Author's Notes: Written for Lady Phoenix Fire Rose's Scenery Competition on the HPFC forum.

Also for my Livejournal dark_bingo card with the prompt "Hostages".

)O(

The house was empty and dark. All of the windows where broken or at least cracked badly. The front door had been destroyed at some point. There were holes in the roof. Leaking down one side of it was an ugly black sludge that almost seemed to be crawling. The land around the house was completely dead; there were no grass or flowers, and all of the trees had appeared to have died long ago. The only sound was the screeching of bats.

Why, Bellatrix thought, wrinkling her nose slightly, would a man of the stature of the Dark Lord ever wish to spend a moment of his time here?

She wondered briefly if she might have mistaken the directions he had given to the house where she was to meet him – or the date, perhaps – but no, she was not stupid, she was quite sure that she had made no error.

Perhaps, then, this was all a trick? Perhaps the Dark Lord had not meant to meet her at all. Perhaps it was all a cruel prank to demonstrate her naiveté and gullibility. That thought did twist her stomach momentarily – it had been a great deal to hope that the Dark Lord was interested enough in her to desire that she should come here alone…

"M- My Lord?" she called out tentatively as she stepped inside, shivering automatically. There was a dampness to the old house that made her feel quite ill and seemed to cling to her skin like some foul underwater creature. In one far corner, a rat scurried across the floor and she jolted back from it, more from surprise at the sound of its scuttling feet than at fear of the creature itself. What reason was there, after all, to fear such a simple and unobtrusive little animal.

"My Lord!" she called again, more loudly this time, and still the house was silent.

Too silent for another living being to be here.

The quiet – though it meant that the Dark Lord had sent her to the house alone and made her nervous because of that, if nothing else – was, in a way, rather comforting. Being alone was a luxury that Bellatrix did not often get to experience, what with the constant presence of her husband and her sister and a barrage of guests that never seemed to end. It was not unpleasant to be completely solitary, even in this house. She sank down upon one of the mouldering couches that decorated the foyer, and closed her eyes to think.

The Dark Lord had called her aside at the end of the last meeting, and she had been ecstatic that he had wished to speak to her apart from all the others. Bellatrix worshipped her Master as no other Death Eater did – he was everything to her and merely his noticing her existence was enough to bring her the most profound joy.

He had told her – simply and rather shortly – that she was to join him that night for what he had described as a private meeting, and had given her directions to this… place

When he had told her that they would be meeting alone, of course Bellatrix had started to concoct all sorts of fantasies about what would happen. Fantasies of private manors and richly-decorated bedchambers and large, comfortable beds that he would lie her upon and…

Her body shuddered a little and her breath caught. She had thought things that were most unsuitable.

But he had not sent her to a fine manor. He was not here with her.

Perhaps she ought to find a way to pass the time…

Bellatrix glanced furtively to either side, heartbeat speeding, then shifted her position on the couch, lying down and spreading her legs apart slightly. Her hand trailed slowly down her belly and she closed her eyes, imagining that it was the Dark Lord who had his hand on her…

"Enjoying yourself, Bellatrix?"

The sound of his voice – high and cold and far too close – made Bellatrix jump. She wrenched her hand away from herself and sat up, a flush painting her cheeks.

"M- my Lord," she said, a little breathlessly. "I- I didn't hear you coming in…"

"Clearly you did not, Bellatrix." His lips curled slightly into a patronizing little sneer. "If you had, I am sure that you would have arranged yourself much more prettily, in hopes that you would manage to seduce me…"

"My Lord!" she cried, mortified. "I- I would never dare- you know me better than that, my Lord!"

He shook his head slowly, advancing on her. Bellatrix dropped her eyes to the floor, unwilling to speak any more. He knew her too well, she thought – he knew what she desired, no matter how hard she tried to hide it.

That was why he was her Master; this was the power that he had over her. No matter how hard she tried – and she did try so very hard – she could not stop herself from desiring him, and as long as she desired him, he had her in his power. She was his captive, his hostage, and he needed to do nothing save exist to keep her bound to him.

"What was it that you wished to speak to me about, my Lord?" Bellatrix murmured. She worked hard to keep her voice from choking with emotion.

"Did I say that I wished to speak to you, Bellatrix?" The Dark Lord sounded vaguely amused, and it sent a small chill up her spine – or perhaps that was a shiver of anticipation. "I seem to recall saying that I desired your company for a private meeting… not that I wished to speak to you."

"I simply assumed…" Her heart was beating quickly, and she shook her head. There was a silence broken only by the shriek of a bat, and then Bellatrix said, "You… you sent me here… what- what possible use could you have for such a…" Her lip curled automatically, "derelict old building as this if not for speaking…?"

"I think you will find," he said, and perhaps it was her imagination, but she thought that she noted a touch of amusement in his voice, "that derelict as this old building is, it serves quite reasonably well for what I intend to use it for."

"And what is that, my Lord?" she asked shakily.

He smirked, and he lifted his hand slowly, his fingers just brushing against the skin of her throat. Another chill – or thrill – ran through her, and she had to struggle not to jerk away.

Or throw yourself at him…

She glanced quickly to the door, trying to judge whether she would be able to run, and, as though he had read her mind – perhaps he had – he murmured, "You ought not try to leave, Bellatrix. Especially as I know that you don't want to…"

"Please stop, my Lord," Bellatrix whispered, but she sounded pathetic and not particularly upset at his caress, even to herself.

She was not particularly upset at his caress.

He paid her no mind, continuing to gently, almost absently, touch her neck.

"You shall stay here," he murmured, his hand light as air upon her jaw, tracing the skin with a touch that made her shiver, "for as long as I desire." His fingers tightened about her throat, just enough for her to feel the pressure on her windpipe but not enough to truly choke her. "You shall stay here until you have pleased me."

"Oh…" That was most certainly a thrill, a shiver of desire, and even as a handful of stars popped about the edges of Bellatrix's vision, her body was responding willingly to the orders.

Stop, Bellatrix–

Oh, but she wanted him.

She blinked rapidly, trying to clear her vision of the darkness clouding the corners, and stared into her master's steady, red-tinged eyes.

You cannot deny him. You could not if you tried. And you do not want to try.

"If…" she managed, breast heaving, struggling to draw air, "if that is what you desire, my Lord, then- then I am yours to have… it is- after all- my duty as your servant…"

"It is," he said. His hand relaxed, and she drew breath into her lungs once again, but she had not the time to enjoy it before her Master pressed her firmly back into the couch, forcing her to lie down.

"Say it again, Bellatrix," he murmured in her ear. His hand moved to cup her breast, and Bellatrix trembled with anticipation. Oh, but she had desired this – had imagined this…

"If it is what you desire, my Lord," she repeated, "then I am yours to have…"

She felt his breath catch, his hold upon her breast tighten, and then he was between her legs and her skirt was up about her hips, and she was repeating, over and over, in a strained, ecstatic whisper,

"I am yours to have, my Lord, I am yours to have…"

)O(

Fin