Author's Notes: Based on the fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Written for Inkfire's "Rewriting" challenge on xoxLewrahxox's Bellatrix Lestrange: The Dark Lord's Most Faithful forum

I want you to pick a specific element or a storyline from either a myth, a tale or any piece of literary work, and use it within a Harry Potter story. You may find inspiration within Catherine's "Literary and Historical Connections in Harry Potter" thread, but also do something utterly different that had nothing to do with JKR's universe to begin with! Wordcount must be a multiple of 100

Also for Shira Lansys' Speed of Lightning Competition

You have to write an AU fanfiction. And the AU part has to have influence on the story.

Your story still has to be over 700 words.

1 000 words

And... hell, I just realized this is story #300. Time flies, no?

)O(

There once was a king named Cygnus who had three beautiful daughters: Bellatrix, Andromeda and Narcissa. They slept in three beds in one room of his castle, and when they went to bed, the door and windows were all shut and locked and anti-apparition spells were placed over the room to be sure that they couldn't run away. But every morning, their shoes – which had been new when they went to bed – looked as though they had danced in them all night. The king could not find out how this happened, and his daughters refused to say.

So the king issued a challenge to all the men in the land – whoever discovered where his daughters were going dancing would earn Bellatrix's hand in marriage.

Such an attractive proposition soon brought Lucius Malfoy, a wealthy but shallow duke prince who was entranced by the idea of being able to marry Bellatrix, and as he went to the castle, he bragged to those he passed in the streets that he would soon be married to Bellatrix, and then he would be made king.

King Cygnus greeted Lucius Malfoy with great excitement, for Lucius Malfoy would be an excellent match for his eldest daughter. He led him to a room that adjoined the princesses', and told him to watch them until he saw how they were leaving their bedroom every night despite the locks and the spells.

Lucius did wait and watch, but it was not long before he grew bored with it. He fell asleep with his head resting against the wall, assuming that he would wake if there was any sound, but he did not, and in the morning, the princesses' shoes were worn out.

King Cygnus was furious that his daughters had managed to get away from right under Lucius Malfoy's nose, but he did not say so, for he did not want to cause strife between his family and the Malfoys, with whom he had always had an excellent connection. So he told Lucius that he would have the youngest princess – Princess Narcissa – in marriage when the elder two daughters had found suitable husbands.

Many other princes and lords came to try to find out where the princesses were going at night, but none succeeded. King Cygnus began to despair of ever finding one who would – or ever finding a match for his eldest daughter.

One night, a strange man arrived at the castle doors. He gave his name as "Lord" Voldemort, but refused to say where he was from, simply that he wished to attempt to find out where the princesses were going.

King Cygnus was sceptical, but if this man could discover where his daughters were disappearing to every night, then Cygnus would be grateful, no matter who it was who found out.

That night, Lord Voldemort took up the vigil that so many others had attempted. He sat at the wall where every prince and lord before him had sat, but he had no human need for sleep, and when, at last, Princess Bellatrix threw back the covers of her bed and woke her sisters, he was there to watch it.

"Get up, get out of bed," Princess Bellatrix whispered, all excitement. "It's time…"

Princess Andromeda and Princess Narcissa were up out of bed in an instant, and Lord Voldemort watched with detached interest as they pulled on their dresses and shoes. Then Princess Narcissa knelt down upon the ground and pulled from beneath the bed a small pot of powder.

She straightened up, and crossed to the fireplace, handing the pot to Princess Andromeda, and throwing a handful of powder into the flames, which turned emerald green.

"Nocturne Alley!" she said, then stepped into the fire and disappeared.

Princess Andromeda did the same, handing off the pot of powder to Princess Bellatrix, but before Princess Bellatrix could follow her sisters into the fire, Lord Voldemort had opened the door connecting their bedrooms.

Princess Bellatrix let out a little shriek, and dropped the pot, which broke upon the floor. "My Lord!" She stepped back quickly, reaching for her wand.

"No wands, Bella," he said calmly, and Princess Bellatrix flushed at the familiarity of his address.

"Leave my bedroom now!" she ordered, though her voice trembled slightly. "Or I shall tell my father that you put your hands on me."

"Tell him what you will," Lord Voldemort said, utterly unperturbed by her threats. "He will not believe you."

"Do you not think so?" Princess Bellatrix challenged, sounding braver than she felt.

"No. I do not."

Princess Bellatrix grabbed for her wand, but Lord Voldemort disarmed her with a casual flick of his own wand. "Now, Bella, let us be reasonable. I could go to your father right now, tell him that you and your sisters have been going dancing in Nocturne Alley, and then you and I would be married…"

Princess Bellatrix said nothing to this.

"But," Lord Voldemort continued, "there are… other things… I would wish from you more than marriage.

"Such as?"

He was silent for a moment, then said, "I wish to have you for a servant."

"I beg your pardon?" Princess Bellatrix said indignantly. "I am no man's servant!"

"Believe me, Bella…" he breathed, his voice a surprisingly sensual whisper, "You would not object to being my servant if you knew what such a position entailed…"

Princess Bellatrix looked at him with suspicion. There was a long silence, and then she said, "So tell me."

)O(

The next morning, Lord Voldemort did tell King Cygnus where his daughters had been going at night. They were punished soundly for going out at night without permission and given a new bedroom without a fireplace, but neither Princess Bellatrix nor Lord Voldemort seemed especially concerned with what was to happen to Princess Andromeda and Princess Narcissa.

King Cygnus could not help wondering, when Lord Voldemort took his daughter away after declining a wedding or claim to any part of the kingdom, exactly what he wanted her for.

)O(

Fin