. So he was her confidant. He knew every intimate detail of her life, and there was no one else with whom she could share her misery at the loss of her sister.
The door opened by just a crack, and a pair of dark eyes appeared. Bellatrix's breath caught as though she had been hit when she saw his eyes.
"Bellatrix Black… how lovely to see you."
"I need to speak to you," she repeated, voice trembling a little. She was cold and wet and shivering and on the verge of tears.
"Are you expecting me to just drop everything and talk to you? In the pouring rain?" he asked, smirking slightly.
She twisted her hands together. "I… I… it's my sister… she's…" Bellatrix couldn't hold back tears. She buried her face in her hands and her body shook with sobs. "She's gone! She's left me!"
Silence. Then the door swung open, and Tom Riddle stepped outside.
He touched her cheek, so gently, so softly.
"I'm sorry, Bellatrix Black," he murmured.
He kissed her there, on the sidewalk, and it took away the pain. Bellatrix melted into his arms. She had wanted to be kissed by him so much and for so long – no, she wanted more than to be kissed by him, so much more…
He pulled away and she blushed, hoping he couldn't see what she was thinking of.
"Come in," he whispered, pulling her into the darkened store.
"What? Why…" She trailed off as he pulled her towards the back, led her up the staircase.
"Comfort," he whispered, his voice soft and slow.
She followed him, captivated, until they reached the top of the stairs and the tiny, sparsely furnished bedroom there. Bellatrix swallowed hard.
"This is wrong," she breathed, even as Tom Riddle shut the door and reached for her.
"Just wrong enough to make things feel right," he told her, pulling her into a warm embrace, tumbling down onto the bed with her entwined in his arms.
Afterwards, Bellatrix kept her eyes on him, wondering what exactly this meant. Did it mean she was weak that she had given herself to a man –one she was increasingly captivated by – to comfort herself over her sister's leaving?
She wanted him desperately – wanted him physically, yes, but also wanted more than that. She wanted to… to belong to him, to have him to protect her from things like this. From things like losing her sister.
And he knew that was what she wanted.
It was what he wanted her to want.
It was what he had worked so hard for so long to make her want.
"Bellatrix," he murmured, "I can take away the pain… I can make you stop missing your sister…"
"How?" Bellatrix asked, her eyes widening.
"Join me," he told her, his voice so soft in her ear. "Become one of my Death Eaters… and I will stop you from hurting."
Bellatrix's lip trembled. He couldn't have caught her at a more vulnerable time, there was no situation in which she was so likely to say yes as this one. But if she was honest with herself, the thought of being a Death Eater had haunted her for a long time, even when he was not around. Always, she had convinced herself that it was a bad idea. But now her mind was forgetting to remind her of that.
"Yes," she whispered at last. "I want to be yours. I want to be one of yours. One of your Death Eaters."
"Of course, Bellatrix," he said. His tone registered no surprise at her decision. He had known that was what she would choose. He had calculated everything perfectly. He always did.
But Bellatrix didn't know how carefully he had planned things out so that she would join him. She only knew that he had promised to help her, and that now he was smiling the most beautiful smile she could imagine.
When he smiled, Bellatrix saw sparks fly.