Said the Spider to the Fly, for dead_sexydexy Title: Said The Spider To The Fly Author/Artist: *unknown* Recipient:dead_sexydexy Pairing: Bella/Narcissa Rating: PG-13 fic with not-worksafe art Warnings: none Summary: "Have you forgotten how to be a Slytherin? Have you forgotten the depth of the power that flows through your veins? What it should mean to be a Black?" Word Count: 2857 plus Art DH Spoilers: None.
"Are you certain you will not come tonight?" Lucius looked down impassively at his wife, as if already resigned to an unfavourable answer.
It was the same each time. "Lucius, dear, you know that I do not wish to become personally involved in this campaign," Narcissa replied as she reached up and straightened his collar. "I will always be here to support you, but you know I can't leave Draco. He's too young!"
"The maids and nurse would look after him adequately for an evening," came the expected counter-argument.
"But you know it wouldn't be just one evening. It would be sleepless nights in meetings and messy raids, and never knowing when the complimentary tattoo is going to interrupt my bath. And it would be not knowing if I would come home to our Draco." The emotions behind her words sounded tired and threadbare, even to Narcissa's own ears.
"We would be creating a world worthy of our Draco."
"Then create that world, if you must. I'm going to stay here and raise our son."
And again, as always, she would give her husband a carefully measured kiss on the cheek and Lucius would vanish before her eyes.
When Narcissa was a child, she had a beautiful vision of a perfect future. She would live in a mansion worthy of a Pureblooded witch of the House of Black, married to the perfect Pureblooded wizard of equal nobility. They would have a perfect child together. She would attend dazzling dinner parties, and her husband would do Very Important Things with powerful people. And all these things would exist in a perfect world, where the wealthy and Pureblooded would mingle together in the sort of lifestyle that had been idealized by her parents. Troubles and strife were for lesser people, and she need not sully her delicate hands with such things.
Childish ways were far behind her now, and as she watched Lucius Disapparate from the foyer, she knew that nothing could ever be perfect. Her husband was meeting with his fellow Death Eaters again tonight. This wasn't an official meeting, called by the Dark Lord himself. Rather, it was an informal gathering of some of the more influential followers, and some of those hoping to make names for themselves. The Dark Lord seemed to be preparing for something big, and if he was ready to make a major strategic move, his followers would want to be in the best possible standing when that happened. Lucius was already quite high in the ranks, and was sure to become one of the leaders in the Dark Lord's new world… if victory was to belong to Lord Voldemort.
While Narcissa had always believed that Muggles and Mudbloods were a nuisance, she wasn't so sure she liked her husband being so deeply involved. It was messy, people were dying, and even if the Dark Lord won, she couldn't imagine life being happy. Lucius wasn't the man he'd once been. He was colder, and more distant, and away from home more often than not. She didn't much like that, especially with Draco being little more than a year old. Somehow, a safe and satisfying future didn't seem possible for her family, if they even saw a future together.
Narcissa frowned deeply, then turned and began making her way up the staircase, dismissing a house elf who asked her if she wanted a nightcap that evening. She didn't want alcohol. She wanted her husband back. She wanted her family, and the perfect life she'd thought she was getting.
Lucius would have been a good father… when she'd first met him. Even though he was already involved in this fantastic crusade to subjugate the Mudbloods and Muggles, and he seemed quite excited about the power being wielded by the Dark Lord, he was, above all else, a passionate man who seemed to love her deeply. Family was important to him, so it appeared, and Merlin himself could not have hand-selected a finer coupling than the fairest of the Blacks and the heir of the Malfoy bloodlines. But now, Lucius had other priorities. His own son could be raised by servants for all he cared. He was never home anymore, and tonight, for the fourth time in a month, he had suggested that she accompany him to one of his meetings. The conversation was becoming far more frequent, and far too familiar.
She came to the top of the stairs and turned left down the hallway. At the first door on the right, she paused and looked in. Draco was quiet in his crib, and the tiny monitor light above him glowed a gentle blue, letting her know that he was sleeping peacefully. Not for the first time, she made a little wish that he would live a peaceful life, and never have to experience firsthand the life his father was carving for himself. She stepped out of the room and pulled the door behind her, leaving it open, just a bit. She could never close it – it would be like trapping her son, or caging him. It seemed wrong somehow, although she was never sure why.
With Draco sound asleep, she could retire herself. Lucius wouldn't be home for hours, and she was quite tired, but she knew sleep wouldn't come easily. It never did anymore. So, knowing that she had nothing better to do, she retreated to her private lounge.
The house elves knew she often hid up there on nights Lucius was away, and there was already a friendly fire crackling on the hearth. The nights of mid-October were chilly enough, and the loneliness only made it seem worse. The fire always helped to keep the chill at bay, and she could allow herself to get lost in the crackling flames until she succumbed to sleep on her chaise lounge. She hardly ever slept in her bed anymore.
She noticed a tray of beverages laid out on a serving cart, most of which plainly alcoholic; it seemed the house elves couldn't accept that she had no desire for a nightcap. The little creatures seemed to understand her distress, and she couldn't fault them for trying. And there was, to her pleasure, a simple cup of hot tea amongst the other glasses.
Narcissa dropped her house robe over the back of a nearby chair, took the cup of tea, and stretched out across her chaise. The fire glowed hot, warming her skin through her gauzy nightgown. The tea was just right, with a hint of sugar, and for a moment, she could lose herself in the image that life was, indeed, perfect. Her husband was simply away at an important international conference with the Northern European Union of Magic, her son was sleeping soundly and would be greeted by his daddy first thing in the morning, and the Dark Lord was a figment of some melodramatic writer's imagination.
It was the loud POP! of Apparition that shook away all traces of the illusion. Narcissa's first thought was that her wand was across the room in her house robe. Her second thought was that the tea was painfully hot across her torso. And her third thought was that she was going to strangle her sister as soon as she cleaned up the tea and fetched her wand.
"Bella!" she snapped. "Are you incapable of entering a house properly?"
Bellatrix breezed across the floor and sat down on the wing-backed chair that Lucius once used. She twisted sideways in the seat, leaning heavily to the left, with her right leg hooked over the arm of the chair. "And miss the look on your face, my darling sibling?"
"Or the scalding tea on my lap?" Narcissa shot back. She got up and crossed the room to her robe, extracted her wand, and quickly cast a drying charm, followed by a quick burn-healing spell. "Never mind the fact that you've barged in on me when I'm hardly dressed!"
"Oh, Cissy, we're sisters! We shared the same womb. Surely you aren't bothered that I'm seeing you in your nightgown?" She licked her lips. "Although, I must say, the nightgown itself is hardly visible. Such a pretty display, even with your Lucius being away for the evening. Expecting someone?"
"Not hardly." Narcissa crossed the room, bringing her wand with her, and sat back down on the chaise, legs neatly crossed. She'd thought of putting her robe back on, but that would look too defensive. "Can't a woman enjoy the simple pleasures of basking in front of the fireplace in her own private parlour?"
Bella lowered her gaze, just slightly, and danger glinted like delight in her eyes. "Surely 'private' isn't intended to keep out your own family – your own blood – is it?"
"Only to keep in a sense of peace that seems to be lacking everywhere else." Even though she'd tried to keep her voice steady, it wasn't working. If Lucius was in the Dark Lord's breast pocket, Bellatrix was probably in the Dark Lord's pants. She and Bella had been close as children, but now, her own sister was beginning to make her nervous. Bella had always been more power-hungry, but in recent years, the girl she'd once known had become a woman she wasn't sure if she wanted to know.
"Am I invading your peace, my dear sister?"
"You haven't used this many endearing epithets in your entire life, Bella." She took a deep breath, determined not to be intimidated by her older sister. "What do you want?"
With a feigned expression of shock and dismay, Bella swept to her feet with a dramatic flourish. "I want you to be happy, Cissy! I want you to have everything you ever dreamed! You suspect I would want anything less than the best for you?"
"I suspect that you want the world delivered to you with a bow, and that I play into your plans somehow, if you can convince me."
Bella's expression warped into a devious smile. "Ah, so you haven't forgotten what it means to be a Slytherin."
"I would never forget my roots. I have as much pride in my Blood and upbringing as you."
"Really, Cissy?" Bella took a small step forward. Then another. "But have you forgotten how to be a Slytherin? Have you forgotten the depth of the power that flows through your veins? What it should mean to be a Black?"
"I'm a Malfoy now as well."
Bella waved her hand dismissively. "The Malfoys were all fine and good, and if you had to outcross somewhere, they were as tolerable a choice as any, but Lucius will never achieve what you could." She was still advancing slowly.
Unwittingly, Narcissa pulled her feet up and retreated backwards a few inches on the lounge. "What are you talking about?"
"The Ancient and Most Noble House of Black," Bella said slowly, reciting the phrase they'd both read so many times in their childhood home. "That means something, Cissa. Can't you feel the power in your veins? Can't you feel that we're something different? Something special?"
She kept moving closer, and Narcissa coiled back just a bit further. "We're Purebloods. True Purebloods. There is no higher status."
And Bella laughed. It was an unpleasant sound, and it reminded Narcissa of a laugh she'd only heard once before… when the Dark Lord had come to call at Malfoy Manor. It was crazed, not her sister's laugh that she remembered. In one swift movement, Bella seated herself on the chaise, next to Narcissa's knees, and Narcissa pulled her legs up tighter. Bella only laughed again and put her arm over Narcissa's legs, forcing her way inside Narcissa's personal space.
"Cissy, Cissy, Cissa. We're Blacks. We carry power in our blood second only to that of the Dark Lord himself! There are no witches or wizards more worthy of the highest places of honour in our Lord's reign!"
Nerves were beginning to take hold, and Narcissa fought to keep herself under control. "And where would those places be?"
"At our Lord's side! Our brothers have already proven themselves worthless. Even Regulus has disappeared, like a coward –"
Narcissa couldn't stop her eyes from going wide; she hadn't known.
"– and we shall not speak of our other brother, blood traitor that he is. Like our sister, and the whelp she spawned with that Muggle." She spat the last word like a curse. "They are nothing now. We must carry on the power of our bloodline. It's up to us to fulfil the greatness of our family!" She leaned in close, her face hovering just inches above Narcissa's breast, looking up with a predatory hunger in her eyes. "Together, you and I would be unstoppable."
Narcissa could feel her stomach clenching and her heart thudding frantically in her chest. "What do you want of me?"
"You just came from the same gathering that Lucius is attending tonight!" Narcissa gasped in realization. "Did he send you? Does he think you can convince me where he did not?"
At that, Bellatrix threw her head back and screeched with laughter. "Your husband? Send me? HA! No, my dear sister. He would be furious if he knew I was here." She leaned in close again, and this time, to Narcissa's shock, she stuck out her tongue and licked Narcissa's nipple through the gauzy fabric of the nightgown.
It sent a jolt through her, and she drew in a sharp breath, as Bella continued to speak, this time in low, purring tones. "I do not ask you to join the Death Eaters as just another member of the rabble, but to join me by our Lord's side. Imagine! A Black, seated at each of his hands. There would be no higher honour – for us. For our family alone! Your Malfoy husband could only dream of being granted such a place by the Dark Lord's side, but he will never be offered such a chance, and he knows it."
Dazed by the sudden turn of events, Narcissa could only ask, "But why would the Dark Lord want me?"
"I am the Dark Lord's most favoured. He will give me what I want – what I desire – my beloved sister, and I want you." She lunged forward and seized Narcissa's mouth with her own.
It took several seconds for Narcissa to realize what was happening. Bella's tongue was forcing its way into her mouth, and sharp fingernails were clawing her breasts. Air was becoming scarce, and Narcissa wasn't sure if her heart was beating so fast that the beats had merged, or if her heart had stopped altogether. Finally, she was able to struggle, and wrenched her mouth away. Bella's body was still pinning her own against the back of the chaise, and Bella's face was still hovering, ready to descend again at a moment's notice. Dark eyes were screwed up in fiendish delight, predator piercing into prey, and the last piece of innocence that had been protected deep within Narcissa's heart finally died.
"What do you say, my dearest sister?" Her breath was hot and heavy on Narcissa's cheek. "You know what your heart says. You are a Black! You are the same as I! Your husband is nothing compared to you, compared to us. The Dark Lord is immortal, Cissa, and his power is absolute. In another week, his power will be indisputable, and he will finally take control of the wizarding world. The Black family will share in that greatness. You will have that greatness."
For several seconds, Narcissa stared up at her sister, and the world stood still around her. Some small part of herself whispered that the greatness she sought was sitting there, waiting for her to grasp it. It would not be a perfect life, but it would be great. Her husband had already gone down that path, and in the end, those who hadn't chosen a side would end up with nothing, regardless of who won. Perhaps she could have everything. As much as this disturbed her, perhaps she could go.
Bella must have seen the slight waver in her eyes, and leaned in close again. "Come with me! Take your son with you, and give him the future of a king. Someday, the entire wizarding world could come to its knees by Draco's wand! Give him that! Take this for yourself!"
Whatever Bella had managed to loosen, the mention of Draco's name caused something in Narcissa to clamp down hard. She could take the risk for herself, but her son… her beloved son… nothing was more important than Draco. She set her jaw, narrowed her eyes, and with a great heave, dumped Bella unceremoniously onto the floor. An instant later, she was standing over her sister, wand clasped in her hand, although not aimed yet.
Bella looked stunned. Small. "Cissy?" She plainly had not been expecting that.
Narcissa looked down at her sister coldly. "I need to go take care of my son. I'm sure you can find your way out." Without another word, she turned on her heel and left Bellatrix on the floor.