| Title: Her Lord
Dee (deirdre.riordan @ gmail.com)
Pairing: None, mentions of
Disclaimer: *sigh* Of course they're JKR's,
Summary: No, nothing will be the same
after tonight. After tonight, things will matter.
Notes: Written as a birthday gift to Xander, 10
morning dawns pink and
orange, soft and safe through the stained glass panes in the east wing
of Malfoy Manor. The wing's sole occupant doesn't notice. She sits
motionless at the dressing table, and has been staring into the mirror
so long that her reflection has become a blur.
Tonight, she'll be seventeen.
tonight, she'll see no more of Hogwarts. No more hiding behind
courtyard pillars with Regulus to hex the Gryffindors. No more stealing
illicit, breathless kisses in between curses. After all, what good
are N.E.W.T.s when there is such a Lord to be served?
The shrill voice of Auntie Black penetrates her thoughts. No, nothing
will be the same after tonight. After tonight, things will matter.
does move now, stretching out her left arm before her and taking in the
sight of the smooth, unmarred flesh. She runs her index finger across
it, shivering slightly.
A clock chimes somewhere in the
distance. She counts silently. Seventeen hours left. Seventeen hours
from now, she'll be seventeen, and this arm will become identical to a
In seventeen hours, she will be Bellatrix Lestrange.
eyes focus on the mirror again, and she glares at herself. No, it isn't
fair, she knows. But she's known all her life what she would do today.
What she would have to do. It could have fallen to her or Narcissa (not
Andromeda, never Andromeda), but Narcissa turned out to be the beauty.
The blonde bloody envy of all who knew her, with all the wit and the
charm and the grace. Narcissa should have been the one called Bella.
Bella. Bella-Bella-Bella. She can almost hear
Regulus mumbling into her hair, almost feel his arms around her waist.
But she shouldn't. It's wrong (right),
and it's over now, in any case. But it still comforts her a little to
know that Regulus will be joining soon. Two more months.
with how swiftly these seventeen hours are going to pass, she feels as
though two months must be a luxurious sort of eternity.
Bella. Bella, Bella, Bell-la. Regulus is the only
one who can get away with calling her that. No, was. Could.
doesn't realise she's been holding the perfume bottle until it shatters
in her grip. She opens her hand and lets the shards of glass fall, and
the expensive French perfume drips onto them, now tinted pink with
blood. She doesn't feel the sting of the alcohol in her wounds. She
wipes her hand on her nightdress and goes back to staring into the
An hour or two later, Narcissa finds her in the same
position: frozen and staring into some nowhere within the mirror, a
bloody handprint on her white silk garment and the tiniest drop of
blood still trickling faintly down her arm every now and again.
what have you done to yourself?" Narcissa says, rushing to her side and
yanking Bellatrix's injured hand out from under her chin.
"Broke a perfume bottle," she says, as though it were the simplest
thing in the world.
gives her an exasperated look and heals her hand, then marches over to
the wardrobe. "We're wanted at breakfast," she says, producing a
Slytherin-green robe. "Our Lord is here."
Bellatrix knew he would be, and sneers at her sister for ten thousand
reasons at once. Why can't she be the statuesque trophy wife? "My
Lord," she says.
Narcissa shrugs, affecting the icy nonchalance she's so well-known for.
"Not yours yet. And as much mine."
She pulls the robe on over the top of her bloodied nightdress and
clenches her teeth. "Then why don't you let him Mark you?"
And Narcissa is laughing. She's crossing the room and stroking
Bellatrix's hair and laughing. "Darling, do you really think
he'd want me? You've got all the brains, all the cunning."
lets Narcissa soothe her and pet her, but she doesn't believe a word of
it. She wants to, but Narcissa has spent the last sixteen years, three
hundred sixty-eight days, and fifteen-odd hours making her empty
promises. She lets herself be led down to breakfast where she realises,
halfway through the Dark Lord's diatribe about Mudbloods, that she
can't actually remember what Rodolphus looks like.
always liked the Dark Lord, ever since she was a child. She likes what
he promises. She likes his eyes and the way he pays no attention to
And by the time she descends the stairs on the arm of
her regal brother-in-law, she has schooled her face into a haughty,
smouldering mask. When Lucius lets go of her, she needs no push to
kneel before the Dark Lord. She knows without looking when he motions
her up, and she stands to face him unwaveringly. She doesn't flinch
when he cups her face in his cold, rough hand and kisses her cheek. "My
little Bella, all grown up," he says. Her lips make no move to sneer at
the nickname, and no cry escapes them when the Mark is burnt into her
arm at the stroke of midnight. It is only when he-- her Lord--
prounounces the marriage rites that she even registers Rodolphus's
presence next to her. No, she knows quite well whose wife she has
become today. Her lips twist into a smile at last.
2005 by Deirdre Riordan. Contact me at deirdre.riordan @ gmail .
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