Title: With Undeniable Symbolism

Disclaimer: Harry Potter is a trademarked brand owned by J.K Rowling and Warner Brothers. Any material used belongs to the aforementioned parties. This material is only used in recreational purposes and I receive no monetary or material rewards from using it. Please don't sue me.

A/N: Dedicated to Gamma Orionis as part of the first place prize in the 'Brotherly Instinct' competition on the HPFC

Admittedly, the ring is breathtakingly beautiful: a classy silver band engraved with tendrils of delicate ivy, clusters of onyx surround a prominent oval-cut diamond in a way that manages to be ornate instead of gaudy, and when she holds her hand out, it sparkles magnificently in the firelight.

Bellatrix loathes it with a passion.

Not the ring itself of course, (a woman would have to be either blind or incredibly stupid to dislike such a spectacular piece of metalworking) but what the ring represents. Because the band of silver, onyx, and diamond sheathed possessively around the fourth finger of Bella's left hand signifies and reaffirms a truth that's she grown up expecting but had never before been upset by or opposed to.

(Bellatrix is of the opinion that 'Lestrange' adds too many syllables to an already lengthy first name.)

Does Rodolphus know just how uncomfortable his fiancé is with the idea of marrying him?

Possibly. Probably.

Bella can't find it in her to care either way, and if Rodolphus did know then he probably wouldn't have authenticated the marriage contract by getting down on one knee. And perhaps it's not the idea of marriage that upsets her either. It's not as if Rodolphus is a horrific candidate for husbandry: he's pureblooded, wealthy, well connected… Two years ago, Bella would be giddy at the thought of becoming permanently attached to such a man. Nevertheless, Rodolphus Lestrange could be the Minister of Magic and she would still feel resentful because of one simple fact:

Bellatrix Black is wholly and unconditionally in love. Most importantly, not with the man she is arranged to marry.

Does this matter though, in the grand scheme of things? As painful as it is to admit, even if only to herself, Bella knows that the answer is no. This union between the Black and Lestrange families was all her father's idea. 'For the good of the family', he'd said, and until that idea began to cause problems for her, Bella agreed wholeheartedly.

(It's funny how unfair pureblood tradition seems when one suddenly finds themselves on the receiving end of its inflexibility.)

However, Bellatrix Black is nothing if not a proper pureblood, so she only allows herself to think such treasonous thoughts for a few brief moments before schooling her features into an expression more appropriate for a witch of her bloodline, adjusting her hand in a way to better flaunt her beautiful engagement ring in all its undeniable symbolism.

She will go through with this wedding.

(Bella knows in deep inside that if he would only just ask her, she would banish her ring out of the nearest window in a heartbeat.)

Hmmm. I'm not quite sure if I did Bella's character justice. :/ Thanks for reading! - Cadid423