Bbu22, Saint Snape, trapezefixe, echopatronus3, Mrs. Potter, Sharecrow, and Renow, thank you so much for your comments. I don't completely mean to leave you haning, I like to invite you back for more! A bit more happens in this chapter than the previous and hopefully, it leaves you a bit more satisfied! (And two updates in a week! Yay me!)

Severus curled his lip in a sneer and stepped away from her, shaking his head.

"Don't you realize what she's done to you?" Bellatrix asked, folding her arms across her chest.

"Lily is none of your concern," he snarled. He was doing everything in his power to keep his temper in check. His speech was slow and intentional because he knew the moment he lost control would be the moment she would take to destroy Lily.

"She's every bit of my concern, Severus," Bellatrix snapped. "Until that simpering little twit walked into the picture you were poised for greatness."

"So I'm not now? That could work out even better for you, you can continue to be the Dark Lord's lap bitch," he answered.

"You have no idea how bad my bite can be Severus." She sent a pointed glance up the stairs, then raised her eyebrows as she turned back to him. "You have talent. Maybe the better term is that you had talent. Your mixing with the Mudblood has tainted everything about you."

Severus sat down on the arm of the couch breathing in slowly through his nose then almost imperceptibly opening his mouth to exhale. The motion was his focal point and all that was holding a raging fire of hatred and fury back at the moment. "I still do not understand how this affects you."

"You claim that she is nothing more than your pet but you seem to be terribly distraught at the idea of a threat to her. Well, you were becoming something like a pet to me. But then your disgusting habits are showing you're nothing more than a mutt yourself."

Severus closed his eyes trying to still his shaking hands. "Will you please get to the damn point, Bellatrix? What the fuck do you want from me?" Maybe not his best result of calming himself, but he hadn't killed her yet and he felt that was an accomplishment.

"I want nothing from you, you disgusting blood traitor." Her red lips curled into what could only be describe as a smile. "My interest is in the fetuses."

Severus's blood ran cold. The babies? But she didn't even call them children, she called them fetuses. As if they weren't even children yet. As if they were only things. He was noticeably shaking now and his desire to control it had vanished. "You won't touch them."

Bellatrix help up the bottle and have it the slightest of a shake. "Won't I?"

He moved jerkily and her grin stretched even wider as she stepped quickly back. "If anything happens to this, she will die. Do not test me, Severus."

He wanted to rip her apart. He wanted to blast her into a thousand tiny pieces then burn the entire damn house to the ground so no one could ever hope to put her back together. "What do you want with them?"

"There have been rumors of a child who may possess great power—"

"How do you know it is one of the twins?"

"I have my reasons," she snapped.

"Who knows?" It was actually impressive that she heard him at all. He couldn't seem to make his mouth open wide enough to properly form the words.

"What do you want of your future, dear Severus?" The scorn in her voice dripped from every word. "Do you want to live in this muggle hovel for the rest of your days? Raising two children that may not even be yours?"

His heart seized violently in his chest as he jerked his eyes up to meet the empty black pools of her own.

Bellatrix laughed in delight. "Why surely you know your little slut was sleeping with Potter and you." She took in his expression and cackled even more loudly. "You didn't? Oh, Severus. Did you really think she would turn from money and power? To what? Live here? What's the point?"

Lily hadn't—she had told him that they were—she hadn't been…No. He couldn't do this now. This was what Bellatrix wanted. She wanted to throw him off. She wanted to break him however she could.

"Did you think she loved you?" Bellatrix laughed. "When did she come back to you? Once Potter was gone, you sniveling fool! She is here because she has nothing else! Her only other option would be to return to her muggle parents!"

His fingers itched for her throat. He wanted desperately to shut her up. "So, the Dark Lord wants the infants. And I take it you will be the one to raise them?"

"The Dark Lord is not yet aware of their existence. He has other issues at hand and until I am sure—"

"You're going to keep her in a suspended sleep?" Fuck, his voice was shaking. He was losing control, but there was too much at stake now.

"Always worried about the Mudblood. She's a distraction that is making you weak," Bellatrix snapped.

"I'm not weak."

"You're pathetic. You snivel and break down because your whore lied to you. Your feelings for her will destroy you. You should be glad she's out of your way right now. You should take advantage and do something with your life." Bellatrix came closer to her, staring into his dark eyes, searching. "You could have been great." Her hand snapped across his face. His eyes stung form the force so close to his eyes.

Instinctively, he reacted. His arms shot forward and he shoved her away from him with all his might. Bellatrix stumbled back, but her eyes were alight with the challenge.

"Such a coward, Severus. You won't even pull your wand?"

The tenuous grip he'd held on his temper shattered. With a cry he ripped his wand from his pocket and slashed it through the air.

Bellatrix was elate as she danced away from the spell, she fired her own and is as absorbed by his shield charm.

He wasn't thinking; his mind went onto autopilot.

Cast a spell, deflect her, dodge, move, spell, deflect.

Books leapt from the shelves, pages separating and burning. Vases and lamps exploded in a shower of sparks and glass. He had no idea what he was trying to do, each spell was edging him closer to her. He just wanted to shut her up; he wanted that laughter to end.

Bellatrix cackled and taunted. More words he didn't want to hear filled the small room. But she was too distracted by her jeering; she didn't realize how close he was. She dodged the wrong way and he reached out and locked his hand around her throat.

She was immensely talented. Mostly insane, but she had skilled beyond anything he'd ever seen. She, however, had underestimated his strength. He reached down with his own wand hand and snatched hers out of her hand. Without removing his eyes from hers, he flung both wands behind him. They were far too much temptation near him at his moment.

"Kill me, if you're not too much of a coward," she hissed.

Without a doubt she was psychotic, but unfortunately she was intelligent, and she realized his trigger word.

His lips pulled away from his teeth in something like a growl as he squeezed the fingers around her throat. He felt the satisfying give of her soft flesh beneath his fingers, the soft croak as she tried to speak.

Suddenly, she gave a violent twist and he felt her sliding from his grasp. His fury raced to the surface and there was a tangle of limbs as they each fought for control. Her hand dragged across his face, the nails no doubt leaving blood. He grabbed wildly at her wrist and shoved with all his might, pinning her against the wall with his body. One hand locked around her throat again the other locked around both of her wrists which he held above her head.

It may have been stupid to have thrown their wands, but if he hadn't, he surely would have killed her by now and the Dark Lord would not be happy that she was dead.

Sneering, he pulled the hand around her throat back and then for good measure shoved gave her head a none too gentle shove into the wall, but he did not loosen his grip. He leaned forward, pressing his weight against her just so she didn't have any illusions who was in control at this moment.

"You see, dear Bellatrix," he snarled, his hot breath searing across his cheek. He was keeping his voice low and soft for effect. "I don't need my wand. I have you at my mercy right now." He tightened his fingers and could feel the rapid rise and fall of her chest as she struggled for air.

"Then do something," she snapped. Her voice equally low, her eyes burning. She pushed her body against his but wasn't strong enough. "Don't be just a fucking coward and actually do something."

Her eyes were boring holes into his. He could feel his hatred pouring off of him in waves. Could he do it? Could he kill her? Was that what he wanted?

Her lips curled into that smirk. And the next thing he knew, her lips were upon his.

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