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Bellatrix had been sent back to Professor Dippet’s office. On her walk over there with Professor Dippet, Bellatrix had been furiously mulling everything over in her head. What if she had died? She didn’t want to one day look like the cold, stoney image of Myrtle Warren lying on the ground, her life taken only seconds ago; her dreams, her everything… wiped clean away. Bellatrix had never seen a dead body before, and it was scary, really. Frightening to see what had just been a fully-functional body, without a soul just lying there, dead. Then she started to wonder about the consequences. She had been in that bathroom when Warren had died, and Professor Dippet already blamed her. Who knows what kind of punishment she’d get…. She tried to refocus. Death was normal. Death happened. It’s okay. As long as I don’t die, everything will be fine. She finally cleared her mind and tried to completely forget about the disastrous image. She attempted to revert to a state of mind where she doesn’t care, where she acted free, and as if death was just a thing that she saw everyday. In Professor Dippet’s office, she sat there, staring at the headmaster paintings on the wall. Two of them were playing cards together.

 

“Miss Black, I have reason to believe that you opened the Chamber of Secrets and let the basilisk out to kill Myrtle Warren,” Professor Dippet says finally. Bellatrix has to stop herself from flipping her head back, poking out her tongue and groaning loudly. Instead, with much effort, she just stares intensely at the wall behind Professor Dippet.

 

“So, do you admit to your crimes?” continues Professor Dippet irritably.

 

“What? No... don’t you have to speak parseltongue-y and all that? I can’t do that!” she tries to make snake noises, but fails miserably. Dippet clears his throat.

 

“That’s not a sufficient amount of proof,” Professor Dippet says sternly.

 

“Well, can I have a trial before this is all final? Because I reckon I can find some very fancy lawyers,” Bellatrix pokes her head up and tries to look posh and rich. Technically she is rich, but definitely not posh.

 

Professor Dippet thinks for a moment. “Very well, you have a week to find proof and develop a case. However if you lose, you will be expelled, and may face time in Azkaban.”

 

Bellatrix bites her tongue to stop herself from making a snarky remark back, and waits to be dismissed. 

 

She walks back out, grumpily making her way to her next class. She sees Remus and Sirius in the corridor making out, and carefully steps past them before bolting off to Charms. She sits at her desk, rolling spells around, wishing desperately to learn Avada Kedavra so that she can kill Professor Dippet. She’s kinda glad none of her friends ask where she was, but she can see Severus looking worriedly at her.

 

When class is over, she looks for Tom on her way to her next class. To her surprise, Tom is just standing in the middle of the hallway.

 

“Tom!” she greets, her cheeks burning.

 

“Hello, Bella. I heard the news—you’re suspected of opening the Chamber of Secrets, aren’t you?” Tom replies sympathetically.

 

“Yeah... they don’t think it was Weasley,” Bellatrix says, then watches Tom reach his hand out to hers, and she waits patiently to feel the soft touch of his skin on hers.

 

“I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you before,” Tom says, and then his hand is touching Bellatrix’s and it’s so soft and comforting, and absolutely magical.

 

“It’s fine,” Bellatrix says, and she’s surprised she’s managed to speak.

 

“But I’ll make sure to help the school get off your back, okay? After classes, in our common room this time,” Tom promises. He squeezes Bellatrix's hand slightly, and then walks off. Bellatrix takes a second to process, and then she smiles warmly, all the way to Defence Against The Dark Arts with Professor Dumbledore, and surprisingly, she isn’t late. She can tell Professor Dumbledore is suspicious of her, though. 

 

At lunch, Severus finally asks.

 

“Bellatrix, where were you before Charms?” Severus asks.

 

“Um, in the bathroom,” Bellatrix answers awkwardly. 

 

“Huh? Oh. Oh!” Severus goes red and looks away.

 

“Oh, no, not like that,” Bellatrix says quickly, “but, well… then Professor Dippet called me to his office because he thinks I opened that chamber thing.” Evan looks intrigued now, and butts in before Severus can reply.

 

“And did you? Open the Chamber Of Secrets?” Evan asks excitedly. Bellatrix shakes her head.

 

“No way! I can’t speak to snakes,” says Bellatrix.

 

“Oh. Wait I didn’t know you had to be a parselmouth,” Evan replies.

 

“Well, you do,” Bellatrix moves her fork around her plate, looking up to see Tom sitting at the Gryffindor table with Harry. Seriously, can’t Harry see that Tom is so much more into her?

 

“So, you’re going to be expelled?” asks Rodolphus, looking sad. 

 

“Not unless I don’t find any proof it wasn’t me,” Bellatrix says.

 

“Well, I can help you,” Severus volunteers.

 

“Oh, ok,” Bellatrix agrees half-heartedly.

 

“So, anyway,” Lucius changes the subject with a smirk, “who’s everyone got the hots for?”

 

“Really?” Rodolphus groans.

 

“Tom…” Bellatrix says weakly.

 

“Of course,” Evan sighs.

 

“Um, L- Lily Evans,” Severus blushes.

 

“You’re in love with someone who’s friends with your bullies?” Evan scoffs, and Severus nods shyly. 

 

“Speaking of them, doesn’t Harry Potter look a bit like James and Lily?” Lucius says suspiciously, and Bellatrix internally groans at the mention of Harry.

 

“I always thought Harry and James were twins or something, but not Lily,” Rodolphus comments.

 

“And now that I think about it, Lucius, are you related to Draco? He looks incredibly similar, and you both have the same last name,” Evan says.

 

“We must just be distant relatives,” Lucius shrugs. Bellatrix’s face goes red as she realises something.

 

“Um, doesn’t Draco look a bit like Narcissa as well?” Bellatrix looks nervously over at her youngest sister down the end of the table, leaning over towards the Ravenclaw table.

 

“Oh yeah,” Evan realises. “This school is very much messed up.”

 

“I agree,” Lucius’ face flushes when he looks at Narcissa now, and then over to Draco. All three of them are way too similar...

 

After their next classes, a few of Bellatrix’s friends have detention, as usual, and Bellatrix heads to the Slytherin common room where Tom is waiting for her.

 

“Hi,” Bellatrix smiles as she slides next to Tom on the sofa. Tom smiles his perfect smile back.

 

“Hello,” he replies. “Now, I did some research on the Chamber Of Secrets, and basically there’s a pipe in that girl’s lavatory on the second floor that leads to the chamber, and so if Ginny Weasley’s down there, we’ll know she did it.”

 

“Right!” Bellatrix says, impressed. “Also, um, can she speak parseltongue? Because I heard you need to be able to do that.”

 

“Yes, of course,” Tom replies quickly, and then just like that he gets up and leaves to go to his dormitory. And then Narcissa comes into the room and stops in front of Bellatrix. Bellatrix looks up and raises an eyebrow.

 

“Bella, I heard you had to go to the headmaster’s office,” Narcissa says in a way of greeting, worry tinged on her voice.

 

“Yeah, I’m accused of opening the Chamber Of Secrets,” Bellatrix says lamely. Narcissa opens her eyes wide.

 

“What?! But you didn’t! We have to tell Professor Dippet! I’ll get Luna to help-” Narcissa begins.

 

“Luna? Who the heck is that?” 

 

“She’s my friend, Luna Lovegood. She’s a Ravenclaw… pureblood I think?” Narcissa explains awkwardly, looking up at the roof for a second.

 

“Oh, her. She’s Loony, isn’t she? Anyway, we don’t need that dork, we can just go down into the chamber. I’ll bet Ginny’ll be in there, and then she’ll be expelled,” Bellatrix decides, and starts getting ready.

 

“Wait, Bella! Are you sure she’ll be there? Because if not, someone might find you there, and then you’ll definitely be accused. Besides, how do you even get into it?”

 

“Parseltongue. I’m sure it won’t be that hard, just some weird noises with your tongue,” Bellatrix explains easily, deciding that despite numerous attempts throughout the day to try and imitate parseltongue, she would probably still be able to do it when the time came.

 

“And you think Ginny Weasley opened it? How could a Gryffindor know the language of our house founder?” Narcissa scoffs.

 

“Well, like I said, it shouldn’t be too hard to try and speak it,” Bellatrix shrugs, resisting the urge to try again.

 

“Fine! Go there, but don’t go blaming me when you’re stuck in Azkaban for the rest of your life…” Narcissa mutters, “but if you do back out… My offer for Luna and me to help still stands.”

 

“Great…” Bellatrix murmurs sarcastically, and heads out the door to the girl’s bathroom.

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