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Cruel and Idiotic Punishment by propertyoftheHBP

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,459

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Mild Language

Genres: Drama, Humor, Angst
Characters: Snape, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Draco

First Published: 10/27/2009
Last Chapter: 11/02/2009
Last Updated: 11/02/2009


Amazing banner by Estevan @ TDA!

Bellatrix Lestrange finds a red hair in the basement of Malfoy Manor - minutes before Severus Snape is set to arrive at the house. With a vat of Polyjuice Potion upstairs and a sadistic and cruel woman holding the hair, what is in store for Snape?
Set between OOTP and HBP.

Chapter 1: Cruel and Idiotic Punishment

Disclaimer: I very obivously do not own the Harry Potter series or anything to do with it.

Bellatrix Lestrange and her sister Narcissa Malfoy made their way down the dark and damp stairs leading into the basement of Malfoy Manor, the former strutting along with an air of utter superiority, brushing cobwebs and filth aside without a thought as the latter crept lightly as seemed possible, as though she were disgusted by the dirt in her own home.

“Ever since that wretched elf left…” Narcissa murmured to herself, as her sister scowled. “Silence, Cissy…” she muttered, now scanning the shelves lining the winding staircase.

“Do not order me around my own home, Bella.” Regardless of Narcissa’s apparent timid nature, she clearly was not to be ordered about. “Now, what the devil are you rummaging about down here for?”

“Where does Lucius keep his store of hairs for Polyjuice Potion?” Lucius, Narcissa’s husband, had been very recently – two weeks ago, to be exact – incarcerated in Azkaban due to being captured in battle at the Ministry of Magic’s Department of Mysteries. Captured along with him were many other Death Eaters, including Bellatrix’s own husband, Rodolphus.

“Why do you need to know?”

“None of your business…Yet I shall tell you anyway!” Bellatrix could contain the excitement in her voice no longer. “I intend to make a fool of Snape.”

“Begging your pardon?”

“Just what I said, Narcissa,” Bellatrix snapped.

“May I ask why?”

“I do not trust him, as you very well know. I believe my plan may reveal his true allegiance to us, and in turn to the Dark Lord.”

“The Dark Lord trusts him. Bella, we have had this conversation many times before.”

“I know, Cissy. I believe…the Dark Lord is…mistaken.”

“That is unlike you.”

“I hold the Dark Lord in the very highest of my esteem, all know that,” Bellatrix continued to pore over the contents of the shelves, “Yet I do not trust, and never shall, Severus Snape. I know something about him very, very few others do.”

Narcissa raised her eyebrows, “Indeed?”

“Indeed. It was he who relayed the prophecy to the Dark Lord."

“And how do you know this?”

“Do not interrupt, Narcissa. I happened to be…nearby when he reported it. Weeks later, I again overheard another meeting of theirs.

“The Dark Lord gave Snape the confidence that the Potter boy was the one referred to in the prophecy. Of course, I also received the same confidence.”

Narcissa appeared exasperated at the unnecessary last bit. Bellatrix continued, “Upon hearing this, Snape appeared…frantic. Without any obvious thought on his part, he instantly begged the Dark Lord to protect the Potter woman, to let her live. The Dark Lord merely laughed it off, as he should have, chastised him for beholding affection for a Mudblood, and told him that there were other women worth having.”

“Snape left – fled, actually – the room, frantic as ever. After a few days, he had managed to return to his usual reserved disposition, as well as flirting – and possibly doing more with – other women, of pure blood, while in the Dark Lord’s vicinity. This was assurance enough of Snape’s loyalty remaining with him for the Dark Lord, despite his continued hunting of the Potter family.

“However, it wasn’t, and never has been, enough for me. I believe Snape to be working for Dumbledore ever since.” Bellatrix finished her monologue, waiting for Narcissa’s reaction. She looked shocked and confused. “An unexpected revelation, I confess, but I still agree with the Dark Lord on the matter, as my family trusts his judgment.”

Bellatrix mumbled something incoherent about, “we’ll see about that soon enough…” and set the cloudy gray vial she was holding back on it’s shelf with a bang sounding from it. Narcissa continued, “But I do not see what Snape’s choice in women has to do with, “ she gestured around the staircase and cellar beneath them, “here?”

Bellatrix smiled, a cruel and sadistic smile. “Fools who love are so very easy to cause despair to.”

“By this you mean yourself and Rodolphus?” Narcissa inclined.
Bellatrix scoffed. “I, love Rodolphus, the idiot? I assure you, had he perished at the Ministry, I would certainly not be dressed in mourning robes. I care no more for he than you do for Lucius.”

“On the contrary, I care for Lucius very much indeed, Bella.” Narcissa looked affronted and offended.

Bellatrix shrugged, “Well, then. My point, I care not about Rodolphus. Any…affections I may hold are…directed towards…someone so very much more…worthy.” And there could be no mistaking whom she was speaking of. “To the point,” she continued hastily, “ I intend to humiliate, torture, and punish Snape as well as expose his true allegiance.”

“And how do you intend to do that?”

Bellatrix shrieked with glee. “Here they are, Cissy! Oh, and the very hair I require!” She extracted a very dusty vial, with a worn label, containing a single red hair.

“Lily Potter’s?” Narcissa took a guess.

Bellatrix smiled again. “Indeed. How did Lucius acquire this?”
Narcissa thought a moment. “Ah, yes. He dueled with her, not long before I learned I was with child. She actually gave him quite a job, eventually he had to retreat.

“Really? Interesting.”

“And you need her hair because?”

“Your stock of Polyjuice Potion upstairs. I intend to disguise myself as this,” she indicated the vial. “Snape is set to arrive here shortly, I shall gauge his reaction, report it dutifully to the Dark Lord, and glory in Snape’s shock and pain as well.” Bellatrix turned around and marched back up the stairs with an air of triumph, as Narcissa followed.

In the Brewing Room, Bellatrix gingerly placed the red hair into a murky and bubbling potion. It instantly turned to a light lavender, and Bellatrix and Narcissa both looked appalled at the sight of it.

Bellatrix raised the glass, and downed it in one gulp. She looked disgustedly at Narcissa for a moment, and then her hair began to straighten and lighten, her cheekbones smoothed out and lowered, her skin appeared healthier and more vibrant, and a mere thirty seconds later Lily Evans Potter stood before Narcissa.

Bellatrix examined her new appearance, sighed exasperatedly, grabbed a bundle of clothes sitting near the now-empty goblet, and marched towards the bathroom.

Moments later, she reappeared clothed in a pair of regular witches’ robes, with no trace of Bellatrix Lestrange in either her look or stance. Narcissa gave her sister an appraising look. “Well done, Bella,” she glanced out the window. “Ah, here’s Snape now,” and called down the hallway, “Draco, the door, please!”

Bellatrix smirked, saying, “Go down Cissy. I shall join you three in a moment.” Narcissa nodded, and swept down the stairs.
“Severus! How good to see you! What message shall my son and I convey to the Dark Lord today?” as she greeted him, Narcissa noticed how shaken Snape looked, and wondered if he had glimpsed Bellatrix through the window.

Snape nodded, acknowledging Draco and greeting Narcissa, “Afternoon, Narcissa. Actually, I have been told by the great and esteemed Dark Lord that I am to pass my messages on to your dear sister, Bellatrix. Is she in?”

Narcissa was about to go along with Bellatrix’s plan, to state that while Bellatrix herself was not in, another wished to see him, when she realized how horribly foolish the entire thing was. “She shall be down in a moment, please take a seat in the drawing room.” Narcissa inclined her head towards a room off to the left of them, and turned to Draco, “Come now. Severus, please excuse us,” she and Draco turned away, Narcissa muttering about ‘obsessed stupidity’ and ‘waste of time and precious resources.’

Snape sat himself in the offered room, in which the walls were covered with elegant tapestries of animals such as peacocks and foliage such as rainforest ferns.

Moments later, Bellatrix swept into the room, appearing as much as Lily Potter as ever, and silent as well. Snape’s eyes widened, and he gripped his seat. The man was obviously trying to contain many hidden emotions, while making sense of the situation.

Bellatrix herself began struggling – trying to keep the composure she knew of Lily, while trying not to bend over backwards laughing. “Good afternoon, Severus.”

If anything, her welcoming demeanor seemed to shake him even more. He stood up and crossed the room towards who he thought was Lily. “Begging your par-pardon?” he cracked on the last word, revealing some of the emotion he was concealing. Bellatrix smiled, and Snape immediately turned his back to her, muttering, “Figment of the imagination. No surprise, given recent ev-events.”

Again, Bellatrix smiled, looking more excited by the moment. “What events, Severus?” sounding gentle and soft.

He turned back to her, looking plainly shocked now. “Wha-what?”

“I asked, what events have occurred recently, Severus? Please tell me,” she pouted her lip slightly, remembering that Lily had done the same to him once in their first year at Hogwarts, when Bellatrix herself was in her seventh.

Snape blinked, saying, “Of no immediate importance. You are dead.”

“Am I? Here I stand before you.”

“You do…” he murmured, “you do, and you are not nearly as mad at me as you were the last time we met…”

Bellatrix raised her eyebrow. Had the two of them had a falling out? “No, I am not.”

“But you’re dead.”

She nodded.


“It is of no immediate importance. Tell me, Severus, what events have happened recently?” Bellatrix was amazed at how…gullible Snape seemed. While he wasn’t wholly convinced, he seemed only too eager to gaze longingly at her face.

“Well…the elder Black is newly dead, but you surely knew that. And it would be unwise to assume that the Wizarding World has not recently entered a second war against the Dark Lord…”

Bellatrix internally sighed. Gullible, indeed. “I meant not the worldly events – those are quite easy to keep up with. What were the events you spoke of earlier?”

“Dumble-“ at the moment Snape spoke, there was a loud BANG! and he jumped in place, snapped out of his reverie, looking about wildly. As the explosion had sounded from beneath them, Bellatrix realized this was most likely the vial she had issued a bang from earlier, and internally cursed herself.

“Wha-“ Snape continued to look about, as a horrible stench wafted through the doorway.

Before Bellatrix had a chance to say anything, Draco burst into the room, panting wildly, face blackened with soot, and hair slightly singed. “Aunt Bella, what the bloody hell was in that bottle down there?!” he stopped suddenly, seeing the sight before him.

Snape looked shocked, as well as confused. Bellatrix looked – well, she was Lily.

“I should ask, uh…” the teenaged boy looked rather scared. “MUM!!! THERE’S A DEAD WOMAN IN THE DRAWING ROOM WITH PROFESSOR SNAPE!!!”

At which point Snape appeared to realize just exactly how odd the scene he was involved in really was. He stood there, at a loss for words.

Narcissa entered the room, her expression again exasperated. “Come along, Draco, no need to worry. You aunt is merely trying to better the Wizarding World, or at least that’s what she thinks.”

And at this points, another waft of fumes drifted towards Bellatrix from Draco, and she began to transform back into…Bellatrix. “Theif's Downfall?! Oh, of all the things to keep in a cellar! And how do you keep it in cellar? Damn Lucius!”

The last sentence caused Narcissa to gain a sour expression and turn away from her sister, and for Snape to turn towards her, his expression cold, icy, and looked quite as dangerous as the Dark Lord himself could look at times.

Bellatrix seemed to see this herself, as she quickly backed up, fear creeping into her face. Apparently she had not foreseen this part of her plan.

“Or perhaps,” Snape began, his voice as icy cold as his expression, “perhaps, one may wonder why a long gone woman’s hair is kept in a cellar?” he did not wait for her to answer; it was obviously a rhetorical question. “Whatever it was you just did was lower than I would have expected from even you, Lestrange, and you know that’s saying a lot. I do not know how you acquired the information that led you to believe your disguise would affect me, yet I do know you shall never speak of this again.

“As well, you shall never recall this meeting again, and I myself would perform a memory charm on you if I were not closely matched in dueling abilities. So it is to be assumed that when I leave this house I shall not recall these past twenty minutes, either. They have never happened.” He shot her a final cold look of pure hatred, and turned to Narcissa.

“The same goes for you,” and to Draco, “You’d do best to follow your mother and aunt’s instructions. I shall see you when term commences.” Snape then promptly swept from the room without another word or glance at the three remaining people, and seconds later they heard the front door slam shut.

Draco turned to his aunt, face still sooty, “Well what the bloody hell was that all about?” and added with disgust after a slight moment, “and was that Potter’s mum you were just disguised as?”

Narcissa drew herself up to her fullest height, determined to erase the situation as Snape had ordered, and answered for Bellatrix. “Excuse me, dear? Perhaps we should take some tea, for your mind seems a bit cloudy, as I’m sure Bella would agree,” she stated this last part directly to Bellatrix herself, with a clear look mixed with disgust and warning. She then took Draco promptly by the arm and swept from the room.

Left in the room alone, Bellatrix blinked and glanced around. She was still a tad shaken by the intensity of Snape’s glare, and rather disappointed that she hadn’t weaseled useful information out of him.

Speaking to herself, “Pfft. Nothing there worth reporting to the Dark Lord. And if nothing is worth reporting to him, then I suppose Snape is quite right, no use in remembering this situation.”

And she swept from the room, her demeanor quite the same as before she had thought of the idea itself, with no clue or care at all the pain she had caused someone, no idea that he would spend the night crying over an old photograph and letter in his childhood enemy’s home.