A/N: So this story is inspired from Fortuna Mirth's Oblivion Floods. I have to give her a thanks. I gotten permission to use her idea to infuse into my Insecurities series. I plan on writing at least two more in the series. One about their wedding and one about the birth of their child. If the letter from Draco is weirdly written, I wanted to point out not all letters are perfect and they can be random. Well, most of mine are. Well enjoy!
AT FIRST GLANCE
I don't own Harry Potter or the concept of the story, but everything else I do.
Azkaban was designed for pain and not pleasure as most prisons are. The main idea, or the purpose, behind the concept is to make people uphold the law. A muggle prison has come a long way from a person being cast either into a dungeon or into a tower. The food is better, personal hygiene is important, and the facilities are more or less nice. However, Azkaban is no muggle prison. In fact, Azkaban has not increased in any manner of comfort since the day it was created. So far Azkaban has held some of the most dangerous prisoners known in the wizarding world and it has held some of the ones that should not even be in there. For instance, there's Bellatrix Lestrange.
Her prison cell was about eight by eight with a high barred window about seven feet from the ground. The cell smelt of urine, mildew and musk. Along one side of the cell laid three piles of yellowed newspapers that have been collected over the years of her imprisonment. On the same wall was a tin about the size of two boot boxes combined. If one were to look in it, they would find an assortment of hand writer letters, blank parchment, a quill and some ink. Located by the next wall was a softball sized hole in the ground, plus some toilette paper to the side. It wasn't the easiest of places to pee, but it did its job. Moving from that wall, one could see a six foot long sheetless twin mattress. There was no frame holding it from the ground; it was merely there. Upon the mattress laid the dark prisoner in grey clothes looking at the newest issue of the Daily Prophet. If someone would get a closer look at the figure, one would find unruly black curly hair, dark sunken eyes, and skin as pale as a corpse. Besides her face, they would also notice her wearing a think heavy ankle bracelet. Hooked upon it was a chain leading to a bludger sized black iron ball.
The woman on the mattress sighed as she turned the page. A smallish smile formed on her face as she glanced at a picture of a shy teenage boy in glasses looking at her sheepishly. Ah, Harry, I wonder how he's doing at the Triwizard Tornament. Curious, she started to read the article hoping it was better than the ones she's been reading. Unfortunately, she groaned when she read who had written it. Idiot woman! If there was one thing I regret in this life it would be the time when I slept with that bitch. From the time I met her at Hogwart's, she's been nothing but trouble. I wonder what crap she wrote about Harry this time.
Ever since the beginning of the Triward Tournament, she's been fascinated by any word on the boy-who-lived. In the past thirteen years or so, she had heard little word about the boy. From talking with her cousin, Sirius, she knew that Hagrid, Hogwart's gamekeeper, had used her cousin's prized flying motorcycle and took baby Harry off somewhere. To where, she never knew. A part from Sirius, she never heard much about the boy, not even from Dumbledore. Her guess at Dumbledore's silence was to keep her secret safe.. The only thing he ever did for giving her information to the outside world was a prescription to the Daily Prophet. When others would ask how she's been able to get a prescription, she merely lied by saying her sister signed her up. Most fellow Death Eaters bought it.
With that being said, she began to read again:
Harry Potter's Secret Heartache
A boy like no other, perhaps – yet a boy suffering all the usual pangs of adolescence, writes Rita Skeeter. Deprived of love since the tragic demise of his parents, fourteen year-old Harry Potter thought he had found solace in his steady girlfriend at Hogwarts, Muggle-born Hermione Granger. Little did he know that he would shortly be suffering yet another emotional blow in a life already littered with personal loss.
After reading the first paragraph, Bellatrix took time to ponder this information in her head. Since Rita Skeeter was known for blowing things out of portions, Bellatrix was able to deduce two things: one, Harry has a close friend whose name is Hermione Granger, and two, this Granger girl must have ticked off Rita somehow to have the lying witch write about her. After a deciding those two things, Bellatrix came to another realization. Rita must have done something to upset the mudblood, but what? Shrugging she went back to reading the article.
Miss Granger, a plain but ambitious girl, seems to have a taste for not only famous wizards that Harry alone cannot satisfy, but for famous witches as well. Since the arrival at Hogwarts of Fleur Delacour, Veela Monthly's top model and most eligible bachelorette in France, Miss Granger has been toying with both of their affections. Delacour, who is openly smitten with the devious Miss Granger, has already invited her to visit her in France over the summer holidays, and insists that she has "never felt this way about any other girl."
Once again, Bellatrix took time to pause. Actually, she was quite startled. Never in her wildest of guessings would she have concluded that the Granger girl would go for a girl, but not just any girl, a veela no less. A small smile formed on Bellatrix's mouth as she thought of how this girl became more interesting to her aside from being a close friend of Harry's. There must be something special about the girl if she caught the eye of a veela.
Bellatrix knew a thing or two about veelas. She knew them to be proud and arrogant. They never looked farther past their own nose; well, not unless it's in their best interest. They were very beautiful with the potential of turning ugly. What's more, they are very sexual creatures, but were very picky when comes to who they would sleep with. The only time they would be anything but, for lack of a better word, snobbish, would be when they found their mate.
Bellatrix sighed as she was lost in a memory of her first crush. She wouldn't say her relationship was built with love because it was more of a friend with benefits sort of thing. She was in Hogwarts at the time and had caught the eye of a half veela upper classman. They slept around, and she could have sworn it was going somewhere. Unfortunately, she was wrong. The older girl had left her when she found her mate. As it was Bellatrix's service was no longer needed and she was a little hurt by it. A part of her wondered if the friend of benefit program was what the Granger girl was going through. Somehow it appalled her, when she thought of girl as young as Harry would want to dive into intimate relations at such a young age. When it came to Bellatrix, she was about in her sixth year before she did anything. Shrugged her shoulders, she read further.
However, it might not be Miss Granger's doubtful natural charms that have captured this unfortunate boy and young woman's interest.
"She's really ugly," says Pansy Parkinson, a pretty and vivacious fourth-year student, "but she'd be well up to making a Love Potion, she's quite brainy. I think that's how she's doing it."
Bellatrix busted out laughing. She was now sure of a few more things. One, the Granger girl must be very beautiful. Two, this Pansy Parkinson sounds as if she has a crush on either the veela or Granger. Bellatrix would have laid money on the fact that Pansy Parkinson had feelings for the mudblood and was jealous of the veela. Three, she would also put money on the fact that this Granger girl must be a brilliant witch. If there is one thing Bellatrix knew about Rita, the reporter liked to quote people perfectly if they had anything of great interest to quote. As far as Bellatrix was concerned, the quote Pansy Parkinson gave was of great interest. Shaking her head, Bellatrix went back to finish the article.
Love Potions are, of course, banned at Hogwarts, and no doubt Albus Dumbledore will want to investigate these claims. In the meantime, Harry Potter's well-wishers must hope that, next time, he bestows his heart on a worthier and less bi-sexual candidate.
Bellatrix laughed again. She knew the real reason behind the banning of love potions at Hogwarts and the reason is Rita. As a fourth year, the poor woman had developed a serious crush on Bellatrix, who was in her last of school. The infatuation nearly drove Bellatrix up the wall. Rita had had sent her countless proclamations of love. She swore at times she felt Rita shadowing her through the halls and found it rather creepy. The only reason Bellatrix even slept with Rita was when the girl had somehow slipped a love potion in her drink or something. How she managed to do it, Bellatrix still doesn't know. What irked her the most was when Rita had spread news that Bellatrix had become her girlfriend. Angry, Bellatrix went to Rita and demanded that she knock it off. Rita found it a minor set back and tried to use her body to persuade her, but Bellatrix would have none of it and cursed her. She got caught by some professor, who took both her and Rita to the headmaster for a good talking to. During the entire interrogation, the mention of love potion came up and well… the rest is history.
Having read enough of the paper, Bellatrix folded it up and threw it on her mattress. She sat for a moment just thinking about what she wanted to do for the next little while. Putting her head on the filthy wall, Bellatrix looked towards the ceiling. Being in Azkaban is boring. There was nothing to do and it didn't settle well with Bellatrix, who was use to doing a million things in her day. As she as thought of something to do, her mind went back to the article. She thought on how she truly wanted to get to know more about Harry. It was not for herself alone but more for Sirius's sake. After all, Harry was Sirius's god-son and it made him almost family. However, she hadn't picked out what about Harry Potter she wanted to know. His likes and dislikes were the furthest things on her list.
As she thought things through, she remembered her nephew. A bright smile formed on her face as she thought of the possibility of getting information from him since he had to be about the same age as Harry. Finally having a cure for boredom, she went over to her tin box and pulled out some stationary supplies and swiftly she began to write:
To my darling nephew Drakkiepooh,
How your dear old auntie has missed you so, even though you don't visit (?). But who cares. I'll just get down to business. As you very well know, my main job as a Death Eater is to gather information. Being in Azkaban, I can't fulfill my role as a Death Eater since I can't gather any information at all. By now you're probably wondering what this has to do with you, well I'll tell you. I want information on Harry Potter. I want to know what kind of student he is, who his friends are and what they are like. I also want to know if he has his eyes on any one and his hobbies. I would also like a photo of him and his friends. You are probably why I want this information, I'll tell you. If and when the Dark Lord even comes back this information could provide very useful to him because he would be able use it to find out Potter's weaknesses. If you do this I'm pretty sure the Dark Lord would reward you greatly and if he doesn't return… I don't know what rewards you can get. When you write to me, I want a good and honest report without any prejudice in it. In other words, if you pull a Rita Skeeter on me, I'll lay into you if I ever get out of Azkaban.
Your most beloved Auntie Bellie.
Smiling at the letter, she folded it to give to the guard who brings food to her. Luckily no one ever read her mail since they believed that's there's no real danger she could do.
About a half a month later, Bellatrix received a returned letter from Draco. The envelope itself was rather heavy. Pleased, she smiled knowing Draco must have done a good job on gathering information. She opened the envelope and pulled out its contents. She noticed that there was a smallish stack of photos and about two sheets of parchment. Feeling as if she had a moment to enjoy what might be a good story, Bellatrix settled herself onto the mattress.
Dear Aunt Bellatrix,
It was so good to hear from you. Although for being my aunt, you sure do want to know more about someone who's not even blood related. I think it unfair that you would care more for him than for me. That's if you ever cared for me at all. I know I'm being disrespectful, but I excuse not myself because of your rude behavior towards me. I go to school at Hogwarts. I've been sorted into the Slytherin house, the same house that you yourself had been sorted into. I'm on my house's Quidditch team. I make fairly good grades and I'm sort of dating a girl named Pansy Parkinson, who comes from the same house that I do. My best friends are Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. And out of everything I just told you, you could care a rat's arse. I find it frustrating.
As for the information you have requested, I will inform you to the best of my knowledge. However, I'm not happy in writing to you about some idiot boy, who would rather hang out with the riff raff of the wizarding world instead of the elite. Did you know he had the audacity to say that I'm the wrong sort of person to hang out with? I mean I have power in the wizarding world and money. Instead of leaning towards me and what I could do for him, he goes off to befriend Ronald Weasley, whose parents as you know are poorer than a house-elf. When I first meant him he wore nothing but rags. I think the only reason why he would want to associate with riff raffs is because he thinks they are like him. But he's wrong. It angers me to know that Ronald Weasley is nothing like him. Harry Potter is famous and could use his fame to have the whole wizarding world bow down at his feet, but he refuses to use it to his advantage. Instead he uses it to his disadvantage as in he would take his hero status and tries to prove himself to be what people think him to be.
I remember his first heroics at school. In the first year, we had taken worthless lessons on how to fly a broom. Remember Alice and Frank Longbottom? Well, their only son is in my year, the oaf got himself hurt by taking off too early on his broom. Madam Hooch had to take him to the infirmary. Along the way he somehow dropped this stupid ball thing. I thought to have a little fun by tossing it around and attempting to break it, but no. Potter just had to step in. To make things short, brooms were involved and Potter found himself being made a Seeker for his house team. You know he should be thanking me for my fun. If it weren't for me, he wouldn't even be on the team. Whatever.
The next heroic act would be him and the Weasel attacking a mountain troll head on while trying to save a worthless mudblood girl. If there is one thing I hate most then Potter's lack of propriety, it would be that girl. For such a mudblood, she sure is an arrogant know-it-all. I hate how she has managed to get the highest marks in any and all of her classes. I hate it. She even beats me in Potions. You would at least think Professor Snape would grade me higher than her because I'm in his house, but he grades fairly the stupid git.
You know, after the whole troll incident, Muddy, Weasel and Potter are hardly ever apart. They get into so much trouble at school that should be expelled. Again in the first year they managed to help the oaf of a game keeper smuggle out a dragon. They even stopped Professor Quill, the DADA teacher, from stealing what was rumored to be the philosopher stone as it was being guarded at school. Oh, rumors also have it that Professor Quill was somehow in league with the Dark Lord and that's why he went after the philosopher stone. That should make you feel better.
But enough of the Dark Lord and let's get back to Potter. Now I wouldn't call it Heroics because I'm not sure what it was that I saw, but during the one and only dueling club meeting in the second year, Harry and I dueled in out. One of the spells I cast sent a snake out to attack Potter, but instead of going after Potter, it went after some Hufflepuff mudblood. Potter seeing this started talking to the snake in Parsaltongue. My guess was that he was trying to call the snake off of the mudblood. Later in the year Potter foiled father's plan of mischief. Apparently, father gave Weasel's sister some dark diary. The book made the stupid girl do stupid things like opening the chamber of secrets. Potter, the fool hardy hero that he is, goes down to the chamber of secrets to save Weasel's little sister. What happened down there I'm not sure, but I know he did kill whatever lived down there. He also saved the stupid girl while inadvertently helping the oaf of a gamekeeper out of Azkaban. Do you see him while he was there?
Well it doesn't matter. Oh, the only thing good about the whole chamber of secrets ordeal was that Muddy was petrified for a while. Rumor had it, she figured out what monster was in the chamber and was prepared to face the monster with a mirror if she had run into the thing. I think the creature was revealed to be a basilisk. Whatever. The only bad thing was that Potter had somehow tricked my father into freeing our house elf, Dobby. The disloyal scum betrayed our family to Potter and if I get my hands on him I think I'll kill him and if you were out of Azkaban you would probably agree with me.
But since you're still in Azkaban and seek for knowledge on Potter, I freely give it to you. As far as last school year was concerned, there were no big heroics or even minor ones. Although, I think he somehow was involved with helping Sirius Black escape after he was found at the end of the year. I don't how he did it, but I have a feeling he did. As well as saving the stupid Hippogriff that nearly took my arm off. Even if he didn't do too much Heroics, he now welds a powerful patronus. Funnily enough, he is quite sensitive when it comes to dementors. When he was near one, he went all faint. Apparently, he didn't like to be all weak, so he was asked Professor Lupin, the savage werewolf, to help him with a spell. I heard from Professor Snape that Potter's partonus is a stage and a powerful one at that.
After school last year, I was thankful to have a Potter free holiday, but it wasn't to be. Due to Potter's connection with Weasel, he had managed to get a ticket to the Quidditch World cup. What's more, we ended up in the same box. It was bad enough that I had to share a box with Weasel, but to share it with Potter, Muddy, and a house elf, it made me sick. Mother also didn't approve of sharing a box with Muddy.
I don't know if you've been told, but father and a few of his Death Eater comrades managed to stir up quite a show at the end of the cup game, although the sight of the dark mark in the sky ruined their mood. Father told me how he asked around his comrades as to who shot the dark mark into the sky and none claimed to have done it. Father figured that there must have been a Death Eater out there who he was unaware of. Do you think this is a sign that the Dark Lord is closer returning? If it is you're probably thrilled at this.
I'm sorry to have gone off in different tangents when all you wanted to know is about Potter. As for what he is doing this year, he became the fourth champion of the Triwizard Tournament. Honestly, I don't think he put his name in because he is not bright enough. I would say it was Muddy, but she wouldn't want to risk her friend's life even if he asked her too. Other than the Triwizard Tournament, he hasn't done any heroics that I know. Aside from the fact he brought up one too many hostages from the lake during the second task. His hostage was Weasel, but the other hostage he brought up was Muddy since Fleur Delacour was badly attacked by grindylows and had to cut out of the competition early.
You asked for his love interest, I've seen him check out this girl, who's a fifth year and Seeker for Ravenclaw, by the name of Cho Chang. She's pretty I suppose, but Potter could do so much better. He needs someone strong and willing to stay by his side and keep him from risking his life all the time. He needs someone to keep him grounded.
As for his friends, he hangs around with Weasel and Muddy all the time. He also hangs around Longbottom at times but not as much. As far as Weasel is concerned, he is not very bright academically speaking and he loves Quidditch, but he is a jealous and hot headed creature, who, after a long friendship, dumped Potter because he became champion. I would never have abandoned him. I also believe that Weasel has a little something for Muddy. You should have seen how angry he was when she showed up at the Yule Ball with the quarter-blood veela. As far as Muddy goes, I think I've said my peace.
I must now end my letter and hope the information is to your satisfaction as well as the pictures. I had to buy a few pictures from a third year Gryffindor, who is a self-proclaimed Potter paparazzi.
Until I hear from you again,
After reading the letter, Bellatrix indeed felt a jumble of emotions. She loved finding out what Harry Potter been up to. She disliked the implications of the Dark Lord rising. That old geezer was right. Curse him! She didn't want to put on her act again. It took a lot out of her. She felt sad for remembering about the main crime she was charged against. She was irritated that her cousin roamed free. How did he even escaped? Despite being uneasy, she did feel a little happy, well not happy, just giddy with laughter at her nephew. Oh my, that boy has it bad for Potter, but from the sound of things, Harry must be straighter than a pole. Poor Drakkie, he doesn't stand a chance. Maybe I should write to him about it.
Taking time to arrange the new information she received, she folded up the letter and set it aside. She then took up the photos and stared at the first one. It was a picture of Harry, and as always, he looked some much like his father, but his eyes were that of his mothers. She shuffled the picture behind to look at the next one. It was a picture of a red headed boy, who she guessed must be Weasel. A part from his red hair, he looked to be a good mixture of both of his parents. Not wanting to look at the picture any longer, she placed it behind the other pictures.
The next picture took her a while to recognize, a sad smile formed on her face as she saw the picture of the son of the Longbottoms. Right then she vowed that if everything went all right, that she'll restore the Longbottoms to their former state. She had made the promise before, but has yet to do anything about it when she knows that she can. Being reminded of the cruel fate she put on the boy, she moved onto the next picture.
Suddenly, her breath hitched at the beautiful face she saw. In the picture was a girl about fifteen, with her hair pulled elegantly up. She wore a peach colored dress. Bellatrix couldn't believe that such a beauty like her existed. No, wonder a veela would take an interest with her. For the likes her, Bellatrix found herself tracing a finger over Hermione's face. It fascinated her to see the girl blushing in the picture if knowing she was being appraised for her beauty. Never before had Bellatrix experience such a pull towards another female. A part of her wanted to reach into the photo and take hold of the younger girl's hand to lead her in a dance. If only these prison bars don't have a hold on me, I would come for you. Oh, if only I was younger. Hungrily, she went to the next picture. It was of all four Champions as they opened the dance up for the ball. Immediately, Bellatrix's eyes zeroed in on the brunette as she danced ever so close to a blonde that was about a few inches taller than her. The blonde looked at Hermione as if she was the only person in the world and Hermione looked at the blonde blushing with nervous joy.
A strong dislike of bile rose in Bellatrix as she watched the picture move. She formed an immediate dislike for the blonde. She was beautiful, Bellatrix would admit, but her beauty was only enhanced by her veela blood. She remembered how burnt she felt by the veela she once dated and had turned that anger against the young woman who was dancing with someone Bellatrix had firmly labeled an Angel. Beauty and Brains she summed up.
For a moment more, she smiled affectionately at the picture just concentrating on Hermione alone. Unfortunately, her smile faded as reality sunk in. There would be no way for me to be with her. I'm old enough to be her mother and ugh… She's only fifteen, a child, not yet come to age and I want to… (Enter list of profanities here)! I'm in Azkaban for doing good deeds. I could only imagine what would happen if they add pedophile to that list as well. Can I say dementor's kiss?
She tossed the pictures aside. Remembering something suddenly, she glanced down at her left arm and lifted her sleeve to take a good view of her dark mark. She bit her bottom lip and let out a silent groan. The mark was darkening. Not wanting to see the mark any more, she put her sleeve down and looked over at the pictures. Once again her eyes landed on Hermione's face as strange feeling crept up in her stomach. I'm no Sybill Trelawney, the wacky kook, but I swear someday I'll meet you. I just know it, because there are times when you first see a particular someone that you feel like you're destined get to know them.