Written for the Choice Pairings Competition. Must be Bellatrix/Voldemort (not necessarily requited) and must use two or more of the following: broken, god of virtues, need a hug, freedom, chains, drinks on me, dreams, a king never dies.

For Gamma, because, well, it's Bellamort, and she forced me to see Bellatrix as a human being. Gamma, why am I writing all your pairings lately?

I don't own HP.

Stylistically a bit odd here, what with the ohs. I'm not sure if it works, or if it's just distracting. Let me know what you think!


"A King Among Men"

A king never dies.

It's this that attracts her to him, at first. Because she knows, from the first time that she sees him, that he is no ordinary wizard. He is a king among men – utterly extraordinary. And when he speaks, he speaks of not being chained by physical limits – of being what one is truly capable of. And oh, she is entranced. Entranced by this allure of power, entranced by his silver-spun words and his charismatic aura.

But that is, of course, only the beginning. After that, it all sort of spirals until it's so far beyond her control so as to be unrecognizable.

She isn't crazy. Not even love can make Bella completely lose her head – she knows what she's doing, and oh, she knows how it seems, but she doesn't care, because she believes in this, she believes in him. Oh, she knows what they say. They all talk about her. But she's not crazy, and she knows that, and that's enough for her, because it doesn't matter what they say. They don't matter. And besides, just a few minutes under her wand and they'd change their tunes, and she knows that, too.

She likes knowing that. That people are afraid of her. That she can do things to people. And maybe that's a little crazy – a little insane, a little sadistic, but it's about power. Bellatrix was born with a need for a power, cultivated by parents who wanted a daughter who would be someone, if mostly by association. They expected, as happened with Narcissa, this need for power to manifest itself in Bellatrix falling for a powerful man and marrying them to high status.

Not even Bella herself expected things to turn out the way they have.

She managed the falling for a powerful man, all right. But she fell for the one man that she cannot ever truly have, no matter how much she likes to pretend, because he does not love, and she knows that.

Oh, she isn't stupid. And she's not naïve. She's not a child anymore. She knows that he'll never love her back – the Dark Lord doesn't fall prey to weaknesses like love. Not like Bella does.

And that's what it is. Weak. It makes her usable. She's a fool for it. But knowing that doesn't stop her from loving him.

She has, essentially, given him her freedom. She has given him total and complete control over her. And that almost scares her. She almost has to lose personal power in order to gain social power – it's a trade. That's what she's done. She has given over all personal control to him, and she lets him command her life. She bows to his every whim, because she knows that she will never, ever deserve him. And in exchange, he raises her up. He makes her mean something. She isn't just some drone in his army, she is his. She is special.

And she will do anything, anything for him, to keep it that way.

Because Bellatrix knows without saying that he is her immortal king, and oh, a king never dies.