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she murders with a kiss

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What follows more she murders with a kiss.

— William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis

In retrospect, Tonks thought wryly, it should have been obvious.

She thought back to her childhood, to a moment when she had caught her mother in tears. At the time, it had struck her as odd — her mother had rarely been weepy — but she hadn’t grasped the importance of the incident or its odd timing.

She had been a small, inquisitive child, fond of playing outside, exploring the nearby woods, and going camping with her father. Any strange phenomenon — like the odd choking noise in the night that had disturbed her dreams — had to be investigated.

Which was how she found her mother, stretched out on her side of the bed, clutching a small, intricately carved wooden box. At first, she only registered the absence of her father, which was strange enough in itself. She had never known them to spend a night apart. It took her another moment to realise that her mother was crying, tears streaming down her stained cheeks.

Her bare feet padded into her mother’s room. “Mum?”

As Andromeda looked up at her daughter, a complicated expression played across her face. “Dora!’ she cried, in an unconvincing impression of airiness. “I didn’t hear you.” She scrambled to her feet, gathering the papers that had been strewn around her and stuffing them into the wooden box.

“What are you doing?”

Her mother didn’t answer. Instead, she wiped at her face and straightened her hair. She looked older, strained, as though she had aged ten years overnight. Still trying to hide her face, she tucked the box under one arm, pushing past her daughter into the hallway. Tonks remembered staring after her, utterly confused. In the dim evening night, something caught her eye: a stray photograph that had fallen to the floor as her mother rushed away.

Tonks had picked it up, of course.

It was a small, slightly aged wizarding photograph, not like the ridiculous stationary ones her dad sometimes took. And there was her mother, younger and happier than Tonks had ever seen her. She was lying back on a pillow, her expression relaxed. Next to her, with a hand wrapped lovingly around her, was another woman. She was beautiful in a dangerous way: mouth drawn into a sharp smile, her shiny dark hair spread loose on the pillow.

She should have seen the resemblance then, of course. Like most children, however, Tonks saw her mother as a nondescript composite of all her features; she had never paid much attention to her individual details.

As Tonks watched, the figures in the photo drew closer. The woman clasped an easy hand around Andromeda’s jaw, pulling her in for a kiss.

Tonks had seen people kissing before, but she had never seen anything like this. As she watched, the woman threaded a hand through Andromeda’s hair and pulled.

Tonks couldn’t tear her eyes away from the other woman. Her deep-set eyes were dark and challenging as she pulled back from the kiss, biting Andromeda’s lower lip.

A noise from the hallway made Tonks jump, dropping the photograph. Her mother had returned. The wooden box she had been carrying was nowhere to be found.

“Sorry for giving you a start,” her mother said. Her eyes were puffy, but she looked marginally calmer, more cheerful. “Let’s get you back to bed.”

Tonks had never gotten an explanation, not really.

Though Tonks went back to look for the photograph later, it had disappeared. She searched the house for it, looking in all her parents’ favourite hiding places, but never found a trace of the picture, or any other photographs of the woman. She did, however, find remnants of the wooden box in the fireplace.

Over time, her mother’s face grew fuller, brighter, as she lost the sad shadows under her eyes. Her father eventually started sleeping in her mother’s bed again. There were other, more exciting riddles to be solved and adventures to be had.

The memory faded — just another insignificant childhood mystery — but Tonks never forgot the woman’s face, the predatory curve of her mouth as she smirked.

The first time Tonks recognized the woman from the photograph during an Auror training exercise, she thought she must be dreaming.

The woman had haunted her dreams for years. As a child, the dreams were mostly innocent, though the woman’s sharp smile threatened to bite Tonks if she stared too long. As she grew older, however, Tonks’ nightly visitor took on a darker quality.

When Tonks fell asleep these days, the woman followed her home, slipping through the shadows as she stalked Tonks through the streets. Tonks would try to lose her, darting through dark alleys at a run, but she could always hear the woman’s footsteps drawing closer. When the woman caught her — and she always caught her — she taunted Tonks, laughing as she bound Tonks’ hands behind her back with a cruelly efficient flick of her wand. Sometimes she vanished Tonks’ clothes with a spell; other times she ripped them apart with her sharp nails. Sometimes she crushed Tonks’ hands and fingers under her tall, menacing boots.

In her dreams, Tonks could feel the painful press of the alleyway’s stones as she lay flat on her back, the rush of cool air over her naked body. The woman would tower over her, wand raised, a look of hunger in her eyes.

She always knew what was coming next, inevitable and inescapable. The woman would take two fingers and press them to Tonks’ mouth, wetting them against Tonks’ tongue. Her fingers would trail down, scratching Tonks’ skin with her fingernails until Tonks was writhing under her touch. Sometimes, she slapped Tonks across the face, pressing her cheek into the stones. Other times she tore at Tonks’ skin with her nails, leaving marks across her shivering flesh. Still other times she merely pressed her nails into Tonks’ mouth until they came away dark with blood.

Every single dream ended the same way, with the woman looming over her, coldly appraising Tonks’ bare form. She would look down, lip curling disdainfully, at Tonks’ bare cunt, exposed and desperate. She would press her fingers — coated in Tonks’ own blood — against her swollen, aching heat. It was never enough, never meant to satisfy: just enough for the woman to sense Tonks’ arousal, to make her scream. Then, without a word, the woman would disappear back down the alley, leaving nothing behind but a flash of black fabric, the click of a heel on the stone ground.

The shame came next, washing over Tonks like a downpour of water. Despite her terror at finding herself powerless, defenseless, she wanted this woman more than anything she had ever wanted in her life. And the woman — cold, powerful, and dangerous — knew what Tonks wanted.

Tonks had almost convinced herself that she had dreamt up the photograph, the product of an overactive childhood imagination. But here she was: not quite solid, but definitely real.

Auror Robards had pioneered the idea of using memories for the trainees. They didn’t do it often — the memories were often too distressing to relive more than a couple of times — but it allowed the trainees to observe firsthand from older Aurors’ mistakes.

This time, she was watching Mad-Eye Moody’s memories, the first time he had allowed her to do so. It was a raid gone wrong, he had warned her, in which his target had disarmed him and escaped.

A younger Mad-Eye Moody stalked around the memory, slightly less scarred than in the present. And here, duelling him, was the woman from the photograph — older, harsher, but with the same savage beauty — artfully dodging the disarming spell Mad-Eye had just shot her way.

“Not your favourite aunt, eh, Tonks?” the real Mad-Eye asked, appearing beside her in the memory. He watched, wincing slightly, as the woman shot a spell at him, grazing his side and exposing a newly-charred patch of flesh underneath his robes.

“Aunt?” Tonks repeated blankly. She tore her attention away from the younger Mad-Eye, who was clearly losing the fight.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t know,” Mad-Eye said, incredulous. In front of him, the other Mad-Eye leapt backwards, cursing, as the woman set his flesh aflame once more. “That’s Bellatrix Lestrange.” When Tonks didn’t respond, he added, “Your aunt.”

Tonks gaped at him. She had heard of the Lestranges, of course. Their family was infamous, particularly around the Ministry, which was littered with the family members of people they’d killed. She’d never realised that they were related.

“You see my mistake here,” the real Mad-Eye said, pointing out the way the memory Mad-Eye had briefly glanced away from his attacker. He was attempting to put out the wicked flames now searing his flesh. “I let my defences fall, even for the slightest moment, and—”

Seizing her opportunity, Bellatrix attacked, lashing out like a vicious, wounded creature. It was as if every assault was deeply personal, as if her very life was on the line.

Tonks had never seen anyone overpower Mad-Eye. Even now, aged and battered, he was a menacing duelling opponent. Here, though, he was clearly overwhelmed. Bellatrix’s skill was unparalleled, her anger unmatched. She was a terror like this, with her hair spinning out wildly around her as she shot spell after spell at the memory of Mad-Eye, who finally toppled over in defeat, bleeding heavily from a new wound on his shoulder.

The real Mad-Eye looked down with disgust at his fallen, unconscious form. Blood pooled beneath him, staining the ground. “Damn her. If I’d just managed to miss that curse...”

With a swirl of colour, the Auror office materialised before them. Mad-Eye reached out a rough hand to prevent Tonks from stumbling backwards. Her knees had gone weak.

“Unpleasant, isn’t it?” Mad-Eye said gruffly. “Watching it back. Seeing her get away.”

Tonks nodded, still dizzy. She felt as though something was bubbling just under her skin. She didn’t mention the source of her discomfort, though. Seeing her mentor’s defeat — his charred flesh, his blood coursing over the ground — had been disturbing, of course. But it had been seeing the woman — seeing Bellatrix — that made Tonks feel so unsteady.

“Lucky backup came when it did,” Mad-Eye said, a faraway look in his eyes. “I can’t show you — for one thing, I was out cold, and for another, they’re all dead now — but they prevented her from finishing me off.” He gave a wry smile. “It’ll take more than that to kill me.”

Tonks unsuccessfully attempted to return his smile.

Regarding her with some concern, Mad-Eye shifted restlessly from one foot to another. Tonks heard his wooden leg creak. “You’re lucky you couldn’t experience the memory fully, you know.” He shuddered slightly. “I’ll never forget the smell. Melting robes, burning flesh. And this was back when I still had my sense of smell.”

Tonks didn’t reply. She had so many questions, but she wasn’t sure she was ready to hear the answers.

“That was before Voldemort fell, of course,” Mad-Eye said, with a bitter grin that revealed his many missing teeth.

“She was caught later?” Tonks was surprised to hear how quiet her voice had become. Of course, she knew the answer to this. She knew the Lestranges were rotting in Azkaban where they belonged.

Mad-Eye grunted. “Not soon enough.”

Tonks considered. Was this why her mother had never mentioned that she had a sister? Or — a jealous heat spread across Tonks’ insides — was it because of their relationship, their unnatural closeness that Andromeda had never discussed Bellatrix with her daughter?

“Take a break,” Mad-Eye said, surveying her closely. Despite her preoccupation, Tonks’ heart swelled with appreciation for him, for the way he treated her like a favourite daughter. She was the first person in the department he had allowed to watch his memories, the only one he trusted enough to see his mistakes.

“I’m good to keep training,” she protested, somewhat embarrassed. She didn’t want his pity.

Mad-Eye shook his head. “Take a break,” he said again, patting her on the shoulder as though she was very young. “You’ve earned it.”

The thing was, she hadn’t. She wasn’t upset because she’d just seen her mentor fall victim to dark magic. She wasn’t nauseated by the sight of blood spreading from his unconscious form, but by the image of Bellatrix grinning as she watched.

Bellatrix had looked jubilant, radiant, looking down at his disarmed and bleeding form. The look on her face — triumph and hunger — was painfully familiar. It was the vision that appeared before Tonks every time she closed her eyes.

Tonks thought of the photograph she knew so well from her childhood. What had happened to turn that woman into the snarling, feral creature from Mad-Eye’s memories?

More importantly: why didn’t it change the way Tonks felt about her?

“It’s a long story,” her mother said, when Tonks had finally worked up the courage to ask.

It had taken Tonks nearly a year to finally mention Bellatrix’s name around her mother. She was a fully-qualified Auror now, busier than she had ever been. It wasn’t until the Azkaban breakout, however, that Tonks knew she had to voice the question that she’d been fixating on over the past year.

Now, Tonks spent her days at the Auror office learning everything there was to know about the newly-escaped Death Eaters. Too junior to join the hunt herself, she was stuck compiling reports about each escapee in turn. She tracked down information about their past crimes, looking for patterns and preferences. She studied their favourite curses, accomplices, and hiding places. From her research emerged a threatening, dark image: Bellatrix Lestrange, notorious and unrepentant killer, her loyal band of Death Eaters in tow.

Tonks couldn’t explain her certainty that Bellatrix would come for her. For all she knew, Bellatrix might not even know she existed. Still, the dreams were becoming more vivid these days. She would barely shut her eyes before she was faced with the vision of Bellatrix, cornering her down some dark alley. It was becoming increasingly hard to sleep at all.

Finally, Tonks had settled her mother down over breakfast to ask the question she’d been dreading: “Why didn’t you tell me you have a sister?”

Andromeda looked stricken. “How did you —”

“Bellatrix Lestrange,” Tonks said, unrolling a copy of the Daily Prophet and placing it on the kitchen table. Between them, Bellatrix’s face, unnaturally thin and haggard, snarled up at them from under a headline about potential Death Eater sightings. Tonks determinedly averted her eyes.

Andromeda’s face underwent a complicated transformation, switching between anger, fear, and something else — was it desire? — as she glanced down at the paper, before becoming determinedly neutral once more.

“You never told me,” Tonks said, a note of accusation creeping into her voice.

“We aren’t –— she’s hardly a sister of mine,” her mother said softly. She was still gazing down at the photograph of Bellatrix, as if unable to tear her eyes away. “You can see what she’s like now.”

There was an awkward, swelling silence as the gravity of Bellatrix’s crimes seemed to fill the room.

“We haven’t spoken since well before she got sent to Azkaban,” Andromeda continued. “My family — well, I can’t tell you what they’re like, exactly.”

“Try?” Tonks tried to sound comforting, understanding, but a touch of impatience coloured her voice. “You owe me that much.”

A muscle in Andromeda’s jaw twitched. “We fell out after I married your dad.”

“You and Bellatrix?”

Andromeda winced at the name, as though Tonks had uttered a curse. “Not just Bella.”

With a pang of something resembling jealousy, Tonks registered the use of the nickname.

“Narcissa — my other sister — and my parents disowned me as well.” Andromeda’s eyes had fallen shut now. It looked as though every word was costing her dearly. “They cut me off. They haven’t spoken to me in years, not even when I had you, and—”

Tonks’ anger, bubbling steadily under the surface, erupted. “You never told me about your sisters,” she said, an edge of betrayal in her voice. “How many other siblings have you kept a secret from me? I can’t believe you would—”

As she caught a look of her mother’s expression, though, any further protests stuck in her throat. There was such a look of loneliness on her mother’s face that Tonks couldn’t bear to hurt her. She fell silent.

“I had two sisters,” Andromeda said. “Or ‘have,’ I should say. They’re both alive.”

“Yeah, I gathered that,” Tonks said, unable to keep the resentment out of her voice.

There was an uncomfortable silence as they both glanced down at the photograph between them. In her prison robes, face crazed with anger, Bellatrix bore little resemblance to Andromeda at all. Bellatrix was all hard lines and edges, accentuating the sharpness of her face, whereas Andromeda’s severe bone structure was softened by her kind eyes, her easy smile. Tonks could barely believe they were related.

“They haven’t spoken to me since I was younger,” Andromeda said, and Tonks’ eyes snapped up again. “Since well before you were born. I’m sorry I never mentioned my family to you, but they’re—”

“What?” asked Tonks, impatient.

“Not very nice,” her mother finished lamely.

Tonks tried unsuccessfully not to roll her eyes.

“Narcissa and I were never close. Never had much in common, frankly.” Her mother’s expression was distant. “But Bella and I... well, we were close once.”

Tonks tilted her head. For a moment, the image of her mother kissing Bellatrix flashed before her eyes.

“What happened?” she asked finally, unsure she really wanted to know.

Her mother didn’t respond for a long time. When she did, she looked as though every word was painful to her. “We had a falling out. This was years ago, of course. We never saw each other again after that point.”


Her mother gave a heavy sigh. “It’s difficult to explain.” She looked deep in thought, far away.

“Try anyway,” Tonks urged again. “Please.”

“Well, we fell out after I married your father,” Andromeda said slowly, looking pained. “Because I married him, in fact.”

Tonks was overcome by such a sense of pity for her mother that she didn’t press her for more. “Because he’s Muggle-born?”

Andromeda gratefully accepted the easy out her daughter had given her. “Yes, love,” she said, leaning across the table and petting Tonks’ hair in a way she hadn’t done since Tonks had been very young. “Because he’s Muggle-born.”

After the fight at the Ministry, Tonks was positive: Bellatrix wanted her.

They had made eye contact, there in that darkened corner of the Department of Mysteries, and Tonks had felt Bellatrix rifling through her thoughts, conjuring up memory after memory. Tonks learning how to ride a broomstick, her father’s warm hands steadying her shoulders; striding into the Ministry of Magic on her first day as a trainee, jittery with nerves and excitement; picking up the worn, faded photograph of Bellatrix kissing Andromeda.

She had known the exact moment when Bellatrix realised who she was.

An evil, triumphant grin had split Bellatrix’s face. Even now, after years of madness in Azkaban, her smile was beautiful. It illuminated her face, making her resemblance to the woman in the photograph even stronger.

A wordless stunning spell held Tonks in place as Bellatrix continued to search through her thoughts. Whether she was looking for something specific or not, Tonks couldn’t have said. It was as though Tonks’ mind was as easy to peruse and explore as a book; Mad-Eye had never warned her about Legilimency as forceful and invasive as this. Her defences were useless in the face of such power.

It was everything she had ever dreaded. Her eyes, held open by the stunning spell, began to water. She needed to blink, to shut her eyes, to hide from the ignominy of being imprisoned and searched like this, her mind laid bare. It was also, she realised, everything she had ever wanted.

Then Bellatrix’s lip curled in triumph, and Tonks’ mind was filled by her fantasy. Bellatrix stood over her naked form, victorious and superior, wand outstretched as she approached. Simultaneously, Tonks could see the real Bellatrix standing before her, still devouring her memories, caught up in the recurring dream Tonks had had for years.

“Interesting dreams, little niece,” Bellatrix jeered, coming even closer. “Like mother, like daughter, is it?”

It was all too much. Tonks couldn’t distinguish what was real and what was fantasy. Twin figures — twin murderesses — advanced towards her, wearing identical hungry expressions.

“I used to fuck your mother like that,” one of the figures had said then, with a derisive laugh. She was much too close now, close enough for Tonks to take in her scent: dark cherries and earth and, unmistakably, blood. “But then it got too rough for dear, sweet Andromeda, and she ran away to marry your disgusting excuse for a father.”

Anger was boiling under Tonks’ skin now, but she still couldn’t speak. She fought against the stunning spell, struggling to free herself to no avail.

“You, though,” the figure had said, drinking in Tonks’ paralysed form. It was as if Bellatrix could tell that desire was flooding through Tonks’ body, despite the apparent danger. “You look like you’ll take it as rough as I can give it.”

If Tonks had been able to move, she would have hit Bellatrix. She didn’t need her wand to cause Bellatrix pain. She would have bit her, punched her, clawed at her skin like a trapped animal. Instead, she continued to strain against the spell, trying in vain to release herself from Bellatrix’s clutches.

Then the real Bellatrix drew close enough to give Tonks a firm push. Suddenly Tonks was flat on her back, unable to cry out as she crashed backwards onto the cool stone ground.

Two Bellatrixes loomed over her now. One of them — the real Bellatrix, Tonks was almost sure of it — cast a spell, wordlessly removing Tonks’ robes. Then the Bellatrix from her fantasies dissipated, leaving behind only the real one, a cruel smile stretched across her face. It was horribly familiar, painfully different, unbearably real.

Tonks was helpless, defenceless as she lay flat on her back. Her wand was halfway across the room — Bellatrix had seen to that — and she was paralysed, not only by the stunning spell, but by her own fear and arousal. No one else was around; the fight had evidently spilled over into the other rooms.

Bellatrix didn’t bother to lock the doors, either, which made everything worse. The hope of rescue — another Order member surely would come to her aid soon — battled against the shame Tonks would feel at being found like this: naked, wandless, and completely at Bellatrix’s mercy.

Tonks half-hoped that Bellatrix would kill her, just to put her out of her misery.

But Bellatrix didn’t attack. She just looked down at Tonks, taking in every inch of her exposed body.

“So vulnerable like this,” she observed. “Pretty, too, just like your mother.”

If Tonks had been able to move, she would have shivered then, as Bellatrix unabashedly drank in her naked form.

“You’re tougher than she was, I expect,” Bellatrix considered, still staring. “Braver, too, if you’re an Auror. You could probably take a lot more than she did.”

Still Bellatrix hadn’t touched her. She did, however, tread carefully on Tonks’ fingers with her tall, heavy boots. Tonks felt a bone crack. It was agony beyond anything she had ever experienced, and yet she could not cry out.

“It’d be better if I could hear you scream,” Bellatrix mused, frowning slightly, and suddenly the stunning spell loosened. Instantly, though, it was replaced by ropes, binding Tonks’ hands above her head. Tonks’ legs were left unbound; she tried to keep them clamped together, tried to prevent Bellatrix from accessing the throbbing, aching heat in between her legs. Smirking, Bellatrix used her heel to force Tonks’ knees apart before binding her ankles together with another wordless charm.

A rush of heat spread down Tonks’ chest, down to her newly exposed cunt. She wondered if Bellatrix could taste her arousal on the air, or if she even needed to. She had already seen the depths of Tonks’ depraved dreams. She knew exactly what Tonks wanted.

Bellatrix pressed the toe of her shoe down on Tonks’ pelvic bone. The pressure was agonising, shooting spasms of pain through Tonks’ core. It was also dizzyingly erotic.

“Get away from me,” Tonks said, her voice weak with pain, as Bellatrix knelt down, her hand now kneading the flesh of Tonks’ thigh, hard enough to leave bruises. “You disgust me.”

Bellatrix raised an eyebrow before slapping the inside of Tonks’ thigh. Underneath her, Tonks writhed and gasped as a crimson flush bloomed across her sensitive skin. Bellatrix’s thumb slipped between the parted folds of Tonks’ cunt, coming away wet and shining, an obvious sign of Tonks’ desire.

I disgust you, little girl?” Bellatrix asked scathingly, with a pointed look at Tonks’ cunt, spread open and glistening in the dim light. “I think it is you who are so disgusting, getting off on your own torture.”

Something dark was simmering inside Tonks at Bellatrix’s words. Unbidden into her mind came the image of being used like this, tied up and beaten and kicked until she was gasping for air, gasping for release.

“I’m not getting off on this,” Tonks lied, though Bellatrix could see right through her. “It’s— oh, fuck— wrong and—”

Bellatrix’s fingers were suddenly inside her, curling gently upwards to tease at Tonks’ most sensitive spot. With her other hand, she trailed her fingers along Tonks’ chest, leaving raised red marks as she went. Her nails were sharp, painful as they raked against the tender flesh of Tonks’ breasts, but Tonks needed more.

“Oh,” Tonks gasped, as Bellatrix curled her fingers inside her again.

“Look at you,” Bellatrix mocked, slipping in a third finger as Tonks clenched around her. “Not enjoying this at all, are you? Poor, dear niece, suffering at this torture.”

Her other hand pinched Tonks’ nipple, piercing it ever so slightly with one of her nails, and Tonks let out a scream. She was terrified that no one would hear her, that she would be left alone to suffer at Bellatrix’s relentless hands; she was equally terrified that someone would hear her and find her like this, spread open and panting.

It was too much to bear: Bellatrix’s adept fingers thrusting inside her, thumb rubbing circles over Tonks’ throbbing clit; Bellatrix’s other hand leaving deep scratches down Tonks’ ribs. Tonks was humiliated and desperate, willing to be beaten and tortured and used if it meant she could get more of this.

“I need,” she began, but Bellatrix forestalled her with a cruel laugh.

“You dare to tell me what you need, little girl?” she derided, her fingers mercilessly driving into Tonks. “You dare?”

“No, I—”

“Because I think,” Bellatrix said, crueller than ever, “that I can take what I want from you, can’t I, girl?”

“I— oh, I—”

“And you’ll beg me for it, won’t you?” Bellatrix asked, her thumb pressing harder on Tonks’ clit. “You’ll thank me for the privilege of being fucked, won’t you?”

Tonks screamed again, though this time it wasn’t from pain. The agony of her scratched and bleeding skin, her broken fingers, her bruised flesh had faded away. She only felt the heat building within her, driving her to the edge of madness.

“Please—” Tonks panted, trying desperately to draw nearer to the edge of her orgasm. “Please, let me— oh, fuck, I — I’ll do anything —”

“You’ll do anything?” Bellatrix’s voice was triumphant. She withdrew her fingers, pressing only one inside Tonks this time. “Tell me again. Beg for this again.” “I’ll do anything,” Tonks whined, thrusting up against Bellatrix’s touch. “Please. More, please.”

“You’re desperate for it,” Bellatrix sounded, for the first time, slightly awed, as though she had never seen anything like Tonks before.

“Yes,” Tonks agreed eagerly. “I’m desperate for it. For you.”

Bellatrix slipped two more fingers in at Tonks’ entreating noises.

“Kiss me,” Tonks begged, more humiliated and aroused than she had ever been. She wanted, perhaps more than she had ever wanted anything in her life, for Bellatrix to kiss her, bite her, ease her through her climax, which was fast approaching.

A look of surprise crossed Bellatrix’s brow. Her fingers slowed slightly.

Tonks had no energy to spare for feeling embarrassed. She just needed more. “Please— oh, please— Kiss me. I want to taste—”

“Not this time,” Bellatrix said, openly drinking in the image of Tonks like this, so desperate and greedy. “But we’ll see each other again, won’t we?”

Tonks gasped again, unable to stop herself, her body writhing under Bellatrix’s ministrations. “Will— will we?”

Bellatrix didn’t answer.

A moment later, Tonks screamed again, this time louder than before, for Bellatrix had pressed her lips not to Tonks’ own, but to her cunt.

Incapable of speech, Tonks moaned and writhed as Bellatrix’s tongue — just as talented as her fingers — explored her. When Bellatrix turned her attention to Tonks’ clit, sucking and teasing, Tonks couldn’t hold back any longer. It was the most unbelievable, devastating feeling, giving into Bellatrix’s touch. Tonks’ body shook against the restraints as her climax overtook her. Every muscle trembled with relief as she let herself go, relinquishing all control. It felt inevitable, as though this was what Tonks had been working towards since the day she picked the photo of Bellatrix off the ground, as if everything in her life had led her to this place. To this person.

Above her, Bellatrix licked her lips, looking exultant.

“Until next time,” she whispered, rising to her feet. She held out her wand again, looking down at Tonks, whose body was now limp, completely spent.

Then everything went dark.

When Tonks next came to, she was in a hospital bed in St. Mungo’s. Mad-Eye’s face, scarred and lined, swam into focus above her.

“Good, you’re up,” he said gruffly. He looked relieved. “You’ve given the Department a fright.” As easily as if he’d merely cast an illuminating spell, he sent a silvery Patronus gliding through the halls of the ward, apparently off to deliver the news of her recovery to the other Aurors.

“How long have I been out?” Tonks asked, hesitant to hear the answer. She was finding it difficult to focus on anything. Mad-Eye’s face swam in and out of her line of vision, blurry and vague.

Mad-Eye grunted. “Two days.”

This explained why Tonks felt so awful. Every single one of her joints seemed to be swollen and achy.

“Your hand was broken,” Mad-Eye explained, as Tonks raised one bandaged arm in front of her face.

With some difficulty, her hand swam into focus. She opened and closed her fist, realising with relief that there was no lasting damage from Bellatrix’s crushing heel.

“She could have killed me easily,” Tonks said, more to herself than to Mad-Eye. “Why didn’t she?”

Mad-Eye looked confused. “‘She’? You don’t mean Bellatrix Lestrange, do you?”

“She came after me,” Tonks explained, unable to make eye contact. “She got me alone, and she tortured me.” She didn’t fill in the rest, but images flashed before her eyes: Bellatrix, stripping her naked with a spell; Bellatrix, looming over her, looking hungry; Bellatrix, humiliating her for needing to be touched so badly.

“You’ve had a shock,” Mad-Eye said, looking at her in some concern. “You must be misremembering. If Bellatrix Lestrange had come after you — well, frankly, you wouldn’t be alive right now.”

“No, it was Bellatrix,” Tonks insisted. “She was— she was right on top of me.” She flushed and fell silent, but Mad-Eye appeared, mercifully, not to have noticed.

“You were knocked out, Tonks,” Mad-Eye told her, his gruff voice now surprisingly gentle. “You were stunned when I found you, but there was no one around you.”

“I was alone?” Tonks asked, struggling to comprehend his words. She wanted to ask if she had been clothed when he found her, but couldn’t bring herself to ask. Glancing down, she was relieved to see that she was once again wearing the robes she had put on before the fight. “There wasn’t anyone else around? She wasn’t there?”

“Must’ve been one of the other Death Eaters who did it,” he said, nodding. “You’re lucky you got off with just a stunning spell. Some of the other Order members weren’t so lucky.” At Tonks’ unasked question, he sighed. “Someone will have to tell you this eventually. No point in hiding it. Sirius Black is dead.”

Tonks gasped. “How—”

“Bellatrix Lestrange,” said Mad-Eye heavily. “She took care of him with a single spell.” He sighed again. “He was a good fighter, but — no point denying it — she was better.”

They were both silent for a long while. Tonks thought of Bellatrix’s unmatched skill and wondered again why she was alive. If Bellatrix had wanted to kill her, she could have done so easily. But she hadn’t. Was she saving her for something?

“Lucky, I’d say,” Mad-Eye said, startling Tonks out of her thoughts, “that it wasn’t Bellatrix Lestrange who came after you or you’d have been killed for certain. That woman doesn’t make mistakes, Tonks. No second chances.”

She knew, too, that if Bellatrix had really wanted to torture her, she wouldn’t have wasted time with ropes or broken fingers. The Cruciatus curse was more effective than any manual beating. Bellatrix had evidently been holding back, wanting to do it herself. Wanting to touch Tonks herself.

Tonks remembered Bellatrix’s words: “We’ll see each other again.”

It was impossible to tell if her aunt’s words had been a promise or a threat. Perhaps both.

Tonks hadn’t dreamt of Bellatrix Lestrange in months.

This was due primarily to the Dreamless Sleep potions that Tonks downed every night, against the advice of her Healer, but Tonks preferred to believe that the encounter at the Ministry had changed something within her. Perhaps her subconscious knew she shouldn’t fantasise after her own aunt, the woman who had seduced Tonks’ own mother, the woman who had killed Sirius.

There was no potion that could prevent Tonks from dwelling on Bellatrix during her waking hours, however, and it was fast becoming a problem.

It didn’t help that Tonks now had her own memories of Bellatrix upon which to fixate. No longer just an image from a photograph or a shadowy figure from a memory, Bellatrix took on a more solid form in Tonks’ mind now. She was more real than she had ever been, now that Tonks had actually seen her, fought her, been overpowered by her. Been fucked by her, her mind supplied.

She knew they would meet again. It was inevitable, she knew, and there was no point denying it.

As Tonks set out into the night, she made her way towards Grimmauld Place. She was early for her meeting with the Order; there was plenty of time for an unnecessary diversion on the way. Passing through the deserted Muggle streets, she turned, as if drawn there by a summoning charm, into a darkened, empty alley.

As she had done for months, she paused at the entrance to the alley, listening. Waiting. One of these evenings, she would hear it. It was inevitable.

This evening, Tonks heard nothing but the sound of distant traffic. She sighed.

Behind her, there was a sudden noise. For a moment, Tonks thought she’d imagined it, but then it came again, unmistakable.

Heels on stone.

Somehow, she had known all along.

Tonks stilled, her body flooding with heat as the sound grew louder, closer.

Finally, she grinned, a warm flare of fear and arousal spreading through her. Turning away from the sound, she broke into a run.