She had failed, and currently, she was feeling the consequences big time. The Crucio was a curse Bellatrix could tolerate to some degree. It wasn't the first time her Lord had unleashed such a harsh curse on her, However, experimentation of new Hexes had left her weakened beyond comparison. He called it a ‘Trial run’ as she coughed furiously trying to catch her breath. A coughing fit causing blood to splatter from her mouth was the first sign of fear something was wrong. It was only as she felt she was choking from deep within her lungs she could hear the dark lord explain so callously what was happening to her.
“You see I thought it would be a nice 'throw off' curse on muggles to keep them unsuspecting. Blood in the lungs, it certainly sounds unpleasant from the sound you're making Bellatrix. But then I may still have some use from you yet. Finite” he calmly waved his wand, canceling the hex as Bella fell to the floor clutching her throat as she gulped in air.
The Darklord did not wait around to see if she recovered, instead, a few moments later her sister came rushing in assisting her to her quarters giving her pain relief and a quick check over before exiting.
Two days had passed before she felt strong enough to leave the room. Her presence at dinner was almost unwelcomed as the three Malfoy’s sat straight-backed and quiet.
Draco, like herself, had clearly been reprimanded for their failure after the Golden Trio had escaped the manor. His already pale features still white and face looking pinched like he was verging on the scale of malnourishment. Lucius sat wholesome, still wandless and a ghost of his former self taking his place at the head of the table simply out of habit. Narcissa, the source who held her shell of a family together remained indifferent, not a hair out of place and every essence of the matriarch she always portrayed.
“I wish to check you over and discuss a few things when we are through with dinner Bellatrix.”
The dark witch turned to her sister knowing it was a statement rather than a request. Not in the mood to argue she simply nodded in response.
The warm stew and bread sat uncomfortably in her stomach, eating still felt a privilege even after this long away from Azkaban it was still hard to eat a full meal. She followed her sister to the potions cellar, taking her time on the steep stone staircase that swirled into the darkness below, staying close to her sister the sole occupant of the family who still had a wand.
The torches lit up the room on entry through the large Iron door. Mustering as much strength as she could to haul the door shut behind her and bolting it for extra security.
“Sit” Narcissa commanded, standing alongside the examination stool near her cluttered desk of scrolls.
Bella sat, a bored expression on her face as her sister waved her wand in front of her as she did her assessments. Narcissa finished her waving and wrote down a few notes on her parchment. She strolled over to one of the shelves of various vials and potion bottles, selecting several and walking back to her sister.
“Take this one now.” she handed the dark, ink coloured liquid towards Bella who uncorked it, clearing it in one gulp before coughing in disgust at the taste. “These you should take before bed, they will heal the blisters in your lungs our ‘Dark lord’ left after his latest interrogation of you” Narcissa instructed in distaste.
“Is that all?” Bella drawled hoping to be given leave so she could rest some more.
“No.” Bellatrix looked up at her sister. “I feel we need to discuss a few things”
Narcissa looked at her sister for a moment, beckoning her from the stool as she strode to the back of the room. A narrow bookcase stood full of worn books of academia. She grasped a rather tattered red leatherback pulling it from the shelf which was chest height and stepped back as the bookcase creaked open revealing a dark entrance behind it. With one last look at her sister expecting her to follow, she walked through the doorway lighting up the secret area.
Bellatrix cautiously entered the new area. She had been down here on many occasions to find her sister. At times there had been delays to her opening the door but she had never suspected there was an extra room to the area her sister had hidden away.
The new room had two plush chairs and a large fireplace which now roared to life as they entered. A Pensieve Basin sat proudly in the corner as well as many other artifacts randomly placed in the room.
“What is this Cissy?” Bellatrix questioned as she took in the room and its contents.
“It's where I come to think,'' she responded as she sat down primly on one of the seats. Bellatrix slumped down into the other, waiting for whatever her sister was about to reveal. They stared at each other in silence for a few moments. Bella getting impatient spoke first.
“Well? Do what do I owe the pleasure of being invited to your sanctuary” Bellatrix mocked her sister. She didn't like secrets being kept from her. Narcissa was her closest ally, there was nothing they kept from each other, or at least that's what she had thought.
“This can't go on.”
“This” Narcissa gestured to her sister! She pointed out the Crucio scars that could be seen on her neckline. “It's a lost cause, we have suffered enough.”
“Don’t be ridiculous Cissy! Our Lord-”
“Our Lord is a Fraud!” Narcissa shouted over her.
Bellatrix stood up abruptly towering over her sister who remained seated. Despite a face of thunder she refused to be intimidated by her sister.
“Think about what you're saying cissy” Bellatrix warned.
“I have Bella! For months if not years! It's all for nothing, the cause is a sham! We joined to make our world pure again, and yet our sacred families are being wiped out as we speak!”
“He will reinstate us and our rights!” Bella argued.
“He’s a half-blood Bella!”
Bella staggered back in shock at her sister's outburst. “He doesn't care anymore, it's all about power for him. And he will let no one stand in his way. The first war was for purity, and what is the cause for this? Capturing and killing a half-witted teen with too much luck on his side.”
Narcissa stood up matching the height of her sister. She turned to the back of a room, a small stack of books sat on a side table, she pulled the third from the top. The black leather was printed with gold letters
The Sacred 28
and a thinner book she placed on top of it
The purest families of the Wizarding World
inside was a thickly folded piece of parchment filled with Narcissa’s elegant Calligraphy.
“Take them,” Narcissa whispered. “Read them and look at the notes in privacy. And then come to me when you're done.” Bella said nothing. She snatched the books and marched out of the room not looking back. Rushing up the stairs and marching to her quarters.
“What's the Hurry Lestrange.” Fenrir stepped out from the adjoining corridor at the top of the stairs. His stench was pungent of Earth and alcohol. “I Hear you’re losing favour with our lord. It was only a matter of time” He grinned blocking her way, not realising he was pushing the boundary too close.
“Incarcerous Faucium!” Bella Hissed, watching the beast grasp at his throat, His eyes bulging as his gasps for air could be heard. Bella looked on Smirking as she watched in pleasure the large frame dropping to the ground on the verge of unconsciousness.
“Finite” she called boredly. Looking at the oddly purple colour Greyback had started to turn onto as he continued to scratch at his throat, his wheezing voice struggling to catch a breath as he felt the choking sensation finally release.
“You Bitch!” He growled still too weak to stand up on all fours.
“Careful Wolfboy, Or next time I won't be so eager to release it so quickly” she threatened before stepping off in the direction of her room. As she heard the werewolf scuttle away in the opposite direction.
It was long past midnight. In her moment of leaving Narcissa’s hidden room, she had forgotten to pick up her potions for bedtime. Of course, her sister had obviously noticed and rather than bringing them up herself, a house-elf had been sent and discreetly placed them on the bedside table before leaving in a flash. Bella had consumed the potions but sleep evaded her. She was more settled and in less pain, her lungs pulsed more easily and it wasn't so exhausting as healing took place. Her mind was busy as she went over and over the accusation, her sister had made that evening.
Our lord is a Fraud . It ricocheted around her mind. She couldn't shake off the doubt that was starting to creep into her. Narcissa would not make such a bold statement without sufficient evidence to back it up.
She gave up waiting for sleep to take her. She promptly dressed, placing a cloak on and headed out to the doorway, briskly walking to the gate entrance. As she touched the gate a mild shock hit her. She tried contact again feeling another imminent shock pulse. Someone must be fucking with the wards . She thought, unless...
She tried again grabbing the gate to pull towards her, feeling a much harsher shock enough to hiss, seeing a sheen of smoke coming from her hand. Realisation dawned on her. They were imprisoned in the manor, no doubt as part of the punishment from the Darklord until he returned.
Bella cursed aloud in the silent darkness trying to think of another place of privacy, she turned heading along the wall towards the orchard. She walked through the trees towards the centre, eyeing up the old dovecote hidden down the bank.
The ancient building looked pretty ruined outside, not many birds used the sanctuary since the snatchers and other death eaters had taken refuge in the manor, shooting most local wildlife to consume their boredom when not on missions. The circular building had no entrance, only upper small slits for the birds to come and go. Bella tapped on the stone which began crumbling as it moved backwards, allowing her entrance. She took a torchlight. “Lacarnum inflamare” she whispered as the flame ignited lighting up the damp building. She walked up the narrow winding staircase to the middle floor. A small table and chair set to the side. She lit another torch, placing it on the stand near the desk giving enough light in the small area before pulling out her books and reading the contents.
She started with
The Sacred 28
, turning to the page in which the blue silk ribbon was placed and began to read.
The house of Gaunt, 20th Century. Marvolo Gaunt: Issue - 2 (Morfin and Merope) Marvolo was Imprisoned as part of the famous Muggle Vigilante Movement (MVM) in 1924 after muggle-born protesters finally won the right to a new law being past stopping the innocent Torture of muggles for sport. Died Circa 1928 Causes Unknown.
Morfin Gaunt - Unmarried - No issue - Death Date unknown
Merope Gaunt - Married - (Spouse unknown) - 1 issue - Death Date Circa 1927
The Name Marvolo certainly rang a bell. Bellatrix knew her lord had grown up without a family and spoke very little of his life before Hogwarts but even with that Bella knew his Full title as Tom Marvolo Riddle.
She opened the smaller book, no page was marked specifically, so Bellatrix scanned to the back with names listed and page numbers beside them, she looked first for Riddle. It was unlisted which confused her. They had always been under the assumption Riddle had been a foreign pureblood name. Gaunt was listed with similar details to the previous book. Huffing, Bellatrix slammed the book shut when she noticed once again the large piece of parchment neatly folded into one of the pages. She loosened the pages allowing it to fall out. Unfolding she skimmed over her sister's notes. Names were scribbled in one corner, Names and addresses she did not recognise until she noticed a short family Tree scribbled
Merope Gaunt - Tom Riddle (muggle)
Tom Marvolo Riddle
A taste of bile hit the back of Bella’s throat, it couldn't be clearer what Narcissa was insinuating. But where was the proof? She thumped her hand down on the table in frustration, causing the books to bounce slightly. As the smaller of the books slumped down, a piece of paper slipped slightly out from the front cover. Curious she pulled it from the book. She unfolded the handwritten document. A marriage clause from the Parish of Little Hangleton. The registration dated 29 October 1926 Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle. A marriage certificate that certainly wasn't from any wizarding contract. Leading to only one conclusion. And with that Bella let the information sink in. The man she had followed, the cause she fought so hard and dedicated so much for was all a lie, and with that, she unleashed her anger in one raging fury.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
The day was gloomy, the sky rippled in grey clouds as a slither of sunlight fought to get through. Narcissa stood on the embankment looking ahead, slightly displeased. Lucius was far more emotional as he looked at the site the ancient dovecote once stood.
“What could possibly have happened?” He whined, looking in horror at the foundations left, the melted stone seemed to have pooled and reformed along the side, half of the orchard trees were but ash on the ground.
“I am not sure,” Narcissa sighed.
“I have little doubt it has a lot to do with your deranged sister!” Lucius continued to look in horror at the damage. Narcissa twisted towards him whispering harshly. “Do not make accusations for which you have no proof!” before calmly walking back to the manor. She had no doubt it was a backlash of Bellatrix and no doubt a good dose of fiendfyre, but it was better than Lucius having a breakdown about the blasted dovecote. At least now she had an excuse to replant the orchard into something more beautiful. But that would have to wait. A distinct Stygian owl perched at the doorway holding a letter of black parchment that only the Dark Lord would use, signaling a more urgent matter was present.
Bellatrix was not a morning person. The elves had long ago stopped entering to wake her or coax her for breakfast. Narcissa strode into the room cautiously, even without a wand Bella could be unpredictable. The heavy, black drapes covered the sash windows, a crack of sunlight leaked through the bathroom door which stood ajar.
“Bella” Narcissa gently spoke to the large mound covered in dark blankets on the bed. “Bella” She tried louder. A moan seeped through as the lump below the blankets stretched out.
“Go Away Cissy it's not morning yet” she groaned.
“Actually it’s 11:15 Bella. Could you please enlighten me about what happened to the dovecote that used to reside in my orchard?” she asked, pulling the blankets back to reveal onyx eyes staring through wild black curls.
“It probably just fell over”
Narcissa was not in the mood for sarcasm. More important things were at hand.
“A letter came this morning.”
“Thats nice.” Bella responded, pulling her blanket back over her head. “The Dark Lord requires your presence in the drawing room in 15 minutes” The blankets were tossed aside as Bellatrix jumped up at this, staring wide eyed at her sister. They stared at each other for a moment, before Narcissa turned away. “I will send in some tea when you are ready” Bellatrix scrambled out the bed to dress and headed down to the drawing room.
Bellatrix entered the drawing-room. The Darklord dashed in emerald green robes, sat in a wingback chair by the fire, his pale features showing no emotion or any acknowledgment of her entrance. Eventually, his red eyes flicked up to her as she hesitated to approach him.
“I see you are feeling better Bellatrix.”
“Yes my lord” she whispered, keeping her eyes trained down.
“Kneel before me” He commanded cooly. Without hesitation, Bellatrix fell to her knees before him. A cold hand reached out. Stroking her curls at the crown of her head.
“I have had news of a break in at one of your Gringotts vaults. It would seem Mr Potter and his friends have caused more havoc which has most displeased me.”
‘SHHH,’ he hissed, his nails grazed against the skin more harshly than was pleasant.
“We need to see if anything has been taken,” He continued. He wrapped his hand roughly around her hair bunching it up and tugging up to stare him in the face. She whimpered slightly in pain but said nothing as she looked into unforgiving eyes.
“Let's hope I won’t be disappointed again” He hissed before loosening his grip, standing up, striding to the doorway, not even looking back to make sure she followed.
She did not acknowledge Rudolphus as they walked down the hallway to the Floo Shoot. “Gringotts management Chamber '' Voldemort Commanded as he threw powder into the floo and disappeared into green flames. Bellatrix followed suit. Landing in a rather grand office she brushed the soot from her dress as her estranged husband also joined them, giving her a cold look before waiting to be addressed by the Darklord.
They turned to see the short grey-haired goblin sitting in the desk chair. “Take Madame and Lord Lestrange to their Vault. We wish to know exactly what was stolen”
“Yes my lord” Brunlok muttered, gesturing for the others to follow him from the office.
They sat in the cart as it trundled down into the depths. The rails had been fixed however Bellatrix noted the absence of the chained dragon that usually sat in the lower level.
“What happened exactly?” Rudolphus muttered, his look of distaste as he tried to keep his distance from the goblin in the tiny cart.
“Potter and his associates came in under the guise of Mrs. Lestrange and another, they raided the vault and triggered the alarms escaping with the dragon. It has caused much damage to the security wards, we hope to secure another dragon in due time, however securely moving one in this time of war is proving difficult.” The cart pulled up on the ledge. Evidence of the harsh wards and doorway clearly showed the damage from the break-in. They managed to step through the door into the vault, Rudolphus bringing up the rear. Everything was a mess, the multiplying charm had devastated the room. Trinkets and gold lay everywhere. The sound of a distant rattle as a goblet fell from the pile to Rudolphus’s feet. He went to pick it up, cursing and dropping it almost immediately as the smell of singed flesh filled the room, the goblet expanding into five more.
“You need to turn off the Branding Charm and multiplier Hex. Idiot” Bellatrix growled. Little patience for her buffoon of a husband, and even worse with no wand of her own. He gave her a look of loathing before raising his short Yew wand, ‘Finite’. Reluctantly reaching again for the goblet. It remained normal, cool to touch, and did not multiply.
“Well? Get rid of the excess!” She hissed stepping forward. She needed to understand what the hell the little brats could have possibly wanted!
Rudolphus was distracted, trying several spells before he was able to clean the mess, still piles of gold and trinkets, but thankfully more organised and individual. Bellatrix noted as the piles of junk cleared a wand was partially visible under a leather case. She grabbed it quickly, shoving it up her sleeve. They assessed what could be missing, nothing seemed obvious, most valuables she had still insisted on keeping in her Black family vault, The only thing of real value that was in this Vault was the Cup the Dark Lord had asked them to protect, and Rudolphus had absolutely insisted this one was safe enough. But other than that apart from gold there were meager valuables in this vault.
It dawned on Bellatrix she had not seen the cup. A cold sweat crawled up the back of her neck causing a shiver as fear enveloped her. “Rod! The cup? Our Lord's cup! Where is it?” He looked at her confused as he thought for a moment. Realisation dawned. “Accio Cup!” he shouted. Repeating the same command nothing happened. Each one more irate as worry dawned on his face and he looked at Bellatrix. The cup was no longer in the Vault.
Lord Voldemort sat in the Managers Chair on the mahogany desk. The Goblin in charge had sworn loyalty and taken the power of Gringotts after the break-in several days ago. However some goblins were still wary of the new rulings, so it seemed best not to be seen in the Foyer with the general public. He looked up as the door swung open. Both his loyal followers slunk in like a dog with its tail between its legs. He held his composure, not wanting to set himself up for disappointment from his most loyal.
“Well?” He questioned. Looking at both as they held their heads down, not daring to give eye contact.
“One Item is unaccounted for my lord.” Bellatrix murmured. She held her hands in front of her holding them together so the shaking was not visible. His eyes flashed in impatience
“The Cup we secured for you”
His eyes narrowed. “The cup?” He hissed. He stood up throwing the desk manually against the wall, the only barrier between himself and his servants. He stepped forward staring at them both. Waving his hand they felt the invisible whip on the back of their knees and fell into a kneeling position in sync. “I am disappointed in both of you, I gave you a task to keep the cup safe and you have failed me.”
“I assure you my vault was safe my lord” Rudolphus pleaded.
“Really? And yet The Black Family Vault remains secure and untouched. Was it your insistence to place it in your vault Rudophus?” The dark lord stared down at him. Beads of sweat glistened on the man's brow as he did not retaliate any denial. It was clearly written on his face.
“I see” he turned away. “I don't like failure. And yet it seems to happen almost too often recently.” He looked back at them both, Bella hiding her fear so much better than her husband who was damp in sweat and visibly shivering”
ardeat, nec sulphuris!
The Dark lord growled the Spell in such rapid viciousness, Bellatrix closed her eyes. Only opening them as she heard the blood-curdling screams of her Husband. She had seen him under the Cruciatus, but these screams seemed worse. The smell of Burning meat was circling as Rudolphus clutched himself. Smoke radiated from the pores of his body and eventually, his skin became charred as his flesh cooked from the inside out to the surface of his skin. The Dark Lord, looking bored and impatient, ended the suffering. Spitting out the killing curse as an afterthought before turning, his robe swishing as he turned to the Goblin, no longer interested and missing the look of sheer horror on Bellatrix’s face.
“Vanish his corpse to my residence Brunlok, Nagini is due a feed” He smirked cruelly.
“Y-Yes my lord?”
“Gather the troops, we raid Hogwarts at dawn” and with that, the Darklord Left the room.
Chapter 3: 3
Bellatrix landed with a thud through the fireplace her mind elsewhere. It would appear Narcissa was expecting her back, as she had been waiting in anticipation staring at the floo, watching intently as Bellatrix brushed herself off. Immediately standing to attention, Narcissa put her index finger to her lips in a shushing motion, before instructing quietly to follow her back down to the potions room.
They stepped through, bolting the door as in clanked shut, Narcissa immediately pulling the book to the hidden room once more.
“What has changed?” Narcissa demanded briskly as the entrance closed behind them. Bellatrix, confused at the question, checked herself once again. Her occlumency shields had been up all this time. Narcissa realising she needed to be more specific, pulled out a long parchment scroll that was rolled up neatly. She pulled the first 3 feet of scroll clean, letting the rest of the scroll drop to the floor. “Look.” she whispered.
Bellatrix looked at the scroll. There were various rows of detailed Family trees of the sacred 28. The Black Family sat with its crest detailed at the head of the family tree, delicate branches almost transparent as it passed over the family members' names.
Narcissa skimmed her finger to Bellatrix’s name, A clear indicator of where to look to see what could possibly have changed. Bellatrix Druella Black, it floated on the page in a distinctive golden ink delicately imprinted on the page.
“What are you getting at Cissy?” Bellatrix wasn't really one for riddles, and she was starting to feel impatient with her sister.
“Bella. Your name has changed back to Black, and you're imprinted in Gold. Do you know what this means?”
“No Cissy! and quite frankly I don’t really care. I am supposed to be preparing everyone for battle. I only just survived with the skin of my teeth from our Lord this morning. Rod was not so lucky!” Bellatrix shouted. Narcissa gasped at the latter sentence.
“You were widowed? That explains it.”
“Explains what?” Bellatrix barked. Heading towards the door
“You are the Head of House of Black.” Bellatrix stopped in her tracks. She turned to her sister once more.
“You’re no longer a Lestrange so it makes you a Black and automatically head of House. This is perfect Bella, it could make all the difference if we make a change now.”
Bellatrix turned from her sister, stomping out of the room with no response other than the slam of the door as she left up the stairs. Her mind was reeling, what could Cissy possibly be planning? She needed to think, but first she needed to make plans. She walked along the halls and through the kitchen, grabbing an apple from the pantry as she walked past the house elves and into the rear gardens.
The courtyard at the manor was large, it had been turned into a combat area, though some permanent damage from stray spells was making the place look rather tattered in recent months.She placed her recently acquired wand to her arm, summoning as she pictured the faces of the people she wished to call upon her.
Several people appeared before her. They all looked slightly confused. It was known some of the higher ranking could summon their fellow death eaters, however, it had never happened since the first war. So for Dolohov, Rowle, Scabior, and Greyback it was a surprise to find themselves placed in front of Bella herself.
“I only call you here on the Darklord's orders. At dawn, he will summon us ready to attack, make sure everyone is ready to fight.” She finished her speech. About to turn away when she noticed the other occupants hesitated.
“Well GO! Piss off and get ready if you know what's good for you!” She sent a bombarda, causing Greyback and Scabior to fly backwards against the rear wall, before turning and re-entering the house.
She made her way to the library, hoping no one would be there to disturb her. She needed a moment of clarity, as she closed and locked the library door turning and seeing the entire room was empty, she let out a breath of relief. Processing all the details and disturbances of the last 48 hours. The Dark Lord was a halfblood. A fraud just like Cissy had said, and now he was ruthless, Loyalty counted for nothing, one small mistake and life was gone. Just like Rodolphus. She hung her head. No love was ever present, but years of marriage still stood for something. She would not mourn him, but he did not deserve the harsh death set upon him. She could feel the bile at the back of her throat. The thought of his crisped corpse and the foul smell that hit her nostrils.
She retched, thinking she would be sick, but only a spluttery cough emerged. She needed to speak to Cissy. There were details missing, a plan forming into place in her sister's complex imagination and she knew she needed to inquire some more. Because with all that was going on, maybe it was the only answer going forward.
Narcissa looked up from her notes. Bellatrix stormed through the door banging it shut behind her loud enough that a vial fell off the side of the table, smashing and releasing a transparent purple gas.
“You need to tell me your ambitions and ideas surrounding all this.” Bellatrix demanded.
Narcissa looked across from her notebook, seeing the serious look on her elder siblings face; she paused for a moment before flicking her head towards the bookcase indicating they would talk in private.
They entered the room in quick succession. Narcissa was intrinsically calm to Bella’s whirlwind impatience.
“Have you ever heard of Spargot’s Theory?” Narcissa asked.
“What the fuck is that?” Bella shouted. Indicating it as a no, Narcissa continued as she walked over to a pile of books on the table. “Gerald Spargot was a half-blood potioneer. His son unfortunately due to circumstances was infected with a werewolf bite. It seemed that in the muggle world Spargot also delved into something called ‘Science’. He researched many experiments with blood. He believed it was the manipulation of the blood that would cure his son of Lycanthropy.”
Narcissa turned to her sister and continued. “There are records of his son being free of the curse. and that his father cured him. But his father is believed to have been killed mysteriously before his findings could be released.”
“Delightful as your story is Cissy, what has this got to do with me?” Bellatrix responded sarcastically. Narcissa ignored her.
“Rumours from what I read in the papers at the time is that he was murdered by Potion brewers. Worried their potions and ingredients such as wolfsbane would no longer be sold to make a profit on the market is enough incentive for murder. Why this now affects you, however, is I happen to have Mr. Spargot's notes on his Research. I have read through it thoroughly and what he shares is quite interesting.”
“Well don’t keep me in suspense!” Bella mocked sitting herself down on the chair kicking off her boots as she rested them on the table. Narcissa glared at the feet on her table.
“He was able to siphon out the infected blood that contaminated his son’s body through some complex spells and potion engineering. Think about it, Bella. If Spargot can eradicate the contaminated blood from his son. Then perhaps the same can be done with half-bloods, perhaps even mudbloods . . .”
“Cissy. Are you implying we make them pure?” Bella shot forward, dropping her feet to the floor. Narcissa smiled.
“Only those worthy, New blood could be just what is needed to reboot our depleted bloodlines. You are now the head of House of Black, You will need an Heir, and I already have an excellent consort in mind to power us forward if it all falls into place.” It was only now Bellatrix noticed as she spoke, her sister was holding a vial with a minuscule amount of blood in it.
Clasping the vial protectively to her chest, Narcissa turned. “That is not your concern for now dearest sister. I still have tests to complete. There is no need to answer questions I am not 100% sure of yet. More important plans need to be taken care of first.”
“Like what?” Bellatrix tried to reach for the vial. Narcissa would not allow it, holding her free hand up and pushing her away. Her face showed no expression as she answered.
“We need to kill the Dark Lord.”
Bellatrix was sat by the fire, stone still, she had not said a word, a look of inner turmoil as she stared into the flames. Narcissa had stood behind her, smoothing out the ringlets of curls so they tangled less, as she manipulated a 4 strand braid at the base of her neck. She pulled the braid from under the chain on Bella’s neck. The Raven sliding back into her cleavage.
“Cissy I . . “
“It’s the only way Bellatrix. We can’t live in this world. It's not what we joined to fight for. He is not a leader. But you could be . .” Narcissus hands sat on Bella’s shoulders, her nails digging in as tension passed through her body. Narcissa sounded so tired.
Bellatrix paled. Could she really kill her master? A life of loyalty, it's all she could remember. But then, what kind of life was it. Yes, they could kill the boy, and then what? Something else? Another prophecy to chase after. Cissy was right, it would never end. Too far gone. And now they had to clear it up. A new world. A new plan, a family?
Bellatrix knew the secret of all pureblood families if left to a female Head of house. Magic had its own way of securing sacred lines. She clutched her abdomen, too old to conceive a child in her own womb. But if the magic as shown was implanted in the golden calligraphy marking her as Head of the House of Black, she would gain the power to plant her seed into another female. The lighthearted thought of a child of her own flitting around the grounds of Black Mansion seeped through her mind and warmed her heart. A positive thought that was perhaps just enough to solve the mess amalgamated around them, enough to change everything ahead of them. Perhaps even enough to justify killing The Dark Lord.
“Are you sure Cissy, are you absolutely sure about all this?” Bellatrix had to ask one last time. She looked at her sister, intense blue eyes stared back at her with no lie evident. Bellatrix closed her eyes for a long moment, a moment to focus.
“How do we do this?”
Narcissa looked at the turmoil running through her older sister's features. Yes, Bellatrix could be unhinged, crazy even, but she could also be leveled, grounded, and see when something must be done and in the end, family always came first.
“I am afraid it's not that simple,” Narcissa muttered. “Bella I need to show you something. Something I have never shown to anyone in almost 20 years.”
Narcissa stepped across the room in a few gentle strides. She stood by the small pensive and waited for her sister to approach. Bellatrix lifted herself from the chair as she watched her sister wait for her.
“Remember those few months I stayed in Grimmauld place after cousin Sirius left?”
“There was only me and Regulus in the house most of the time. He hadn’t been out of Hogwarts long and only just joined the cause, and wasn't really used for anything other than petty raids. But one night, something changed. . .” Narcissa held the wand to her temple. The magical thread twirled around the tip like a serpent, as she placed it into the shallow pool.
Bellatrix was pulled into the memory. Landing almost in sheer darkness, apart from the streetlamps through a gap in the curtains. She vaguely remembered the room. The one the three sisters had always slept in when visiting London. She looked in front of her. A young Narcissa was asleep in the bed when suddenly the door burst open letting in the light from the stairway. Regulus rushed in looking disheveled as his oversized deatheater robes hung from him.
“Cissy, Cissy wake up!” He shrugged at Narcissa's shoulder, she stirred, pushing her long blonde and black hair from her face, turning to see what had disturbed her. Grabbing her wand she lit up the room wordlessly, still blinking as she looked at her cousin.
“Reggie? What time is it?” She asked groggily, looking across the room at the cuckoo clock on the wall.
“What’s going on?” She questioned again, more alarmed at the frightened look on his face.
“He- He Killed Bentley, for no reason... Just killed him and left him for the snake.” Regulus’s voice broke as he burst into sobs. Narcissa reached forward to hug her cousin, barely out of Hogwarts, and already forced to grow up and see things no boy should ever see.
“Bentley failed to retrieve an object we were sent for. It was nearly completely lost, we managed to retrieve it but when the Dark Lord saw how careless he had been he showed no mercy!”
“It’s alright Reggie, you just need to calm, you're safe,” Narcissa whispered. Regulus clung to her.
“Something happened there Cissy, it was like a ritual, I can't explain it? He asked us to receive a locket. It was nothing overly special you wouldn't find in any purebloods vault but our Lord looked almost hungry for it. When he killed Bentley, it was like he transferred some sort of magic beam from himself to the locket.” Regulus continued as his tears soaked through Narcissa’s nightgown.
“When he finished he placed it around my neck” Regulus shuddered as he tried to continue “It was so cold. So Dark. I Could feel the Darklord inside my head, he was talking to me. I could see Sirius, never coming back, telling me he hated me! And then he snatched it from me. It felt like I could breathe the second that locket was taken. He told me to summon Kreacher, They were gone for hours, I couldn't leave the room until they returned. When they finally did. Kreacher was so frightened he would not even look at me! The Darklord embraced me and told me he was proud. And then sent me home.”
Regulus pulled from the embrace, his tearstained eyes left him looking, the vulnerable young boy Cissy knew he really was.
“Where is Kreacher now?”
“In his den, I told him to rest for the evening, I gave him some butterbeer to help him sleep.” He wiped his face. “I checked his memories when he went to sleep Cissy. The Dark lord took him to a cave, The Locket is under a lot of spells protecting it. I need to go and get it.”
“WHAT!” Narcissa nearly jumped out of the bed .“Are you insane?” Narcissa hissed at her cousin.
“Cissy, That locket is dangerous. It needs to be destroyed!”
“Because I think it's a Horcrux.” He looked at her in all seriousness. “And I don’t think it's the only one.”
Bella felt herself sucked out and back into the room. Blinking rapidly as she grounded herself into the present. She looked at her sister. Narcissa stared at her a slight frown on her brow.
“A Horcrux?” Bellatrix gasped in shock.
Narcissa nodded. “Two months after that night Reggie died. He withered away, I think from retrieving whatever that dark magic is, I remember how he looked on his deathbed. The only time I have seen anything similar is how Withered Albus Dumbledore looked before his demise. I truly believe Dumbledore knew something and was on track. It might also explain Why Potter and his friends were so eager to get into your vault. And also why the Darklord has become more unstable in recent times.”
Bella thought to herself for a moment. She remembered being given the cup, so many years ago, to be placed safely away. The cold feeling of the silver. The dark hungry feeling of pride just holding it as it was placed into the vault. It made sense.
“The snake,” Bellatrix said.
“What?” Narcissa asked.
“Nagini. No Serpent is that loyal and controllable. It must be a Horcrux for him to command her so easily.” Bellatrix continued.
“Kill the snake and kill him.” She said calmly. Narcissa nodded, about to ask how they should plan. But it was too late.
Bellatrix grasped her left arm as it burned white hot. Summoning her. She looked into her sister's blue eyes as they both came to the same realisation.
Time had run out.
The battle of Hogwarts was starting
Chapter 5: chapter 5
They landed just beyond the boundary of the forest, most were wearing their Death Eater robes and masks as they waited behind their master. Bellatrix moved to be by his side, Narcissa had followed, Lucius reluctantly kept close also.
“Bella.” The Darklord turned to her. His eyes never blinking as he stared into onyx. He held out his hand with a brand new wand intact. “A gift. You are my best soldier. Do not disappoint me.” He implicated the last part as he held it out to her. She grasped the wood. Slowly pulling it from pale fingers and placing it into her own. It was a dragon heartstring core in ebony wood. No familiar tingle like her crooked wand but it felt comfortable unlike the stolen wand from the vault.
“Thank You my lord,” Bellatrix whispered as she bowed slightly and took a step back. No longer interested the Darklord turned away.
“Antonin. I have a special task for you. I will explain in private when the time is right. Do not leave my side.” The Darklord whispered loud enough for Bella to hear. She had an idea what it might be. And made a note to stay as near as possible.
Voldemort held the Elder wand to his throat as he whispered Sonorus. His voice echoed loudly over the vicinity.
“Give me Harry Potter and no one will be hurt, your friends will be freed and safe” They waited in silence, slowly seeing how the Darklord became more agitated in his small movements as nothing seemed to happen.
He turned to his army once more “Do not spill unnecessary blood. Bring me, Potter, alive, and you will be rewarded most generously!” He held his wand to the air as did those of the inner circle, and in tandem, sent golden sparks shooting out, shattering the protective shield over Hogwarts below them.
The death eaters ran out of the woods towards Hogwarts as all chaos erupted.
Bellatrix followed Antonin as snuck into the castle, his interest was not in the battle but something else. Bellatrix knew her Lord had sent him on a task, and if it was what she suspected. She needed to get it before he returned it.
The Room of Requirement , Of course, that's where it would be. She thought as she followed him to the 7th-floor corridor. Half of the stairs had been destroyed but they were still usable. It would appear the floor however was not deserted as they heard quite a commotion from the end of the corridor. Strengthening her disillusionment spell she stepped closer to get a look.
Dolohov was hiding near a suit of armor as they watched brooms come rushing out of the doorway, the telltale flames of Fiendfyre were licking dangerously at the door as it forced to shut. She watched as her nephew was dropped from the broom, breathless and slumping to the floor. She felt torn, knowing she wanted to make sure he was ok, but also not to be seen.
Harry Potter held a charred wiry object in front of him. It crumbled as they looked on into dust. “It's destroyed,” he confirmed, before taking off with his friends down the corridor. Bellatrix managed to lean in as they wooshed past her and onto the staircase. A moment passed and Antonin stepped our marching towards Draco and his friend.
“What was it?” He demanded looking at the charred mess on the floor. He grabbed Draco by the scruff of his collar hauling him up from the ground. “I will only ask once more Malfoy” Dolohov threatened, his accent thickened with his anger. “What was that!” He gestured with his eyes towards the floor.
“Something that belonged to the Darklord. Some kind of Tiara I think” Draco whispered.
Dolohov growled as he tossed the boy back on the ground. He stormed off cursing and obliterating the suit of armor he previously hid behind. He did not even register as he pushed past Bella in his blind rage. She waited a few moments before revealing herself, marching towards her nephew and his friend who had yet to notice her.
“Aunty Bella?” He questioned when he saw her. “OW!” he shouted as she smacked him across the head.
“Stupid prick! Do you know how dangerous Fiendfyre is!” She shouted ready to hex both of them.
“It wasn't me it was Crabbe... He’s dead.” Draco sniffed at the realisation. He looked towards the door. Bellatrix grabbed him.
“Listen, find your mother, and don't leave her side. Don't do anything stupid, just stay out of the way! Do you understand me!”
Draco nodded. She looked at Goyle. He looked frightened and also nodded. Not daring to disobey the dark witch as she finally turned on her heels and went back down the corridor.
She could hear the commotion as she reached down to the 5th floor, Hoping to have a vantage point and look around from the clocktower it seemed Dolohov had the same Idea and had already ran into someone on the opposing side. She was about to abscond when she heard the scream of a female voice that only rang with slight familiarity.
“Remus? NOOO!” the voice wailed. “I will kill you, you bastard!” Dolohov could be heard laughing over the sound of spells bouncing from the walls.
“Shit!” Bellatrix realised who it was, and in a split decision turned towards the commotion.
Dolohov was throwing the killing curse, the bright green beam hurtled towards the pinked haired Auror one after the other as they violently ricocheted off her shield which was weakening. Her emotions and anger were taking hold of her concentration and as she backed into a corner and tripped over some rubble that had fallen from the damaged wall and fell, her wand clattering out of reach. Dolohov stopped with an arrogant smile on his face stepping forward between the witch and her wand, ready to finish her as he raised his wand.
“Antonin!” Bellatrix shouted her heels clicked as she strutted with meaning towards them. He grinned.
“Bella, You're just in time.” He looked back at the young witch, grief, and defeat on her face.
“She’s mine,” Bellatrix commanded. She stared for a moment as shiny eyes almost as dark as her own stared at her.
“Of course, The ultimate revenge on your traitorous sister.” Dolohov chuckled sadistically, still looking down at Tonks. By now she had crawled towards the body of Lupin gripping his pale hand, accepting her own fate.
“No Antonin. When I said she was mine, I didn’t imply I would be ending her. You on the other hand . .” His head jerked towards her as she muttered the last part. He barely had time to react as she flicked her wand at him.
“Offuco!” She hissed. She grinned manically in satisfaction as she watched the dark wizard thrashing around clutching at his throat, his windpipe enclosed on itself cutting off the oxygen he was desperately trying to inhale.
“Must be frightening to think you would be killed with your own spell Antonin?” Bellatrix rationalised as she held her wand calmly. “But not today.” He looked at her, an ounce of hope in his eyes as he continued to gasp. The last thing he saw was her smirk.
“Transmogrifi!” Dolohov screamed, the split second of immense torture before death took him, slumping to the floor.
Bellatrix stared for a moment at the body, a state of calm as she summoned the wands lying on the floor. The only sound was that of Tonks sobbing quietly next to her dead husband.
Bellatrix marched over. Grabbing the pink hair of the young woman and jerking her head up to face her. “Get up!” she barked.
Tonks yelped in pain as she was dragged to her feet.
“Stupid idiot, You have a child what the fuck are you doing here!” Bellatrix shouted. She grabbed the young witch's face to look at her closely.
“You have a son, Don’t be a fucking Hero, go to him. There is nothing for you here!” she pushed her backward into a classroom causing her to stumble.
“But Remus, I can’t” She sobbed looking at her dead husband.
“The fight will finish, Claim the body then!” Impatiently she handed the girl her wand. And looking towards the class fireplace. A strong, complex incantation was muttered as she broke down the anti-apparition wards to the classroom. Her lord was powerful, but some of his spells were learned from Bellatrix herself.
Tonks looked at Bellatrix, unsure what to say, she cast an ignition spell, grabbing green powder from the overturned bowl and threw them into the flames, her eyes locked to the dark ones of her estranged aunt as she disappeared.
Narcissa looked on as she watched the golden trio sneak towards the shrieking shack, she had seen Snape enter a few moments earlier, eager to find him with word of her son's safety. She moved towards the back of the building, likely to run into Potter and his friends skulking in the front if she attempted to enter. She threw her invisibility cloak over herself and headed to the rear of the building, at least from here she would be able to hear inside.
She lurked around the dirty windows. A candle glow was enough to know which room was being used. She could not quite hear the conversation as it happened. It sounded like the Darklord was agitated about something, she could see through the grime of the window as he paced back and forth in the room.
She jumped slightly as she heard the thud against the wall. Hesitantly stepping forward she heard the thud once again, and two more in consecutive thuds one after another before the slamming of the door at the front. She stepped around to the edge of the building, taking her steps slowly and quietly not to be noticed as she clenched the invisibility cloak tightly around herself. She saw the Darklord followed closely by the snake heading independently back to the forest.
Something seemed off as she moved back towards the shack. The golden trio had not yet emerged, nor had Severus, She pulled out the wand Bella had given her, ready to cast a spell should it be needed, the hallway was empty as she headed towards the doorway with a dull light emitting from it, hearing whispered voices of frustration.
“Take them” Snape struggled with his breathing, his eyes bore straight into the Emerald Green of Harry.
“I need a vial, Something!” He snapped as Hermione struggled to reach deep into her bag, she managed a small vial in the grasp of her fingers as she shoved it to Harry, he moved it towards the potions master's face, collecting the tears that began to fall, as his breathing began to falter.
“Severus!” Narcissa shrieked as she ran forward. She shoved the dark-haired boy out of the way as his friends looked on surprised, she quickly assessed his wounds “Fucking snake” she hissed, pointing the wand towards his neck where his hand clung to weeping wounds. She chanted a spell, Harry remembered Snape humming the same tune to Draco back in the Bathroom so long ago. His wounds barely sealed before gushing open again, the venom was still potent in his bloodstream.
“Bezoar, We need a Bezoar!” She spoke up frustrated, Hermione not missing a beat dug into her bag, she was so sure she had a supply. Her fingertips brushed against the pebble-like object and she thrust it out.
“Here.” she passed it to the blonde witch who looked up, a glimpse of hope as Snape gasped more shallowly for breath, she tipped his head up and shoved it in his mouth violently.
“Swallow'' she commanded. He gasped. “Swallow dammit Severus!” the urgency in her voice was obvious. She watched as his eyes closed for a moment. Turmoil on her features as she realised one of her few true friends had passed. He coughed, clutching his throat as he wheezed air into his lungs, She hummed the chant once again resealing the wounds with more determination. Severus was weak, but he was alive. The wounds still would not seal completely, she needed to get him to the manor for blood replenishment and the antidote to help seal the wounds, luckily she had been aware of the snake attack on Arthur Weasley previously and worked hard to find the details of the antidote used to heal him.
The Golden trio looked on in shocked silence. “Leave” Narcissa hissed without a glance at them. “Finish what you have started, I need to take him to a place of safety.” She continued. Harry looked ready to say something as intense blue eyes looked at him, he still stared at Snape, a mixture of emotions before realising Narcissa was staring at him. “Leave!” and without hesitation, Narcissa grabbed at the bicep of Snape, held her borrowed wand out, and with one last glance at the trio, disapparated them both from the shack.
Harry looked on still clasping the vial. Confused at the Blonde witch and her abrupt departure. He looked at the other two for any sort of reaction. they looked as dumbstruck as he had been.
“I need to see these.” He spoke in determination as he stood up. A moment of inspiration as he remembered the place he last used a pensive of memories. “I need to get to the headmaster's office!” He announced, they left the cabin, once again with a plan.
Bellatrix had barely managed to retreat to the forest unnoticed as the Darklord announced a ceasefire to mourn the dead, she hoped Potter was gullible enough to come to them after the summoning, it would take the right calculated moment to get the snake and then ultimately end his life. Without risking her own.
She found the Deatheater’s in the forest. The tension was thick, most stood away from their master, scared to be in harm's way if things didn't go his way. The hour was almost up. There was still no sign of the boy. Narcissa had arrived back in a hurry just after Bella had returned, her face ashen but she said nothing, looking round for Draco who had yet to return.
“I thought he would come.” The Darklord spoke, surprised. No one answered. Only Bellatrix brave enough to stand close by keeping her head down,
A crackle of twigs could be heard. Voldemort turned to see Harry walking towards him, A sense of calm as the boy simply stood in front of him in ultimate surrender.
“Harry Potter” Voldemort spoke calmly.
“The boy who lived” The Elder wand raised
The boy fell to the floor, unmoving, a crowd stood and looked on in silence, no one dared move.
“Is he dead?” Voldemort commanded. It was hard to tell at this distance. But Bella needed to know for sure. She walked forward towards the body, bending down with her back to the crowd.
For a second the body was lifeless, then she felt the pulse jump to life, the boy's eyes flinched ever so slightly. Realisation hit in shock as she confirmed he was alive.
“Kill the snake, then kill him, it's the only way. Do you understand?” she whispered. His eyelashes flickered but no other indication was given. She turned around.
“Dead.” She confirmed, Standing up and walking away, her occlumency walls tightened shut.
“Let the halfbreed carry his body.” The Darklord commanded, he marched with his followers back to the castle to claim his victory.
The crowd gathered, a look of shock and sorrow as Hagrid, still sobbing took Harry's limp body into the courtyard. She did not listen as they stood in their ranks. The Darklord mocked the survivors, his demands and ultimatum for killing a boy seemed long gone. The only time her attention turned from Potter's body was to see an injured boy hopping towards them.
Neville Longbottom. he had grown into quite the tough young man compared to the baby she saved from her brother-in-law so long ago. He broke into a speech, surprising them all as he pulled a familiar sword from the rag in his hands.
It all happened in a flash as Potter dropped from the giant's arms, A spell blasted towards the snake as it curled around her master's legs. An angry roar erupted from her master as he shot spells towards the wall the boy had lunged behind. All chaos broke out. Bellatrix threw up a shield as she followed the crowd, she needed to know where Potter and the snake were, they were so close to succeeding. She saw the streak of blonde as Narcissa and Draco ran for the apparition point, They were safe, that's all that mattered.
She threw out spells and shields as she set on her path. Unfortunately, the young Weasley girl took it upon herself to try and take down the dark witch. Bellatrix countered each hex with some ease, the girl was determined to fight, and her aim was good, Bella had to admire that. However, more people began to turn and fight, the young blonde girl that had lived in the dungeons at the manor came to aid Weasley, however, her spells almost seemed half hearted than meant with any aggression.
“Not my daughter you Bitch!” The banshee screech of Molly Weasley echoed from the walls as she rushed through towards Bellatrix. Bellatrix could wipe them all but knew it was wasted bloodshed and she needed to find the Lord, she had had enough of the fight. And as the Weasley matriarch raised her wand with meaning Bella had an idea. Aufugio was a spell she had only cast once, to self vanish and project some distance away before reappearing, She had to be ready. It had to be the moment Molly’s spell hit in order to make it look convincing. And as the spell came hurtling towards her she thought the incantation in her head, the spell hitting a shield directly in front of the place she stood, giving the impression of obliterating into thousands of pieces.
She opened her eyes as she landed once again at the boundary of the forbidden forest. Unsure where to go she was about to head for the partially demolished bridge when she heard the commotion, she looked on as the two interlocked wizards hurtled down the side of the castle wall, they scrambled up as the bright beams interlocked as they dueled aggressively in the courtyard. It was only the sharp slicing sound of the sword that stopped the fight, The snake's head rolled down the steps as the Dark lord looked on in disbelief.
He threw his wand up the killing curse ripped from the wand as Harry threw out his expelliarmus. The Elder wand jerked from the Darklords hand, hurtling into the air as the killing curse backfired towards him. It ripped him from his feet, throwing him through the air before his lifeless body slumped to the ground.
Voldemort had been defeated.
Bellatrix awoke abruptly, her neck stiff from leaning against the side of the wingback chair while she slumbered. She cracked her neck to the side and stood up stretching out from her uncomfortable sleeping position. She was surprised she had slept at all, her mind catching up with her and the realisation of the previous day's events.
He was dead. The man who had guided her path since she was 15 years old was gone. She had betrayed him in the final hour, the thought alone brought the stinging of tears from her eyes as she choked with grief. She needed to unleash her anger. She threw her wand up, the one he had given her. But nothing came from the end, no spell would spit out despite her summoning her rage into the core as she pointed it at the opposing chair, willing so hard to destroy it, in the end, she manually tossed it over with the little strength she had left. It didn’t make her feel any better.
She went to the door, only to find it was sealed. Realisation dawning she was sealed and her magic useless. She growled, kicking and thumping the door in a rage before eventually giving up. She turned realising for the first time she was in her sister's hidden room, not even remembering how she even got here from Hogwarts.
The far end of the room was different, initially, it had been a reasonable size area in the corner left empty. Bellatrix had not paid much attention to the details of the room on her previous visits, but she was surprised she had missed this up until now.
In the corner a large pearl coloured magical shield covered the corner of the room, the green shimmer confirmed it was in fact an immunity shield. A very powerful spell used to protect the most vulnerable patients close to death, even many experienced healers at St mungos rarely used such a complex piece of magic, it still baffled Bella how clever her younger sister could be.
‘ Who?’ She wondered as to who her sister would protect, clearly someone important. Master? She thought for a second before shaking her head. No of course not, she had seen him die before her eyes. He was not coming back, and her sister had initiated that plan to dispose of him in the first place.
“Draco?” she shouted, a slither of fear as she reached forward towards the barrier. 3 inches from its surface Bella pushed against it, but like an invisible wall it kept her out. He was safe, he had to be. He looked fine when they ran the last she had seen of him and her sister.
Her thoughts were interrupted when a sound zapped from where she had previously sat. the telltale snap of elven magic as a plate of food appeared on the small table with a goblet. She had absolutely no appetite but knew it was important to eat. She ate the sandwiches provided, washing it down with the wine in the goblet, staring into the flames and thinking to herself. She had no idea of time, how long she had been down here and how long she would be. The mere thought of being caged caused her to feel on edge. She needed a distraction and turned to the small pile of books on the table. Some of the books appeared odd with strange titles as Bellatrix ruffled through them. They weren't leather-bound but rather covered with thick paper, no moving pictures and strange titles such as ‘GCSE Biology’ and ‘Science for Dummies’. She recalled her sister mentioning the word ‘Science’ remembering it being part of her muggle research and dropped the book in disgust before grabbing what looked to be a worn journal tied shut with ribbon.
She walked back to the chair, holding the book, and suddenly feeling overwhelmingly tired, she slumped down, trying to untangle the knot on the journal, but instead the book slumped onto her lap as she fell unconscious before the knot was even loose.
“Wake up!” the harsh whisper and shaking disoriented her slightly, a slight feeling of deja vu of waking awkwardly in the chair once more was forgotten at the sight of Narcissa hovering above her. Bella bent forward to stand, almost toppling over as her sister caught her in time and pushed her back into the chair, her head feeling heavy and spinning as she tried to focus.
“Drink this, it will clear your head,” Narcissa instructed, holding a glass towards her. Bellatrix took it from her. Gulping it down before realising it wasn't water but the foul taste of wiggenweld potion.
She spat out the last of it, at this point feeling her head clear as she looked at her sibling suspiciously. “Why are you giving me wiggenweld?”
“Antidote to make you feel better”
“You drugged me?!”
“Only a mild sedative . . “
“A mild sed-, you laced my bloody food with Draught of Living Death again didn't you!”
Narcissa, not taking the bite, turned with little interest from her sister as she went to the pearl shield. Holding up her wand and chanting a soft tune as it slowly started to fade.
“What happened to Draco?”
Narcissa turned, confused until she saw her sister looking at the shield. “It's not Draco” Narcissa answered as the shield dismantled completely and she stepped forward towards the bed, Severus Snape was very pale, Several large puncture wounds around his neck still oozed.
“Snivellus?” Bellatrix spat in disgust.
“He was a double agent,” Narcissa confessed.
“I always knew he was a traitor.” Narcissa stood up in anger at this comment. She stared at her sister. “Just like us then” she uttered before turning back to analyze her patient.
Bellatrix turned away in the huff, leaving her sister in the corner. She noted the journal she picked up the night before. Pulling at the knot she loosened it this time. The pages unfolding showing scribbles from her sister's rushed notes. A list of names appeared to have been written some last names she recognised, some not so much from the few she could make out under scribbles to mark them off, she barely caught sight of the name ‘Granger’ Circled on the list before the Journal was snatched from her.
“That's private.” Narcissa snapped, tying it shut. Bellatrix rolled her eyes. Looking over at Snape once more, noting he was at least a shade less pale than earlier, his luck he would live of course.
“Here,” Narcissa handed over a paper bag with two smaller packages inside, one with a warm croissant, the other with a custard danish pastry. Bellatrix looked up confused.
“Breakfast is to go this morning, you need to leave shortly.”
“Are the elves on strike or something?”
“No. There is currently no one in residence, for the last two days most have been sent to Hogwarts and the Ministry to clean up, I had to order this in this morning in order to feed myself and the Aurors.
“Yes, Bella. Draco is currently under caution and being questioned as we speak, Lucius is awaiting punishment and is in solitary confinement in the meantime and I am under house arrest. I cannot leave the grounds.”
“So what do we do now?”
“We? Nothing, I need to wait this out and look after Severus, I cannot leave the grounds but I am not watched 24/7. You need to go elsewhere.”
“You just said we can't leave the grounds?”
“I Said ‘I’ can’t, they don’t even know you’re here alive and well, the rumor is you were obliterated by Molly Weasley.” Narcissa chuckled as Bellatrix pulled a face. She pulled a comb from her pocket.
“Take it, it will take you to a safe house, I will come when I can.”
“Where is it?”
“The lake? That place has been abandoned for years, how do you know it's not destroyed?”
“Because I never neglected our inheritance, The lake house is safe, the elves have kept it in good condition and made it habitable just for this situation, There are no leaks, no one knows its location, it's unplottable. It's safe Bella, please I need to know your safe until I can sort this, Just a few days, and then we begin”
Bellatrix reluctantly took the comb, she trusted her sister. It glowed to life and took her to the safe house.
I took a break for a few months from the fandom after some personal circumstances, I apologise it took so long for me to update.
Chapter 7: 7
St Oswalds Hospital had quite a reputation in its time, but like many Victorian-built hospitals, decay was starting to show through the cracks. Funding to repair and upgrade was non-existent from the government, so you can imagine the delight of Stanley Trenchwood the director of St Oswalds, when a ‘Madame Jett’ contacted offering a generous donation to the facility in exchange for a tour of the building which he eagerly agreed to.
He straightened his tie as the desk clerk buzzed through telling him his donator had arrived, rushing to the door with welcoming smile he was taken aback by the beautiful blonde lady standing gracefully at the door, he could tell she had come from money but couldn’t help but wonder about her odd sense of style to wear a black poncho? Or was it a cloak he wondered?
“Mr Trenchwood?” Her voice questioned gently, she held her hand out.
“Madame Jett” he eagerly took the hand, bending down to kiss the back of it. She jerked her hand away.
“Yes” she answered wiping said hand with the back of a handkerchief she pulled from her purse. “I believe you were going to show me your research department, As requested?”
“Of course” he eagerly responded, bowing slightly and gesturing left with his arms. “This way please.”
Narcissa trailed behind the muggle as he continued his rehearsed monologue, leading her round various departments. She tried her best to hide her repulsed face when hearing descriptive comments on some of the procedures carried out, she knew muggles didn’t have magic, but the sheer lengths they went through to survive was almost barbaric. Narcissa made a mental note to remove all the Muggle medical books from her office, goodness knows what new forms of torture the deatheaters would find if they get hold of those.
“… and finally we come to the Kidney research department, I believe this was where your interest mainly lies in our research program Madam Jett?” he smiled an oily smile as she turned her attention back to the man.
“Indeed, I would like to see the new Dialysis machine I requested you test out with my donation,” She carefully pronounced Dialysis, knowing she had practiced it several times with the security guard before entering, and obliviated him of course after he confirmed she had it correct.
“Ah, yes. It’s over here.” he answered, gesturing to a compact machine, gleaming fresh out of the box. “We Haven’t actually finished setting it up for use yet.” He continued, though Narcissa was no longer listening, she looked at the machine, her plan had worked. She looked around for any other workers before pulling her wand from her robe. Trenchwood stared blankly at her as she ruffled whatever it was back into her pocket.
“Forgive me Madam Jett, I forget what I was saying.” he apologised, confused, he didn't remember getting to the research department from his office so quickly.
“You look unwell Mr Trenchwood, you appear to have blacked out for a moment, perhaps we should schedule my visit for another day?”
“My assistant will be in touch,” she concluded and dismissed herself quickly from the room.
Trenchwood headed to the consultant's office. Hoping one of the doctors or at least a nurse would be present to check him over. He managed to find a nurse to check his vitals with no unusual activity. He was about to head to his office when the department head came running behind him.
“Mr Trenchwood, where are the new machines? We are just about to set them up for testing and no one can locate them within the department?”
“What are you talking about Watson, All stock is right he-” he pointed to the empty space on the central counter. Rubbing his head for a moment as if trying to remember. It was at that moment Trenchwood started to panic, oh how he wished he had scheduled that new CCTV set up to be installed last week instead of next week.
Hermione stirred groggily as someone shrugged against her shoulder. She looked up from her pillow to see it was Harry staring down at her,
“The minister wants to see you.” He whispered before looking across to make sure he hadn’t disturbed Ginny.
Hermione dressed quietly before descending the rickety staircase of the burrow, low muttering could be heard from the room below. Still in a sleepish haze Hermione was partially confused why the minister wanted to see her.
She rubbed her eyes as she padded into the living room. Harry was standing still in his pajamas alongside Arthur in his dressing gown both looked up as she entered the living room, The muttering from Kinglsey Shacklebolt and another Auror who she did not recognise stopped as they looked towards her.
“Good morning Hermione, I am sorry to disturb you at an early hour but unfortunately as we try to settle everyone certain duties cannot wait.” He explained in a manner of importance.
Hermione nodded, knowing if she said anything else it would only draw out what inevitable favour she was about to be asked.
“We have an issue that has been occurring over the last couple of weeks in the muggle world, I am hoping you can assist the Auror I am putting on the case.
To say she was annoyed was an understatement. 5 days, 5 days it had been since Voldemort had finally been defeated, and in those few days she had barely left Ginny's room, sleeping, relaxing, healing. Harry had run out the second he could to further help wherever he could, he needed to fulfil that impending need even without a Dark lord or prophecy in place. And Ron being needy, chased straight after immersing himself in whatever glory worship he could achieve.
“What do you need me to do exactly?” Ready to say no at any suggestion of risk, she had done her part. Her priority now was to sort herself and find her parents, not that anyone was aware of this.
“We have had reports of several muggle hospitals having equipment stolen. Nobody knows who, how or why? We only linked them together under the strange circumstances reported”
“You think it’s a wizard?”
“We believe so yes, there are signs of obliviation to the participants reported, we have unspeakables working through the memories we managed to pry, but we are low on spare enforcement to put the time in to the case, however we are concerned how much these individuals are going out of their way to obtain this equipment”
“What exactly do you want me to do?”
“You understand muggles, you may be able to pick up on something simple we missed, I am pairing you with Auror Tonks, and you will liaise with Arthur of course once we locate and understand the machines”
Kingsley handed her a file. “I will send Tonks over for you this afternoon, in the meantime read through the notes we have collected so far. And Miss Granger, this information doesn’t leave this room?”
She took the file and nodded. Turning back towards the kitchen, not even waiting to be dismissed.
“Hermione,” Arthur called after putting his hand on her shoulder, “feel free to use my study if you need some privacy for that” he smiled looking down at the file.
“Thankyou” she answered. She turned knowing she couldn’t sleep now and made a cup of tea before heading to the study with the file.
The door burst open with no warning of a knock,
“You could have knocked Ron” Hermione grumbled as she slammed the file shut.
“Sorry” he apologised, “Tonks is asking for you, she’s in the kitchen with mum”
Hermione picked up the file hugging it to her body and shuffled past him.
“Wotcher Hermione” Tonks called, her voice soft and a sad smile on her face. Hermione said nothing but instead walked straight to the other witch and hugged her tightly.
“You of all people shouldn’t be working right now” she whispered.
“Have to, distracts me” she answered with tear stained eyes as she pulled back.
“Would you like to stay for lunch Nymphadora?” Molly asked from the stove.
“No thanks I’d rather get straight into work if Hermione's happy to start with me this afternoon” she looked at Hermione.
“Sure, let me just get my bag.”
Hermione ran upstairs grabbing her pre-packed bag, she was never unprepared after the last years shenanigans, she shoved the file in with the rest of the belongings, grabbed a coat and headed back downstairs.
“See you later” she called to everyone hurrying out the door after Tonks.
“We’re going to my mums if that’s ok?” Tonks explained as they walked across the garden.
“That’s fine,” Hermione smiled. She took Tonk's offered hand before Apparating out.
They landed in a small clearing. A large log cabin stood ahead of them well hidden in the pine trees towering around it, most of the land around it had been cultivated into vegetable patches.
“Mum lives off grid,'' Tonks explained as she noticed Hermione’s look of surprise.
They walked through the door, it’s hinges squeaking as it was pushed shut. Tonks pulled off her coat and hung it on the pegs on the wall of the hallway before walking into the first room on the left, Hermione followed suit finding herself in the kitchen, Teddy squealing with happiness as his mum went to pick him out of his chair. Andromeda was by the stove, stirring what looked to be soup in a large pan, she smiled towards her family as Teddy reached happily towards his mother.
“Hello Hermione” Andromeda acknowledged the Muggleborn shyly hovering in the doorway, “Take a seat we don’t bite” she continued noticing the fleeting scared look on the girl's face.
Hermione sat down feeling silly for the fleeting thought of how much she looked like her sister, from afar it could be her identical twin and yet Andromeda's hair was much lighter and her eyes much softer.
Andromeda placed a bowl of soup in front of her and Tonks before returning with one for herself and some bread. “Thank you Mrs Tonks” Hermione whispered as she took a slice of the offered bread.
“Call me Andy,” she smiled.
“You don't mind working from here do you Hermione?” Tonks asked, dipping some bread in her soup.
“Not at all”
“Great. It’s easier than trying to secure an office right now, and I don’t like being too far from Teddy since his dad-“ she stopped throwing her hands to her face to hide her tears. Andy patted her daughter's arm as her daughter tried to hold back the sobs.
“The house has always been unplottable, no one knows about it outside of the family, apart from the minister and now you, Hermione.” Andy explained. As she accio’d a box of tissues across this kitchen for her daughter.
“I know you’re staying at the Burrow, but I figured you might like somewhere a bit less crowded,” Tonks explained as she wiped her face with a tissue.
“What my daughter is saying is you're welcome to stay here if you wish Hermione.”
Hermione was caught off guard at the offer, not expecting this fragile family to open up their home for her so easily.
“Thank you” was all she could say as they were disturbed from a popping sound in the kitchen.
“Hi Donny” Tonks called towards the house elf that appeared.
“Hello miss!” The elf squeaked before it eagerly began putting away pans from the drying rack.
“Donny is another house guest, she is staying with us until she can find a new employer as her previous mistress set her free before she died. She insists on helping in the house to pay her way” Tonks explained as the elf happily whistled about her work.
She finished her soup and picked up her bowl taking it towards the sink. She pulled her sleeves up slightly as she rinsed the bowl under the tap. Andromeda joined her side with the other dirty bowls. Her gasp was not missed by Hermione, who had a pretty good feeling what caused it, her suspicion confirmed when she looked up to see the older witch staring at the ‘Blood’ part of her scar sticking out under her sleeve.
A look of despair on Andy’s face as she continued to stare. “I’m sorry, I didn't mean to stare.”
“It’s fine” Hermione reassured her, she was used to people staring at it after this long.
“May I-” She gestured to the sleeve. Hermione pulled it up, fully revealing the angry red mark.
“It’s still weeping?” she asked, looking closely.
“Yes.” Hermione confirmed.
“Interesting . . .” She said, dropping the arm and marching off towards the archway into the next room. Hermione was confused and looked at Tonks who was equally as confused and shrugged her shoulders waiting for her Mum to return.
Andromeda returned a minute later with a cloak wrapped around her.
“I am going out” she announced heading for the doorway.
“Okay” Tonks answered, distracted by a biscuit she was eating. “Where?”
“I want to see my sister.” She answered, the door shutting behind her.
“Alright. . . What!?” Tonks jumped up as it sank it what her mother had said, she ran past Hermione to the doorway,
“Mum! What the hell?”
“I need to confirm something” She called heading to the apparition point.
“Shit, Donny! Can you please watch Teddy I won't be long I promise!” Tonks shouted as she jumped around on one foot trying to stick her shoe on the other. Hermione ran after them, knowing this wasn't good and not really sure what else to do.
“Of course Miss Nymphadora!” Donny shouted excitedly
“It’s Tonks!” She shouted correcting the elf as she ran down the garden path to where her mum had just apparated from, she grabbed Hermione's arm apparating them both straight after.
The loud banging of the knocker almost caused the auror to jump out of his skin. The shifts guarding Malfoy manor was slow and boring but safe for new recruits like Zinc Mulberry who had just been sworn in after the war had finally ended. The lanky boy turned to the door, scraping for his wand as he unbolted the latch.
“Name and reason for Visit?” He croaked through the crack of the door.
“Andromeda Tonks, I want to see my sister.” She instructed,
“Mum, what the hell are we doing here?” Tonks angrily whispered from behind.
“Let them in Burberry,” The calm tone of Narcissa Filtered through from the Stairwell.
“It's Mulberry,” he muttered. Opening the door allowing entry. Andromeda walked in holding her head high, she looked up, seeing her youngest sister for the first time in decades.
They looked at each other for a moment both emotionless or at least appearing that way. Hermione felt small as she hovered in the background, uncomfortable about where she was. Tonk’s was holding her wand, ready to strike at the slight chance of attack.
“What do I owe thee pleasure?” Narcissa asked, her hand still on the banister.
Andromeda moved to the foot of the stairs.
“I wanted to see my sister.” She repeated again. Narcissa stepped back slightly and turned sideways as she gestured for Andromeda to join her up the stairs.
“Stay here” she ordered as she began ascending the stairs, Tonks gobsmacked but knew her mother meant business. She watched helplessly as her mother reached the top of the stairs, walking past the blonde without looking at her. Narcissa looked down on the two girls for a brief second before turning after her estranged sister.
Narcissa led her to a small drawing room, sitting herself down and gesturing for Andromeda to join her on the couch opposite. The tension could be cut through with a knife as the silence deafened the room. Andromeda ignored the gesture to sit, instead, she walked towards the mantelpiece by the fire, looking at the small photo frames. One caught her attention specifically and she picked it up to look closer.
“Well you're here, now what?” Narcissa asked, getting impatient.
“I already told you why I’m here.” Andromeda answered, turning towards the blonde.
Narcissa looked at her confused about contradicting her when Andy continued.
“I want to see my sister” She reiterated once again, holding up the photograph of Bellatrix.