Blinded to see the cruelty of the beast
It is the darker side of me
The veil of my dreams deceived all I have seen
Forgive me for what I have been
Forgive me my sins

How can blood be our salvation
And justify the pain that we have caused throughout the times
Will I learn what's truly sacred?
Will I redeem my soul, will truth set me free?

~Within Temptation, "The Truth Beneath The Rose"

~.~.~.~

Chapter 1

New Year's Eve

~.~.~.~

Bellatrix could hear the muffled voices coming from the other side of the manor, voices that talked about random things, such as politics, money, fashion, gossip, music, and some of them perhaps talking about her. She was sure that at least one of them would be now looking for her, but she didn't really care. She would return to the ballroom, but not yet. Just for a few minutes, she needed to stay alone, away from all the prim and proper little women who were gossiping and talking about their dresses, their husbands, their jewellery, she needed to stay away from all the men dressed in formal, luxurious evening robes, who were talking about money, politics and most definitely women. She needed to stay away from her mother's sharp, almost always disapproving gaze and her soon-to-be husband's company.

She knew Rodolphus would probably be waiting for her in the ballroom, to greet the New Year with her, as it was expected by everyone. Sure, she would go back to him, but later. She did not care about what Druella was probably going to tell her about suddenly disappearing like that, she just needed some time alone. She was now standing in the middle of one of the Black Manor's bathrooms, actually doing nothing, thinking of nothing in particular, just taking some time away from the crowd in their house.

It was tradition by now, the Blacks held a New Year's Eve party at their manor every year; everyone who belonged to the highly respected society of purebloods was invited, and other important figures, as well, such as officials with a high position at the ministry. All wealthy, respected pureblood families were always more than just pleased to attend the Blacks' feasts, for Bellatrix' family was one of the most ancient and noble of them all.

And that was why Bellatrix should always be perfect, stand proud and flawless, holding big part of the weigh of her family on her shoulders. Bellatrix knew she had duties and responsibilities, for she was the eldest of the three daughters of Cygnus and Druella Black. She had never protested to that, since she had accepted who she was. She wanted to please her family; she wanted to know that her parents respected her, but there were times when she felt caged, trapped. There were times when she needed some time alone, some time of not being the perfect daughter, some time of being just Bella, all by herself.

Even by simply standing in a bathroom, she felt like she did have some sort of freedom, just for the moment being. Whenever she felt like she couldn't take being flawless anymore, whenever she felt the need to escape and could not suppress the urge to leave, she simply went somewhere, anywhere, alone. Most of the times she left the house –or Hogwarts, back when she was still a student there- and went to the woods, where the only sounds where the birds singing peacefully and the air dancing through the leaves.

At other times, she would simply go out, at places like Diagon Alley, and walk. Just walk, without thinking anything in particular, ignoring the people passing by her side. But now, since she couldn't do anything like that, she would lock herself in the bathroom, just for a few minutes, before she was ready to go back to the ballroom, being an exquisite pureblood princess.

She sighed, as she realized time had passed, and walked over to the bathroom's door. She took out her wand and waved it lazily, causing the door to unlock, and she pushed it open and left the bathroom. Once she found herself in the hallway, she hid her wand in one of the layers of her dress's long, flowy skirt, checking to make sure it was not evident, and then straightened her back and fixed her hair with a few small movements of her hands. Now she could clearly hear the voices from the ballroom, and she allowed herself to put on her well-known charming, almost arrogant smile.

As she walked down the hallway to get to the ballroom, she glanced over to the small clock resting on a coffee table made of black wood, adjusted against the wall, and she saw it was almost midnight. She was just on time. She inhaled deeply, and smiled again. Ready to be a stunning princess.

~.~.~.~

Rodolphus Lestrange was barely paying attention to the conversation being held by the three men standing next to him. He nodded every time he realized they had paused, perhaps to ask for his opinion, and was relieved to see that they kept talking without asking him anything else.

He brought the glass of firewhiskey to his lips and drank some, allowing the hot liquid to flow down his throat. His eyes were scanning the ballroom, which was crowded with all the men and women of the pureblood high society. Beautiful ladies with elegant dresses and expensive jewellery were either talking with each other or with their husbands, same as the men.

Most of the guests had a glass in their hand, some drinking whine, some others firewhiskey or brandy, or any other of the wide range of drinks that were served by the waiters that walked in the room every now and then to fill the guests' glasses and the plates at the buffet. The bottles of champagne were still sealed, for they were to be opened after the greeting of the New Year.

Rodolphus's gaze stopped on Druella, who was now talking with Walburga Black. She too seemed not to be noticing what the other woman was saying, since her eyes were scanning the room as well, as if searching for someone in particular.

He didn't have to be a genius to realize who she was searching around for; he too was looking for the same person. It had been a while since Bellatrix had left the ballroom, professing that she needed to go to the bathroom, and yet she had still not returned. After some point, Rodolphus had begun to worry that maybe there was something wrong, but he had decided to wait patiently for her to return. After all, he wanted to be with her when the year would change.

He had been engaged with Bella for almost a year now, and their marriage was to be held in exactly one month from now. He had decided to meet with her and her parents one year after she had left Hogwarts and ask for her hand, hoping that she would agree. He was two years older than her, and, despite the fact that he hadn't had spent much time with her during school, mostly due to their age difference, he had always thought that she was extremely beautiful and attractive. She was also very smart, one of the top students in her grade, and a fierce and independed figure, traits that he always admired in a person.

He had known that many men were interested in marrying the Blacks' eldest daughter, for many reasons each. Being married to Bellatrix Black was something he knew many men would want, since Bellatrix was extremely beautiful and fierce, but being connected to the Black family also made you immediately a much more important person in society, and also had many privileges. And, since Narcissa and Andromeda were still schoolgirls, the subject of interest was always Bellatrix.

Once he had met her, he had been dazzled by her looks and her character, as well. Being an independed adventurous man himself, he didn't want his wife to be boring and too into things like elegant tea parties and shopping. On the contrary, he wanted someone exciting to be around, someone he would be able to have fun with, but also someone who would be beautiful and understanding. Bella had seemed to be all that, and he had immediately made up his mind to try to make her his wife.

Now, one year after their engagement, he hadn't regretted that decision of his, not even once. He was excited that he was to become the husband of a woman like Bella, and was looking forward to living alone with her in his manor. But for now, he could only wait until one month passed, so they would marry.

"What are you looking for?" his brother's voice snapped next to him. He turned around and saw Rabastan looking at him, he too holding a glass of firewhiskey at hand, looking at him through puzzled eyes. He was one year younger than Rodolphus, but had the same height as him. His hair was a lighter colour than Rodolphus's dark brown, but he had the same eyes as his brother.

"Rab, have you seen Bella?" Rodolphus asked after taking another sip of firewhiskey, his eyes never stopping their scanning around the room.

"No, I haven't," Rabastan replied and shrugged. "Probably she's in the bathroom or something."

"Of course, you were too busy looking elsewhere," Rodolphus smirked at his brother and looked over to a bunch of young women, not over seventeen years old. Among them was a young woman with long, wavy brown hair and hazel eyes, wearing a long blue dress, now laughing with a joke that one of the other girls had just said.

"What do you mean?" Rabastan asked annoyed, frowning at his brother.

"Oh, come on, how many times tonight have you wished Andromeda would look at you?" Rodolphus said playfully, amused with his brother's uncomfortable expression.

"You're being ridiculous," Rabastan said sharply, and quickly turned his gaze away, although without convincing Rodolphus about that. In fact, Rabastan's secret crush-like thing on Bella's younger sister was not much of a secret between the two brothers, despite Rabastan's efforts to be so.

"Of course I am being ridiculous." Rodolphus mocked. "Come on, you like her and you haven't spoken to her all night! I doubt whether you actually greeted her when we arrived here!"

"Says the man who has no idea where his fiancée is!"

"On the contrary, Rab, I am well aware of the fact that she is right there," Rodolphus said, his nodding to the direction of the ballroom's entrance, where Bellatrix had just came in from. Her long black curls framed her face and her dark green dress flowed behind her as she walked. Rodolphus could only think of how beautiful she truly was. He couldn't suppress a small smile that crept across his face when he saw Druella glare at her elder daughter; the icy looks mother and daughter used to exchange every time they stumbled across each other had always been amusing to him.

Once Bellatrix was standing next to her fiancée, she flashed him a smile and then turned to Rabastan. "Rabastan, how are you? I hadn't had the chance to talk with you all night," she said, but Rodolphus talked instead of his brother.

"It seems that Rabastan is a little too shy tonight, my Bella," he smirked, looking over to his brother, whose ears flushed red.

"Perhaps I should leave the happy couple alone," he said in an annoyed voice, and quickly left them, going to talk with Walden Macnair, much to the second man's displeasure, since at the moment he was desperately trying to catch the attention of a blonde witch in a puffy purple dress.

"Your brother really is on edge today, isn't he?" Bellatrix commented with a smirk, and accepted the glass of whine that Rodolphus offered her. She appreciated her soon-to-be husband, since his family was well known and respected; he was very wealthy and well-mannered when it came to women, and wasn't bad looking at all. Furthermore, he wasn't the typical boring husband Bellatrix had thought he would be before she found out she would be betrothed to him, one year ago. And, most definitely, out of all the offers she had had, he had been by far the best. She had never liked the idea of marriage, but she knew it was her duty as a daughter of the Blacks, in order to extend the pureblood line and please her family. She had accepted it, and she had to admit that her future with Rodolphus would possibly be much better than she had expected, for he was quite a fun man to be around with.

"You think?" Rodolphus shrugged as his eyes followed his brother's figure, who was now talking with an upset Macnair, and then his gaze turned back to Bellatrix again.

"Yeah," Bellatrix replied and took a sip of her whine. "Is it about some girl?" she asked, but didn't really bother to receive an answer.

"So, where were you before?"

"I told you, I was in the bathroom."

"And what took you so long?"

"A lady needs to freshen up her make-up every now and then if she needs to be desirable, Rodolphus," Bellatrix replied, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. "You wouldn't want me if I looked ugly, now would you?"

"Trust me, Bella, you don't need any of that stuff," Rodolphus said. "You're gorgeous without wearing anything on your face."

"My, Mr Lestrange, you're flattering me," Bellatrix chuckled, raising an eyebrow.

However, Rodolphus didn't get to say anything else, since Cygnus's clear, loud voice echoed around the ballroom, causing all conversations to cease.

"My dear guests," he said, a huge smile spread across his face. "In only a few seconds we will greet the New Year, but, before that, I would like to make a toast," he smiled, and raised his glass. "To my beautiful daughter, Bellatrix, and Rodolphus Lestrange, who will be married next month and bring joy to our families!"

Everyone clapped, and Bellatrix forced herself to smile politely as she felt everyone's gaze on her. She saw Rodolphus raise his glass, as well, as if thanking the crowd, and then she heard her father counting backwards the last ten seconds of the year 1969.

Only a few minutes later, after everyone had hugged, kissed and opened the champagnes, a slow waltz started playing, and many couples lead themselves to the centre of the ballroom and started spinning under the sound of the music.

"Shall we?" Rodolphus smiled at her and extended his arm, motioning her to dance with him.

Bellatrix had never been fond of dancing, but she couldn't see any way to avoid it. She felt her mother's cold gaze on her, and did her best to smile once again.

"We shall," she replied and took Rodolphus's arm, allowing him to lead her in the middle of the dancing crowd.

~.~.~.~

Bellatrix was getting bored. She and Rodolphus had danced dance after dance, and she now felt her feet numb. Her fiancée, however, didn't seem to be getting any tired of spinning around at all. Instead, he was still flashing huge smiles at her every time their faces were close, something she didn't feel like imitating.

"Rod, I'm kind of hungry," she said, slightly pulling away from him before he could once again spin her.

"Don't worry, I'll get you something to eat," the man said and released his hold on her, before getting away from the rest couples who were still dancing under the sounds of a slightly faster music.

"No, you don't need to," Bellatrix said quickly, placing her hand on his shoulder. "Besides," she added, hoping that he would believe her and let her go, "the food here is awful. I mean, way to proper and luxurious, I prefer something that will actually satisfy my hunger… I'll just go to the kitchen and see if there's anything there, I can get you something too if you want."

"You don't have to, I'm not hungry. But thank you, anyway," Rodolphus shrugged.

Before Bellatrix turned her back to him to leave, she stopped and her gaze focused on one of the dancing couples.

"Rod," she said, motioning him to look at where her eyes were focused, "is that your brother dancing with Andromeda?"

"My, it really is him!" Rodolphus chuckled, unable to hide his surprise and amusement.

Bellatrix frowned. "He's looking at her somehow strangely… Do you actually think he has any emotions for her?" she asked, trying to suppress a small smile that threatened to appear on her face.

"Perhaps… I don't know," Rodolphus replied, as the couple kept on dancing, Rabastan's eyes looking straight into Andromeda's. "If they end up falling for each other and get married, then what exactly will you be to me?" he chuckled. "Wife and sister-in-law?"

"Something like that," Bella answered indifferently. "But I really don't see that happening… Andromeda is too air-headed to be thinking seriously of a marriage," she commented, and without another word, she left the ballroom, once again feeling he mother's gaze following her. She just hoped her mother wouldn't come after her and start asking questions, she wasn't in the mood for that. She never was, actually.

After making sure that she wasn't being followed by anyone, she sighed and walked down one of the manor's hallways, the sound of her footsteps drawn away by the thick carpet. Soon, she found herself outside, the cold breeze moving her hair away from her face. This side of the garden was only lit by the full moon's light that easily penetrated the darkness. She walked down a stone-made alley and after a few seconds she reached a white bench, on which she sat down and breathed he cool air. It was freezing, and her dress didn't have sleeves, but she didn't mind that much.

She had stayed there for several long minutes of silence, observing the red and white roses that framed the bench, when a male voice snapped her out of her moment of peace.

"Miss Bellatrix Black, I suppose?"

She turned her head and saw a tall man, looking like he was at his thirties, with deep brown eyes and pale skin; really pale skin, but it made a beautiful contrast with his formal black robes, black messy hair and dark surroundings.

"Who the hell are you?" she snapped, not caring about formalities, annoyed with the man who had just popped out of nowhere without any warning.

"Excuse me for my rudeness, Miss Black," he said politely, and stepped closer to the bench where she was sitting. He flashed a smile that Bellatrix found to be extremely attractive, against her own will. "May I sit?" he asked gently, his hand pointing at the seat next to her.

Even though she would much prefer to stay alone, she didn't see any reason why she should refuse, and, besides, that man seemed like he was someone she would be able to have some sort of conversation with. And, he was really handsome, as well, despite being so unnormally pale. What the hell are you thinking? She mentally screamed to herself. You're going to get married in a month, you shouldn't-

Her thoughts were abruptly cut off when he sat down next to her, and smiled again. "May I ask what a beautiful lady like you is doing alone outside in the dark, when there is a celebration going on?"

Bellatrix rolled her eyes. Perhaps she had been too quick to measure him; obviously, he was one of those arrogant men who only cared about getting with a woman, and looked for the perfect chance, when they were alone and seeming vulnerable. She straightened her back and glared at him.

"I am terribly sorry," she said icily, "but, in case you don't know, I am engaged, and I am not looking for any adventures. Also, no, you may not know why a beautiful lady like me is alone outside in the dark."

To her great surprise and annoyance, the man chuckled, and sat back comfortably on the bench. "Miss Black," he smiled, "you have misunderstood me. I very well know you are engaged, and I do not wish to ruin your upcoming marriage in any way, nor I am looking for women to try to have my luck with," he said, his smile never disappearing. "I was merely asking out of interest."

Bellatrix snorted, which made the man's grin ever bigger. Bellatrix glared at him again, wondering why on earth a man was behaving like that. "Well, if you want to know, I was bored, so I left the party. Satisfied now?"

"Completely." The man answered, and then smiled once again. "I find that kind of 'celebrations' quite boring, too, if you are interested in my opinion."

Bellatrix raised an eyebrow. Now that she was giving him a second look, the man didn't seem to be like all the rest. In fact, despite his annoying, constant smile, he seemed to be very polite and well-educated.

"And why is that?" she questioned, now allowing her gaze to soften a little. Perhaps she had misunderstood him; she could try to be a little more polite.

"I am more of a man who prefers to either stay alone with a good book, or be in the centre of the action… I find most feasts to be pointless," h replied casually, and his answer surprised Bellatrix. "Of course, this does not mean that I do not find your family's feast unpleasant. On the contrary, I believe it is probably one of the less boring I have ever attended."

"Please, you don't have to pretend to like it just because you don't want to offend me," Bellatrix chuckled. Suddenly, she felt much more comfortable with this man. "Personally, it is one of the most boring ones I have ever attended."

"But I am not pretending," he smiled. "I speak nothing but the truth," he added, and then took a small square thing out of his pocket. "Do you want?" he offered, taking out a cigarette.

Bellatrix shook her head. "I don't smoke."

"And you're doing very well," the man commented, but started to smoke one whatsoever. "Smoking is extremely bad of a habit, but I do find it to be quite relaxing at times…"

As she watched him smoke, Bella remembered that she still had no idea who he was. As if having read he mind, the man looked at her and smiled again.

"Oh, I am terribly sorry for not introducing myself… My name is lord Voldemort… Some call me the Dark Lord, but that is mostly used by the journalists…"

~.~.~.~

Disclaimer:

I do not Harry Potter. If I did, Voldemort would be married to Bella, they would be ruling the world and the Weasleys would be dead, except for Fred and George. Also, Snape would be married to Lily, he would be happy and away from Voldemort. Also, I would be rich. And famous. And the best writer in the world. I am not, so...

Author's Note:

Hey people!
Since I'm almost done with one kind-of-Bellamort story of mine, I came up with this. I've always wanted to write about how Bellatrix met, and fell in love with Voldemort, so here you go!

I'm not entirely sure if I like it, but, if I do continue, which I don't know either, I hope I will… Oh well…

So, in this, Bella is nineteen and engaged to Rodolphus Lestrange when she meets Voldemort… I hope you liked it!

Rating will be T-M, and M rating is for later chapters. Perhaps I'll stick with T, though, I don't know.

Reviews are more than just appreciated, it is great to have some feedback and know what people think of your story :)