Sure it could, Bellatrix convinced herself as the days dragged on, one after the other. The Dark Lord was extremely fixated on teaching Bellatrix the Killing Curse, and Bellatrix was all too willing to learn. But there was one small problem: she couldn’t seem to get it. It wasn’t that she didn’t have the ability. She and the Dark Lord both knew that she was more than capable of actually doing the curse. It was like she had a kind of subconscious mental reluctance, almost.

“You know, Bellatrix, the first time I saw you I pegged you as a cold-blooded killer,” the Dark Lord said two days before she was supposed to go back to Hogwarts. “And you and I both know that you can do this curse. So why can’t you do it?”

Bellatrix shrugged. “I don’t know. Trust me, if there was a way I could figure it out I would. But I really don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”

You’re not doing anything wrong. This is a bigger issue than that.”

“Well what do I do?” Bellatrix asked desperately.

“You do know that the quicker you do this the quicker you’ll be able to protect your sisters, right?”

“Yes, but I don’t know how the Killing Curse is going to protect them.”

“Do you think that if I told you it would help?”

Bellatrix shrugged. “It’s worth a shot.”

“Okay. If you kill Andromeda’s betrothed, she can’t marry him, can she? If you kill Narcissa’s father, you can be assured that he’ll never come back into her life and force anybody to admit the truth to her.”

Bellatrix could feel her already pale skin paling more as the Dark Lord talked. “That’s not what I want,” she said quietly. “I want Meda to be happy, and if Frank is going to make her happy, I want that for her. And Cissa is fourteen years old and she hasn’t heard from her father yet. I don’t think she has anything to worry about.”

“Bellatrix, lie down on the ground on your back,” the Dark Lord commanded. Since they were outside, the request seemed strange and quite unpleasant. She did it, though, because she wasn’t going to refuse an order. “Okay, now close your eyes and put your hands down to your sides.”

Bellatrix shut her eyes tightly, but the Dark Lord said, “The whole point of this is to make yourself relax.” So she shut her eyes more loosely.

“Why can’t you just use the Imperious Curse on me again?” Bellatrix asked. “I was really relaxed when you did that.”

“Because you need to do this yourself,” the Dark Lord said. “Don’t question me. Just do what I say.”

“I wasn’t—” Bellatrix started. The Dark Lord cut her off, though.

“Don’t say anything. Just do it.”

Bellatrix made her body completely relax. It felt good to know that she absolutely trusted the Dark Lord enough to do that. She couldn’t help but wonder why he wanted her to do this, though.

“Bellatrix, you can fool yourself all you want, but you know that your feelings about Andromeda’s marriage go beyond you wanting her to be happy,” the Dark Lord said. His voice sounded so different, though. Usually is was very cold and cutting, but now it was very calm and soothing. “You know in your heart that you don’t want her to marry Frank. Don’t fight it. You’re extremely powerful, Bellatrix. If you really wanted to, you could have the entire world. I know you don’t want it, but I’m saying that you can have it. I know that your sisters are the most important people in your life besides me, but you need to do what’s best for her, and you know in your heart that she can do so much better than Frank.

“And, Bellatrix, I’d worry a little more about Narcissa’s father if I were you. I know him. He’s a Death Eater. And he’s known all along about Narcissa and he told me that he was planning on introducing himself to her when she’s fifteen.”

Bellatrix shut her eyes tightly before she could stop herself. “He can’t do that,” she whispered. “Can’t you stop him?”

“Sure I can.”

“But will you?” Bellatrix asked. She could feel a tear running down her cheek.

“No. I want you to do it. By killing him.”

“My Lord, I think I’m starting to believe Andromeda,” Bellatrix admitted. “I really think that maybe she was right and that it’ll be better if she does this. And you’d know if I was lying.”

“I know you’re not lying. And you’re right that she probably will be better off with Frank. But she’ll be so much happier if you let the alternative happen, and you’re the only one with the power and willingness to stop your sister from being unhappy for the rest of her life.”

“But if I kill him then she’s going to hate me,” Bellatrix said.

“Then don’t tell her.”

“She’s going to figure it out.”

“But she doesn’t have to know that you did it.”

Then it finally sunk into Bellatrix what the Dark Lord was asking her to do. He was asking her to shape her world into one that was desirable for her to live in. He was asking her to exercise her power like never before. It made her feel so powerful and so…was there even a word for it? She felt like a goddess standing on a hill and watching her world with a protective eye. Which was kind of ironic because she was lying on a hill with the one person who had absolute power over her, but she enjoyed the feeling nevertheless. She felt ready to do anything the Dark Lord asked of her—including murder.

“My Lord?” Bellatrix said hesitantly.


“Do you think we could try the Killing Curse one more time?”

“Absolutely. Open your eyes and stand up.”

Bellatrix stood up and grabbed her wand. She turned to the muggle that she had been using for practice and pointed her wand. “Avada Kedavra.” And just like that, the muggle dropped dead.

“Bravo,” the Dark Lord said.

“I just killed someone,” Bellatrix said. “I—I…did it.”


“This feels so weird. I mean, One time toward the beginning of the year, Rodolphus and I tortured this Hufflepuff first year, and I kind of felt this same feeling, except now it’s a lot stronger.”

“What is it?” the Dark Lord asked her. “Guilt?”

Bellatrix frowned. “No, it’s not. That’s the problem. There’s this rational part of my brain that tells me that I should feel guilty, that I—I don’t know—shouldn’t be able to live with myself or something. But I don’t, and that bothers me even more.”

“That’s interesting,” the Dark Lord mused. “But I’m glad you don’t feel guilty. You shouldn’t. That was really good.”

“Thanks,” Bellatrix said hesitantly. She closed her eyes gently. She just—she felt like she had to. It just plain seemed like the right thing to do. She felt so powerful. Here she was, Bellatrix Black, being powerful. This was what she had been talking about when she told Jess Lynche her greatest desire back in September. Merlin, that seemed like a lifetime ago. She suddenly had an impulse to use her newfound power over and over again.

Bellatrix opened her eyes and looked at the Dark Lord. “Okay,” she said. “I think I get it now.”

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