Did I just C'thulhu the Potterverse?

prompt: joy

#insert 'stddisclaimer.h'

a mad and faceless god

by Incendiarist

there aren't endings, and any who says otherwise is either a liar or a fool, though it is quite impossible to be both

There are spells far more dangerous than any of the Unforgiveables, and far Darker. Spells hidden in obscurity, the grimoires of ancient Houses.

They're hidden for a reason.

Bellatrix Lestrange is thirteen years old and the star of her year, a prodigy of a duelist with a knowledge of the Arts to rival a competent DADA professor. They used to be competent, if they aren't anymore. Only a few decades before, the job was taken by only the best of the best, Unspeakables who'd been so good at their jobs they'd lived long enough to retire from them. But now, after fifteen years of unfortunate accidents, it isn't particularly a common application to make, and understandably so.

Bellatrix is a genius, a Slytherin more for her family than her personality; she doesn't care much for fame, nor infamy. Knowledge, that's her favoured drug, an intoxicant more powerful and more dangerous than anything the Muggles have taken to ingesting.

Fate has this girl singled out, has chosen her for this House. She'd have been wasted as a Ravenclaw, all studiousness locked in a laboratory days on end, hardly seeing natural light and living on spells to give energy and nutrient.

The brilliant ones will make their breakthroughs, will cure some ailment or invent some charm, but they will always, always destroy themselves in the process.

Bellatrix Lestrange is one of the brilliant ones, and she will be a supernova.

Bella, as she's taken to calling herself—beauty and war, intermingled as they tend to be—is fourteen now, and the closest she has to a friend is as much an outcast as she. Sybill Trelawney is a Ravenclaw, and that is what separates these two; Fate has young Bella singled out, has chosen her to take down the rest of the magical world when she goes. Sybill will fade, subtly, and long before her death, and she knows it fully well.

She knows most things, and Bella's purpose is among them.

It's ten minutes to Christmas morning, and Bella's family sings carols off-key, inhibitions all but destroyed by more butterbeer than could possibly be healthy. Bella casts a silencing charm and draws runes on the floor of the library.

She knows what her purpose is; no sense in fighting it.

Aged fifteen and grown into the family's brand of beauty, Bella is confident, dangerous, unstable as the singularity sulking behind the Veil in the Department of Mysteries.

It's her curse, and it's her gift. Which is stronger, though, that rests solely on her. Fate is certain, but the future is malleable.

Aged fifteen, and Bella is curious, terribly curious. A curse, and a gift. Double-edged swords are the most common sorts in these matters.

Her decision will be a difficult one to make.

Age sixteen, and she's made a discovery.

And with it, she's caught the attention of Others.

Exactly on schedule.

Seventeen, and a potion's completed after 1000 days of incubation. It's time for her to make her choice.

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

Eighteen now, and there's a tattoo on her arm that moves with a will of its own, ink-that-isn't alive underneath her skin.

Nothing is brought back whole, and that chance was one Bella had been willing to take, had taken.

It's not easier to destroy than create, no matter the propaganda. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Destruction, proper destruction, takes a spark of genius, a sort of finesse, that creation doesn't. Creation is rarely elegant. It doesn't have to be to change the world. Destruction, though, that does.

Beauty and war, intermingled they will tend to be. Joy, as pure as it may come, will do so hand-in-hand with madness, and there's really no decision at all.

Knowledge is an intoxicant stronger than any other when it's in the right hands. Its highs are pure, and its lows more so.

There is nothing pure about the human race, neither Wizarding nor Muggle strands, and to think otherwise is naïveté at its finest.

The most naïve of all are the brilliant.

Fate is certain, the future is malleable. Fate to make the potion. Using it, however, that's not something written into the strands, nothing that was unavoidable. Using it, she chose. Curiosity is a curse and a gift both: it kills the cat and makes the rats to run in the walls.

Nothing comes back quite right, quite human.

Often, they don't come back at all.

Bellatrix is a supernova, all light and no darkness; all Darkness and no Light. There's a purity in the contradiction.

There's no contradiction in the purity.

a beginning