Bellatrix stood in front of her new mirror in her new room, adjusting the folds of her scarlet wedding dress.
“Bellatrix Lestrange,” she muttered. “Mrs. Rodolphus Lestrange.”
It sounded foreign to her even though it was her new name. She was now officially Mrs. Lestrange. The papers were signed and her things had been moved into Rodolphus’ house. It was nowhere near as large as Malfoy Manor but Bellatrix found she liked it. It felt more like home than Cygnus’s dreary house but there was no Sirius and no Andromeda. Andy and Sir had not been invited to her wedding reception. The usual group of purebloods had been called to Mr and Mrs Lestrange’s house but not her sister and her cousin. Bellatrix had suggested innocently to her parents that she ought to send them an invite but they had looked daggers at her. She missed Andromeda tying to get her out of trouble, Sirius bringing her right back into it and Regulus’ ‘I told you so’ smirk that she got when she was punished. Bellatrix smiled for a moment and her old, schoolgirl grin formed on her face again.
“Bella Black,” she whispered. “Marauder and troublemaker.”
That sounded right. It was more right than anything that had happened to Bellatrix in years. After a few moments of starring at herself, Bellatrix’s smile fell and she shook her head.
“Bit late for that Bella,” she mumbled to herself. “You’re already married.”
A noise behind her made her jump. Bellatrix spun around and saw no one.
“Down here mistress!” came a small voice.
Bellatrix looked down and saw an old house-elf dressed in a clean tea towel. She looked very frightened and Bellatrix did not blame her. She was meeting her new mistress for the first time.
“The master wants to know if mistress is ready for the wedding reception,” asked the elf timidly. “The guests are arriving.”
Bellatrix froze. Her breathing came in short, steady gasps. She wasn’t ready to face anyone right now.
Sandy’s fear of her new mistress was vanishing quickly. She saw how nervous Bellatrix was.
“It will be fine, mistress,” said Sandy.
The elf gestured towards herself.
“Sandy will look after you,” she said brightly. “I is liking my new mistress.”
Sandy shuffled behind Bellatrix and fixed up the back of her wedding dress.
“Now mistress is ready,” said Sandy. “You is very pretty mistress.”
Bellatrix didn’t know if Sandy was just lying to please her but the words of comfort meant a lot all the same.
“Thank you, Sandy,” she said quietly.
Bellatrix walked downstairs. Her wedding dress flowed to the ground as she descended. For once, not all eyes were on Narcissa. She was sitting with her parents looking rather upset. Bellatrix knew that she didn’t approve of Rodolphus but there was something else troubling her little sister. Rodolphus was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. He extended his hand and Bellatrix took it. Everyone in the room clapped loudly. Even Narcissa forced a smile. Bellatrix looked questioningly at her but she said nothing.
Everyone sat down at the long dinner table in the living room. Sandy had truly outdone herself by cooking the most delicious food. Rodolphus and Bellatrix sat at the ends of the table. Before the meal, Rodolphus stood up to make a toast.
“We all know Bellatrix,” he said with a faint smile. “I first met her at Hogwarts. At first I thought she was a quiet and shy person. I was greatly mistaken.”
Bellatrix was beginning to wonder if Rodolphus was complimenting her or not. He noticed the look on her face and his smile widened.
“She was actually a little troublemaker,” said Rodolphus. “She spent her time running around the school, giving the teachers grief.”
Druella slowly turned her head to look at her daughter. Bellatrix gave her an apologetic look.
“In the short time I have known Bellatrix, I can see that she does not hesitate to give her opinion and that she’s more adventurous than I will ever be.”
Bellatrix was starting to see where the compliment was coming into Rodolphus’ speech but Durella clearly didn’t.
“But above all, Bellatrix is independent, intelligent and wise. These traits I admire greatly.”
Rodolphus raised his glass.
“To my new wife Bellatrix.”
As the room toasted her, Bellatrix felt herself turning bright red. For reasons unfathomable, Malfoy stood up as Rodolphus sat down.
“I really do hate to take the spotlight away from Rodolphus and Bellatrix but I have an announcement to make,” said Lucius with an undeniably triumphant tone in his voice.
Bellatrix frowned. What was he up to?
“I would like to announce my engagement to Miss Narcissa Black,” said Lucius proudly.
It took all Bellatrix’s self control to stop herself from swearing loudly. She had to be the only one in the room who did not clap. Narcissa wasn’t smiling but pureblood brides don’t smile so no one but Bellatrix found this wrong. Cygnus and Druella were beaming. Druella had tears running down her face and was too overcome to realise that Narcissa was close to tears too.
Bellatrix found Narcissa alone in the garden.
“What the hell is going on, Cissy?” shouted Bellatrix.
Narcissa flinched when her sister spoke. It was freezing in the garden and her thin blue robes were not nearly enough to keep out the cold.
“Lucius asked me to marry him and I accepted,” she mumbled.
Bellatrix glared at her sister furiously.
“Why in Slytherin’s name did you accept that man?” she snarled. “Narcissa, you know what he’s-”
Bellatrix froze. Narcissa had started to cry.
“I-I saw his forearm,” she stammered. “H-he had t-the M-mark.”
Narcissa wiped her eyes on the sleeves of her robes. Bellatrix stood as still as a statue as her little sister spoke again.
“It was a-almost like a threat,” Narcissa sobbed. “It was l-like he was saying that I ha-had to say yes.”
Bellatrix found her voice again. Narcissa had never really been afraid of Lucius but now she was terrified of him.
“You can run,” said Bellatrix. “You don’t have to say yes.”
“I don’t want to end up like Regulus,” she sobbed.
“You won’t!” said Bellatrix sharply. “Now, you listen to me Narcissa.”
Bellatrix seized her sister’s shoulders. Narcissa stopped trembling but her tears were flowing onto her lap.
“I am not going to let anything happen to you,” said Bellatrix firmly. “No Death Eater, not even Lucius, will be able to lay a finger on you.”
Narcissa shrugged her sister off.
“What about the Dark Lord? What about Rodolphus?” whispered Narcissa. “Can you stop them?”
Bellatrix’s shoulders sagged. Narcissa stood up.
“You can’t protect me now Bella,” she whispered. “I’m going to marry Lucius Malfoy.”
Bellatrix watched her little sister walk back inside and she felt the anger boil inside her. She stood there fuming for a few moments. Bellatrix was about to go back inside when someone tapped her on the shoulder. She spun around and saw Lucius Malfoy.
“Have you seen Narcissa?” he asked.
Bellatrix didn’t hesitate to draw her wand and point it at him. Lucius took a few steps backwards; the shock at Bellatrix’s action’s etched on her face.
“Anything happens to my sister and the Dark Lord will be the least of your worries,” snarled Bellatrix.
Lucius quickly got over his shock.
“Put your wand down Mrs. Lestrange or there will be repercussions,” said Lucius quietly.
“Like what?” she sneered.
Lucius took a step back and Bellatrix lowered her wand.
“I won’t repeat my warning,” she snarled. “Be careful Malfoy.”
Lucius Malfoy did not speak to her for the rest of the evening. Narcissa left with Druella and Cygnus. She cast a glance at Bellatrix before she walked out the door. When everyone had left, Rodolphus sat down on the chair by the fire. Bellatrix did not sit down. She stood by the fireplace, silently cursing Malfoy. Rudolphus was watching her with interest.
“Lucius spoke to me earlier,” said Rodolphus.
Bellatrix’s stomach plummeted. Of course Malfoy would have gone crying to her husband.
“You are an amazing woman if you can threaten a Malfoy without flinching,” he continued, a small smile forming on his face.
It Bellatrix a while to realise that Rodolphus was actually impressed. She didn’t smile though.
“If anything happens to my sister I might just act out on my threat,” she muttered.
“You need not worry,” said Rodolphus. “If Narcissa is unhappy it reflects poorly on Lucius. He will not mistreat her. He has an image he needs to keep up.”
Bellatrix sniffed, not convinced. Rodolphus got up and walked towards her.
“I have something for you that will cheer you up.”
Bellatrix felt Rodolphus’ fingers cover her eyes. She couldn’t tell were Rodolphus was leading her. She had only been inside her house for a day. Suddenly Rodolphus removed his hands and she had to gasp. It was a library. Not a small one like her uncle’s and her father’s, but a proper library with books on every subject. Transfiguration, Potion making, History, Dark Arts…
“Consider it a wedding present,” said Rodolphus.
Bellatrix ran her fingers over the dusty volumes. She had never received a present like this. Sure, Andromeda had given her a book for her fifteen birthday but not a whole library. She smiled and turned to Rodolphus.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
Rodolphus leant in and kissed her gently on the mouth. It wasn’t Bellatrix’s first kiss. Evan Rosier had kissed her once after Potion’s Class without her consent or approval. Sirius and James had sent him to the hospital wing. Bellatrix doubted they could do that this time but she could help feeling that she was enjoying it. It took her about thirty seconds to realise that she was kissing Rodolphus back. Bellatrix ran her hands up his arms and froze suddenly. She had accidentally pulled back his sleeve and on his arm was the Dark Mark. Bellatrix looked into those blank eyes and waited for an explanation. She knew that Rodolphus had the Dark Mark but actually seeing it brought the reality home. She was married to a Death Eater…
“Don’t worry about that,” said Rodolphus quietly.
“How can I not?” whispered Bellatrix. “You know what happened to Regulus.”
“You can’t pretend that you didn’t already know I was a Death Eater,”
“I didn’t want to believe it,” she muttered.
Rodolphus held her shoulders, almost making her feel secure and safe. Almost.
“I married you because I knew that… in time… you would understand why I must do this. Unlike the rest of those wizards who hate mudbloods without reason, you know what they’re like from experience.”
“Was that it?” asked Bellatrix, unable to hide a trace of disappointment.
Rodolphus smiled and shook his head.
“That and the fact that I’ve never met anyone quite like you,” he answered.
Bellatrix felt her cheeks flush.
“I think I can live with that,” she muttered before kissing him again.
Author’s Note: In this chapter, Rodolphus Lestrange seems romantic and caring. Hey, I wouldn’t mind a whole library for a present…We all know that he’s not (he’s more of the evil Death Eater sort) but the point is that Bellatrix doesn’t.
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