Title: The Nature of Dominance
Prompt: From hp_owned, a fest dedicated to Dominant/submissive and Master/slave relationships. The prompt was "Bellatrix/Voldemort; I'm actually going to keep this open for you. Make it AU if you want and have Bellatrix be a Dominatrix, or don't make it AU and find some bit of canon to twist appropriately (maybe Bella's obsession with LV makes her snap and she catches LV unawares?) I want whoever picks this (if someone picks it) to have full rein as much as possible. I'd be happy with almost anything :)" by sapphoatsunset
Word Count: 4 000
Contains: Domme!Bellatrix, sub!Voldemort, sadomasochism (with an emphasis on the sado).
Notes: Well! Of course, when I saw this prompt, I knew I needed it in my life. I was all set to write dramatic AU plot-free smut with whips and chains and the Dark Lord on his knees, but my muse demanded canon (and yes, my muse does demand canon, even with rather, ah, "experimental" characterization) and I decided that it would be better to write about the beginnings of such a relationship rather than diving in headfirst. Next time, eh? ;) Enjoy!
Bellatrix had really never been the submissive sort.
She had made a good show of it when she was young, played at being a meek, demure little lady with her parents – and later, with her husband, and later still, when she first took the Dark Mark, with the Dark Lord – but those who knew her a little more intimately had always known that she was not the type to let other people take control over her. Her sisters were aware, and wary. Likewise were her friends. Likewise still were the men she had taken to bed (men other than her husband, of course, for a woman like she would never limit herself to just one man), though some of them were slow enough on the uptake that they didn't really notice her penchant for dominance until they were between her sheets.
The Dark Lord had made the mistake, early in the time that Bellatrix had spent working for him, of expecting her to bend to his will in all matters. He had no doubt looked at her and seen her only as "the oldest Black girl" and expected her to behave as all Pureblood girls did.
It was all well and good for him to think this of her when all he expected was her service as a Death Eater. She was happy to do everything he wished of her when it all concerned the war. After all, she agreed with his ideals, so it was not submission so much as a mutual understanding of what would be the best course of action.
It was when he expected her submission in other matters that things changed.
Bellatrix had been in the Dark Lord's service for little more than a month when he invited her to his bedchamber.
He was discreet, laying a hand on her shoulder before she left the meeting room with the other Death Eaters and holding her back.
"Bellatrix…" he said politely, but he ran his tongue around his thin lips, and his eyes flicked briefly up and down her body with the same wolfish look that she had received from boys in school. "I wonder if you might attend me tonight."
She couldn't stop herself from smirking. He had such a sense of propriety, more than her family had managed to instil in her after eighteen years. She knew what he was too modest to say. Fuck me. She could see the desire in his eyes when he asked, and that pleased her – the Dark Lord might be a powerful man, but he was a man nonetheless, and all men were the same when they were gripped by lust.
"It would be a pleasure to attend you, my Lord," she told him, and did not try to conceal her smile. She added, rather coyly "Would you have me, ah, attend you now?"
He didn't look at her as he led her up the stairs, no doubt in an attempt to conceal the want that she had seen so plainly on his face.
The room he took her to was plain and sparsely furnished, quite unlike the sort of bedrooms that Bellatrix was accustomed to. The bed was narrow – narrow enough that she wondered whether she and he could both fit onto it – and the only other furniture was a small wooden desk with parchment stacked neatly in one corner. There was a window covered by a pair of drab black drapes, and a small lamp suspended from the ceiling, which cast the mostly empty room into slightly eerie shadow. It looked abandoned, unlived in. But that only made it more exciting. Bellatrix had made love in lavish bedrooms before. It would be a new experience to do it in a room so plain.
"I'm sure you know already what I desire of you," the Dark Lord said. Bellatrix nodded, no shame about it – for what was there to be ashamed of? – and she allowed him to press her back against the wall. His hands were on her breasts in an instant, stroking and pinching at them while she relaxed. She was pleased by his urgency, but when he moved to undo her dress, she caught his hand and stilled it.
"My Lord," she said, and though she wondered with a little trepidation what his reaction would be to what she was about to request – nay, not request, order – the desperation in his eyes that he was trying so hard to hide gave her cause to think he would not deny it, "You… my Lord, you know my devotion to your cause. I live to serve it."
She could sense his lust, his want, as intense as the lust that she would have felt if someone said the same things to her. She would have lovedto hear someone say that they served her cause (or, rather, she would have, if she had a cause distinct from the Dark Lord's). But she was not finished, and it was the rest that she was unsure whether he would like.
"But, my Lord, I must be clear," she continued, keeping her voice light but firm. "It is your cause I live to serve, not you. I do not live to serve your desires. I have my own, and while I am willing to make… concessions…" She drew a small circle on the back of his hand with her fingertip. "I have preferences that I will not lay aside, my Lord, even for you."
The desire on his face was now accompanied by a host of new emotions – amusement, curiosity and a hint of anger.
"Even for an opportunity to lay with me, Bellatrix?" he asked in a measured voice. "Then those are strong preferences indeed."
"Very strong. I am not a submissive woman, my Lord," she said, trying not to sound like discussion of the subject made her at all uncomfortable, though it did, a little. "Not in this matter, at any rate – not to anyone. In many situations, I am happy to obey you, my Lord, but in the bedroom…"
She trailed off, expecting to be promptly dismissed, but the anger had quite disappeared from his face, replaced by fresh pleasure and perhaps a touch of interest.
"I understand, Bellatrix," he said. "What one desires in the bedroom need not comply with how one behaves outside it – in fact, I daresay it rarely does…" His lips twitched up into the slightest ghost of a smile. "I believe that we could land upon a… mutually pleasurable agreement."
"Do you, my Lord?" He caught her by surprise. She had been sure that she would be told that she could obey him or she could leave, and that would be the end of that.
"I do, Bellatrix…" He lowered his hand, his eyes on hers, penetrating, as if he was reading straight into her soul. "I believe that a situation in which you were… shall we say… the less submissive partner might be quite enjoyable for both of us."
"You… are you saying, my Lord…" Bellatrix stumbled over her words, her face going quite red. In all the time she had spent fantasizing about her Master – and there had been an ample amount of time, mostly time with Rodolphus on top of her – she had never imagined that he might reallybe willing to let her behave as she pleased with him. At best, she had thought he might allow her to behave as his equal in bed, and while her fantasies about him, being elaborate, had involved many of the things that Rodolphus and other men allowed her to do to them (and some things that she could only fantasize about, so private and erotic andsecret were they), she had always assumed that he would be unwilling to let her even consider such things in reality.
"You understand precisely what I am saying." Was it her imagination, or were his cheeks colouring a little as well? "You may take the lead. This – reversal of roles will be kept private, I'm sure you understand, but I see no reason why we shouldn't… indulge in them."
Bellatrix hesitated before she laid one hand tentatively on his shoulder. When he did not push her away, or stiffen, or otherwise react with any form of displeasure, she spun him and pushed him against the wall where she had just been. The corner of his mouth twitched, a tiny wince when he hit the wall, but still he did not protest.
"My Lord…" Could she kiss him? Undress him? Force him to his knees? He was giving her no indication of what he was willing to let her do.
"You will know if I am displeased, Bellatrix," he told her. "Until I give you a signal that I am, do as you wish. I suspect you will be surprised at how… much… I am willing to do."
Bellatrix swallowed back her nerves. She had not felt like this since had bedded a boy for the first time.
She could start with something simple. Something she'd thought about often, and that she'd done enough times to be familiar with every possible variation of how it could happen.
She kissed him, and felt his lips twitch a little under hers, then part very slightly, allowing her to slip her tongue between them. Good. That was good. She deepened the kiss and pressed her lips hard to his while her hand moved down his chest. She could feel his heartbeat, quicker than hers. He seemed complaint to her touch, not reluctant – and she had been with her fair share of reluctant men. Even Rodolphus had been reluctant on their wedding night. The Dark Lord, she thought, must have been in this position before – or else thought of it very often.
The way he bent against her hand gave her some confidence, and she drew back so her lips were a fraction of an inch from his, just enough so that she could whisper, "On your knees."
A thrill went through her body – originating from her chest and moving quickly to between her legs – when the Dark Lord dropped to his knees immediately and without protest. He looked very like he was praying, with his head bent forward so she couldn't see his face and his pale, long-fingered hands clasped in front of him.
She lifted her skirts slowly, until they were high on her thighs. He seemed barely to react, but she saw just the faintest twitch in his shoulders.
"You know what I want, Master," she told him, but instead of leaning forward, he looked up at her.
"Oh, come now, Bellatrix," he said, a smile playing around his lips. "You can hardly call me 'Master' when I am in such a position for you."
Bellatrix blushed, stiffening a bit. "What would you have me call you in private then, my Lord?"
He looked for a moment as if he might say something, but then he pressed his lips tightly together and one hand twitched up, almost as if he was going to cover his mouth.
"I am certain that you can make do without calling me anything. We are the only two people here."
Bellatrix let out a little breath of air, her face hot. "Yes, M- yes, of course."
He ran parted his lips momentarily, then leaned forward, and Bellatrix felt his tongue brush against the place where her thighs met. She spread her legs quickly, leaning forward over him a little and placing one hand on the wall for leverage. His tongue was moving closer, stroking up her inner thighs, and then he brushed against her clitoris and she stifled a moan.
He licked at her, his tongue light and teasing, and she dropped her skirt over him so she could clutch the wall with both hands. That just made everything better – the Dark Lord, her Lord, hidden beneath her skirts and pleasuring her: what a thought that was, what a sight it must have been!
She rolled her hips against his mouth while he worked at her with his tongue, then straightened up and stumbled back, towards the bed, catching onto his shoulder at the last moment and pulling him with her.
"Here. Come here." Her words came out a jumble through lips that felt numb, but he moved forward with her, and when she collapsed back onto the bed, spreading her legs, he bent his head immediately between her thighs once more. She looked down at him, and a smile crossed her lips.
"Think of what the Death Eaters would say if they saw their Master now," she breathed, meaning it to be directed mostly at herself, but the Dark Lord let out a small hiss and his tongue moved faster against her. She caught his head and pressed it harder against herself.
"Think what they would say," she repeated, "if they saw the man they so worship on his knees with his head between a woman's thighs. Half of them are too proud to do this themselves…"
His head snapped up abruptly. "And how do you know that, Bellatrix?"
She smirked, sitting up and reaching out for him, pulling him onto the bed. She straddled him and drew small circles on her chest with his fingertip.
"Why, because I've had them, of course. Useless, most of them – they can't find their ways around a woman at all…" She put her fingers beneath his chin and lifted his head a bit. "Unlike you, I'm sure." She took her hand away from his face and smoothed it across his chest, touching the fastenings of his robes. "Do you suppose I ought to undress you, or should I preserve your modesty, my Lord?" He had objected to being titled, but even here, even like this, she couldn't bring herself to call him anything else, and so she took care to inject a touch of sarcasm to it, as if she was mocking him. Besides, why should she listen to his objections if he did have them? After all, he was her Master in title only, now.
"As you see fit," he told her. She touched his lips quickly with one finger, then put her hand down to his lower stomach, gently running a fingertip around the fastenings of his robes there. He tensed and she smiled.
"I suppose you'd like me to touch you, wouldn't you?"
"As you see fit," he repeated, and she – her head rushing with the verythought of what she was doing – slapped him across his face.
"That isn't an answer," she told him sweetly. "I expect an answer when I ask you a question."
He closed his eyes, lips twitching and pressing together as if he knew not whether to be angry or pleased. "Yes."
Rodolphus had never been that compliant. Rodolphus – weak though he was – had fought her every step, perhaps because he feared of being made less than a man, as if submission to a woman was necessarily unmanly. In Rodolphus's world, it surely was. But the Dark Lord, still and calm with his eyes shut and head tilted back, seemed to understand. He was secure in his masculinity.
She took her time in undoing his robes, and let them slip back to hang around his shoulders, but not fall to the ground. He was terribly thin, skeletal, and marked with scars that she ran her fingers over. He winced every time she traced a thin white line or a dark patchy area.
There was a slight sharpness in his voice now, a little sign of warning, and Bellatrix wondered if the scars were a sensitive subject for him. Where could he have gotten those scars in any case? Who would ever dare – not to mention be able to – injure the Dark Lord so? Another woman, perhaps?
"It wasn't another woman," he told her, and Bellatrix stiffened slightly. She knew well enough that the Dark Lord was skilled in Occlumency, but it hadn't occurred to her that he would use it in the bedroom – though she supposed she ought not to have been surprised.
"That," he said, and the corners of his mouth twitched down into a sharp, severe frown, "is not your concern."
She traced her thumb slowly over a thin, raised welt on his collarbone, and he watched her closely, and did not react to her touch as he might have a few moments ago.
"I can give you new scars," she breathed in his ear and he shivered.
"I have no doubt." She could not have said for certain whether he was irritated or impatient with her or not, but there was a discomfort about the situation, about the way he spoke to her with an edge in his voice.
She dragged a nail down his chest and he winced visibly.
"That can't hurt," she murmured, and took care to add an edge of scorn to her voice. "This is all it takes to hurt the Dark Lord? One woman's nail? No…"
"Of course it doesn't hurt," he told her, and she rewarded him with a slap around the face.
"What about that, then?" she asked, and then drew her wand and aimed it at him. "Do you want me to hurt you more? You think you can take more?"
"I know I can take more," he told her, but she could see how quickly he was breathing and his eyes flicked between her face and her wand. "I suppose you don't think I can."
"Let's try, shall we?" She pressed him back onto the bed, then crawled up beside him and traced her wand in slow circles across his torso. A brief flicker of fear appeared on his face, but he quickly suppressed it, much to her amusement.
She whispered it as sweetly as a love word – indeed, to her, and in this situation, that was what it was – and he arched off the bed and cried out in pain. Oh, he stifled his scream quickly, but not quickly enough. Who else had ever heard the Dark Lord scream like that? Had anyone? Perhaps not – perhaps she was the first, perhaps she was special.
"I've had Muggles who could keep better control than you," she taunted, rolling over onto him and straddling him. "Your Death Eaters would be disgusted if they knew how easily you could be made to scream."
He hissed. "We agreed that this would be kept private."
But she could feel his erection straining against her thigh, and his breath was laboured and his pupils dilated, and when she put her lips close to his ear and whispered, "I don't recall agreeing to anything of the sort," she felt a lovely shudder run through his body.
"You might not like it," she continued. "But I now hold your reputation…" She ran her hand slowly down his cheek, then his chest. "in the palm of my hand. Oh, but," she added, and the pitch of her voice rose slightly, "you do like it, don't you?"
"Perhaps." His voice was even, but not so even that she couldn't hear a note of desire in it.
She took him in her hand and stroked him. His face was impassive and he didn't raise his hips or moan for her, but she could see the little muscles tightening around his jaw, practically feel the rush of blood beneath her fingers. She knew how he wanted her – he didn't have to be obvious.
"I think," she said, slowly and meditatively, running her fingers up and down his length with each word, "that this is exciting for you. I think you'd be bored, wouldn't you, if I just lay down and took it like a Death Eater should for her Master."
"You may think correctly."
"May. Don't say may. Am I correct or am I not?" She tightened her hold on him and he winced.
"I – must admit…" There was a strain in the way he spoke now, as if he was trying very hard to keep forcing the words out, "that making someone bow and scrape is not so entertaining in the bedroom if everyone outside the bedroom does it as well."
Bellatrix laughed, then brushed her lips across his jaw, below his ear, and whispered, "I see. I see how it is. It's a novelty, isn't it, having a woman brave enough to do this…" She squeezed him hard, hard enough to hurt. "Or this." She moved her hand down, cupping his balls in her palm and running her nails over them. "Or this." She closed her hand into a tight fist and he didn't quite manage to stifle a cry. "Having a woman who's not just afraid of you."
"I suppose – it is a novelty." He didn't disguise his pain, and Bellatrix shifted a little. This was different from using the Cruciatus curse – this sort of pain was intimate, personal, and, of course, distinctly and singularly sexual.
She returned her hand to his cock and caressed it delicately, swirling her fingers around the head, along the underside, in places she had learned from years of experience could set a man to moaning. And moan he did, and shiver as well, though he closed his eyes so she could not see the want in them.
"Well," she murmured. "I'm pleased to indulge, my Lord. But," she added, and slipped her thumb across the head, letting her nail just touch the flesh, "I wonder what will happen when the novelty wears off. Hmm?"
"I very much doubt," he said, and though his breathing was laboured, she could tell that he was still taking great care to speak clearly and choose his words well, instead of just moaning and mumbling, "that the novelty will wear off. As long as I lead an army, there will always be far more people who – who, ah–" He broke off briefly and shuddered against her touch. "People who submit to me than – you could make up for."
"Do you think so?" She let her nail graze him again. His breathing had become shallow and his hips twitched up just slightly. "I shouldn't want to please you and please you and then find one day that you'd grown bored."
"I won't – grow bored."
"Promise." She drew the word out like a teasing question, but it was an order, they both knew, and when he responded with a hissed, "Yes," she wondered who the last person was whom the Dark Lord had taken an order from.
She let him come in her hand, but barely had he come down from his peak before she had stood and backed away.
"Bellatrix." He sounded dangerous, but there was a hint of a little-boy plea in his voice too: don't go – come back.
"I think that's enough for the night." She licked her fingers wantonly, then brushed them against her skirt. "I don't want to exhaust you, my Lord – after all, you surely have plenty of work to be done…"
"I am not exhausted."
"Aren't you? Well," she said, all innocence, "then I suppose I don't want to give you the impression that you can decide how much we do. That's my choice to make."
For a moment, he looked at though he was going to say something – going to revert to form as her Master and tell her that, as a Death Eater, she would do as he ordered and he ordered her to come back to bed – but then he closed his mouth and granted her a small, slightly amused smile.
"Until next time, then, Bellatrix," he said, in so collected and cordial a voice that he might have been mistaken for a gentleman at a dinner party. "I don't imagine you shall stay away very long."
She dropped into a deep mock-curtsey, a smirk about her lips.
"In that, my Lord," she said, all sweetness, "I think you may be quite correct."