Sorry this is a little late...Title:
In the Half-LightAuthor: purplefluffycatCharacters/Pairings:
Bellatrix, Bellatrix/Voldemort (largely unrequited)Rating:
Bellatrix's interpretation of Christian imagery, allusion to sexuality arguably before the age of consent, allusion to violence and murder (non-graphic).Word Count:
About 1300Summary/Description: ...Yet sometimes, when it is early and quiet, and the dawn stains her bedchamber grey, Bellatrix might remember...Author's Notes:
Taking the theme ‘sacrifices’ with Bellatrix as a character, I might have expected to have produced something more graphic and gory than this introspective - perhaps even humanizing - little piece. I’ll be interested to see what you think :-)
Sanity is a strange thing, Bellatrix thinks. When in her element - raid and torture, burn and rape - her mind is sharp. Clarified; refined like a dagger whittled to a point, everything extraneous chopped away. There is nothing but her drive, and her idol, and she is happy.
That zeal served her well, in prison. Bellatrix kept her wits when others' had whittled away, rocking and mumbling into cold stone walls like rooks trying to nest. She, however, planned an escape. The Dementors did not frighten her, not really. They lacked imagination and finesse in their torture, it was true, but they were cut from her cloth - creatures that possess enough gall to obliterate that which should not exist. When they tore at her mind they tasted a grudging respect there, and while they would feed at the things that did not matter, they could not deplete that which truly did. An iron core kept her stable; her dedication; her belief; her desire.
Not 'love'. No, love is for the weak. The passion that Bellatrix feels is black and invigorating, hope and ideology woven together like the shock of pleasure that comes from killing, and the midnight-desperate wetness between her legs when in the presence of her Lord.
Since escape, life has been wonderfully clear - no doubts, no distractions. Yet it is perhaps that artificial clarity of a line drawing on parchment, when the subject, truly, is shaded; or the strangely-flattened view that comes from closing one eye.
She used to wonder what else there could have been. That was before Azkaban, of course, when her mind still felt like the mind of a woman with nuance, and subtlety, and sense. There had been choices back then. Options. Different roads.
Even now, Bellatrix remembers the day she pledged allegiance to her Lord: a school holiday, summer, the sensation of dry grass beneath her feet as she rode through the rite, and how very beautiful
he was. A commanding Messiah, majestically poised to save the world from mediocrity and ruin. He smiled at her, undressed her with his eyes, and Bella's young breasts prickled at the attention. Unconsciously, a hand fell to her newly-formed curves - hips, thighs - and she preened, liking that gaze, wanting more of it.
She does not recall, however, how he passed on by, leaving her feeling confused and slightly desolate. Nor is there a memory of what else she could have done with that day - her cousin had invited her to a party, there was revision for OWLs that loomed, her pet Kneazle was ailing sick and needed to be taken to a Zoomediwizard.
He died in the end; the Kneazle. Bellatrix remembers that. She can see the earth falling down into a sad little elf-dug hole, and can taste the youthful vow: death was such a purile thing. She was not going to lose more of her world like that - corpses in silence and dust and mud.
So perhaps it was better not to fight? Her mother was friendly with the people at Durmstrang; she could go there, maybe take Cissy and that boy with her, and learn, and be safe and accepted. Would it not be wonderful to settle in a place of proper blood and honour, corset tightly laced in the Eastern-European fashion and the dirty, guttural consonants rolling off her tongue as if they were a delicacy? She would be far away from this squalid little county, ripe as it was for nothing but battle and poverty.
The move, of course, never came. There was a voice, sinuous and seductive, promising the world. Do not run, but conquer,
it said. Be the mistress of Death, not it's servant. Let me show you how.
And so, she felt the thrill of his palm gripping her wand-hand, whispering delicious curses and incitements, and she tingled and throbbed inside, as if he were fucking her deeply. Use your passion, Bella, dear,
he said. Feel it. Feel me.
And she writhed, and panted and clenched and sputtered out the alien, exquisite word between lips newly-stained dark: "Crucio".
Nothing else could come close to delight, after that day. The thrill of power and pleasure - as a victim writhes, crying out; so very like intimacy, yet she would never waste intimacy on such filth. And then the gentle, accomplished peace that comes when they stop
crying out; the mastery over a base force, which was now hers.
For death is such a very purile thing. She and her Lord will spit on the ground and walk on by while the others perish and become life-litter. In her clarity, Bellatrix knows it.
Yet sometimes, when it is early and quiet and the dawn stains her bedchamber grey, Bellatrix might remember. A tiny flash from behind the eyelids pricks at her, and she can hear her own breath shudder - feminine and fragile in the half-light. How, when lying unbidden in repose, something deep inside her brain might wake, just for a few moments; the shaded shadow of a person who once was.
There might have been a child. Not a shallow, brattish one like her sister's, interested in money and social climbing. No, Bellatrix would have had a daughter; dark like her, and clever. They would have gathered blackberries in the woods and drank elf-made wine together before the girl was ten. They would have brewed potions and cast curses - dexterous little fingers stirring the cauldron, clutched around an ebony wand. And, of course, the child would have been his
- conceived in that heated coupling to which he always hints but never grants.
Some Muggles believe in a virgin birth, she has heard. Well, hers would have been anything but
, in truth - but somehow retaining the peculiar, essential quality of that myth. A little black angel, of her Lord and his most willing receptacle; Bella would have been honoured and blessed and wanted for bringing forth so beautiful an heir. Rodolphus could have been the old man in the corner of the stable, looking on. God's own cuckold? Well, so be it. She has never reserved much care for him, arranged marriages being what they are.
Perhaps she would have had a career. Nothing pedestrian and compliant, of course - she'd rather farm Muggles than work for the Ministry - but Bellatrix had always rather liked the stars. A long time ago - unrecognizable as the same lifetime, almost - there had been a small, ashen girl who excelled at astronomy, had her own telescope, and knew all the standard constellations before she was six. That girl might have become a leading expert. She could have seen new orders and ways to the turning of the orbs; there was certainly the aptitude, likely the dedication. There could have been papers, prizes, colleagues - and world travel on her own merits, and in daylight.
But just when it starts to crystallize as real, and an ache threatens to form in her cockles just where her heart should be Dark and strong and dry, and her manuscripts have a font and her daughter has a face...
-Bellatrix pushes it all away and springs up to action. Hate re-steeled; wand re-armed; desire re-checked.
For it is daybreak once more, and she is a warrior; there is no finer calling. Her devotion is absolute, and she needs nothing – can see
nothing – else, she tells herself. - While eating breakfast alone in the large, echoing hall; plotting the day’s activities; mercilessly pounding her clitoris, pretending it is him.
And when she comes to die in a flash of Molly Weasley’s wand, Bellatrix will cling to the purity of her world in one dimension; black and sharp and secure. But, ghostly-pale, shivering in the in-between light - will be the child, the career and the restful nights that never were, backs turned and marching on.