Thank you for the kind words about this story!

I'm sure some of you have just about had it with my lack of updates. Truthfully I have too. I hate waiting for anything, and if you actually look forward to updates, I must be driving you crazy…I'm sorry! I'm going to try to make writing more of a priority—at least until I get this story finished.

When we left off, Lily had been taken by Bellatrix and left alone with Lucius. She seems to be oblivious to the fact that she's been drugged (probably for some time) and Severus was fighting Bellatrix.

So our story continues…


Lily met Lucius' cold eyes and felt rage well inside her chest. The heat rose and swelled, and she narrowed her eyes. "Let go of me," she snapped. Several emotions filled her: annoyance, fear, anger, and even panic. The room around her blurred out of focus.

There was a sudden rush and flames shot out of the fireplace behind Lucius. He let go of Lily's arm and backed into the wall away from the blaze. His cold eyes turned slowly toward her, full of anger and yet she could see the curiosity there as well.

"How did you do that?" he asked slowly.

Lily felt herself smirking, she was almost amused at his look and not overly surprised at the small explosion she'd created. The rage at being held had been like a fire racing up her arteries and as soon as the explosion happened she was sure she could feel her body temperature drop.

"I'm not here for you to cage," she hissed softly.

Lucius seemed to be regaining some of his self-control. "I never meant to make you feel caged, Lily, I merely wanted you to wait here—"

"Don't you ever get tired of the pretense," she snapped.

Lucius raised his chin a fraction of an inch. "I don't know what you mean."

A laugh bubbled forth from deep within Lily's chest. "Every word you say is like someone has planted it there. Do you ever think for yourself?"

"You impertinent—"

"I'd watch that temper if I were you." Her voice was low and a voice in the back of her mind was begging her to remain in control of her emotions right now. The fireplace had been a fascinating trick but she wasn't sure how she'd done it and she wasn't fond of doing magic she couldn't control. Lily met his gaze and realized that she was the one in control of this room. She'd actually scared him and he wasn't going to challenge her.

For a moment she felt like gloating, but then it occurred to her that maybe he was still just following orders. Maybe he had been told to simply keep an eye on her.

"I want to see Bellatrix," she said slowly. This was a hollow request. She'd asked repeatedly before to no avail.

"Soon."

"Now."

"I'm afraid that's impossible," a new voice said from behind her.

The chill of the unexpected crept down Lily's spine as she slowly turned. She was angry with herself. She'd been so intent on drilling Lucius that she'd missed this new comer. The knot in her chest grew a little heavier as she registered Lucius' expression. When arguing with her he'd been arrogant and smug. Now his eyes were downcast and somber.

The figure in the doorway stepped into the room and his face was caught by the glow of the flames making his pale skin seem red. He moved forward and the effect was gone, except Lily was sure that the fire lingered just a bit longer in his eyes. He looked like a man who had been quite handsome in his prime but maybe he had taken ill recently and he hadn't fully recovered. There was something off putting about his appearance but she couldn't say what it was and she finally had to drop her gaze because the intensity of his stare seemed to be rattling her very soul.

"Lily," he said slowly, his voice was just above a whisper. "I have asked Bellatrix to take care of something for me and I'm afraid she will be indisposed for a while. I told her I would attend to you myself."

The man shot a glare at Lucius and without a word he glanced at a door Lily had not noticed in the back of the room. Lucius gave a soft, "yes, my Lord," and exited the room.

As the man turned his attention back to Lily, she suddenly wished she could have followed.

"I have many things I wish to discuss," he hissed softly to her.


Bellatrix's hand snapped across Severus' face. His head snapped to the side and his aching neck refused to raise his head anymore.

Her wicked cackle filled the room. "Has the whittle baby had enough?"

Invisible, icy fingers snaked under his chin and snapped his head up so he was staring at her taunting face. Knowing he would pay dearly for it, Severus mustered up the energy to add saliva to the blood pooling in his mouth and he spat it in her direction.

He was rewarded for his effort by seeing the red flecks freckle her haughty face. With a scream of rage she leapt forward, the small silver knife materializing in her hands. The blade raked down his chest, splitting his shirt apart and hanging off his raised and restrained arms.

"You're going to pay for that, Sevy," she growled.

He gritted his teeth against the pain; he would not give her the satisfaction of crying out as she dug the blade into his skin. She didn't cut deep enough to kill him. That wasn't her goal—yet.

"No, no, no, no, Sevy," she chanted, her finger knotting in his hair and yanking his face down to look at her. "You can't close this out. Not right now."

"If you're going to kill me, get on with it, you sadistic bitch," he snarled.

Bellatrix laughed. "I will get there, dear Severus," she purred, leaning forward and inhaling deeply.

Severus resisted the urge to shudder. Was she enjoying the ever growing scent of blood? Did she really think she could smell his fear?

"You need to be around for the show," she said, looking up at him through her eyelashes.

Despite the pain, despite the fury, he felt his blood run cold. "What show?" he breathed softly. He suddenly hoped that she meant she had some horrible torture left in store for him.

"He should be with her now," Bellatrix answered.

There it was. His chance. The way her voice had broken. He doubt she even realized it had happened, but he had caught it and that was all that mattered.

"Alone?" Severus asked. He had to control himself right now, he had to let his fear show and that was something he wasn't used to doing.

Her arm swung wide and pain seared across his chest, except he wasn't sure if she'd really meant to strike him that time. "Of course," she snapped. Her eyes were crazed now; she looked at him for a second then the door way, then him then the window. She didn't seem to be able to focus.

"She must be important to him." His voice was close to shaking. He was in so much pain. He could feel the blood trickling down his chest from the searing wounds.

This comment earned him the back of her hand, just more pain to add to the list. "She is nothing to him." Bellatrix's voice was higher than it normally was. It quavered with her anger.

He was dancing a very fine line right now. If he pushed her too far, she was likely to kill him without warning if only to silence the words she didn't want to hear. "Important to his plan."

Bellatrix turned her back on him as she tried to contain herself.

Severus felt a new jolt of pain as his arms dropped just a fraction of an inch and the muscles that had gone numb suddenly screamed in protest. He wanted to cry out and for a moment his vision went white with the new onslaught of pain. But he couldn't give in. Not now, he had to keep pushing. "It's good he has her. She has so much power; he will be the only one who can control her. He will have to keep her close."

He could see Bellatrix's fingers twitched and his arms trembled above his head. "He will be occupied with her for days," he gasped, letting his voice tremble. This thought was horrible to him because he had no idea how he would be able to overcome it. It would certainly be horrible to her because she did not like to share. "No one will be able to get near them."

With an explosion of new pain, he jerked his arms and felt the spell crumble in the same instant that Bellatrix realized she hadn't been focusing. She spun to face him but he's already snatched his wand cast the spell hitting her directly in the chest.

In a blast of red light, Bellatrix was thrown off her feet and she slammed into the wall of the cabin. Her body crumpled to the floor and she didn't move.

Severus didn't lower his wand. He kept it trained on her still form, that final curse tingling on his lips. He could say it. All he had to do would be to open his mouth and the words would rush forward. He was angry enough to do it. He was furious enough that he knew he should do it.

All of this was her fault. Her doing. If she had just left them alone no one would even know Lily was pregnant. No one would even know about Lily. But because she needed to fell like she was in the favor of the Dark Lord she'd become hell bent on destroying the one bit of happiness in his life.

Not anymore. Severus started forward and opened his mouth.


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