Title: To Love You
Characters: Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange.
Notes: This is just a short one-shot showing the growing relationship of Bellatrix Black and Rodolphus Lestrange - warning: not in chronological order, because that makes everything more exciting. Things in italics are in present time - or, when present time is set in this story. I hope you enjoy!
All Bellatrix said was, "I don't know how to love you."
And that is simple, easy, effective, harsh. Because she does, she does, she just doesn't want to, and that's how she plays all her games. A cat with a mouse, a little worm, and she'll swing you, swing you, before she catches you... in her jaws. You're dressed in matching black robes and for once she looks contemplative rather than mocking.
And you begin to remember.
"We could ally," you suggest to her, casually flicking your hair to the side to make the Hufflepuff girls swoon. You glare at them, and watch them shriek with pain as you grant them a cursory hex.
Bellatrix appears to consider it before a mischievous smirk lights up her face. It almost isn't pretty. It's obsessive.
"We're special, you and me. Powerful." And for once it's true, it's true, but she truly believes it and that's the sad thing with this pathetic picture in the Slytherin common room.
"You and me?" You echo as if the words are foreign - they are, from her lips, because it's Bellatrix, Bella, the Belladonna, and nobody else can get into this image she's painted of herself. It would be like ruining a picture of the sinking Titanic with the sun.
"It's Valentine's Day," you whisper, half praying that she won't hear you. She does; she always does.
"So?" Bellatrix asks, taking a drag of her undoubtedly Muggle cigarette. "It's just another day. Who believes in saints anyway?" She breathes in again, not meeting your eyes. "Pathetic," she mocks, jumping down from the unseeing window sill and swapping her cigarette for her wand.
You may be pathetic, in a sad, little broken way, but she's pathetic in a miserable, roll-your-eyes-before-looking-away way.
"What if I told you..." you start, but you falter as soon as Bellatrix turns her gaze on you and not the classroom door. She flicks her wand and wordlessly, literately, your hair stands on end and crackles. She laughs mirthlessly.
"I don't want to hear it, Rodolphus," she scorns, drawing the tip of her wand against your cheek - you know it'll leave a scar.
"Why do you stay with me?" you ask, looking at her. She studies you, expressionless, before cackling that hysterical laugh that makes you flinch because there is delight in that laugh, delight from your pain, but no humour.
"You may be pathetic," Bellatrix drawls, rubbing her joint between her fingers. She offers it to you before continuing, but you turn her down. "But you're powerful."
You almost point out that she keeps contradicting herself, but you keep quiet, mournful.
"And I like a powerful man, Lestrange," and you get the feeling that she's making a mockery of you, in front of the people you call your friends. They're not your friends - followers, maybe, acquaintances, but not your friends. Slytherins like you and Bellatrix can't afford to have more than parents and lovers. You can't afford to love either one.
"He's amazing, Rodolphus," she sighs, and you get the feeling that you've been replaced.
"I'm sure," you drawl, and sparks fly from the tip of your wand. Bellatrix looks down in surprise, as if she's forgotten that she didn't just choose you for your family or your money. You are powerful.
"You're a coward!" Bellatrix cries after you; apart from something is wrong. Bellatrix Black doesn't cry. She strives to not show any emotion but elation and intolerance.
You turn slowly, watching her. She has her head raised, a cigarette in her hand and her hair wild around her face, but there is a pathetic determination and a fear in her dark eyes that never used to be there before. Ambition, yes, but never this. Bellatrix answers to no one, apart from...
"What did he promise you?" You ask dryly, and she raises an eyebrow. She forgets how well you can read her these days. It's almost a good thing that she's so obviously on Voldemort's side, because she'd be a terrible spy.
"Everything," she whispers, and the elation and wonder is back. "Join us."
"This is what we've been hoping for, Rodolphus! This is our era! The Dark Lord won't fail us." And only because you're helplessly, powerlessly, terrifyingly besotted with her, you agree to her terms and accept the Mark with her. It's the worst moment of your life, and you watched your mother die.
You'll pretend to be loyal, because that's what you do. You don't care for pureblood supremacy - though you're slowly being convinced - or the Dark Lord - even if you're gradually bringing him up in conversation - just for Bellatrix.
You haven't always been like this - they have to understand.
"Answer me this, Bellatrix," you say when it's your last year and Bellatrix, with a scornful look, refuses to study as you pour over Defence books and History of Magic notes and she takes a drag from her cigarette. "Do you think you could ever love me?"
She looks up only then, and brushes the accusing implication that she doesn't already love you away with a laugh and a wave of her hand. Bellatrix starts to watch you though, and slowly you become her second obsession.
"I don't know how to love you."
"And that makes two of us," you finish as she takes a drag of that haunting Muggle cigarette that seems to be ever present. It's not an addiction; more of an obsession.
Bellatrix Lestrange obsesses over things, but she doesn't need them.