Amphierotic Bloodlines

Story: Amphierotic Bloodlines
Category: Harry Potter
Genre: Romance/Angst
Author: Sapphire Smoke
Last updated:
Words: 268930
Rating: M
Status: Complete
Content: Chapter 1 to 50 of 50 chapters

Summary: Book 1 of 3 of the 'Toujours Pur' series •Bellatrix/Narcissa•

*Chapter 1*: Chapter One

Title: Amphierotic Bloodlines
Author: Sapphire Smoke
Beta(s): BellaRei713
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: M
Main Pairing: Bellatrix/Narcissa
Sub Pairings: Narcissa/Lucius, Narcissa/OC, Bellatrix/OC, Bellatrix/Rodolphus
Summary: Growing up in the 1960s in a family that expected nothing less than perfection, anything less than such was deemed unfit for a young woman of their status and was punished severely. A house that was classified as 'noble' had dark secrets hidden within those walls, a fear that only the people within experienced. The confusion young girls have growing up was more than intensified in there: it bordered on practically unbearable. This is a story about growing up, about surviving abuse, and about finding salvation and love from anyone you can, even if it's from the last person on earth you know you should ever hold a deep affection for.
Warning(s): This story runs the risk of being triggering for some people with graphic child abuse, dubcon, forced miscarriage, addiction, and anorexia nervosa. Other warnings include lesbian incest, sex between minors, and character death (minor). Read at your own risk.
A/N: For NaNoWriMo 2010. This story is entirely from Narcissa's POV (though not in first person) and will only include up to her graduation from Hogwarts. There will be a sequel later to cover her adult years, but for now I think this is more than enough; my word count on this is already bordering on insanity. Please note this story includes both het and femslash sex scenes.


People always talk about the moment they knew they'd fallen in love. It could be something as simple as a look, a touch, a shy smile. It could also be something grander, something more obvious, like someone showing overwhelming compassion towards you, or some kind of epic gesture of romance with flowers and a poem. Narcissa had neither. She couldn't pinpoint the exact time she had fallen in love with her; with the last person on this earth that she should have romantic feelings for. But she had, somehow. In Narcissa's eyes, she was the most perfect person to ever grace this earth, and she could only wish to be worthy enough to stand in her shadow.

Bellatrix Lestrange, maiden name Black: Narcissa's oldest sister.

Narcissa knew it wasn't right, wasn't moral. To lust after your own flesh and blood is a mortal sin, something to be spat on and condemned. Certainly something that would get you blasted from the family tree and never spoken of again; an embarrassment on the family's pride. But she supposed that it only came naturally, seeing how they were raised. Her oldest sister ended up becoming the only person she ever felt safe with.

Her father, Cygnus, was hardly ever around. Narcissa had never been fully sure what he even did for a living, as work was never discussed at home. She suspected he was in the trading business, but whenever she started asking questions her mother would tell her to never look a gift horse in the mouth, an answer she never understood for years. Sometimes she wondered if even her mother knew his true profession, or just took to never asking questions herself because she was content with living in the dark as a rich housewife.

Druella, her mother, was always home. Always. Which probably would have been lovely… if she had been a lovely woman. Narcissa loved her mother; don't get it wrong. A tiny piece inside of her did because she was birthed from her, linked to her. She was sure her mother did the best she could with how she herself was raised, but she wasn't the nicest of people. The pureblood values passed from parents to children were forcefully instilled on the three Black sisters by their mother. Perfection, respect, loyalty; the way they must present themselves and their family to others. Nothing could be wrong with them, nothing at all. And when there was… they paid dearly for it.

Such were the times though, Narcissa supposed. She heard during those days even Muggles would take a belt to their children. Her mother used her wand of course, but the end results were still relatively the same.

It got worse when her sisters left for Hogwarts and Narcissa was alone in that big, dark, empty house with her mother. With Bellatrix and her other sister, Andromeda, not quite living up to Druella's expectations, she set most of her energy on making sure Narcissa turned out exactly the way she planned.

She remembered the one year Bellatrix and Andromeda had come home for Christmas. Normally they would have their excuses; homework, a Quidditch match. But Druella sent a howler, demanding they be there, and so they showed up. Bellatrix was in her third year at Hogwarts, Andromeda in her first. Narcissa was nine, an age that should have made her excited about the holidays. But she wasn't, she barely ever was. Christmas always turned out to be less than joyous in their house and so the only date she ever looked forward to was the one in which she would be able to be sent off to school herself.

The day her sisters came back, Narcissa didn't leave her room. She couldn't bear to greet them, to hear their stories about how good life was without their parents around. Not because she was jealous – though she was – but because she would know how Bellatrix in particular would react when she saw her.

But even though she wouldn't come down, it didn't stray her older sister from coming up to her room to see her for herself.

"Cissy," she called in a whisper, opening the door to Narcissa's bedroom. She peaked her head in, her smile widening a bit as she caught sight of her sister on the bed. When she opened the door fully it creaked, as did the floorboards as she strode across them to come to rest on the east side of her bed. "What are you doing hiding up here? You're missing out – Mum's actually trying to take to baking; she says the house elf is doing a rubbish job at the cauldron cakes. Think she gave it a lashing before dismissing it to do some cleaning." She was smirking, like it was the funniest thing in the world. "It's really quite hilarious; she can't figure out for the life of her what she's doing, the dumb git. Andy's down there snickering so she's liable to get a lashing herself, but if you keep yourself quiet and come down we can—"

"Not right now, Bella," Narcissa interrupted, trying her hardest to not move lest she flinch. Bellatrix looked at her, eyebrows furrowing as she took in the sight of her sister; really seeing her. But Narcissa didn't want to spoil the fun (if you could call it that) of their return home so she lied, "I'm not feeling well. I may have eaten something that had gone a bit… bad." She rubbed her stomach and feigned nausea.

However, the movement of her arm seemed to have aggravated the skin on her back in some way, and she grimaced. Bellatrix's eyebrows shot off her forehead.

"The stupid sod," she breathed, sitting on the bed next to Narcissa as she looked her over, concerned. Narcissa's eyes grew wide, her mouth agape at Bellatrix using that kind of language. "What has she done to you?" Her hands reached out for her, but Narcissa drew back, her stomach sinking at the thought of her sister knowing her pain. Some things were meant to be private. Some things were not meant to be talked about.

That was what her mother always told her.

But Bellatrix had no respect for their mother. She feared her, but did not respect her. And while she knew she herself could get a lashing for not minding her own business, she clearly did not care. Narcissa, her baby sister, was always an exception to the rule. Narcissa did end up asking why one day, but in that moment, she did not know nor need to know why. She just knew she appreciated it, no matter how much she tried to dissuade her from getting herself in trouble.

Bellatrix reached for her again, and Narcissa protested, "No, Bella, I'm fine. I swear to you, I'm okay." But Bellatrix would have none of it. She grabbed the arm Narcissa was using to push her away as her other forced Narcissa's dress up around her ears so she could take a good look at her back. She swore loudly when she was confronted by the sight.

"That bitch, she didn't even mend you afterwards?!" Bella shouted as she let her go of her. Narcissa quickly put a hand over her sister's mouth to quiet her, fearful.

"Shh! What if she hears you?"

Bellatrix tore Narcissa's hand away from her, eyes flashing with rage. "I hope she does, the stupid bimbo. She's taken to abusing you!"

"Nuh ah! Really, it was just…" Narcissa tried, but words beyond that failed her. Her chest was beginning to tighten as she started to feel helpless once more. The tears welled up in her eyes as she looked down, fixing her dress as she stared at the comforter on her bed. Bellatrix's hand found hers, a comforting gesture, and the first tear slid down her cheek.

"What happened?" Bellatrix asked her, voice soft.

Narcissa took a breath, willing to compose herself. Her mother would surely punish her if she found her crying like a child. "I… my hair, it… it was too long. It would get all tangled up in these giant knots and mother would yell about how I need to keep up with my appearances. She said that it was my…" she tried to think of the word her mother used, then remembered, "selling point; where all my beauty really comes from 'cause in the face I'm not the prettiest. And I hated it, I hated it so much! It was stupid. I don't want to be beautiful, Bella. I… I wanted to just be me. Be normal and regular. And so I… cut it." She looked up at Bellatrix then, another tear falling from her cheek. "I cut it and she was so angry. She grew it back and then—" she couldn't finish the rest of that sentence, but it didn't matter; Bellatrix knew. Narcissa bit on her lower lip for a moment, sniffling before she continued, "Mother said she wouldn't heal it until I had learned my lesson."

"Cissy…" Bellatrix breathed sympathetically. She touched her hair, her beautiful long blonde hair, stroking it. "Mother's a cow," she told her, voice firm and honest. "You are beautiful, long hair or not. There's no changing that and you shouldn't hate it; it's a gift. Means you're special." She smiled at her, trying to make her believe it. "Just because she ended up with a face that looks like a hippogriff trampled on it, doesn't mean you did. Or the rest of us, for that matter. You know we take after Father." Her hand slipped from her hair to cup her cheek, wiping Narcissa's tears away with her thumb. She looked torn between being sad and angry. "I wish I could get you out of here," she said.

That made Narcissa dissolve into tears, her sobs racking her whole body so hard that it hurt her back every time she took a breath.

Bellatrix gathered her in her arms, being careful not to aggravate her wounds. She held her the entire time she cried, whispering promises in her ear about how she wished she could have protected her. After a while, Narcissa's cries were reduced to nothing more than sniffles and ragged breathing as she clutched onto her sister's robes like letting go would be the death of her.

When they finally parted, Bellatrix coaxed, "Come here, let me fix it for you."

But Narcissa's eyes went wide with terror at that prospect. "No! She'd surely do it to both of us if she found out that you had!"

"She said she wouldn't mend it until you learned your lesson, right?" Bellatrix asked her. Narcissa nodded. "Well then, act like you have yet to learn the lesson."

"No!" Narcissa protested, eyes still wide with fear. "She'd just do it again if she thinks I'm not learning! I don't wanna be punished again, Bella. It hurts!"

"Cissy, you can't keep it like that; you'll scar. Not to mention barely be able to sleep. I can already see the bags under your eyes. Just…" she looked at her pleadingly, "let me help."

Narcissa shook her head defiantly, then winced as it put strain on her back. But she managed, "You're not allowed to do magic outside of school. Mum says."

Bellatrix looked at her like she was slow. "Not everything is only fixable by magic, Narcissa. It's quicker and easier, sure. But what do you think those filthy Muggles do when they're hurt? Just leave it?" she scoffed, "They'd surely die off just from the simple cuts that grow infections."

Narcissa looked appalled. "You're going to fix me up like a Muggle?" What did her sister take her as?

"It's not my first choice either but look at yourself! I can't… damnit, Cissy, you don't understand. I can't sit here and watch you be in pain. I feel like it's my fault," Bellatrix stated, looking guilty.

"It's not your—"

"Of course it is; mine and Andy's. We leave and you get the forefront of Mum's craziness. Whether you want us to be or not, in some way we are responsible and I'm not going to sit here and watch my baby sister in pain, now let me do this!" Bellatrix demanded. She had desperation in her voice, a pleading Narcissa had never heard. Bellatrix was stubborn to the last too, and Narcissa knew she wouldn't back down.

She nodded slowly.

Bellatrix gave her a thankful smile and rose from the bed. "I'll be right back," she told her.

Narcissa fidgeted on the bed as she waited for Bellatrix to return, holding her dress tightly in her tiny hands. She was so scared Mother would find out, but she knew she needed to get it cleaned up at least; the pain was beginning to become a constant in her life. She was sick and tired of hurting.

When her sister returned, she had a bottle of vodka, a wet towel, and a sheet. Narcissa looked at her confused but Bellatrix didn't offer an explanation. She only said, "Lift up your dress." Narcissa pulled it up over her shoulders but it kept slipping down. She heard a sigh. "Nevermind, just take it off and lie on the bed," Bellatrix told her, seeing that she was probably going to ruin it if she tried to fix her with it on.

Narcissa hesitated for a second, feeling a little embarrassed. She wasn't near as developed as both of her sisters and she worried Bellatrix would think less of her. It was a silly thing to fear, after all she was four years younger so it was only natural that she would be less developed than the both of them, but it was an embarrassment that wasn't logical. She did take off her dress eventually though, laying it on the base of her bed, making sure not to wrinkle it.

She turned to face her sister, now only in her tights, and caught her staring at her. Her cheeks turned pink and she folded her arms over her chest in embarrassment. "What are you staring at?" she asked, feeling mortified.

Bellatrix blinked as if snapping herself out of some daze. She looked a little uncomfortable all of a sudden and it made her snap defensively, "Nothing. Just do what you're told, yeah? Lie down so I can fix you up."

Narcissa didn't understand why Bellatrix sounded so cross with her; she had been the one judging her after all. It wasn't fair. She was so sick of being young. She made a disgruntled face, but shifted to lie on her stomach. Bellatrix came up beside her.

"Here," she said, handing Narcissa one of her stuffed toys. "Put that in your mouth and bite down."


"Because this is going to hurt," Bellatrix told her matter-of-factly. Narcissa's eyes widened as she turned her head to face her.

"I thought you were going to make it better!" she whined. She didn't want any more pain, wasn't that the point of this?

Bellatrix let out an impatient breath. "I need to clean it and alcohol apparently stings. I'm not sure how much, I've never done it."


"Cissy, just do what I say," Bellatrix told her, shoving the stuffed toy directly in her face. "Now."

Narcissa looked at her warily before taking the toy and cautiously putting it in her mouth. She braced herself, not sure what Bellatrix was about to do. But then she felt something liquid hit her back and she cried out, the toy muffling her scream. It felt like her cuts were burning. Tears sprung to the corners of her eyes.

"I'm sorry," Bellatrix apologized. "But I need to do this."

Another pour of the liquid on her wounds and Narcissa choked back a sob, a tear slipping down her cheek. She held onto her comforter in a death grip, trying not to be loud for fear her mother would hear them.

Then Bellatrix started using the towel, cleaning her up. "I learned how to do this in Muggle Studies," she explained, even though Narcissa didn't ask. She was too busy trying not to scream. It was still burning. "Thought it was a bloody useless subject up until now." She paused and reassessed that as she slowly ran the towel down Narcissa's back. "Actually, it's still a load of rubbish. Complete crap that I have to take it, but most of the classes I wanted were full." She scoffed. "Just because I turned in my request late shouldn't mean I have to take the most ridiculous classes available."

Narcissa nodded, trying to agree with Bellatrix without actually opening her mouth. She was still biting down on the toy. It was starting to not hurt that badly anymore though and she could feel her muscles starting to loosen up as she relaxed.

Bellatrix finished cleaning her up and then told her, "Sit up." Narcissa slowly straightened up, taking the toy out of her mouth. She tried to look over her shoulder to see what Bellatrix had done.

"Does it look better?" she asked feebly.

"Not really," Bellatrix told her honestly. "But it shouldn't get infected now. Maybe you won't scar." Narcissa's heart dropped at the word 'scar'. She didn't want to be any uglier.

She moved to get her dress, but Bellatrix stopped her. "Not yet," she told her before grabbing the sheet. She then proceeded to tear it to shreds. Narcissa's eyes went wide.

"What are you doing?" she breathed. "Mum's going to have a fit!"

"Well I need to wrap it, don't I? I think that's what I'm supposed to do." Bellatrix, for once, looked annoyed that she hadn't learned something the Muggles did. And Narcissa knew Bellatrix's hatred for Muggles; it was just as strong as the rest of her family's. So for her to do this, to do something she hated, spoke volumes to Narcissa. She really cared. She didn't want her hurt.

When Bellatrix was done, she instructed Narcissa to stand in front of her. Bellatrix was looking intently at the remnants of her sheet as she started to wrap Narcissa's body up in it, as though she was afraid to look anywhere else. Narcissa didn't understand, but figured it wasn't something she should ask about. She tried to stay as still as possible and not flinch, but every time the fabric covered another wound she grimaced in pain.

Bellatrix's hand stilled for a moment more than halfway up her torso, and Narcissa looked down at her to see her sister staring again. "Stop!" she complained. She knew she wasn't a woman yet, but her sister didn't have to rub it in so much.

"What?" Bellatrix asked, annoyed. "I can't look at you now? Christ, Narcissa. Shut up and lift your arms, I need to finish."

Narcissa huffed but did as she was told. As Bellatrix continued to wrap her she said, voice low and self-conscience, "It's not my fault I don't have them yet."

"Have what?" Bellatrix asked, distracted. She was trying to figure out how to tie it without it all coming unraveled.

Narcissa pouted, "Breasts."

That made Bellatrix stop and look up at her, raising an eyebrow. "What?" she asked, like she wasn't sure if she heard her sister right. They had never talked about womanhood before. Narcissa flushed, looking down.

"Nothing," she mumbled. She thought she could talk to Bellatrix about stuff like that, they were much closer than she and Andromeda were, even though they were the furthest apart in age. She certainly couldn't talk to her mother about her confusion about her body starting to change and having weird feelings. She'd probably punish her because ladies shouldn't talk about that sort of thing. Maybe she should have just stayed quiet.

But Bellatrix chuckled softly as she went back to trying to tie the cloth into a decent knot. "You're further along than me and Andy were at your age," she told her.

Narcissa blinked. "Really?" She looked down at Bellatrix's chest. They seemed huge in comparison to hers.

"I didn't start to get mine till I was eleven and Andy's still flat-chested; she puts socks in her bra to look like she's not," Bellatrix told her, sounding amused that Narcissa would even feel incomparable. "At least you have a little something."

Narcissa looked down, confused. "I do?" Not much, that was for sure.

Bellatrix finally managed to tie the knot and leaned back, looking at Narcissa's chest like she was assessing it. She shrugged, "Yeah. You're not ready to get a bra yet, but trust me when you are, Mum will get weird about it. She won't let you say the word 'breasts' or ask any kind of questions about anything. She's bloody useless. Says it's 'not proper.' Bollocks, it's not proper to not know what the hell is going on with your body, for one. For two, when you start bleeding out of awkward parts of your anatomy and not knowing a damn thing about anything, it's a little disconcerting."

"Bleeding? Where?" Narcissa asked, looking petrified all of a sudden. Is part of becoming a woman randomly bleeding? What if it started coming out of her mouth, or her ears?!

"I'll tell you when you're older, you got a couple years before that happens," Bellatrix told her, then nodded to the dress on the bed. "Now get dressed before—"

"Bellatrix! Narcissa!" came the shriek of their mother at the bottom of the stairs. Both sisters looked at each other, wide eyed. "Get down here right now!"

"Quickly!" Bellatrix hurried her as she helped Narcissa get her dress over her head. They quickly fixed their appearances before heading downstairs, ready to face whatever it was that was in store for them. With their mother, they could never be sure.

But it turned out it was only dinner. After getting lectured about how they should have been downstairs to greet their father as he got off work, the family of five sat around their dining room table. After they had all been served, Andromeda, who was sitting on Narcissa's left, poked her leg. "Why didn't you come down when we came home?" she asked in a whisper, but was quickly shushed with a death look from their mother.

"Narcissa, what have you been eating? You're looking fatter. What have I told you? Only eat half of what's on that plate, less you wish to look like a troll," Druella told her, taking one look at her daughter. The fact of the matter was Narcissa only looked a little plumper because she was wrapped in Bellatrix's make-shift bandages and it made her torso look thicker, but she stayed quiet. She tried not to look too upset, because she was really hungry and she barely had a full plate to start.

"She's not fat, Mother," Bellatrix retorted with an attitude, scowling at her. Narcissa smacked her leg under the table, trying to warn her. She didn't need to stick up for her; she got that kind of stuff from her mother all the time. She was used to it.

"Bellatrix Black, mind your tongue!" Druella demanded. "And don't chew with your mouth open; you look like a bloody savage." She sighed, like having children was the worst possible thing to happen to her as she turned to her husband. "I swear, I don't know what to do with them sometimes. It's like they want to act like Mudbloods. The ungrateful brats."

"Mind your mother, children," Cygnus said, like he couldn't care in the slightest either way.

Bellatrix rolled her eyes as she stabbed the turkey on her plate with her fork. Narcissa kept her head down and stayed quiet, trying to eat without drawing too much attention to herself. But her bandages were starting to itch, which was making her fidget and grimace in pain every time the bandages rubbed against her wounds.

"What's the matter with you? You look like you've been chewing on glass. What have I told you about proper table etiquette?" Druella snapped, looking over Narcissa with distain.

"She's in pain!" Bellatrix exclaimed loudly. Druella's fork clanked loudly against the plate as she dropped it, glaring at Bellatrix like she was lucky that she didn't hex her right there at the dinner table.

"Bellatrix, don't speak about things you have no knowledge of. You just look foolish."

"I know what I'm talking about; I saw what you did to her!" Bellatrix yelled, getting far too much attention from the entire table. Narcissa's throat tightened in fear. They were both going to get punished for this.

"Bella, please stop," she pleaded.

"What is Bellatrix talking about?" Cygnus demanded, looking at his wife.

"Nothing. The girl is just being a nuisance for the sake of teenage rebellion," Druella answered, although didn't take her eyes off of Bellatrix.

Andromeda was watching this entire interaction in as much astonishment as Narcissa was. No one went against their mother. No one. They both feared what would happen to her.

"I am not!" Bellatrix exclaimed, apparently deciding that if she was going to do something, she might as well not do it half way. She turned to her father and then pointed accusingly at Druella. "She left Narcissa with gashes all along her back!"

"You did what?" Cygnus bellowed, looking at his wife.

"The girl wouldn't learn. She cut her hair, Cygnus! She needed to be taught—"

"Enough!" he yelled, looking positively livid. "You foolish woman, what if she scars? Did you not stop to think of how hard it will be to find her a decent husband if she's damaged goods?"

"I—" Druella tried, but was interrupted.

"No wife of mine is going to be stupid, Druella. Now go fix up Narcissa and if I even hear a whisper of you doing such a foolish thing again I will make sure it's you who doesn't have a husband," he threatened. "I will not have you throw away the chance to have our noble house merge with some of the more dominant pureblood families just so you can try to teach your silly little lessons." Druella blinked, taken aback. But Cygnus was the head of the household, and thus it was expected of her to do what she was told. "Now!" he exclaimed, and their mother visibly jumped at the force of his voice.

She threw a scathing look towards Bellatrix and then Narcissa before she stood, keeping a stiff upper lip to continue to hold her composure. "Come with me," she directed to Narcissa.

Narcissa slid off her chair, casting a wary glance at her sister, who gave her a small smile. However, as she left, she heard her father tell Bellatrix that he hoped she didn't think that she was going to get away with not being punished, because speaking out of turn was 'something that definitely needed to be beaten out of her before she was suitable for marriage'.

But that was what Bellatrix did for Narcissa, time and time again. She took the brunt of the force for her; taking punishments over her if she could. She protected her fiercely throughout her entire life, no matter the cost. There were times, however, that no matter how hard she tried to shield her she found she couldn't, as she was only just a child herself. But for someone so young, Bellatrix was so brave, and so loyal. Narcissa knew that if nothing else, it proved that someone did honestly love her and didn't just regard her as some kind of trophy, or a prize to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.


*Chapter 2*: Chapter Two

Author's Note:
I apologize for how long it took to get this chapter out. I've been having problems finding (and keeping) a beta - mainly cause my regular ones aren't all that okay with incest lol... and then my laptop died. I've managed to backup all of my chapters of this thus far, but until I get a new one I'm kind of on borrowed time on my roommates, so updates will be a little slow. Sorry! But I'm still looking for a more permanent beta, so if you're up for the task let me know!


Narcissa could remember her first day of Hogwarts like it was yesterday.

Her mother was fussing over her at the station, fiddling with her hair in some vain attempt to make it stop frizzing in the unusual September heat. She was going on and on about this, that, and another thing but Narcissa wasn't listening, too caught up in watching her sisters be reunited with their friends.

Bellatrix, now a fifth year, had a small crowd around her. Narcissa watched in wonder as everyone seemed to be fighting for her attention, especially since her sister never once mentioned that she was popular. Bellatrix, however, looked like she was becoming increasingly annoyed by the situation. It seemed she was telling them off when another girl strode up to the crowd, pushed a couple people forcefully out of her way and stood next to Bellatrix. Her gaze was fierce and unyielding, even from across the station Narcissa could hear her yell, "Bugger off!" to all of those around them, using her hands to shoo them.

That had to be Gwendolyn Travers; she was the only person Bellatrix had ever spoken of to Narcissa. Apparently they were close. If Narcissa were to be honest, it made her a little jealous. She was so used to having her sister's undivided attention and yet there she was, first day of school, nervous, and Bellatrix was off talking to someone else while Narcissa was stuck listening to Mother tell her that she would likely be disowned if she didn't get placed into Slytherin.

Like she needed the added stress. Thanks, Mum. She barely listened as Druella continued on about 'all the mudbloods' and how Hogwarts needed a headmaster that respected blood purity.

Her eyes searched the platform for any sign of Andromeda. Finally she spotted her by herself, arms folded and looking very cross for some reason. Narcissa didn't have long to contemplate the matter though because suddenly Mother interrupted her train of thought with, "Narcissa! Are you listening to me?"

"Of course I am, Mother," Narcissa said automatically, trying to keep a straight face so her mother didn't catch on that she had barely heard a word of what was being said to her. Her mother looked at her disbelievingly, but thankfully Narcissa was saved by Bellatrix, who chose that moment to interrupt.

"Come on," she said, grabbing Narcissa's hand as she started to pull her towards the train. "We're going to be late."

"Bellatrix, take care of your sisters; any mishaps I hear rest on your shoulders." Bellatrix rolled her eyes and muttered what sounded like 'as always'. "And Narcissa dear, please try not to eat too much. Your hips can't afford to get any wider," Druella called out, like she was giving some kind of Godly advice instead of inadvertently trying to force her youngest daughter into an eating disorder.

"Ignore her," Bellatrix told her under her breath as they got onto the train. "If you're fat then I'm a sodding cow." She squeezed Narcissa's hand a little before telling her, "this way."

"Where are we going?" Narcissa asked as she tried weaving through all the people Bellatrix seemed to just push out of her way. A few people were staring at them, like the sight of Bellatrix being kind to a first year was improbable. It made Narcissa wonder if she had ever taken Andromeda under her wing in the same manner she was doing for her. It seemed unlikely though given the amount of fighting Bellatrix and Andromeda seemed to be doing these days. But maybe it was just their age.

"The Slytherin carriage," Bellatrix told her, even though someone was directing first years to another carriage.

"But—" Narcissa started, pointing to the person directing the traffic.

"Ignore that, you're going to ride with me. You'll be in Slytherin for sure anyway," Bellatrix told her, pausing to push another person out of the way to get to her preferred compartment. "Move, Malfoy. This one's taken."

An attractive blonde boy who seemed about Bellatrix's age gave her a look of contempt at being shoved. "Contrary to what you may believe, Bellatrix, the world isn't yours for the taking." Bellatrix gave an amused scoff, like the very idea that it wasn't was absurd. The boy's eyes then trained on Narcissa, making her flush with embarrassment at being noticed. "And who might this be? Making friends with first years; how unlike you." He sounded like he was mocking her, and immediately Bellatrix's wand was at his throat. His eyes went wide.

"She's none of your business, Malfoy. Now scamper off like a good boy." Narcissa had never seen that look in Bellatrix's eyes before; it scared her a little. She gripped her sister's hand tighter.

The boy, Malfoy, stepped back. If looks could kill, Bellatrix would be dead and buried. But their interaction was interrupted by an older, plump looking gentleman.

"Now, now, Ms. Black, there's no need to bully Lucius. Wouldn't want me to have to give you detention before term even started, would you?" he laughed heartily.

Bellatrix put down her wand and looked up at the man with feigned innocence. "I'm sorry Professor Slughorn, but Malfoy was being rude to my little sister."

"I certainly was not!" Lucius objected.

"Ho, ho! Another Black then?" Slughorn asked excitedly, completely disregarding the previous feud. He pushed forward to take Narcissa's hand and shook it vigorously. "I do hope you end up in Slytherin, dear girl. It would be a terrible shame not to have all three of you. Though I hope you don't end up in detention as much as your older sister does; sometimes it feels like she never leaves!" He gave another hearty laugh.

Lucius, realizing he'd been completely ignored, gave Bellatrix another look of seething hatred before stalking off to find another compartment. Bellatrix put an arm around Narcissa and smiled up at Professor Slughorn. "I'm sure Cissy will be a model student."

"Well that's what I like to hear!" Slughorn exclaimed, smiling. He patted Narcissa on the head, rumpling her hair. Narcissa frowned, wishing he wouldn't do that. "Well, I better be off. Important business to attend to, you understand."

"Of course, Professor," Bellatrix replied, her voice dripping with honey. "I look forward to what you have to teach us this year."

"Ah, well, with natural talent like yours, Bellatrix, I'm sure you'll continue to do exceptionally well," Slughorn replied with another grin before he waved goodbye to them, leaving the carriage.

Bellatrix guided Narcissa into the compartment and shut the door before slumping down into the seat. "Christ, if I have to kiss anymore arse I swear my lips will turn brown."

Narcissa sat opposite of her, pulling her knees up to her chest. "Then why do you do it?" she asked. She had never seen Bellatrix show that much respect to anyone in her entire life.

Bellatrix waved her hand. "Professor Slughorn is our Head of House. Getting in good with him has helped me avoid getting expelled, so it's a necessary evil." Narcissa's eyes widened at the word 'expelled'. What had Bellatrix been doing at school? "You should do the same, Cissy," she instructed her. "Having teachers on your side can be a powerful advantage." Narcissa nodded, respecting her sister's knowledge.

Bellatrix looked at her and then pushed Narcissa's legs down to sit properly. "Don't sit like that, you look like a child."

"I am a child," Narcissa retorted.

"Not anymore." Narcissa gave her a grumpy look, but moved to sit the way she wanted. Bellatrix did know best, even if her bossy demeanor was annoying at times.

Suddenly the compartment door opened and the brunette that Bellatrix was talking to before came in. She sat down heavily next to her friend, frowning. "Dumbledore already confiscated my stink pellets. This is bloody ridiculous. I was this close to pelting Malfoy."

"Who's Dumbledore?" Narcissa asked, curious.

"The Transfiguration teacher," Bellatrix answered at the same time the brunette said, "Never mind who he is. Who are you?" It wasn't mean or threatening in any way; it was actually said in a tone of extreme interest. The girl was looking at her in a way Narcissa didn't understand, and it made her feel a little uncomfortable.

Bellatrix smacked the girl with the back of her hand. "Lay off, you sodding perv. She's eleven."

The girl smirked, her eyes sweeping down Narcissa's form. "She doesn't look eleven."

Narcissa felt her face grow hot from all the attention. Perhaps she was developing more quickly than her sisters had, but that didn't mean she wanted people staring!

"Regardless, she's my sister. So unless you want to wake up with a face full of boils, you'll listen when I tell you to sod off."

The girl rolled her eyes. "I was just being friendly. No need to get jealous." Bellatrix looked absolutely livid about being referred to as jealous, but the girl didn't seem to notice. She stuck out her hand to Narcissa and introduced, "I'm Gwendolyn."

Narcissa hesitantly took her hand and responded, "Narcissa."

Gwendolyn lifted her hand to her mouth, kissing the top of it. "Very nice to meet you, Narcissa."

"Gwen, let go of her hand. You're testing my patience," Bellatrix growled. Gwendolyn snickered, but let go of Narcissa's hand before leaning back against the seat casually.

"You wouldn't hurt me," she told her, sounding confident in that assumption.

Bellatrix's eyes flashed. "Care to wager on that assessment?" She never did well with being challenged. However, Gwendolyn just laughed.

"You need to relax, Bellatrix. I forgot you always come back after the summer wound tighter than a prostitute's girdle."

Narcissa's eyes went wide at that phrase. What kind of people was Bellatrix associating with? Mother would have a fit if she knew the way that her friend talked.

"Though I suspect it's because you haven't had any release since—" But Gwendolyn was quickly interrupted by Bellatrix.

"Shut it, Gwen! My sister's here; show a little class, will you?" Bellatrix exclaimed, angry at the casual way she spoke around a stranger. "You're on your second strike. One more and I will blast you out of this compartment and onto your arse."

Narcissa was very confused; it was so unlike Bellatrix to give second chances, let alone a third. Nothing about how her sister interacted with this girl seemed to make any sense to her, and that bothered Narcissa for a variety of reasons.

"You adore me."

Bellatrix smirked. "Not as much as you think."

Gwendolyn snorted. "Sure," she said, disbelievingly. She sighed a little, rolling her neck to loosen the tension before slumping back against the seat and looking at Bellatrix. "So I take it you heard about Rodolphus Lestrange then?" she asked, referring to the crowd of people who were around Bellatrix outside of the train. "I wondered how long it'd be till people started spreading that around."

Bellatrix scowled. "Don't remind me."

"Who?" Narcissa asked. The name sounded familiar, but she couldn't place it.

Gwendolyn smirked. "The man who plans to marry your sister." Narcissa's eyes went wide. Bellatrix never mentioned anything about that.

"He's not getting within ten feet of me," Bellatrix told her, looking disgusted. "The last thing I plan to do is marry anyone. I'm fifteen."

"I heard he's going to take it to his father soon," Gwendolyn told her conversationally. "And from the way you describe your mother, I'm sure she'll encourage you to go along with it. I'll wager you'll be married the summer after you graduate."

"My mother is a stupid git. She can encourage anything all she likes, but it doesn't mean that it'll happen." But Bellatrix didn't look too confident on the matter; going against their mother on something as important as marriage would likely be suicidal.

"Someone wants to marry you?" Narcissa asked, impressed. "Wow, Bella. That's wonderful."

Bellatrix looked at her like she had grown a second head that was even thicker than her first. "No, it's not wonderful, Narcissa. It's bloody awful. I don't even know the ponce; he's only interested because of our family status."

"Isn't that what's important though?" Narcissa asked, not knowing any better. Her mother was always on about marrying into another high-class, pureblood family. She remembered now – she had heard of the Lestrange's, and they definitely fit the bill.

"What's important to me is not becoming some useless housewife like Mother," Bellatrix told Narcissa. "Unlike her, I plan to actually do something with my life."

"Like what?" Narcissa asked. She had never heard Bellatrix speak about any of her goals.

"I don't know yet. But whatever I choose, one thing is certain; the world surely will bow at my feet."

Gwendolyn laughed. "Your ambition is inspiring, Bellatrix; misguided, but inspiring."

"Oh, what would you know?" Bellatrix snapped defensively. "You can't even make a simple potion without the whole thing exploding in your face. The only subject you're not completely useless in is History of Magic, which is getting you on the fast track to nowhere."

"At least I'm realistic about my abilities," Gwendolyn retorted. "And where I'll end up in life. But I'll be sure to send you an owl with 'I told you so' when you become nothing more than an unhappy housewife."

"Strike three, get out," Bellatrix ordered, looking angry. But so did Gwendolyn, so she got up without a fuss. They shot daggers at each other as Gwendolyn left, leaving Narcissa even more confused. For friends, they seemed to grind on each other's nerves an awful lot.

Unfortunately, she found out the exact nature of their relationship a few months later. Narcissa was, of course, sorted into Slytherin, which was a huge relief. She couldn't even begin to imagine the howler she would have gotten from Mother if she wasn't. Her classes weren't overly difficult, but she seemed to struggle in Potions. Bellatrix helped her though, since Potions was one of her best subjects outside of Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Andromeda was barely around, but did occasionally check in on Narcissa to see if she'd adjusted well to her newfound freedom. Their house was a prison compared to Hogwarts. Never in her life had Narcissa had the freedom to eat what she wanted, even do her own hair the way she wanted. She never wanted to go back home, ever.

It was about four months into the school year when Narcissa stumbled upon Bellatrix doing something that would surely get her blasted from the family tree. It was dinner time and Bellatrix wasn't anywhere to be seen at the Slytherin table. Having already lost her appetite from the last owl her mother had sent her, reminding her that she better not have gained any more weight, Narcissa left the Great Hall, planning to just go up to the dorm rooms and nap.

When she climbed the stairs, she stopped at the fifth-year girls' dorm, wondering if Bellatrix was hiding out in there. It wasn't like her to miss dinner, so Narcissa was a little worried. Deciding it wouldn't hurt to check, she quietly entered the dormitory. What she saw made her mouth drop open.

Bellatrix was in there with Gwendolyn, clearly thinking that they were alone. Narcissa saw her pressed up against the wall near her bed as Gwendolyn kissed her, the girl's hands grasping at Bellatrix's hips, her breasts, as her sister panted out her approval against

Narcissa knew about homosexuality of course, but the last thing she ever expected was for Bellatrix to become one of those awful sinners herself. Their mother had instilled in them as small children that proper women grew up to marry proper men – not fornicate with the same sex. Not that they were doing… well, not yet anyway, but as Gwendolyn started kissing Bellatrix's neck, her hand began to slip under her robes.

Narcissa felt like she was frozen in place. She wanted to run, but her feet wouldn't cooperate with her. It was like watching a train wreck; despite the horror, she could not tear her eyes away. It was fascinating in this awful kind of way, and it was making Narcissa feel things she had never experienced before. It was like a burning in the pit of her stomach, but the worst part was that it wasn't entirely unpleasant. It was more confusing than anything else.

Then Bellatrix moaned. Moaned. Narcissa's eyes were wide as she watched Bellatrix wrap one of her legs around Gwendolyn's waist, pushing her hips into her hand. "Yes, like that…"

Narcissa couldn't see anything bad, per say, the long draping of her robe covered what was going on, but it was still enough for her to freak out. Narcissa involuntarily let out a loud gasp and then slapped her hand over her mouth. Both Bellatrix and Gwendolyn whipped around to see who had intruded on them, and Bellatrix's eyes burned black as she set sight on her sister. The two girls jumped apart immediately.

Narcissa, knowing she was about to get into some serious trouble with Bellatrix, finally found her feet useable as she tried (and utterly failed) to run. "You're not leaving!" Bellatrix shouted, sounding fearful as she ran over to her sister, attempting to grasp her arm. She missed though and ended up getting a fist full of her hair instead, which ultimately worked just as well as she forcefully pulled Narcissa over to her.

"Stop, Bella! That hurts! Stop it!" Narcissa shrieked, but Bellatrix put a hand over her mouth and held her close, grabbing her arms to pin them behind her back.

"Leave," Bellatrix hissed to Gwendolyn. "I'll deal with her."

Narcissa tried to struggle, but Bellatrix was holding her firmly in place. Her protests came out muffled beneath her hand and Gwendolyn shot Bellatrix a meaningful and pleading look, probably hoping that she could actually bottle up this indiscretion. But the girl did what she was told and left the dormitory, leaving Narcissa alone with her sister.

Bellatrix forced Narcissa to sit next to her on the bed, practically pushing her down. She didn't take her hand off her mouth as she told her, "You didn't see anything. Are we clear?" Narcissa had never seen Bellatrix more afraid of anything than she was about the knowledge that Narcissa now held.

Bellatrix slowly took her hand away from Narcissa's mouth, motioning for her to keep her voice down with a finger to her lips. She still had a firm grip on her arm though, making sure she didn't run. "Cissy," she told her seriously. "You mustn't breathe a word of this. Swear to me."

Narcissa's wide eyes looked up at her sister, feeling just as scared as Bellatrix looked, only for entirely different reasons. "Why would you do such a thing?" she asked in a whisper. She needed to know.

"That's none of your business," Bellatrix told her. "Just swear you won't tell a soul. Please."

"It is my business!" Narcissa exclaimed. "You're my sister, and if Mother were to ever find out about what you did with that girl—"

"She won't, because you won't tell her."

"But what if it wasn't me that saw you two? She's not worth being disowned for, Bella! If Mum kicked you out, where would you go? Did you even stop to think about the fact that Andy and I need you? You're being selfish!"

"Don't tell me what I'm doing is selfish, Cissy! You wouldn't understand! And frankly you're too young to even try!" Bellatrix yelled, her grip on Narcissa's arm tightening.

"Ow!" Narcissa exclaimed, pain shooting up her arm. "Bellatrix, stop! You're hurting me!" Bellatrix's eyes flashed but she loosened her grip. Narcissa glared at her, wrenching her arm forcefully away from her, and said, "I may be young, but I'm not stupid. Do you love her?"

"Oh, don't be ridiculous," Bellatrix scoffed.

"Well then help me understand why you're risking everything just to be with her!"

"I'm not!" Bellatrix bellowed. "I'm just having a bit of fun, is all! No one is going to find out about it!"

"Fun?" Narcissa asked in disbelief. "How can you say that? It's disgusting, is what it is!"

The slap felt like it came out of nowhere, but Narcissa should have known that she had it coming. It stung her face and brought tears to her eyes, but Bellatrix didn't look remorseful in the least bit. "Don't you ever speak to me like that!"

"I can speak to you any way I please!" Narcissa exclaimed as a tear slipped down her cheek. She felt like she didn't know who her sister was anymore and it broke her heart. She was supposed to be her best friend. She wiped her cheek with her sleeve, looking hurt. "Why are you being horrible?" she asked, voice barely above a whisper. "You're my sister. We're supposed to love each other, not be cruel…"

"Me? You're the one who just told me I was disgusting, Narcissa. What kind of love do you think you're dishing out? Certainly not some that's unconditional," Bellatrix snapped.

"I'm worried about you!"

"Why? Because I'm kissing a girl instead of a boy? Use your head, Cissy. It's not like the world is going to come to an end because of it."

They both glared at each other, angry. Narcissa felt like Bellatrix had betrayed her in a way and it hurt every inch of her being. She hated Gwendolyn. Hated her. She had taken her big sister away from her, and not only that, but she also had the ability to take her away permanently if word of their affair ever got out. She didn't understand why Bellatrix would be so foolish. She had always thought she was smart, wise. Now she seemed just as much of a child as Narcissa was.

"She's a stupid git," Narcissa muttered, finally.


"She's stupid and I hate her!" Narcissa yelled, the sting of betrayal in her voice. She moved away from her. "I'll keep your secret, Bella," she said, standing up and looking at her furiously. "But I'm not talking to you again until you stop ruining your life!" She was shrieking and hysterical, but she didn't care.

Bellatrix was choosing this stupid girl over her family. Narcissa would never do that. She would never choose anyone over Bella; she was the most important person in her life. However, it was beginning to become clear to Narcissa that she was no longer the most important person in Bellatrix's life, and that devastated her.

So Narcissa left, and she kept to her word: she didn't speak to Bellatrix again. At least, that was, until she had to.


*Chapter 3*: Chapter Three


Narcissa's silent treatment to Bellatrix lasted three whole months. It felt like an eternity, and even though Bellatrix tried to get her to speak to her, Narcissa refused. She became very withdrawn and angry, starting to snap at nearly everyone who spoke to her. She was quickly getting the reputation of "yet another Black brat", but she didn't care in the slightest. She felt betrayed, plain and simple. Not to mention burdened by a secret that shouldn't have to lie on her shoulders.

Andromeda was curious as to what was going on, seeing as Bellatrix and Narcissa were usually inseparable during Christmas, but Narcissa wouldn't say. She just said that they had it out. Andromeda didn't push her, but Narcissa was sure she would ask Bellatrix about it regardless.

Frankly Narcissa was surprised that Andromeda cared enough to even ask in the first place. She was barely ever around anymore, always off doing her own thing with god only knew who. She was starting to act oddly, but Narcissa was too busy with schoolwork and trying to avoid Bellatrix and her stupid prat of a girlfriend, or whatever she was, to fully investigate.

But then one day Narcissa broke her silence to Bellatrix, but only out of necessity and irrational fear.

It was an embarrassing memory, but it was one of those things about growing up a woman that was unavoidable. Of course, if her mother wasn't dead set on not preparing any of her daughters for anything in life outside of marriage, or if she had remembered to ask Bellatrix about that thing she mentioned two years ago, maybe she wouldn't have had such a colossal breakdown.

When she woke up one morning, she found her sheets had blood on them. Confused as to what was going on, she quickly put her comforter over them so no one would see and then ran to the bathroom because she wasn't feeling well. Her stomach was hurting like nothing else she had ever experienced and she was sure she was going to be sick. It felt like she was turning inside out and the pain was spreading down her thighs. She doubled over in pain, realizing it was getting worse the longer time went on.

Then she felt something wet on her sleeping gown. Fearful she had relieved her bladder in her sleep because she was clearly coming down with something horrible, she pulled down her knickers. What she saw made her scream. Loudly.

Narcissa was sure she was dying. There wasn't any other explanation for what was going on. Her heart was beating a thousand paces an hour and she couldn't calm down. Her breathing was coming in shallow and she was scared. Grabbing some toilet paper, she quickly cleaned herself up as best as she could before stealing back into her dormitory. Thankfully it was empty, everyone already having gone down to breakfast. She changed into her school robes quickly, heart pounding before she left to go down to the Great Hall.

She needed to find one of her sisters. There was a lot of blood coming out of her; this couldn't be normal!

She found Bellatrix first, sitting next to Gwendolyn. "Bella!" she exclaimed, voice fearful.

Bellatrix turned around, surprise written all over her face from being addressed by her after so long. But then she narrowed her eyes. "Oh, talking to me now, are you? Piss off."

"Bella, please," Narcissa begged, tears springing to her eyes. She lowered her voice and told her, "Something's wrong with me. I don't know what to do."

Bellatrix, sensing the fear in her sister, immediately became concerned. "What's wrong?" she asked, though obviously didn't think it was very dire seeing as Narcissa was able to stand in front of her.

Narcissa looked at the people around her, some of which were staring. "I can't… I can't tell you here," she whispered, her voice wavering. "Please, just…"

"Okay, come on. Don't have a fit," Bellatrix said patiently, standing up and taking Narcissa's hand. She gave Gwendolyn a look Narcissa didn't catch, but it didn't matter. She was dying, for Christ's sake. Her stomach pain was getting worse and she didn't understand why she hadn't thrown up yet. Keeping a firm grip on Bellatrix's hand, she practically pulled her out of the Great Hall and into the closest girl's bathroom.

"Okay, Cissy… Cissy! You don't have to pull me!" Bellatrix protested, but Narcissa wasn't listening. She let go of her hand once they entered the bathroom though, looking up at her with wide, fearful eyes. She looked like she was about to breakdown crying and Bellatrix, finally realizing this was something really serious, grasped her arms. "Narcissa, what's wrong?"

"I… there's… I'm bleeding," Narcissa told her, voice shaking. "And everything hurts, Bella. I think I'm really sick." She clutched at her stomach.

"Bleeding? Where?" Bellatrix asked, searching her for any signs of blood. But then she took in Narcissa's expression, where she was holding her stomach, and it hits her. "Oh…oh." She chuckled a little, which Narcissa was appalled by. How could she not be taking this seriously?! "Cissy, calm down. You're just having your period."

"My what?" Narcissa exclaimed. "What the bloody hell is that? I'm bleeding out of my vagina, Bellatrix! There's something seriously wrong with me! I think one of my organs exploded! This is serious; why are you laughing?!" And then she started to cry, overwhelmed by the pain and the lack of concern Bellatrix was showing. She should have just gone to Madame Pomfrey.

Bellatrix tried to stop laughing, looking like she actually felt bad for making her sister cry. "Come on, Cissy. I just… it was funny, I'm sorry!" She tried to reach out to her, but Narcissa pushed her hands away, upset. "Hey, come here," Bellatrix said, voice softer. "Come on, it's okay. You're not dying, I promise you. I should have told you about this, but I didn't think you'd even get it until next year at least."

Narcissa looked at her, teary eyed. She sniffed. "What's going on?"

"It's just your body welcoming you into womanhood. It's not a big deal. I'll tell you how to manage it."

"Womanhood?" Narcissa asked, appalled. "To be a woman we have to bleed down there?"

"Every month," Bellatrix told her. Narcissa's mouth dropped open. She didn't want to have go through this every month; it was awful!

"I know how you feel," Bellatrix said, noting her look. "None of us like it, trust me. But it's manageable. Come on, go clean yourself up as best you can in the stall and I'll be right back with something to help you. Try to calm yourself down, okay?"

Narcissa nodded, feeling a little foolish. Why didn't her mother prepare her for this? The woman was so useless! You'd think this would be something that was important enough to share!

Narcissa went into the stall and started cleaning up the small bit of blood that had gotten on her knickers. This was completely mortifying. She was eleven; she shouldn't have to be dealing with woman stuff right now! All she wanted was to come to Hogwarts and be normal, and now she… Narcissa sighed, wiping away her tears. This was horrible. She didn't like it one bit.

She was rubbing her stomach trying to dull the pain when Bellatrix came back. Bellatrix opened the stall door and handed her what looked like an oddly shaped cotton ball. "What's that?"

"A tampon," Bellatrix answered. "You need to put it inside of you."

Narcissa blinked. "I…what?"

Bellatrix sighed. "Inside of you, Cissy. It needs to go up your… you know. It'll stop the bleeding for a little while. Then you change it in a couple hours. You'll have to do this a couple times a day for about a week."

Narcissa stared at the tampon like she couldn't comprehend its existence. "I… no. No, I can't do that! That's foul!"

Bellatrix sighed, leaning against the stall door. "You need to. Do you want to go to your classes leaving blood stains everywhere you sit? Besides, it has a charm on it; helps with the cramps."

Although less pain sounded appealing, Narcissa's eyes went wide at the mention of blood stains. No, she definitely did not want that. That would be mortifying; everyone would laugh at her. But that… putting that inside of her frightened her. But Bellatrix motioned the tampon towards her again, so Narcissa hesitantly reached out and took it.

"I'll wait for you," Bellatrix told her, before stepping out of the stall and leaving Narcissa alone.

Alone with the tampon.

Which seemed to be mocking her.

Narcissa took a breath and sat down on the loo, pulling her knickers down to her ankles. She hesitantly unwrapped the clear plastic around the cotton, having absolutely no clue how to really go about this. It seemed really gross to her, to fiddle with herself down there. But then again, so did bleeding all over herself constantly. She made a face of hesitancy before moving her hands between her legs. This was so awkward.

But then Bellatrix heard from inside the stall, "Ow!"

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"It won't fit!" Narcissa whined. "It hurts." How could anyone possibly fit anything up there? It seemed nearly impossible!

Bellatrix sighed patiently. "It's because you've never had anything up there before. It needs to... stretch."

This day was going from bad to worse. Stretch? That sounded awfully painful. She whimpered a little in complaint but said, "Okay," and held her breath as she tried again.


"Cissy, you're going to have to get through the pain. It'll only hurt this one time; after that, you'll be properly stretched out and it'll be like nothing. So just come on, you need to—" Bellatrix tried, but Narcissa was having none of it. She was on the verge of a breakdown. This was too much for one young girl to handle in a single day.

"It's never going to fit, Bella! It just isn't!"

"Yes it will," Bellatrix said impatiently. "Come on, suck it up."

"Suck it up?" Narcissa asked, insulted. "It hurts!"

"You heard me. I had to go through it too. Just do it quickly, I'm hungry," Bellatrix told her, no more patience left in her. Narcissa could hear her foot tapping against the marble floor. This was awful. This was more than awful.

Narcissa let out a breath, knowing she was about to cry. She felt like such a silly child but her stomach was still hurting and nothing seemed to be working out for her the way it was supposed to. "Bella, will you…" she started, voice barely a whisper, "help?" It was probably one of the more embarrassing questions she'd ever have to ask in her life, but she was desperate.

"What? No!" Bellatrix protested. "Just do it yourself."

"I can't!" Narcissa whined, dissolving into tears again. "And now I'm going to have to walk around with blood coming out of me all week and everyone's going to laugh! I'm going to be made fun of for the rest of my life and everyone's going to hate me and call me 'the blood stain girl' or something equally as horrible and I can't—!"

"Narcissa!" Bellatrix exclaimed loudly. "Relax, you're becoming hysterical. It's only a tampon."

But Narcissa kept crying, putting her head in her hands. She couldn't deal with this. This shouldn't be happening to her right now. Bellatrix, hearing her sob with no intentions of fixing her own problem, let out an aggravated sigh. "Fine, I'll help, alright? Just stop crying. You're embarrassing yourself."

Narcissa heard the click of the stall door opening. She looked up, tears streaming down her face, feeling really embarrassed. Bellatrix looked her over, looking extremely uncomfortable with the situation. "Shit," she cursed, shaking her head. "Don't you ever breathe a word about this to anyone."

"I won't," Narcissa whispered, feeling awful about putting her sister in an awkward position. She couldn't even imagine it being reversed. Bellatrix knelt down in front of her and held out her hand for the tampon, trying to look anywhere but between Narcissa's legs. "Thank you," Narcissa said softly, handing it to her.

"Yeah, sure," Bellatrix replied, though it didn't sound like a 'you're welcome' in the slightest. She chose to stare behind Narcissa as she attempted to insert the thing blind. Which, ultimately, wasn't working out for the better. Narcissa nearly jumped a mile the second Bellatrix's hand touched her most intimate area and she flushed from head to toe. So did Bellatrix.

"I think you're going to have to look if you want to get it in," Narcissa suggested, needing this moment to be over, like, yesterday.

"Cissy, will you for one second just appreciate the awkwardness of this moment and respect it?" she asked, taking her hand away and looking at her. A funny look crossed over Bellatrix's face and her ears turned a bit pink. "It's… weird for me to look, okay?"

"But I thought you liked—"

"You're my sister!"

"Oh, okay," Narcissa said, feeling foolish. That probably was a stupid thing to say. She tapped her foot impatiently, waiting for Bellatrix to get up the nerve to actually look at her so she could see what she was doing. It was growing more and more awkward after each passing second, but Narcissa knew that if she sent Bellatrix away then she'd probably never get it inside of her. "Sorry," she apologized.

"Don't mention it," Bellatrix said. "And I mean really, never mention it. To anyone. Ever."


This was getting more mortifying with each passing second, but finally Bellatrix took a breath and turned to look at her. Narcissa immediately felt a weird sensation in the pit of her stomach when she caught Bellatrix practically staring. But she didn't say anything, knowing it would just make everything more awkward for her and she really needed her to do this. Instead she started chewing on her thumbnail, almost holding her breath as she watched her sister snap herself out of her staring contest with her vagina, and hesitantly reached forward.

"Okay, this is probably going to hurt, so I'll try to do it as fast as I can," Bellatrix told her, looking like this was possibly the weirdest thing she'd had ever done in her life. She furrowed her eyebrows and Narcissa noticed her breathing becoming a little shallower; no doubt from nerves. Finally, she touched her again; possibly opening her up, Narcissa wasn't sure. All she knew was that it was possibly the weirdest feeling she ever had, although mostly because it wasn't entirely unpleasant.

At least, that was until Bellatrix shoved that blasted thing inside of her with absolutely no warning. "Fuck!" she screamed, feeling like something down there had just torn. It was a word she had never used before, but had heard a couple times. It had apparently decided to just slip out during an appropriate situation.

"Nice language, Cissy," Bellatrix said with a smirk; a welcome distraction from the awkwardness. "You kiss Mum with that mouth?"

But Narcissa wasn't listening; she was too busy cradling the apex of her thighs with her hand. She looked at Bellatrix like she had betrayed her in some way and shouted, "You could have warned me!"

"I thought me being between your legs was warning enough," Bellatrix said, standing up and dusting off her robes. She looked a little distracted from her own thoughts as she made a task out of brushing the lint of her garments. "Regardless, it's in, and once the pain from stretching you out fades, you won't even feel it. You're welcome." She looked up and tried to make eye contact with Narcissa, but the girl was in too much pain to even really look at her.

God, she prayed the charm for cramps would alleviate this pain as well. It was throbbing.

"Shut up," Narcissa said, still holding herself and grimacing. "Oh my god, I hate you," she whined, looking between her legs. She expected it to be gushing blood right now because of how much it hurt, but it wasn't in the slightest. Bellatrix rolled her eyes.

"Stop staring at yourself like a weirdo. Pull your knickers up and come on. If we're lucky we can still eat a little something before class."

"I'm not going to be able to walk."

"You're being dramatic," Bellatrix told her, holding out her hand to help her up. Narcissa ignored it though and pulled up her knickers in a huff before glaring at her. "Look, you asked," Bellatrix said, exasperated with the way Narcissa was acting.

"Yes, but you weren't supposed to just… do it like that! You should have done it slower!" Narcissa complained, standing up. God, that just made it worse. This was the worst day of her life.

"Like I said before, if I did it slow it would've hurt more," Bellatrix told her, moving out of the stall. Narcissa just made a grumpy face as she tried to situate her robes. But then a thought occurred to her.

"Wait," she said, making Bellatrix stop mid stride. "How do I… get it out?"

Bellatrix sighed, looking a little annoyed as she walked over to the sink, washing her hands. "The string, you ponce. What do you think it's there for, decoration? Grab and pull, it's not complicated."

"You don't have to be mean about it," Narcissa responded, pouting as she flushed in embarrassment. It was bad enough she barely knew anything about her own anatomy and how to handle it's…malfunctions properly, but for Bellatrix to make fun of her only made it worse. She had no one else to talk to about this sort of stuff with.

But Bellatrix seemed to have reached her breaking point with her helpful behavior. She looked extremely uncomfortable all of a sudden and took a couple steps back from Narcissa like she didn't even want to be near her. Narcissa didn't understand why she was acting that way. She was fine a minute ago, wasn't she? She was poking fun at her for her bad language and encouraging her to get a move on to breakfast.

Why did it look like she suddenly switched personalities?

"Look, I just think you should stop asking stupid questions," Bellatrix told her, looking down on her and wiping her hands on her robes to dry them. "And… maybe figure some stuff out for yourself for once. I'm not always going to be around for this sort of thing. And I don't think it's fair that you expect me to be. After all, no one explained anything to me and I got through everything fine."

Narcissa just stared at her for a moment, her feelings a little hurt as she too began to wash her hands. "You… want me to leave you alone?" she asked, softly, staring at the sink. She didn't have anyone else.

"With stuff like this, yes," Bellatrix said, sounding miffed. "I'm your sister, it's not appropriate for you to ask me all these personal things."

"Well who am I supposed to ask then?" Narcissa asked as she turned off the sink and wiped her hands on her robes as well, feeling incredibly put out. She didn't understand why there was such a sudden shift in Bellatrix's mood.

"Do I have to spell everything out for you, Narcissa?" Bellatrix snapped, making the blonde take a step back. "You do have friends, don't you?"

Narcissa blinked heavily. "I…" she started, feeling attacked. "No, I… I mean…" But Bellatrix was staring at her, waiting for her to continue and she was starting to feel really guilty for making her sister cross with her. "I'm sorry, I just didn't know who else to come to… I was scared. Can't you understand that?"

"Of course I can," Bellatrix answered, like she was being stupid. "You think I didn't act the same way you did when I got mine? But I didn't have anyone, okay? So if I'm capable enough to grow up on my own, I think you should be too."

"...You're angry that I asked you to help me put it in," Narcissa said softly, finally realizing that doing that must have made Bellatrix feel just as uncomfortable as it did for her.

"Got it now, have you?" Bellatrix sniped at her. Narcissa winced, looking down at her shoes. Her face was scrunched up in upset. "Took you long enough. That was screwed up, Cissy. I don't want to touch you down there! You're trying to make me out to be some kind of pervert or something!"

"I wasn't trying to make you out to be anything; I just couldn't do it myself!" Narcissa cried. "I'm sorry! I thought you cared enough to help me. I'm sorry I was wrong." Bellatrix tried to say something, but Narcissa didn't let her. "Just go away, Bella. If that's what you think then maybe it's you that has the problem. This isn't my fault. I just asked, it's you who accepted and made it into something it's not."

"I didn't say it was, I'm saying it could easily be construed as such! And it's not like I had much of a choice in helping you, did I? You were crying all over yourself, practically hysterical. You really expected me to walk away?"

"Maybe you should have!" Narcissa exclaimed, upset. "If you did then we wouldn't be fighting right now over something I… I don't even understand."

"If I did then you'd still be crying and bleeding all over yourself since you're apparently completely incapable," Bellatrix snapped.

"I'm not incapable!"

"Says the girl who can't even put in a tampon on her own," Bellatrix scoffed.

"Leave me alone, Bella!" Narcissa cried. "Just leave me alone! Get out!"

"I don't have to go anywhere," Bellatrix told her, looking at her challengingly. Sometimes Narcissa wondered if she fought just for the sake of fighting. "If you want to be away from me so badly, you leave."

"Fine," Narcissa said. She started to storm past her, but she was just so angry with her. She understood that Bellatrix had no one to turn to when she was going through all this, but did that mean she had to take it out on her? Narcissa wasn't as strong as her. She had been feeling so lost for so long and Bellatrix was the only person who had ever made her feel like she had been found. And now she was getting upset because she had to touch her private parts? What was the big deal; they were sisters, surely it was obvious that it was nothing more than a friendly hand, right? Okay, so it didn't feel entirely unpleasant - it actually felt a little nice - but that didn't mean it was sexual.

Although, to be fair, Narcissa didn't have anything to compare it to. For all she knew, it could have been sexual. When it came to sex, she knew absolutely nothing.

Getting even angrier with herself for obviously knowing nothing, she irrationally took it out on Bellatrix, since she was the source of her original anger. So when she stormed past her, she didn't do it without giving her a hard shrug backwards.

She should have known better though; Bellatrix was almost twice her size. But Narcissa was angry and she didn't think.

Narcissa screamed in both surprise and fear as she was suddenly pushed backwards into a wall. She hit it hard and for a second it knocked the wind out of her. She tried to cough, but the pressure of Bellatrix's hand on her chest was making it difficult. It came out as more of a wheeze.

"Have you gone mental?!" Bellatrix shouted.

"Have you?" Narcissa retorted, coughing. "Get off of me!"

"What makes you think you can shove me and get away with it, huh?" Bellatrix demanded. Narcissa didn't like the look in her eyes at all. It actually did make her seem a bit mental.

What was happening to her sister?

"What's wrong with you?" Narcissa asked, frightened and angry. "You've been horrible to me ever since I came to Hogwarts; more horrible than you ever have in your entire life! It's that stupid girl, isn't it? She's making you completely insane! I'm your sister, you used to love me!"

"How can you say I don't?!" Bellatrix exclaimed, and Narcissa finally saw a flicker of pain in her eyes. "I'm trying to protect you, you stupid git!"

"From what?"

"From me!" Bellatrix yelled, pushing off of her to take a couple steps back. Narcissa watched her run her fingers through her hair; her hands were shaking.

From her? What?

Narcissa fell silent, watching her sister look like she was on the verge of a mental breakdown. She pursed her lips, feeling awful. She took a hesitant step forward, but Bellatrix took one back, folding her arms into herself and refusing to look at her. "Why would I need protecting from you?" Narcissa asked her softly.

Bellatrix looked over at her, her expression self-loathing. "Because I'm not right."

"What do you mean?"

"In the head, Narcissa! I'm not bloody right in the head!" Bellatrix shouted, like it should have been obvious. Narcissa blinked, taken aback. How could she think that?

"Of course you're right in the head," Narcissa said. "I was just having a go; I didn't mean anything by it. I was just angry."

Bellatrix shook her head. "No, you don't get it. No one fucking gets it." She looked so much like a trapped animal, and yet she did not try to run. Narcissa took her chance and slowly made her way over to her. Bellatrix actually let her this time, so when she found herself in front of her, Narcissa took her hand.

"You're not crazy, Bella. Why would you think such a thing?"

"I don't… I don't think right anymore," Bellatrix told her, voice breaking a little as she slumped to the ground into a ball. Narcissa followed suit, sitting next to her. Bellatrix stared at the floor as she went on, running her fingers through her hair in a way that made it seem like she was trying to get something out of her head. "I'm angry all the time. I want to hurt people for stupid little things like looking at me wrong. I hate…everyone that breathes. I want them to hurt; I want them to hurt me. I just want to feel pain, something, anything!" She gritted her teeth and her hand squeezed Narcissa's to border on painful, but Narcissa didn't make a sound. She just squeezed back.

"I feel that way too sometimes," she admitted quietly.

Bellatrix laughed scornfully. "Not like I do."

"I want to hurt Mum," Narcissa told her. That made Bellatrix finally look at her. "I want to hurt her for every time she hurt me. Sometimes… sometimes I even dream of killing her." She swallowed and finished guiltily, "and then I feel awful that the thought of it makes me smile."

"Mum deserves to die," Bellatrix said flatly.


Both girls fell silent. Both of them knew it had been a while since they had been in there and that they were probably missing their first class, but it didn't matter. Narcissa wouldn't leave her sister for anything right now. She had never seen her have this much turmoil before. It must have been sitting and stewing beneath the surface for a long time.

"There's something really wrong with my head, Narcissa," Bellatrix said softly. "And maybe it's Mum's fault. Maybe I just want to hurt everyone because she hurt me, but it doesn't make a difference. She already damaged me and she's well on her way to damaging you."

"Then we'll be damaged together," Narcissa told her, leaning into her a little. She put her head on her shoulder and Bellatrix put hers on top of her head.

"I don't want you to be like me," Bellatrix whispered. "You don't know the sick things I think about. It's like I want to do everything that's wrong. I can't stop myself. I don't know how. It's like I crave it or something."

"Do they make you happy?" Narcissa asked, looking down at their linked hands.

"A little, yeah. They make me feel better."

"Then do them," Narcissa told her seriously. Bellatrix furrowed her eyebrows and looked down at her, forcing Narcissa to move her head a little so she could look her in the eyes.

"You have no idea the things you're approving of," Bellatrix told her.

"Yes I do," Narcissa said. "The things you do with Gwendolyn. They're wrong, but I saw the way you enjoyed them." She flushed a little, remembering. "If doing those things makes you happier, then do them."

"She's not the only thing I think about," Bellatrix admitted.

"Then do those too," Narcissa told her. She gave her a small smile. "Just don't kill anyone, or hurt anyone too badly, okay? And only people who really deserve it. Not for just looking at you funny. I don't want to have to visit you in Azkaban." She cracked a smile at her, trying to make light of it, but Bellatrix didn't smile back.

Instead, she just sighed. "You still don't understand what you're allowing. You're being foolish. You shouldn't encourage this. Maybe you have gone a bit mental."

"I just want you to be happy," Narcissa told her, honestly. That one statement finally made Bellatrix give her a small smile and she pulled Narcissa closer, kissing her on the forehead.

Bellatrix was right though. Narcissa had absolutely no idea what she was encouraging at the time. But she was only a child; a child who saw that her sister was unhappy and wanted to help fix it. She thought it was the same as her anger towards people, but it wasn't. It was so very far from it. Their mother had damaged them both, but in two very different ways.

She found out later in her life that Bellatrix's mind really was starting to turn against her. Narcissa didn't blame her of course, as it was a disease; something that couldn't be helped. It was like the darkness inside her kept spreading like an infection. It seemed to make her brain get hung up in childhood, all while giving her an insatiable appetite for sexual dominance and attention; two things that were volatile when mixed. And then there was her desire to inflict pain on everyone around her, and the way she seemed to be listening to someone talking to her when the room was silent as death.

Yes, it turned out there was something very wrong with Bellatrix. She fought against it as long as she could, at least while she knew the difference between right and wrong. But eventually even that slipped away from her, and she succumbed to the madness inside of herself, too weak to fight it any longer.

But that was a story for another day.


*Chapter 4*: Chapter Four


The summer after Narcissa's first year at Hogwarts was one of the worst ones of her life.

Actually, it was more the worst one in Bellatrix's life than anything else, but Narcissa was there throughout the entire ordeal, having to be the one who picked up the pieces that were left of her sister. Narcissa was always the weak one, the one that Bellatrix loved and protected through anything. Then suddenly the tables turned. Suddenly it was Bellatrix who needed comfort, who needed support; who needed someone who loved her.

It wasn't like the time in the bathroom where Bellatrix told her about the dark things that were hidden in the depths of her mind. No, however this was probably one of the things that caused it to get worse, because Bellatrix certainly wasn't the same ever again.

Rodolphus Lestrange had officially proposed. Bellatrix and he barely knew each other, but things like that didn't matter much in pureblood families. They married for power, not out of love. So when Rodolphus' father extended the proposal to their father, he of course accepted readily. A marriage between the Blacks and the Lestranges would be a positive step towards the future of pureblood families. They didn't even consult Bellatrix before the deal was made; only told her of the plans after they were already sorted. She was to be married after she graduated.

There wasn't even a word for what Bellatrix was feeling; even 'furious' didn't seem to cover it. She seethed with hatred and anger and she refused to marry him. Refusal never went over well in their family; all of them were expected to do what was told of them, and a refusal of marriage? That was about as bad as it could get.

But Bellatrix wouldn't back down. Even as Mother continued to abuse Bellatrix in the most horrific ways, trying to make her learn obedience, she wouldn't give in. Narcissa could hear her sister's screams of pain echo through the house and it ripped her soul in half. She cried for a long time, huddled in a ball with Andromeda and praying that it'd stop. But it didn't. It seemed to go on forever. Finally, hysterical and scared to death that Bellatrix was going to die, she got to her feet.

"Narcissa, no!" Andromeda yelled, knowing what she was about to do. But she didn't listen. She ran into the parlor.

The back of Bellatrix's dress looked to be covered in blood. The spell her mother used could wound the skin even underneath clothes. She preferred it that way; she never wanted to see what she did while she was doing it. The only time she would ever look at the damage she caused was when she healed them, just so she could do it all over again and not leave scars.

The blood seemed to be everywhere. Bellatrix was lying on the floor, choking as she cried. She looked like she couldn't even get up.

"Stop it!" she screamed at her mother. "Stop! Stop hurting her!" Then, without a second thought, she did what came naturally: she ran over to Bellatrix and threw herself over the girl's broken body, shielding her from her mother's view. If she couldn't see the area she was aiming for, she wouldn't be able to hurt her. The spell allowed her to go under clothes, but eye contact was still needed, as it was with most spells.

Bellatrix was trembling, muttering something under her breath. Narcissa felt her heart break as she held her, beginning to tremble herself. Her sobs were wracking her entire body and she was more scared than she had ever been in her entire life, but she wouldn't move. She was not going to listen to Bellatrix in any more pain.

"Narcissa, get out of my way, this doesn't concern you!" Druella roared.

"Go fuck yourself, you abusive harpie!" Narcissa screamed, looking at her like she was the reason that evil existed in this world. "I won't let you hurt her anymore!"

Druella looked at her, horrified and astounded that she would ever dare to say such a thing to her. If Narcissa cared, she probably would be stunned that she said it herself, as she never, ever swore. Even Bellatrix didn't shout things like that at her.

And then she felt it.

Narcissa screamed as white-hot pain sliced down her back. But she grasped for Bellatrix's hand, holding on tight. "I'm not gonna move," she whispered, pain shrouding her voice. "I'm not gonna move, I promise, Bella. She's not gonna hurt you. I'm not gonna move." Then she screamed again, another blinding pain feeling like it was tearing apart her spine. She whimpered and huddled her head into Bellatrix's neck, who sounded like she was barely breathing.

"You stupid girl!" Druella shouted. "Your silly little act of heroism isn't going to do any good. Bellatrix is going to marry Rodolphus and she will be compliant about it! In this family you will do as you're told!"

But Narcissa was barely listening. Bellatrix had closed her eyes and she sounded like she was wheezing. "No, no, no, wake up," Narcissa begged, slapping her a couple times on the cheek. "Bellatrix, wake up!" But Bellatrix wasn't moving. "Mum!" she screamed, looking over at her. She was terrified that her sister was going to die; there was so much blood. "Do something!"

Druella swore when she saw the state of her eldest daughter. "Move!" she demanded to Narcissa as she picked her up by her hair and tossed her aside. Druella knelt down then, ripping the back of Bellatrix's dress to survey the damage. What Narcissa saw made her sick.

It looked like there was barely any skin left on Bellatrix's back. It was the most horrific thing she had ever seen in her life, and as Bellatrix struggled to cough, she saw a little bit of blood come out of her mouth. "Mum!" she screamed, scared to death. "She's going to die!"

"Shut up! She is not going to die!" Druella yelled, looking terrified herself at what she had done. She pointed her wand at Bellatrix's skin and said,"Vulnera Sanentur." Her hand was shaking.

The wounds instantly began to heal, but it was taking such a long time. Narcissa watched, her heart in her throat as she waited for Bellatrix to move. Finally Bellatrix started to frantically cough, her eyes popping open as she grasped at the carpet. Narcissa finally let out a breath.

"Do you see what you made me do?!" Druella yelled, like it was Bellatrix's fault she was close to being murdered by her own mother and the woman's desire to control absolutely everything with violence. She looked at Bellatrix like she was less than dirt as she said,"Tergeo." All the blood started to clean up from the scene, disappearing into nothing like the horror never even existed. Then she turned to Narcissa.

"Come here," she demanded. But Narcissa didn't move; she was frozen in fear over what her mother was going to do to her. "I said come here!" Druella yelled, coming over and grabbing Narcissa by the arm, forcing her to stand on her feet. She held her in place as she unzipped her dress, performing the same healing spell on her. Then she spun her around and slapped her right in the face.

"Don't you ever do that again."

Narcissa's eyes glistened with fresh tears, but she didn't say anything. When her mother let her go she ran to Bellatrix, falling to the floor and taking the girl into her arms. "Are you okay?" she asked, scared. "Bella, say something. Please say something." But Bellatrix lifted herself to a sitting position, saying nothing.

She didn't say anything for a whole month. It was like she was rendered mute; the shock of almost dying affecting her speech. Or maybe she just didn't find anything worth saying anymore.

Druella was furious when Bellatrix would no longer speak, but she didn't physically abuse her anymore. Narcissa thought that one of them almost dying had scared her too much to trust herself to ever do it again and know when to stop. But that didn't mean she didn't punish them in other ways. Bellatrix, still not agreeing to marriage since she wasn't even speaking anymore, was locked in her room. Her meals were sent to her through an owl that flew into her open bedroom window. She was three stories up though, so escaping without magic was next to impossible, and Bellatrix wouldn't risk doing magic outside of school and be kicked from Hogwarts. School was the only place they could ever truly get away.

Bellatrix was the only one of them with her own bathroom, which Narcissa wasn't sure was lucky or not. Not because she wasn't let out at all, but lucky because there was no guarantee they would even if she hadn't had one of her own.

She was a prisoner in her own house.

At first Narcissa would sit outside of Bellatrix's door, trying to talk to her through it. She'd place her hand flat against the wood, hoping that somehow Bellatrix could feel it and know she was there. But Bellatrix never replied back to her, and finally her mother found out what she was doing and threw her against a wall, threatening that if she ever caught her outside of Bellatrix's door again she'd reprise her old punishment.

So at night when everyone was asleep she took to using the family owl to send Bellatrix letters. She never got any in return, but it didn't matter. She wanted her to know that she hadn't forgotten about her. That even if she wouldn't or couldn't speak to her that she still loved her. That she was sorry that she couldn't make time fast forward until when they went back to school. That everything would be okay.

Narcissa cried a lot. Andromeda tried to comfort her, but it didn't help. Andromeda couldn't fix it. Besides, she was still so angry with her that she hadn't helped Bellatrix. She just stood aside and listened to the screams. Being scared wasn't an excuse, because they were all each other had. No one else was going to protect them.

"Maybe Bellatrix should just run away," she suggested one day.

Narcissa looked at her sister like that was the most foolish option she could have ever suggested. "If she ran then she'd be kicked out of school, you know that. Mother would see to it."

Andromeda shrugged, looking just as tired and worn out as Narcissa did. "Sometimes I think we all should. Anywhere is better than here."

"It's only three more weeks until school starts," Narcissa said, leaning against Andromeda. The brunette put her arm around her, holding her close. "We'd all be useless out there without more schooling, you know that."

"I just don't know if it's worth it anymore."

"Me neither. But it's got to be."

The next week, Narcissa found that she couldn't stand not knowing how Bellatrix was holding up. She started frantically searching her school books, trying to find a spell that would help. She figured as long as her mother didn't find out then there was no harm. She learned at school that the Ministry couldn't pinpoint who did a spell in the house, so they left it up to the parents to enforce the rule of no underage magic. Finally, she found what she was looking for.

It was late in the night that she snuck to Bellatrix's room. Her heart was pounding in her throat, knowing that if she was to be caught then she'd likely end up having the same fate as Bellatrix. But the risks were only that - risks. They weren't what was really important.

She held out her wand, hoping that it would work, and pointed it at the lock on Bellatrix's door."Alohomora,"she whispered. The lock clicked open.

Narcissa wet her lips and grasped the door handle and pulled it open as quietly as she could. When she stepped into the room she saw Bellatrix sitting straight up in her bed, her eyes widening as she realized that the door had actually been opened. But then they got even wider when she saw who was coming in. She looked like she thought she was hallucinating.

Narcissa put a finger to her lips before closing the door behind her softly. Then she was still, listening to see if anyone had woken up. The house was silent.

When she turned back to Bellatrix, the girl had already thrown the covers off of her and was starting to get out of bed, needing to know if what was going on was real. Narcissa ran to her, practically jumping on top of her, toppling them both backwards onto the bed a little as she embraced her in the tightest of hugs. It had been a whole month since she had seen her. Bellatrix held onto her like she never wanted to let go, but yet she stared off behind her with hollow eyes. She could still barely believe it.

When Narcissa pulled back, she looked at her sister. Bellatrix looked so empty. Even when she was looking at her, it seemed like she was more looking through her. It scared Narcissa. "Hey," she said softly, trying to give her a soft smile. "How are you feeling?" She took her hands in hers, holding them tightly.

Bellatrix looked at her for a long time before answering. When she did her voice was hoarse from not having been used in quite a while, and she barely made any expression as she told her, "I feel… empty." Her eyes shifted away to stare at the wall and Narcissa noticed she was rocking ever so slightly back and forth.

"You're not empty," Narcissa told her softly. "You're just numb."

Bellatrix didn't answer. She also refused to look to her. She just continued to ever-so-slightly move back and forth. Narcissa didn't know if Bellatrix even knew she was doing it. "Hey," she prodded again, trying to get her to look at her. "I'm here. I'm real, Bella. See?" she lifted her hands to her mouth and kissed each of them in turn. It finally made Bellatrix look at her and she smiled. "See? I'm here, okay? You're not alone. You're okay."

But Bellatrix still didn't seem to be looking at her. Worry was starting to cross over Narcissa's face. What had happened to her sister?

It seemed like it was forever until Bellatrix spoke. "What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to see you," Narcissa breathed. "I couldn't stand you being alone in here any longer. You'd grow mad. You are growing mad." Bellatrix didn't even react to that. "Bella, Mum didn't break you," Narcissa told her firmly. She squeezed her hands tightly. "She didn't. You're stronger than that. All you need is a little love, okay? I'll just… I'll love you and everything will be better, okay?" She knew she sounded silly and desperate, maybe even stupid, thinking that love could cure everything. But if not anything else, she knew it would help. Everyone needed to be loved. Everyone needed human contact. Bellatrix had been without it for a long time. She almost died and then was locked away like she was something to be forgotten about.

No wonder she was like this.

"Love is a sodding joke," Bellatrix told her, eyes still vacant, her voice hollow and detached. Narcissa furrowed her eyebrows in determination. She wasn't going to let Bellatrix turn into an empty shell.

"No, it's not," she told her firmly. She leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. "I love you." Then on her forehead. "I love you," she repeated. Her other cheek. Another, "I love you." She needed her to understand. She pulled back, face only inches from hers so that she could look her in the eyes. "I'm here and I love you. I didn't forget about you. I love you, Bella."

Bellatrix stared at her for what seemed like forever. Her face was still vacant of any expression, so Narcissa tried again. She leaned in to kiss her on the cheek once more, only to be shocked when Bellatrix turned and captured her lips with hers. It wasn't anything more than a quick press of the lips, but it was no sisterly kiss either. When Narcissa finally found the urge to pull away slowly, her heart was beating wildly in her chest. She stared at her like she didn't know what to do.

Her first real kiss… and it was with her sister.

Finally Bellatrix's eyes dropped to the space between them and she moved. It was only a little, but it was a shift of uncomfortableness. "I'm sorry," she apologized softly. She let go of Narcissa's hands and instead brought her own together, her thumb nail clawing at her palm.

"I… um," Narcissa stuttered, not knowing what to do. She knew Bellatrix was not well right now, so she shouldn't blame her. "It's okay," she told her, before taking one of Bellatrix's hands in hers again and forcing it away so she couldn't claw at herself. "Just please don't do that. Don't hurt yourself."

Bellatrix's bottom lip seemed to be trembling and she wouldn't look at her. She didn't cry though, she just continued to stare between them like she was wishing she could reverse time. "It's okay," Narcissa told her again. "I promise, it's okay. I'm not angry."

But Bellatrix was becoming completely non-responsive again. Scared that she was only going to get worse from guilt, she did the first thing she could think of: she tipped Bellatrix's head up with her chin, leaned in and kissed her herself. She figured that if she also did it, Bellatrix would have less to feel guilty about.

She just wanted her to get better.

This kiss was different than the first. Bellatrix closed her eyes and parted her lips, allowing Narcissa to do the same. She had never kissed anyone before, so she just followed Bellatrix's lead. She was terrified; her heart was pounding in her throat and she couldn't get her breathing under control. She knew how very wrong this was, but when Bellatrix's tongue slipped against hers she found that for one second it didn't matter, because it felt so very good.

They parted soon after that, but Bellatrix still wouldn't open her eyes. She was probably afraid of Narcissa's expression. But Narcissa just touched her cheek and told her in a whisper, voice trembling from being suddenly very nervous. "See? It's… it's okay. I liked it."

The truly terrifying thing was that she really did. For feeling so wrong, it felt so natural at the same time.

Bellatrix finally opened her eyes to look at her. She looked like she didn't know what to expect from Narcissa anymore. She also looked very confused… and so very, very broken. "You liked kissing me?" she asked, voice barely above a whisper.

Narcissa nodded. "Did you like kissing me?" she asked softly, worried about the answer. They were in dangerous territory right now and neither of them seemed to know how to handle it.

Bellatrix stared at her for a long time until she finally nodded slowly. But then she seemed to snap out of it because she wrenched away from her, leaving Narcissa there to stare at her in shock as she backed away from her to the other side of the bed. She started shaking her head wildly, "No, no. No, I'm not going to do that to you. I won't."

Narcissa didn't know what to do. This was charting new waters for her and she didn't know what the right thing to say was. She just wanted her sister to get better. She wanted her to smile again. "You're not doing anything to me," she promised her.

But Bellatrix kept shaking her head. "I'm fucking you up. I'm about to fuck you up. You'll be just as bad as me. You can't be like me. I won't let you. I won't let you be sick."

"I can decide for myself what I want to be," Narcissa told her. She looked at her sister, knowing in her gut that she had only made things worse. She started crawling over to her on the bed, feeling like she should beg for forgiveness. Bellatrix wouldn't look at her at all.

The tell-tale lump of sorrow started to build in the back of her throat and she tried to reach out for Bellatrix, but the other girl moved away. A sob escaped Narcissa's lips then and she quickly covered her mouth with her hand to try to muffle the sound so no one would hear. The sound did make Bellatrix finally look at her though. "I'm sorry," Narcissa choked through her tears. "I didn't mean to make it worse. I thought I was making it better. I'm so sorry."

"You're not even twelve yet," Bellatrix told her, as if that was the answer to some grand question Narcissa didn't understand. "You're sodding eleven and I'm disgusting."

"No, Bella, no," Narcissa cried softly, wiping the tears away that had fallen. "It was me; it was my fault. I kissed you. I'm the disgusting one."

"You don't know any better," Bellatrix told her, her own voice sounding tight, like she was trying not to cry.

"Of course I know better!" Narcissa sniffed. "I know kissing you is wrong, but I wanted to. I just wanted to make you feel better…"

"It's not your job to," Bellatrix told her, looking furious with herself for ever allowing something like that to happen between them.

"It is my job," Narcissa told her, looking at her sadly. Her tears had died down, but her stomach still felt as though she had swallowed bricks. "It's my job because I love you. I don't want you to be unhappy. You're my sister."

"Yeah, I'm your sister," Bellatrix spat, looking at her furiously. "I'm your sister and I kissed you like I wasn't."

"So?" Narcissa asked, feeling desperate to keep Bellatrix away from the edge of insanity. "So what? So what if we kissed like that? What's so bad about it, really? It's only kissing. Loads of people kiss each other, why can't we?"

She tried to convince herself she was just trying to make Bellatrix feel better about it, but the truth was… she liked kissing Bellatrix. It terrified her, but she liked it. It was nice and it made her feel… like Bellatrix truly cared about her. More than anyone else and finally more than Gwendolyn.

"Sometimes I really do forget how stupid you are," Bellatrix told her, but it sounded more hateful towards herself than Narcissa. "Then you open your mouth and I remember."

"You're just scared because kissing me made you feel good," Narcissa told her, voice shaking. She hoped she wasn't wrong. "You're scared because it felt good and you want to do it again but you think I don't."

"You're playing with fire, Narcissa," Bellatrix warned softly.

"It's not a big deal, Bellatrix," Narcissa told her, trying to convince her but she knew it was coming out more like plea than anything else. "No one will know. But if it makes you feel good then I want to do it. I want you to stop being sad." She realized she was sounding close to begging now, so she switched it quickly to, "If you don't that's fine too, but please don't hate yourself over it. I wanted to do it. If it's anyone's fault, it's mine."

Bellatrix looked at her for a long while and Narcissa pleaded with her eyes for her to stop blaming herself. This was just as much her fault as it was Bellatrix's, if not more. She'd never really given kissing Bellatrix much thought before now, but she had thought of the other girl touching her again after that incident in the bathroom. She always felt dirty when she had those kinds of thoughts; embarrassed. And she chided herself in her head to not think about things like that. But it was merely innocent touching that she dreamed about; she had convinced herself it was mere curiosity and wasn't anything sexual. She was far too young to be thinking about things like that, right? She had barely even thought about kissing another person at that time, so it seemed to be skipping a few steps.

But now kissing someone was all Narcissa could think about. It took over her young mind, wanting to build off of her first experience. She knew it should be with someone other than Bellatrix and yet... that's the only person she had ever felt safe with.

Finally Bellatrix spoke. "I'm just… tired," she told her, her voice sounding very drained. Narcissa swallowed, then nodded slowly.

"Do you… want me to leave?" she asked softly. She prayed Bellatrix would say no.

Bellatrix took a breath, looking her over. Then she pursed her lips and looked down at the bed, then back up at her. She let out the breath she'd been holding and said, "I think that'd be best."

Narcissa looked down, lip trembling. But she gathered herself up quickly and got off of Bellatrix's bed. What was meant as a visit to help ended up hurting everything so much worse. She looked over her shoulder at Bellatrix one last time before she opened the door, so much guilt in her eyes. "I'm really sorry," she whispered.

Bellatrix looked down at her blanket and replied, "Just go, Narcissa."


*Chapter 5*: Chapter Five


Narcissa didn't get to speak to Bellatrix again until they were on the train to Hogwarts. The fact that Bellatrix even made it back to Hogwarts was a miracle in itself. Mother refused to let her go back to school until she agreed to marry Rodolphus. Bellatrix, looking completely drained and numb, just stared at her for a long time, not saying a word. It was like she couldn't believe her mother would prioritize her marriage over her studies. None of them could. But Bellatrix, not wanting to be locked up in her room for the rest of her life, reluctantly said one word: "Fine."

She looked like she couldn't believe how bad her life had become. It wasn't even the marriage anymore, not really. While she didn't want to be tied down in a loveless marriage, it was more about how horrific the summer had been for her; the brutal beatings, practically being held hostage, and the confusion that went on between her and Narcissa. That spark in her eyes and her zest for life had been dimmed substantially, leaving her a broody, grumpy shell of what she was.

Bellatrix barely spoke anymore. Narcissa was expecting her to tell her to go away when she sat with her in her compartment on the train, but Bellatrix didn't say a word. She didn't look at her either. She just slumped into her seat and stared out the window. She looked so drained.

Then Gwendolyn burst in.

"Christ, Bella. Have you seen Rosier's hair? He's starting to grow it out – he looks like a complete tosser," she said as she entered, laughing.

Bellatrix turned to look at her, face blank, and then looked right back out the window.

Gwendolyn scrunched up her face and sat down opposite of Bellatrix, looking confused. "What's up your arse?"

"She's not feeling well," Narcissa answered for her sister. She definitely was not about to tell her what was truly going on. Gwendolyn looked at her, then back at Bellatrix, who answered without looking at either of them:

"I'm fine."

She didn't sound very fine.

"Yeah well, whatever it is, you best get over it. You're rubbish to hang around when you're in a mood," Gwendolyn said, leaning back against the seat and propping one of her feet on the seat next to Bellatrix. Bellatrix slowly turned to face her.

"Maybe I don't want to 'hang around' you anymore," she said venomously. "Did your feeble mind ever think of that?"

Gwendolyn looked at her, taken aback. She slowly removed her foot away from Bellatrix, sitting up straighter. "What could I have possibly done? We haven't seen each other in three months. It's me that should be angry with you, if anything. You didn't write back to me all summer!"

This was growing increasingly awkward for Narcissa, so she decided to bury her nose in one of her schoolbooks, trying to look uninterested in the conversation.

Bellatrix stared at Gwendolyn. "And you didn't even think of the possibility that I didn't return your owls on purpose?"

"What's gotten into you?" Gwendolyn asked, sounding hurt. Bellatrix had no emotion what-so-ever on her face.

"I'm not a lesbian, Gwen. That's what's gotten into me. I'm done playing your sick games."

Gwendolyn snorted in disbelief, "Oh please, you were the one who practically begged to get into bed with me in the first place!"

Bellatrix's wand was pointed at her throat in a flash, her face menacing. "Watch. Your. Mouth," she spat threateningly.

"Don't!" Narcissa exclaimed, putting down her book before putting her hand on her sister's arm, trying to lower it. But Bellatrix wouldn't move; she wouldn't even look at her.

"What are you going to do?" Gwendolyn asked, scornfully. "If you do anything to me, you'll be expelled." She looked at her angrily, but Narcissa could see the flicker of fear behind her eyes.

"Bella, this isn't her fault!" Narcissa exclaimed, gathering all of her strength and pulling Bellatrix's arm down. But the second it fell to her side, Bellatrix shot her a seething look and pushed her backwards. Hard. She landed against the glass of the compartment window, pain shooting down her back.

"What the hell is wrong with you?!" Gwendolyn asked, standing up and backing away from her. "You're acting like a complete psychopath!" She bent down to help Narcissa, whose face was contorted in pain as she tried to rub her back. "Are you okay?" Gwendolyn asked, concerned.

"I'm fine," Narcissa said, picking herself back up. That wasn't near as bad as her mother had done to her, so she could handle it.

"Maybe this is just who I am," Bellatrix retorted.

"Bullshit," Gwendolyn said, looking over at her angrily. "I don't know what the hell your problem is, but congratulations, you got your wish. I never want to see you again. If you even think of coming near me again I'll curse you so bad your face will be unrecognizable."

And then she got up and left, slamming the compartment door behind her. She never looked back.

Silence washed over the carriage. Narcissa just stared at Bellatrix, who seemed like she was staring through the wall, lost in her own mind. Narcissa didn't want to risk upsetting her in anyway, so she picked back up her book and started to read "The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2."

Neither of them spoke for almost a half an hour.

Finally Narcissa risked a peak at Bellatrix and she felt her stomach lurch from what she saw. Bellatrix was still sitting in the same position, staring at the wall, but tears were streaming down her cheeks. Narcissa didn't know if Bellatrix even know she was crying, but it made her put down her book and hesitantly reach out and touch her arm.

"Bella?" she asked softly.

"Leave me alone," Bellatrix answered, voice cracking from the strain. She didn't look at her.

"Bella, what's wrong?" Narcissa asked quietly. She bit her bottom lip as she watched another fresh tear fall from Bellatrix's eye. "Didn't you want to break it off with her?"

Bellatrix's hand was shaking, so Narcissa slid her hand down to cover it with her own. It took a moment, but Bellatrix finally closed her fingers around hers, holding it. She didn't say anything for a long time.

It had started to rain outside and the drops of water pounding on the windows were the only sound that could be heard. Suddenly Bellatrix moved, her head dropping down to look at their linked hands. "I hate what my life has become," she told her softly.

Narcissa squeezed her hand. "I know."

The wind howled outside as the train continued on its journey. "I don't want to marry him," Bellatrix told her softly. "If I was to marry anyone, I would've wanted to marry her."

The pit of Narcissa's stomach started to burn with jealousy, but she suppressed it. This wasn't about her. "Then why did you break it off like that? That was horrible, Bellatrix."

"Don't you see?" Bellatrix asked, finally turning to look at her. "What her and I had was nothing more than a joke! I could never be with her, not really. Certainly not publicly. So why even bother? Why continue to string her along when I'm engaged to someone else? That would be more horrible than what I just did, I guarantee you."

Narcissa wasn't sure, but she wasn't up to arguing. If Bellatrix thought what she did was best, then it wasn't her place to argue. It wasn't her relationship, after all. So she reached up and tucked a piece of hair behind Bellatrix's ear and said, "I'm sorry." She gave her a little half smile, trying to let her know that it'll all be okay as her thumb traced her cheekbone.

Bellatrix looked for a moment in a way Narcissa couldn't decipher, but then she pulled back a little and whispered, "Please don't touch me like that, Cissy."

Narcissa furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. "Like what? I was only fixing your hair."

"Like you want something I can't give you," Bellatrix told her. She untangled her hand from hers, smoothing her own down her robes as she averted her eyes. "I know I was your first kiss, Narcissa. I know it's only natural to want more but I can't… do that again."

"I… I didn't ask you to," Narcissa said, trying not to sound hurt and rejected.

"You didn't have to," Bellatrix replied. "It was written all over your face." She started picking invisible lint off of her robe.

Narcissa's cheeks started to flush in embarrassment and anger at being put in such an awkward spot. She didn't bring up the incident in the bedroom to save Bellatrix the embarrassment and yet she was acting like Narcissa was now following her around like some lovesick puppy. Maybe some part of her did want to do it again, but she knew better than to ask. She saw how upset Bellatrix got with herself the first time.

"Everyone doesn't just fall at your feet, you know," Narcissa snapped, making Bellatrix turn to face her. She grabbed her book, stuffing it in her bag. "You're not God's gift to women," she continued, furiously. "Oh, lucky Bellatrix; she had a girl who loved her and is now engaged to one of the most powerful boys in our society. Lucky sodding you, right?" She looked up at her angrily as she pulled her book bag over her shoulder and stood up. "Well just because everyone else seems to want you, doesn't mean I do," she told her. "Just because I'm young and stupid," she spat, "doesn't mean I'm damaged in the head enough to fall for my own sister."

"Narcissa!" Bellatrix exclaimed, mouth agape.

"And unlike you," she continued furiously, upset and feeling very put out. "I plan to fall in love and marry a nice pureblood boy, and not spend the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself. I may have urges I can't explain, but at least I don't act on them."

"You did!" Bellatrix protested.

"You did first!" Narcissa yelled. "If you've forgotten, which you clearly seem to have. I took the blame because I was scared of the state you were in, but I'm not going to be your punching bag. I didn't want to kiss you right then, and you know it. You're just trying to make me feel awful about myself so you can feel better."

"That wasn't what I was trying to do, Cissy! I was trying to make you understand that nothing could ever happen between us. And will you shut your sodding mouth before someone hears you?!"

"No one can hear us; the compartments have noise reducers so others can sleep, remember?" Narcissa spat.

"Regardless, you're acting hysterical and embarrassing yourself."

"You're the one embarrassing yourself," Narcissa told her, moving towards the door. She opened it and looked back at Bellatrix before saying, "I don't want to talk to you until you've gotten over this whole hurting people kick you seem to be on. I refuse to be one of your victims."

She didn't give Bellatrix a chance to answer before she stormed out of the compartment, closing the door behind her heavily. She took a breath, noticing she was shaking a little, but smiled despite it all. For once making Bellatrix feel smaller than her made her feel good. She wasn't about to have everything that happened rest on her shoulders alone. She felt awful for what Bellatrix had gone through over the summer, but that didn't give her any reason to embarrass her for no reason. Maybe she was crueler than she should have been, but she was hurt. Besides, there's no taking it back now.

Narcissa tugged on her book bag a little as she made her way down the Slytherin carriage, trying to find a compartment. A couple ones down she noticed the boy Bellatrix had gotten into an argument with on the train last year. He was alone.

Feeling a little self-conscious she slowly opened the door, peering inside. He looked up at her. "Um, do you… do you mind if I sit here?" Narcissa asked, suddenly feeling very foolish.

"Not at all," he said, giving her a charming smile. Narcissa felt her ears turn a bit pink and she nodded her thanks before slipping into the compartment, closing the door behind her. She bit her bottom lip as she sat across from him, smoothing out her robes with her hands. It was a little awkward sitting with someone that she didn't know; sitting with a very cute boy that she didn't know.

"You're Bellatrix's sister, right?" he asked, like he was suddenly recognizing her. He said Bellatrix's name like it was something vile.

Narcissa nodded, shyly tucking a piece of blonde hair behind her ear. "Yes, I'm Narcissa."

"Lucius Malfoy," he introduced himself, extending his hand. Narcissa took it and he held it for a second, looking her in the eyes in a way that made her flush again. "If you don't mind me saying so, you're very beautiful, Narcissa."

"Thank you," she said, feeling her face turn about five different shades of red. When he let go of her hand, she ducked her head down. No one had ever called her beautiful outside of her sister before. She found she rather quite enjoyed it.

"If you don't mind me asking, why aren't you with your sister? She seemed to want to keep an annoyingly close eye on you last year."

Narcissa looked up at him, surprised that he even noticed her existence before now. "We… had a fight," she admitted. She shrugged, folding her arms into herself. "I wanted to get away."

"Yes well, with Bellatrix's temper, that hardly seems surprising," Lucius commented, making a face of distain at the thought of her sister.

"She's okay," Narcissa said. "But sometimes she can be a bit overwhelming."

The rain was starting to let up a bit outside as they neared the castle. It wouldn't be long now. Lucius looked at her and asked, "You're a second year, right?"

Narcissa nodded, gathering her bag up closer to her just so she had something to do with her hands. All of a sudden it seemed like everything she did felt awkward. "Are you in Bella's year?" she asked.

"Me?" Lucius asked, laughing a little. "No, I'm a third year."

"Really?" Narcissa asked, surprised. "You look much older." He seemed much older too. Maybe it was because he knew how to talk to a lady, but that must be because of his upbringing. Her father had mentioned the Malfoy's once; spoke highly of them.

Lucius cracked a smirk, "I get that a lot."

"If you don't mind me asking… if you're not in Bella's year, how do you know her?" Narcissa asked, curious.

"We got into it my first year. She was bullying one of my friends and I took it upon myself to confront her about it."

"My sister isn't a bully," Narcissa protested, astounded that he would even say such a thing. Sure, she had her temper, but she wasn't downright mean.

"Clearly you don't know her as well as you think you do, then," Lucius said simply. Narcissa frowned.

The compartment door flew open then, two stout boys trying to push past each other to get in. Narcissa backed up so as not to be hit, as Lucius outright rolled his eyes at their stupidity. "Only one of you can fit at a time, you gits."

The boys seemed to either ignore Lucius' insult or were already used to them. The fatter one backed up a little, letting the taller one inside first. "Malfoy!" he exclaimed, apparently gleeful over something. "Guess what we just saw!"

"Assessing your excitement, I assume a cupcake?" Lucius replied dryly.

The fat one pushed his way in and answered, "That hag Black is in her compartment crying!" he laughed in glee. Narcissa's eyes went wide and she abruptly stood up.

"Sit down, you buffoons. Can't you see you're in the presence of a lady?" Lucius spat. Both boys looked confused until they actually bothered to notice that they weren't alone with Lucius in the compartment.

"Who's she?" the tall one asked.

"Aw, Malfoy's got himself a girlfriend!" the fat one jested. Narcissa flushed red. She wanted to get past them to check on Bellatrix, but they didn't seem to want to move.

"This is Narcissa Black," Lucius introduced, stressing her last name. The fat one's eyes popped open. The tall one still continued to look confused. Lucius shook his head in annoyance and turned to Narcissa.

"Narcissa, these are my friends, Crabbe and Goyle. They're idiots, but they have their uses."

Crabbe, the fat one, retorted to that with an, "Oi!" Lucius smirked.

"Well what do you expect? You burst in here without noticing we have a guest and then continue to poke fun at hers ister. Either sit down, shut up, and show a little class, or go find yourself the candy cart and stuff your fat faces."

"Well how were we supposed to know she was Bellatrix's sister?" Goyle asked. "It isn't like she wears a sign."

"I think I should be going…" Narcissa said, trying to head towards the door, but Lucius put a hand on her arm, stopping her.

"Nonsense. They'll leave," he demanded as he shot them a glare. Goyle rolled his eyes and Crabbe threw Lucius the finger before they trudged out of the compartment, off to find the food cart.

"I'm sorry about them," Lucius apologized. "They wouldn't know how to treat a lady even if it was clearly spelled out in front of them. I do hope they didn't offend you."

Narcissa swallowed, not used to having someone talk to her like she was worth something. Blood status seemed to count for so little recently. Her mother seemed to think that their family should be regarded as royalty, and yet she was never treated as such... until now. She smiled at him a little, shy.

"No, it's alright," she insisted. "I expect they just weren't brought up as well as you."

Lucius chuckled, "That they were not. They're alright though, even if they are a bit thick."

Narcissa looked out the compartment door, then back at Lucius. "I think I should check on my sister, see if she's alright. She's… been through a lot lately. I worry."

"Of course," Lucius said, understanding. Narcissa smiled at him before turning to gather up her book bag. When she turned back, Lucius told her, "You're welcome to sit with me anytime you'd like, Lady Black."

Narcissa flushed a little but nodded in thanks. "I appreciate that, Lucius." They locked eyes only for a moment longer until she turned, making her way out of the compartment.

The second she came to Bellatrix's compartment and opened the door, Bellatrix screamed at her to get out, throwing one of her books at her. Narcissa backed up, angry. She was only trying to see if she was okay. She may have been a bit rude to her before, but she didn't have to throw something at her. So she left the compartment, furious, and returned to Lucius.

Last year Narcissa didn't make many friends. This year seemed to be different. She started to hang around Lucius and his friends, and all of a sudden all these girls wanted to be friends with her too. She suspected it was because of how handsome Lucius was; it couldn't be denied how many girls fell to their knees around him. She secretly was overjoyed that he seemed to show the most interest in her, however. For the first time in her life, someone paid attention to her other than Bellatrix.

Bellatrix, however, was furious when she found out who Narcissa had been hanging around with. She cornered her in the dormitories a few days following her twelfth birthday, after everyone had left to go to class. "Are you thick?" she accused. "Hanging around with the likes of Malfoy? Are you that bloody daft?"

Narcissa looked at her, upset and angry. "Jealous?" she asked.

"Of what, you? Hardly," Bellatrix scoffed.

"Of the fact that a nice, proper, pureblood boy is paying me some attention, when your own husband-to-be barely speaks to you in the hallway between classes," Narcissa answered as she gathered up her Potions book. She needed to get to class; she didn't have time for this.

"Don't be an idiot, Narcissa. The only reason he's paying you any attention is because he plans to get between your legs," Bellatrix spat.

"That isn't true! Lucius has been nothing less than a gentlemen to me," Narcissa protested.

"Yeah, until he gets himself a little taste, and then you'll be thrown out like yesterday's newspaper."

Narcissa stomped her foot, angry. "Just because you spoiled your own chastity at a young age, doesn't mean I will!"

Bellatrix laughed. "Just you wait. He'll whisper sweet nothings in your ear, tell you that you're beautiful, and you'll be spreading your legs for him so fast you won't know what happened until you're thrown out on your arse the next morning."

"I'm not a harlot!" Narcissa yelled, offended that her sister would think such a thing about her.

"Oh, sweetie. We all are. We just don't know it until it happens."

"Well, I'm not like you!"

"You're exactly like me," Bellatrix told her, eyes flashing as she advanced on her. Narcissa backed up a couple steps. "You're going to believe every lie anyone ever tells you." She kept advancing on her, and Narcissa backed up until she hit the front board of her bed, halting to a stop. Bellatrix took one more step forward until she was practically towering over her. "He'll tell you he loves you and you'll believe it. He'll tell you it'll always be you and him, and you'll drown in his words." Narcissa swallowed as Bellatrix's face got closer, her lips barely an inch in front of hers. "And then," she whispered, like it was some kind of fairy tale she was reciting, "the entire fucking world will turn upside down and suddenly you're left alone, wondering why you even bothered in the first place."

"What happened with you and Gwendolyn won't happen with me," Narcissa said softly, a little nervous at how close Bellatrix was. "Besides, I don't even know if he likes me like that. You're just angry that I could have someone and you don't have anyone."

Bellatrix's hand hit the front board of Narcissa's bed and the blonde jumped at the sound. Bellatrix curled her fingers around it as she looked her in the eyes. "I do have someone," she told her. "It's just not the person I want. And you're a fool to think you'll end up with the one you want. Father will auction you off to the highest bidder, just you wait."

"It's a long time off," Narcissa said, trying to find some means of escape, but it seemed Bellatrix had her trapped.

"Not as long as you think."

"Bellatrix… I need to get to class," Narcissa avoided, dropping her gaze. "Please let me go."

But Bellatrix didn't move. "Do you want him, Cissy?" she asked, but it sounded more like a taunt. "I mean, do you really want him? Do your loins burn with need every time you think of him? Do you just dream of touching his cock, of having it slide inside of you and fill you up?" Every word she said sounded more vile and more disgusting just by her tone.

Narcissa flushed a deep read. "Bella!" she exclaimed. "That's none of your business!"

"I think it is." Bellatrix's voice was like venom and it flowed through Narcissa's body like poison.

"How can you speak like that?" Narcissa asked, horrified. "How can you say those things? You're acting like a tramp!"

"It's you who's acting like a tramp, Narcissa. You don't think I see the way you try to puff out your chest every time you're around him, trying to get him to look at your breasts?"

"I do not!" she protested loudly. "I'm still a child, Bella! I don't… I don't think about things like that!"

She did think about things like that, but it was still only curiosity; only fantasies. She was growing up, she knew that, but she didn't want to do any of those things. Not right now! She had only just started masturbating a couple months ago. Not that she would ever admit to anyone that she had done so, though. It was shameful.

"I lost my virginity at your age," Bellatrix countered.

"Well I'm not you!"Narcissa reiterated, screaming. "Just leave me alone, Bella! What I do with Lucius or whomever else is none of your concern!"

"You're my sister!" Bellatrix hissed, pressing her body into hers to trap her. Narcissa whimpered a little, feeling overwhelmed and a little scared. Bellatrix hadn't been right in the head ever since what happened over the summer. "You're my bloody sister, so yes, it is my concern! Did you honestly think I would allow you to lose yourself to filth like him?"

"We haven't done anything!" Narcissa protested. "Why are you acting like this? I'm not your property!"

"Oh, Cissy," Bellatrix said, chuckling a little under her breath as she reached up and stroked her fingers down her cheek softly. "You are," she whispered. Narcissa swallowed. "Tell me what you really want, darling," she coaxed, but it didn't sound in the least bit sweet.

"I…" Narcissa spoke, her voice shaking a little. Bellatrix being this close to her was confusing her again. She was scared, but she was also nervous for completely different reasons. "I'd like to go to class," she tried.

"I meant," Bellatrix reiterated softly, her fingers still stroking Narcissa's cheek like she was made out of glass. "Who do you really want?"

It felt like butterflies had made camp in the pit of Narcissa's stomach. Was her sister flirting with her? She had just gotten angry with her a couple weeks ago, saying that nothing could ever happen between them. This didn't make any sense. But then again, it was hard to guess the way Bellatrix's mind worked.

Narcissa licked her dry lips, her heart pounding. "What are you really asking?" she whispered, fearful there was someone around to hear them.

"You heard my question," Bellatrix said, brushing some of Narcissa's hair off her neck. "Answer me."

"I don't understand what you want from me," Narcissa said, feeling awfully confused. But her hand subconsciously held onto Bellatrix's robes, feeling like if Bellatrix was touching her, then she should as well. Bellatrix let out a breath and leaned forward, resting her forehead against hers. Narcissa closed her eyes, feeling her sister's breath on her face. Even with being so angry with her, a familiar burn began to form in the pit of her stomach at the close proximity.

"I don't want you with him," Bellatrix whispered finally.

"Why?" Narcissa asked, voice barely audible. She felt Bellatrix's hand slide around to cup the back of her neck and her grip on the brunette's robes tightened.

"Because it isn't fair."

Narcissa's breath quickened as she felt Bellatrix's head move ever so slightly. Her lips brushed hers and Narcissa's heart leapt in her throat as she tried to suppress a whimper. This wasn't right, and Bellatrix's mind games were the thing that wasn't fair, but she was so weak sometimes around her.

But Bellatrix didn't kiss her. Her lips only barely touched hers before she pulled away, but only a fraction of a centimeter. "I'm the one that loves you," she told her softly, her voice tickling Narcissa's lips and heightening all her senses. "Maybe I'm not allowed to in the way he could, or anyone else could, but I loved you first."

"I know," Narcissa whispered.

"You're all I have left," Bellatrix told her, voice breaking a little. "You're the only thing worth a damn in my life, Cissy. I know I can be horrible but I just don't know how to deal with it. My whole sodding life is falling apart." She slipped her head down to bury her face in her sister's neck and Narcissa wrapped her arms around her waist, holding her.

"You're not going to lose me," Narcissa promised, burying her face in her sister's hair, soaking up her scent. She smelled like lavender.

"Maybe not yet," Bellatrix mumbled against her skin. "But one day I will."

Bellatrix couldn't have been more wrong, but neither of them knew it then. They were both just confused teenagers with no knowledge of how the real world operated. To Bellatrix, marriage was the end of all things; she would be locked up in a house and made to take care of the children. As it turned out, neither of those things happened. She was convinced that her marriage would take her away from Narcissa, but that didn't happen either. Even when Narcissa married and had a child of her own, she still saw Bellatrix every week.

They were sisters, after all. They loved each other more than they loved anyone else, and they loved each other in so many other ways that no one ever knew…


*Chapter 6*: Chapter Six

Author's Note:
So, originally I was posting a chapter once a week, just to make sure I'm always ahead and getting them out regularly for you guys. However, I've now written up to chapter 18 so I figured I can start putting them out a little faster xD I do have other stories to work on/finish however, so if updates go back to once a week, it's because I'm currently working on something else and don't want to get behind with this one.


It was three days before Christmas vacation and the common room was bustling with activity, everyone too excited for the holidays to even bother with schoolwork. Most of the teachers had given up on assigning it anyway, either in the 'good spirit of the holidays' or because they knew it would be rather pointless at this time. The students were too busy bragging about where their parents were going to take them, or wondering what they would get under the tree this year.

Narcissa was one of the ones bragging about where they were going to go. Her parents sent her and her sisters a letter not one week previously, letting them know that they were planning to spend the holiday in France. Narcissa had been to Scotland and Ireland, but never France, so she was very excited. Her mother always seemed to be less horrible when on holiday, so maybe they might have a decent Christmas for once.

Bellatrix and Andromeda didn't seem to care though. Andromeda was angry that she wouldn't be able to see her friends and Bellatrix just didn't seem enthused by the prospect of spending Christmas somewhere else.

That didn't stop Narcissa from bragging though. She went on and on to her friend Margret Macmillan, "And my Mum says there's this fabulous castle we're going to stay at that used to be Lord Baillargeon's estate. You know, the wizard who found that vampire blood could be used in about fourteen different potions? Of course, it's been turned into a rather upscale hotel now, but some say it's haunted by the damned spirits of the vampires he killed for his studies. No one really knows if it's true though or if it's just a bunch of crackpots making up stories, but either way—"

"Stop boasting, Narcissa," Andromeda told her as she walked up, overhearing her conversation. "Nobody likes a bragger." She flopped down onto the couch next to her and started picking at her nails. Narcissa narrowed her eyes at her, annoyed at being interrupted. "Besides," Andromeda drawled on, "when vampires die they don't become 'damned spirits' that wander around. They're just dead."

"How would you know?" Narcissa asked, a snooty tone in her voice.

"I actually pay attention in school."

"Whatever," Narcissa said, rolling her eyes and turning back to Margret. "So are your parents taking you anywhere?"

"No," Margret responded, huffing in jealousy. "Dad just got laid off at the Ministry so Christmas is going to be complete rubbish this year."

Narcissa pretended to care, "Oh, that's horrible." Frankly she was too self-absorbed to think of anyone right then though. That was until Andromeda elbowed her in the ribs. "Ow! What?"

"Look," she said, pointing across the common room at Bellatrix, who was looking extremely interested in what Rodolphus was telling her. "They're actually talking."

"And she's not yelling at him," Narcissa added, bewildered. Two weeks ago she saw them get into a heated argument outside the Great Hall. Bellatrix was still angry that they were engaged.

"Do you think she wants to get married to him now?" Andromeda asked, like the very idea was preposterous.

"No, Bella hates marriage," Narcissa said, but still watched the two of them curiously. While their physical behavior didn't signify attraction in the least, it couldn't be denied that they had reached some kind of mutual agreement. What was going on?

It was the next day that Bellatrix came to speak with her. Narcissa's Charms class had been cancelled due to one idiotic student severely burning himself while trying to attempt a banishing charm. How, no one was sure, but her Professor let the rest of the students leave early while he took the boy down to the hospital wing.

So Narcissa went back up to her dormitory and lay on her stomach, idly flipping through her copy of Naut Fur You's Holiday Shopping Guide, trying to find something for her sisters for Christmas. Their mother had given them a significant raise in their allowance from their trust funds this year, though probably only in part to her almost killing Bellatrix over the summer.

She looked up when she heard someone come in, only to see Bellatrix already standing in front of her bed. She blinked in surprise.

"Guess what?" Bellatrix prodded, smirking. She had been feeling better lately and was almost, almost back to her old self. It made Narcissa wonder what had changed.

"What?" Narcissa asked, playing into her game as she closed her magazine, peering up at her.

Bellatrix smiled as she sat down on the bed next to her and said proudly, "We're not going to France for the Holidays."

"What?" Narcissa asked, sitting upright. "What did you do?!" She had been looking forward to that!

"I sent mother and owl yesterday and told her I wanted to stay home for Christmas so I can get to know Rodolphus better."

"So we're all staying home? What the hell, Bella! I wanted to go!"

"No," Bellatrix said, still smiling. "Me, you, and Andromeda are staying home. Mother and Father are still going."

Narcissa blinked. Their parents had never left them alone before.

"I offered to watch the two of you for the Holidays while they go off and have some time alone," Bellatrix told her, still with this shit-eating grin adorning her face. "I got the owl this morning; Mother said yes."

"What?" Narcissa asked, astounded. "Two whole weeks without Mum? Are you serious?"

"Completely," Bellatrix said, grinning. Then she waved her hand, as if dismissing her next statement. "You know Mum though; she said it'd be wonderful to get away from a bunch of ungrateful brats, then followed it up with how nice it is that I'm finally succumbing to her wishes, yada yada, whatever. The point is, we have two whole weeks without them." She smirked wider. "Who do you love?"

"You!" Narcissa exclaimed, practically jumping on Bellatrix as she enveloped her in a hug. "Oh my god, two weeks alone?"

"Well, not entirely alone," Bellatrix said, rolling her eyes as they parted. "For Christmas Aunt Walburga is going to come over with our cousins, but other than that, yes. Mum says she trusts me." Bellatrix cackled. "I don't know what got slipped in her pumpkin juice this morning, but to hell with it. She's probably just ecstatic that I said I wanted to spend time with Rodolphus, the dumb git."

"Are you?" Narcissa asked, sitting cross-legged on her bed. "Going to spend time with him, I mean."

"Said so, didn't I?"

"Yeah, but I thought you… hated him," Narcissa said cautiously, a little confused. Bellatrix shrugged.

"I've rethought my priorities," she said evasively.

"What does that mean?"

"Exactly what I said. Come on, Cissy. Who cares? Long as Mum ain't pitching a bitch fit, it shouldn't matter, right?" Bellatrix replied. "Just be excited I got us two weeks without them."

Narcissa looked at her suspiciously. She could tell something was going on, but Bellatrix didn't seem up to sharing. Whatever it was, it was clear it had nothing to do with her suddenly developing feelings for him. She didn't have the same tone of voice she used to use when she talked about Gwendolyn. She gushed about her. The way she referred to Rodolphus, it was almost like he was a business partner.

But Narcissa let it slide, allowing the fact that they were gonna be alone for two whole weeks thoroughly excite her. "Two weeks," she repeated wistfully. "Oh, this will be so much fun! OH! We can use the good china! I've always wanted to use those, they're so pretty."

Bellatrix blinked heavily at her, then busted out laughing. "We have the house to ourselves and the best 'fun' thing you can think of is that we can use the good china? You're a riot, Cissy."

"What?" Narcissa asked, pouting as Bellatrix openly mocked her. "What were you thinking of, then?"

"Me?" Bellatrix asked, smirking. She ran her fingers through Narcissa's hair before grinning and ruffling it up. Narcissa frowned while Bellatrix told her, "I was thinking about a party."

Narcissa protested a lot after Bellatrix suggested that, knowing their mother and father were going to find out, but Andromeda sided with Bellatrix and suddenly it was two against one. Then again, even if she didn't, Narcissa was sure Bellatrix would have one regardless.

Narcissa had never attended a party outside of the boring ones her parents held that were more like dinner parties than anything else. This? This was different though. Three days into their stay alone, Bellatrix had loud music pumping through the room, everyone was getting drunk or was already there, and there was just an unnatural amount of people making out all over her house.

Narcissa would complain about the disarray and lack of privacy her own house held, if not for the fact that Lucius Malfoy had come. While she felt a little uncomfortable being around a bunch of older kids, seeing as most of the people that came where in Bellatrix's year, she did at least have someone to talk to. Or, well, she had, until some tall redhead lured him away being all sexy and… positively infuriating.

She wished some of her friends in her year had come, but the only one that was allowed to an unsupervised party was Margret, who was currently in the corner making out with a fourth year.

"Here, you look like you need it," Bellatrix said, her words slurring a bit as she slumped against the wall next to Narcissa and handed her a bottle of firewhiskey. Narcissa turned up her nose.

"I am not drinking that."

"Aw, come on. Live a little," Bellatrix coaxed, nudging the bottle into her side and grinning in that irresistible way she did to make Narcissa do what she wanted. "You don't expect to have the courage to get Lucius to kiss you if you don't drink, do you?"

Narcissa looked at her, taken aback. "I thought you didn't want me near him."

"Well maybe I just want to get you drunk for other reasons, and merely pretending that's the reason why," Bellatrix stated bluntly. Narcissa wasn't sure if she understood her right, as Bellatrix must be very drunk. Either that, or Narcissa didn't understand what she just implied, but the brunette didn't give her a chance to ponder it. "Come on, just a taste."

Narcissa looked at the bottle warily. "Mum's gonna kill you when she finds out you took her liquor. You know how she loves it." A little too much sometimes.

"Please, she has so much that she'll hardly notice it's gone," Bellatrix replied. "So drink up, Princess." She held the bottle in front of her face. Clearly she wasn't about to take no for an answer.

Narcissa made a face, but hesitantly reached for the bottle. She had never tasted liquor before and based on how everyone acted on it, she'd rather not act a fool, thank you. But Bellatrix was persisting and that stupid redheaded girl was laughing obnoxiously loudly at something Lucius had just said so she put it to her lips, tipped it back, and took a swig.

Then she started coughing.

Bellatrix laughed. "There we go! Good girl, Cissy."

It felt like it was burning her all the way down her esophagus. She made a face and exclaimed, "Ugh, this is disgusting!"

"You'll get used to it," Bellatrix told her with a grin. "Now come on, drink up. You want your courage, don't you?" She gave her a playful smile before walking away, leaving Narcissa with the bottle. She looked down at it apprehensively.

She didn't want to get sloshed, but being one of the only sober people at the party was quickly becoming a bore. Even Andromeda, who had the tendency to suck the fun out of everything sometimes, was dancing quite lewdly with another Slytherin boy. So she tipped the bottle to her lips again, devouring another large gulp.

It didn't take much for her to get drunk, nor to get the courage she needed. Feeling like she could conquer anything, she strode right up to Lucius and that annoying redhead, interrupting their conversation. "Excuse me," she said to the girl, shooting her the dirtiest look before turning to face Lucius. "I'd like to dance," she told him matter-of-factly. Then she faltered a little as she felt she should clarify. "With… you. Obviously." She shifted between her feet, now feeling like she maybe should have gone about that with a little more tact.

But Lucius seemed amused nonetheless and held out his hand to her. "After you, my lady," he said, that stunning smile of his sending a shiver through Narcissa's body. She bit her lip and suppressed a grin, secretly loving how much of a gentlemen he could be. Sometimes she was sure it was all just some kind of elaborate act, mainly because of what Bellatrix had put in her mind about it, but it was nice to be talked to like she was worth something for once.

Narcissa had never danced before outside of those ball dancing classes her mother forced them all to take when they were little, so she should have probably thought about that before attempting it. She probably looked like a complete idiot, but she was intoxicated so she found it didn't matter much if she did or didn't. It was a nice feeling actually; to not care for once.

Lucius was either too drunk to notice her horrendous attempt at dancing, or didn't care. He pulled her closer to him and all of a sudden the world melted around them. She smiled widely as she put her arms around his neck, tossing her hair in an attempt to look sexy which realistically probably looked rather awkward, but it was fun. It was a lot of fun. She decided parties weren't so bad after all.

After the dancing tired her out, she grabbed Lucius' hand, pulling him to the couch to sit down. She had to shove some passed out girl's legs out of the way to do so, and only afterwards noticed it was Andromeda. She giggled a little at the state of her sister, but it got caught in her throat once she felt Lucius' hand on her leg. She swallowed and looked back over to him.

He was looking at her in the same way Bellatrix had before she almost kissed her that one night, when she told her she was the one who loved her first. She knew what that look was, only with Lucius it didn't come with a copious amount of social stipulations. Then she felt his hand touch her face and it made her eyes flutter closed for a moment.

"Do you know how beautiful you are, Narcissa?" he asked, voice barely audible over the loud music. She flushed a little, opening her eyes to look at him. She bit her bottom lip softly, leaning into his touch.

"You're not so bad to look at yourself," she coyly replied. She could feel some people looking at them, but she didn't care. In that moment, all she could see was him.

His thumb ran across her bottom lip and her heart leapt into her throat. She felt her breathing get a bit shallow as she realized that it was possible that at any moment he could kiss her. And when he finally started to lean in slowly, she felt herself reciprocating automatically. It felt like time was moving at half speed, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

His lips touched hers softly and she immediately parted her own, feeling like she was drowning in him. Well, at least for a second, because suddenly a pillow hit them both square in the head and they wrenched apart.

Narcissa, angry, looked around to see the culprit. She shouldn't have been as surprised as she was to see Bellatrix sitting across from them in the arm chair, smirking. "Oops?" she offered.

"Bella!" Narcissa shouted. "Piss off!"

Bellatrix chuckled as she got up, grabbing a bottle of vodka and taking a swig. She looked rather unsteady on her feet. "Not a chance," she told her before coming over and taking the back of Narcissa's head in her hand and pulling her to her so she could kiss her on the forehead almost violently. Then she laughed as she wandered off, but not very far away. She was still watching them.

Lucius looked annoyed as well. "Your sister doesn't approve of me."

"No, not at all," Narcissa replied, then looked at him apologetically. That was a horrible ending to their first kiss. She was going to tear Bellatrix a new one when this party ended.

Lucius only smirked though, leaning his elbow on the back of the couch as he looked at her. "Do you care?" he asked.

Narcissa couldn't help but smirk a little. "Not in the slightest."

"Then maybe we could continue this when we're away from your sister's prying eyes," he prodded. Narcissa blushed slightly as she smiled.

"I would like that."

The party did end soon after that. Bellatrix ushered all of them out, having to practically yell at people to get them to leave. Narcissa ran upstairs, slamming her door hard to make sure Bellatrix heard it. She was still angry with her. It was a good twenty minutes later that Bellatrix came up, bursting through her door without a knock or request. She still had a bottle of liquor in her hand.

Narcissa just glared at her as she watched her sister close her door. "Why did you do that?"

Bellatrix chuckled, taking another swig as she made her way over to Narcissa. She then proceeded to practically fall on the bed next to Narcissa. "You know why," she slurred. "Fucking hate that sodding tosser."

"It doesn't matter if you hate him or not, I like him," Narcissa said before snatching the liquor bottle out of Bellatrix's hand. "And don't you think you've had enough?" But then she took a swig of the clear liquid as well, feeling it burn its way down her throat.

Bellatrix laughed. "Don't you? Don't get on to me, I saw you – you could barely walk up the stairs."

That was true. Narcissa's head felt like it was swimming, but it felt wonderful. The world was fuzzy but yet in so many ways, so much clearer; as was the reason why Bellatrix didn't want her with Lucius. She wanted her to herself. And while it was something Narcissa had recently stopped denying she would like to explore maybe a tiny bit further, merely for curiosity and practice's sake, she also was well aware that they shouldn't be doing things like that at all. And Bellatrix, she was so hot and cold on the matter that it was hard to tell which way she was facing sometimes.

But Narcissa stopped obsessing over it because it wasn't doing her any favors. Besides, she was very interested in Lucius and he didn't come with as much confusion. Some of course – a lot if she was to be honest – but Bellatrix definitely came with more.

"I'm fine," Narcissa stressed, taking another swig. It went down the wrong pipe though and she started choking and coughing.

"Christ, take it easy," Bellatrix said, laughing as she smacked her on the back. Narcissa coughed a few times, a look of disgust on her face as she pushed the bottle towards Bellatrix. "Okay, I'm done. I'm very much done."

Bellatrix smirked and took the bottle, but instead of drinking it she reached over Narcissa to put it on her bedside table, nearly knocking her sister back in the process. Narcissa didn't care though; she suddenly realized how tired she was getting so she laid on her bed, kicking off her shoes. Bellatrix collapsed next to her, looking up at the ceiling before squinting and blinking like it was painful. "Shit, everything's spinning," she mumbled, shielding her eyes as she too kicked off her shoes. They landed heavily on the ground.

Narcissa was barely listening though; she was just trying to get out of her tights. They felt like they were suffocating her, but she was too intoxicated to even get them off properly, and just ended up flailing her legs in a huff. Bellatrix rolled over to look at her through one eye. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I'm still mad at you, don't talk to me," Narcissa snapped, sitting up to try to force her tights down the rest of her legs. When she finally got them off she threw them across the room in annoyance before flopping back down on her pillow. Then she turned to look at her sister. "What are you still doing here?" she asked.

Bellatrix was laying on her side with her eyes closed, snuggled into Narcissa's pillow. "I'm sleeping here," she mumbled. "Too drunk to get up."

"Bullshit," Narcissa huffed, pushing her a little with her hand. "You're just trying to bother me."

Bellatrix opened one eye and smirked at her language. Narcissa didn't look amused. "Come on, Bella. I'm tired. If you stay you're just going to complain about Lucius and how he's bad for me and all this other sodding rubbish just because you're just jealous."

"You swear a lot when you're drunk, you know," Bellatrix said with a chuckle, completely disregarding everything Narcissa said before rolling over and switching off the light. Narcissa just stared at her, frustrated that apparently what she wanted meant nothing, but she was also aware that she should probably know better by now anyway. Besides, she was too drunk to argue.

"Well I'm still mad at you," Narcissa said in a huff as she got under her covers, shoving Bellatrix once more for good measure as she tried to get under the covers too.

Bellatrix made a grumpy sound in complaint and shoved her back, which then turned into an all-out drunken shoving match for a good thirty seconds until Bellatrix gave up, sounding tired and said, "Sod it. Just go to bed, Cissy."

Narcissa made another huff of annoyance before she lay on her side, closing her eyes. But trying to fall asleep drunk felt really weird, and every time she closed her eyes it felt like she was spinning. "Bellaaaa…" she complained, opening her eyes. "I feel dizzy when I try to sleep."

"Don't care," Bellatrix mumbled.

"Bellaaaaaaa…" Narcissa continued to whine, no longer liking being drunk. "Fix it!"

"What am I supposed to do about it?" Bellatrix mumbled sleepily, sounding annoyed. But Narcissa rolled over really close to her, her face next to hers to intentionally bother her so that she couldn't sleep either. Bellatrix, sensing Narcissa in her personal space, opened her eyes and glared at her. "What do you expect me to do? Shove my fingers down your throat so you can throw up? No, thank you."

"No, I'm not sick," Narcissa replied. "Just… dizzy." She pouted.

"Come here," Bellatrix said, sighing in reluctance as she held out her arms to her. Narcissa crawled into them, laying half on top of her with her leg between hers, head nestled into her neck.

"What is this supposed to do?" she mumbled against her skin. She was still dizzy.

"I don't know, but now you're close enough that I can pull your hair if you start getting mouthy again," Bellatrix said before yawning and closing her eyes. Narcissa slapped her stomach and Bellatrix's eyes popped open. "Ow," she stressed, glaring.

"You were the one who wanted to get me drunk in the first place, now you have to deal with it," Narcissa told her before rubbing the skin on Bellatrix's stomach where she slapped. Her shirt was riding up a little.

"Mmmm… yeah I did," Bellatrix affirmed sleepily.

She sighed, staring off into the blackness as she continued to absentmindedly stroke the skin on Bellatrix's abdomen. "Why?" she asked softly, though her stomach got a little heavier as she realized she probably already knew the answer.

"Why what?" Bellatrix asked, sounding a little annoyed that she was waking up more instead of falling asleep.

"Why did you want to get me drunk?"

Bellatrix smirked before turning her head so that it was a mere inch from her sisters. She reached up and ran her fingers through her hair, making Narcissa close her eyes instinctively and lean into the touch. "To lower your inhibitions," Bellatrix told her in a whisper. "Sometimes you're so tightly wound that I'm afraid you're going to pop."

"I am not," Narcissa protested softly, but was barely paying attention to the conversation. The alcohol in her blood was intensifying Bellatrix's touch and it made her fit her body against hers more firmly before laying her head down directly next to Bellatrix's. They were facing each other, looking into each other's eyes as Bellatrix continued to softly run her fingers through Narcissa's long blonde locks. Silence washed between them for a moment.

The only thing Narcissa could hear was the pounding of her heart, which seemed to grow louder each passing second. She was sure Bellatrix could hear it. The way her sister was looking at her made butterflies form in the pit of her stomach and her breathing became noticeably shallower. She realized in that moment that she would give anything for Bellatrix to just give in and kiss her. They were drunk, it shouldn't matter.

Bellatrix, possibly reading her thoughts, dragged her fingertips down Narcissa's cheek softly as she looked at her lips. "Do you want me to kiss you, Cissy?" she asked softly, her voice a breathy whisper.

Narcissa's heart leapt in her throat but the courage the liquor gave her allowed her to nod and whisper, "Yes..." She didn't even blush when she admitted that. It was like they were in a different world. An intoxicated one, but still very different.

Bellatrix bit her bottom lip for a moment before searching her eyes as if she was looking for an answer to the contrary. But she found none; only a pure need that Narcissa wouldn't be able to explain even if she tried. She needed Bellatrix to consume her in that moment.

Then suddenly her sister's lips were on hers, kissing her softly, tentatively. It made the blood in Narcissa's veins run hot with fire and her hairs stand on end as she parted her lips, allowing Bellatrix in for a taste. The brunette groaned softly at the feel of Narcissa's tongue against hers and she slowly encouraged Narcissa to roll over and lay on her back so she could get on top of her. Narcissa didn't mind, she was too busy feeling like the world could crumble around them and she wouldn't care in the slightest.

Bellatrix hovered over her as she kissed her, slipping her leg between hers. Narcissa, for the first time, allowed her hands to wander, finding herself able to touch all the curves of her sister she had only wished to be able to explore. There was no guilt about what they were doing, at least, not in that moment. It just felt too good to analyze.

Bellatrix broke the kiss for a second, looking down at the girl beneath her. Narcissa knew her cheeks were flushed and her breathing had picked up significantly. She was worried it would scare Bellatrix, knowing that she was making her become aroused and so she froze, waiting.

Then suddenly Bellatrix's thigh put pressure between Narcissa's legs and she squeaked in surprise, "Oh!" before her sister placed her lips on her neck, kissing her there instead. "Oh," she repeated, a breathy whimper of surprise and satisfaction as she relaxed. "I like that…"

"Yeah?" Bellatrix breathed in her ear, making goosebumps appear on Narcissa's skin as she tried to suppress a shiver. Her tongue traced her ear then, making Narcissa squeak again in surprise as she grasped onto Bellatrix's shirt. She didn't know people even did this kind of stuff, but then again, she wasn't exactly well-versed in the area of foreplay.

Bellatrix continued to kiss her neck, down her shoulder, up to her ear and back again before leaning up to capture Narcissa's lips in another kiss, this time much more heated than the last. Bellatrix was rocking against her slowly, which made Narcissa do the same as her sister panted into her mouth between kisses. "Jesus, Cissy," she breathed as her hand slid down Narcissa's stomach. "I've thought about fucking you for the longest time."

That one single sentence excited and terrified Narcissa at the same time. Part of her wanted to, so badly, but another part. "Bella… I…" she started, not knowing how to say it.

"Shhh," Bellatrix hushed before kissing her lightly on the lips. "I only said I wanted to, not that I was going to." Narcissa, feeling a lot less pressured, nodded her head before closing her eyes, leaning up, capturing Bellatrix's lips again, and tangling her fingers through her hair.

After some time they broke again, both flushed and out of breath. Bellatrix's eyes caught hers for a moment before she slowly slid the strap of Narcissa's dress off her shoulder, kissing her exposed flesh. Narcissa closed her eyes and sighed, enjoying the feel of her sister's lips on her skin. "What did you think about?" she asked softly as Bellatrix kissed her, needing to know.

Bellatrix stopped for a moment and looked up at her. "Specifically?"

"Yeah," Narcissa breathed. She didn't know much about sex and she was curious. Bellatrix smiled, pulling her strap down further, exposing the top of Narcissa's breast before she lightly kissed it, testing the waters. Narcissa didn't complain so she kissed it again, dragging her tongue over the swell of her breast.

"I thought about kissing you in other places…" she admitted before pulling down Narcissa's dress a little further, exposing her nipple to the cool air in the room. Narcissa sucked in a sharp breath as Bellatrix's fingertips brushed over it. "Like here," she breathed, watching it harden in front of her eyes. She bit her lower lip as her hand trailed down Narcissa's stomach, then up her dress. She brushed her fingers over Narcissa's underwear, her voice thick with desire now, "And here."

Narcissa was breathing so heavily she wasn't sure if she was turned on or about to have a panic attack. Maybe both. "Down there?" she finally managed to squeak. She definitely had never heard of that either.

Bellatrix leaned her forehead against hers, closing her eyes as her own labored breathing tickled Narcissa's lips. "It's all I think about sometimes," she admitted, although it sounded painful to do so. "Sometimes I can barely stand it. I just want to do it, even if you don't want me to. I want to take you and have you be mine forever, even if you don't want to be. I…" she trailed off, sounding like she hated herself. "I'm sorry," she breathed before rolling off of her and lying on the bed, facing away from her.

Narcissa took a much-needed breath after that admission. It wasn't every day that your sister admitted to wanting to rape you sometimes. She didn't know how to feel about that. She knew by all sane reason she should be scared of that, but she wasn't. Maybe she was too naïve to really understand what that meant, or maybe she just didn't want to upset the relationship the two of them had by thinking about the bad stuff, or believing Bellatrix would really do something like that to her.

Narcissa lay there for a long time before she fixed her dress, pulling it up so that she covered herself. She crawled over to her sister cautiously, laying against her back and putting an arm around her stomach, holding her. "Sometimes I think about stuff like that too," she admitted in a whisper. "Maybe not like you, but sometimes I just want to kiss you, even if you don't want me to."

"That's different," Bellatrix mumbled.

"I know."

"I'm turning into a monster," she told her, her hand coming up to cover the one that Narcissa had on her stomach. Her voice was filled with self-loathing and distress. "What if I can't stop myself one day? What if I do that to you?"

Narcissa was silent for a long time, trying to understand the disease Bellatrix seemed to be struggling with, because it had to be a disease, right? But she wasn't even sure what it was, just that it was beginning to change her. There was something in Bellatrix's head that was eating away at everything good and right inside of her. "What if I let you?" she asked finally.

"You can't let me rape you, Narcissa," Bellatrix said like she was being foolish. "That defeats the purpose."

"No," Narcissa said, her heart pounding in her chest as she started to make promises she didn't know she could keep. "What if I let you… have sex with me?"

That made Bellatrix turn to face her. She stared at her like she had gone mental. "You don't want to have sex until marriage."

Narcissa swallowed, knowing that's true. "But… it's not really sex if we do it, right? I mean, you don't have a…"

"Penis?" Bellatrix offered, chuckling a little at Narcissa's reluctance to say the word. It cracked the tension for a moment and Narcissa blushed.


Bellatrix let out a breath, looking into Narcissa's eyes. She touched her face, dragging her fingertips down her cheek lightly. "You're perfect, do you know that?" Narcissa looked embarrassed and said nothing. Then Bellatrix sighed. "But I can't do that to you. I won't screw you up that badly."

"What if I want you to?"

"You don't," Bellatrix told her, giving her a sad smile. "You're only trying to appease me. You always are. Just let me try to do something for you for once."

"Like letting me date Lucius?" Narcissa asked hopefully. It was the first thing that flew to her mind when her sister offered to do something for her. It was what she really wanted; her sister's blessing. But Bellatrix only snorted.

"Not bloody likely."


"Cissy," Bellatrix cut her off. "Can we not talk about that right now? Let's just… let's get some sleep. Okay?" She tucked a piece of blonde hair behind her sister's ear. Narcissa nodded. She was right; now was not the time.

They looked at each other for a while longer before Narcissa leaned forward, kissing Bellatrix softly. When they finally broke, she whispered, "Goodnight, Bellatrix," before snuggling into her and trying to fall asleep, worried that Bellatrix's sanity would only continue to deteriorate, and what that would mean for both of them.


*Chapter 7*: Chapter Seven


When Narcissa awoke the next morning, Bellatrix was already gone from her room. She sat up in her bed, wincing at the splitting headache that ripped mercilessly through her temples. She grasped the side of her head, praying that she didn't have a brain tumor or something equally as horrendous. Her whole body ached and it felt like a herd of hippogriffs had danced on her during the night. To say it wasn't pleasant was an understatement.

Is this what happened after one drank? If so, she decided she definitely didn't want to do it again.

While drinking got her closer to both Lucius and Bellatrix (in the same night, which made her feel like a bit of harlot), she had residual embarrassment from it. As she crawled out of bed and started to get dressed for the day, she tried to remember the events from the night. Unfortunately – now that she was sober – she saw them in much better clarity than from when she was drunk.

She remembered slurring when she talked to Lucius, demanding that he danced with her. She remembered not being able to dance, thus making a fool of herself. She remembered kissing him, and while that wasn't unpleasant, it was a bit too forward for a lady of her standard. There should have been wooing on his part, but all Narcissa did was practically fall over herself around him.

And then there was Bellatrix.

That memory made her blush a deep crimson, thinking about the things they did in her bed last night. That also was a bit too forward for both of them. Then again, Bellatrix wasn't exactly the picture of chastity. Narcissa felt conflicted, realizing how she should feel and how she wanted to feel were two separate things. In one way it made her feel dirty, to realize she had done those things with her own flesh and blood, and yet in some odd way she liked the feeling of being dirty. It was like she was going against everything her parents stood for and it felt good.

She was worried about how Bellatrix would take it though. They were both drunk, and Bellatrix was always so back and forth on the matter. She couldn't take back what she had said last night though, even if she wanted to. It was out there and Narcissa knew what she wanted now, even if Bellatrix was trying to fight it. It made Narcissa wonder why she too didn't try to fight it like Bellatrix did, but maybe she was still too young to properly understand what it all meant. To her it was innocent experimentation, not realizing at the time that to Bellatrix it was so much more.

When she made her way down the stairs, she saw Bellatrix putting on her long overcoat. Her eyebrows knitted together, confused. "Leaving?" she asked.

Bellatrix turned to look at her, surprised to hear her voice. They made eye contact for only a moment before Bellatrix broke it, looking away as she fixed her coat. "I thought you'd still be asleep."

"I woke up," Narcissa told her, stating the obvious. She leaned against the wall and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "Where are you going?"

"To see Rodolphus," came Andromeda's mocking, singsong voice as she walked into the hall from the parlor. "I can't find the potion, where did you put the damned thing?"

"On the kitchen counter, you flake," Bellatrix told her. "I told you that already." Andromeda looked at her like her words were poison, but said nothing. Something was going on with them, but Narcissa's head hurt too much to analyze it at that moment.

"What potion?" Narcissa asked.

"Cures hangovers," Andromeda told her, making a point to ignore Bellatrix. She winced a little before she turned and left to go to the kitchen, feeling the effects of her own post-drinking experience. Narcissa looked confused.

"What's a hangover?"

Bellatrix looked amused. "Do you have a headache?" Narcissa nodded. "Does your whole body hurt and you feel like you want to die?" Narcissa paused, then nodded again. Bellatrix chuckled, "That's a hangover, dear. It happens when you drink too much."

"Oh." Narcissa paused. She'd have to drink some of that in a moment, but right now she had more important curiosities to indulge. "Why are you going to see Rodolphus?"

"Told Mum I would, didn't I?" Bellatrix answered as she made her way into the parlor, over to the fireplace. She still wouldn't look her in the eye and it was upsetting Narcissa because she knew she was acting odd because of last night. This was beginning to become repetitive.

"Why won't you look at me?"

"What?" Bellatrix asked, laughing a little like she was being absurd as she grabbed the floo powder off the mantel. She looked over at her briefly. "I am looking at you, Cissy. What are you on about?"

"Is this because of last night? Because it—" but she didn't get a chance to finish because suddenly Bellatrix's hand was over her mouth, her other hand squeezing her forearm tightly to accent her point.

"Shut up," she hissed. "Are you daft? Andy's in the next room, you bloody twit. We are not going to talk about this right now." She let her go and Narcissa frowned at being practically manhandled by her sister.

"Why do you even have your coat anyway if you're going by floo powder?" Narcissa asked in a bratty tone. "You won't be going outside."

"What is this, twenty questions? Piss off, Narcissa," Bellatrix said as she got into the fireplace and grabbed a handful of powder before shoving the bag at Narcissa. "In case you haven't noticed, I don't answer to you."

But before Narcissa could retort, Bellatrix held up her hand and said, "The Lestrange's." She dropped the powder into the fireplace and it erupted in green flames, engulfing her. Narcissa shielded her eyes from the glare and when she put her hands down her sister was gone. She huffed, feeling hurt.

It was nightfall when Bellatrix returned. Narcissa and Andromeda were in the parlor, reluctantly doing their Christmas break homework that their Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher gave them. Apparently the holidays meant nothing to him because each year got some while the rest of the teachers just told them to have a happy Christmas. It was frustrating.

They both jumped when the fireplace erupted in green flames suddenly, Bellatrix stepping from them. Andromeda looked at her, annoyed that she was practically blinded by her entrance. "A little warning would have been nice."

"What, did you expect me to send an owl?" Bellatrix asked in an obnoxious tone as she brushed the soot off of her clothes. Then she looked up at them, noticing what they were doing. "Are you doing homework?" she asked, like the very idea was ridiculous.

"Well we were assigned it," Andromeda retorted, looking at her like her very presence was suddenly an annoyance. "I'm sure you have some too."

Bellatrix waved her hand, dismissing that as unimportant. "I have better things to do with my time," was all she said before she walked past them and up the stairs to her bedroom. Narcissa blinked and stood up, wondering what Bellatrix was talking about.

"Where are you going?" Andromeda asked, looking at her.

"To see Bella," Narcissa stated, like it was obvious. "Don't you want to know what happened with Rodolphus?"

Andromeda rolled her eyes. "I couldn't care less, actually."

"Why are you angry with her?" Narcissa asked, suddenly feeling like she was missing something.

Andromeda looked up at her, then back down at her studies. "It's nothing," she mumbled. Narcissa stared at her for a moment, then realized she'd probably get more out of Bellatrix anyway. So she turned and left, heading for her sister's room.

She didn't bother knocking, since she was still residually annoyed at how Bellatrix had treated her this morning. So she strode right in, seeing Bellatrix sitting cross-legged on her bed. Her sister looked up at her, annoyed. "There's this thing called knocking, Narcissa. Maybe you should try it," she told her dryly.

"There's this thing called niceness, Bellatrix. Maybe you should try it," Narcissa retorted. Bellatrix raised her eyebrows, amused. Narcissa however, didn't look it in the slightest.

"Fine, Little-Miss-Miniature-Attitude, come in," Bellatrix said, smirking. Narcissa rolled her eyes, but closed the door behind her, walking over to her bed and sitting on the edge of it. "How may I help you?" Bellatrix asked, poking fun at her for wanting her to be nice.

"Shut up," Narcissa said, rolling her eyes. "I just want to know what happened."

"With what?"

"With… everything," Narcissa said, faltering a little as she realized she had many questions. "About what happened with Rodolphus, about why Andromeda's angry with you, and… other things." Her eyes landed on the bedspread, suddenly feeling uncomfortable about asking about last night. Thankfully, or unthankfully – Narcissa wasn't sure –Bellatrix ignored that last part.

"I went to Rodolphus' to check out an… opportunity I was presented with," Bellatrix told her carefully. Narcissa looked confused. "And Andromeda is absolutely none of your business," she finished. Narcissa narrowed her eyes.

"You are both my sisters, so I think it is."

"Well then you'd be wrong, wouldn't you?" Bellatrix retorted. She shook her head. "Forget about her, it's unimportant at the moment."

Narcissa was still curious, but figured she wasn't about to get anywhere with that right now. So she shifted to lie on her stomach on the bed, propping her head up with one arm; a sign she wasn't about to go anywhere anytime soon. "So what opportunity?" she asked.

"It's nothing."


"Why do you feel like you need to know every aspect of my life all of a sudden?" Bellatrix asked, a little irritated.

"Because you're my sister and I care," Narcissa told her. Bellatrix looked at her skeptically, knowing that she was just being nosey, but Narcissa gave her a toothy grin of innocence in response. Bellatrix smirked and shook her head.

"Look, it's nothing you need to be concerned about at the moment, alright?"

"No, not alright!" Narcissa said, sitting up so she could face her. She looked at her pleadingly, knowing it had to be something big if Bellatrix was hiding it. She grasped her hands in hers, waving them up and down a little in her eagerness. "Come on, tell me. Is it to do with the wedding?"

Bellatrix scoffed. "Hardly. Do I look like the type to fuss over a silly thing like that? I thought you knew me better, Cissy."

"Well then if it's not that, then what is it?"

Bellatrix looked at her pleading and eager expression and sighed a little. Narcissa smiled, knowing she was getting to her. "Alright," Bellatrix said, but her expression was serious. "But if I tell you this then you mustn't breathe a word of this to anyone. Are we clear?"

"Crystal," Narcissa said, her curiosity feeling like it was about to erupt.

Bellatrix hesitated for a moment, but Narcissa knew she was just bursting to tell her regardless. She motioned her closer with a gesture of her finger and Narcissa leaned in automatically. Bellatrix smiled a little as she whispered, "I am now part of an elite group that will one day, once again, make the pureblood race supreme."

Narcissa scoffed, thinking she was having a go. "Come off it."

"I'm serious!" Bellatrix told her, glee in her voice. "Oh, Cissy. Can you just imagine? Finally being treated like royalty again? You know how Mother talks about how it was like when her parents were growing up; can't you just imagine having that be possible again? For being pureblood to actually mean something?"

Narcissa blinked, having trouble wrapping her head around what Bellatrix was saying. She still had the feeling Bellatrix was just joshing her. "It… does mean something, doesn't it?" she asked, confused. Her mother always made such a fuss over how it was important.

"Not like how it used to, and you know it. You've heard the stories. We have the money still, yes, but our status has been greatly diminished in society. No one regards us as royalty anymore. We go to school with mudbloods and the like right now; do you really think we should have to do that?"

"Well… no," Narcissa said, but then shook her head. "But Hogwarts has been around for decades. Purebloods have always had to share the school." She didn't understand what her sister was getting at.

"One day we won't have to," Bellatrix told her, smiling. "Our children, our children's children? They'll be treated as we were meant to."

"But how is that possible? Hogwarts won't change. Will your group build a new school?"

Bellatrix laughed. "Oh, Cissy. You'll understand one day."

Narcissa was still stuck on the 'elite group' part though, and was in disbelief about how much power Bellatrix thought it had. "So am I to understand Rodolphus created this group? How are a group of schoolchildren about to change the world?"

"No, Rodolphus didn't start it," Bellatrix explained. "His father put us onto it though; he's been a part of a group called 'The Knights of Walpurgis' for years, started by a great man named…" she paused, as if the name evoked deep meaning for her, "Lord Voldemort."

"Who?" Narcissa asked. She had never heard of this man. "And what kind of name is 'Voldemort'?" It sounded silly, if you asked her.

"Bite your tongue," Bellatrix snapped, making Narcissa shut her mouth quickly. "He's… oh god, Cissy, I wish you could have heard him speak," she gushed. "He's simply phenomenal. Such passion, such ambition. It's inspiring."

Narcissa frowned. She'd never seen her look that way when talking about a man, let alone a man she only just met. "Bella, I don't know if this is such a good idea. I mean, I understand pureblood values and the importance of them, but you only just joined this group and already you seem entirely wrapped up in it."

"Don't you want me to have a purpose in my life, Narcissa? This is it."

"Your purpose is to marry Rodolphus and bear his children! We're women, Bellatrix. We're not meant for anything more."

"Your lack of ambition sickens me sometimes," Bellatrix told her, curling up her lip. "Is that all you want to be, Cissy? A trophy wife and an incubator?"

Narcissa flushed in anger. "What's so wrong with that?"

"It's completely last century, that's what wrong with it!" Bellatrix exclaimed. "You're more than that, Narcissa. We both are. We could be great, you and me." She looked at her, emotion in her eyes that struck Narcissa momentarily mute. "I wish you could understand, but I can't explain it all. But the world he talks about is something I would be so proud to help build. And… I wish that when you're the proper age, you would help me, us, to build it."

Narcissa looked at her for a long time, silent. Finally she told her. "I don't know, Bella. It worries me that you told me to tell no one about this, when it sounds like something Mother and Father would get behind. What aren't you telling me?"

Bellatrix sighed, shifting away from her to lean against her headboard, knees to her chest. "It's nothing that you have to worry about right now, so forget it."

"I won't!" Narcissa exclaimed. "Bellatrix, what have you really gotten yourself into?"

"Something I'm proud to be a part of, and that's all you need to know, do you hear me?!" Bellatrix bellowed. It made Narcissa flinch and look down, avoiding her gaze.

"I just worry," she mumbled, upset that she was being yelled at.

Bellatrix let out a breath as she looked down at her. She moved forward, bringing her hand underneath Narcissa's chin to tip it up so that she could look her in the eyes. She gave her a soft smile, trying to comfort her. "I'm fine, Cissy. I'm safe, I promise."

Narcissa looked at her, searching her eyes for any sign to the contrary, but found none. Finally she nodded, but didn't say anything. They sat in silence for a moment as Bellatrix's hand cupped her cheek, stroking it softly. Narcissa's heart sped up and she swallowed, trying to suppress the worry that she still held inside for Bellatrix and the urge she was having that she knew she shouldn't act on.

But then Bellatrix, looking at her as though she was in a daze, traced her thumb over Narcissa's bottom lip and it made the blonde act without thinking. She practically lunged at her, her lips connecting with Bellatrix's in a passionate kiss, trying to convey all the worry and care she had for her. Bellatrix seemed like she was about to protest, her hands were on Narcissa's shoulders to push her back as she mumbled something inaudible against her lips, but she never did. Instead, Narcissa cupped her face with her hand as she parted her lips and suddenly Bellatrix was kissing her back with just as much passion.

It was brief, but it was meaningful. When they parted, both of them already seemed a bit shortened for breath and they stared at each other, both not knowing what to say. Narcissa watched as Bellatrix's bottom lip trembled for a moment, like she was trying to force words out of her mouth. Finally she looked away and started, "Cissy, we—"

"Don't," Narcissa interrupted. Bellatrix looked at her. "Please stop doing that. It was only a kiss, and when you do one thing and say another it's confusing for me."

"You know this isn't right," Bellatrix said, looking at her sadly. "You know I… I mean, I'd like to. It's not a question of that. But if anyone were to find out…"

"We're not doing anything wrong," Narcissa told her, even though she knew it was a lie.

Bellatrix sighed, leaning forward to press her forehead to Narcissa's. She closed her eyes and whispered, "I love you, Narcissa. I'd love to love you in every way possible, if I could. But I can't."

"Why?" Narcissa asked softly.

"Because I love you too much to do that to you."

Narcissa was quiet for a moment, thinking. She slid her hand over Bellatrix's thigh and her sister held it, opening her eyes to look at her as she pulled back, but only slightly. "Is it romantic for you?" Narcissa asked, suddenly realizing that that was a possibility.

"Is it for you?" Bellatrix asked.

Narcissa shrugged, feeling self-conscious that she didn't understand her own feelings. "I don't know."

Bellatrix's hand squeezed hers and she leaned in, kissing her on the forehead. But when she pulled back Narcissa couldn't help herself and she leaned in and kissed her sister on the lips softly. When they pulled away she whispered, "I don't know if it's romantic. But I like doing that. Isn't that enough?"

"It's too much, that's the problem."

"But we like doing it," Narcissa protested. "Even though it's wrong, it makes me feel good. Doesn't it make you feel good too?"

"Of course, but—"

"Then we don't tell anyone," Narcissa said. She needed this connection with her sister. Sometimes it felt like it was the only thing she ever had. "It's only kissing, what's the harm?"

"The harm is that it'll grow to be more than that eventually. Either that or you'll grow up, realize that what we were doing was labeled as disgusting by the majority of society and never want to speak to me again," Bellatrix told her, voice heavy with emotion over that prospect. "I can't lose you, Cissy. I won't. Not over something as stupid as this."

"I won't do that."

"You can't promise that," Bellatrix told her, giving her a sad smile. She looked away, feeling guilty. "I shouldn't have done that to you last night. You're too young, too vulnerable. I'm supposed to be the one protecting you."

"I'm old enough," Narcissa protested, a little miffed at her feelings being dismissed due to her age. "I know kissing girls is wrong. I know kissing my own sister is even more wrong. Yet I made my decision, why can't you?"

"I have, you just don't like the answer."

"So what happens the next time you get drunk, or the next time you have a momentary lapse in judgment?" Narcissa accused. "We'll be having this same conversation all over again. You're going to continue to confuse me, and you know it."

"Well I'm sorry if I'm not as strong as I'd like to be!" Bellatrix exclaimed, a little angry. "Sometimes I don't think, I just react. I can't expect you to understand what that's like."

"I'm human, Bella. Of course I understand it," Narcissa said.

"Not like I do."

"You're not that different," Narcissa told her, annoyed. "I understand you're…fighting with something inside of you right now, and maybe it makes it harder for you, but I have urges too that I act on without thinking twice about. We all do."

Bellatrix was silent, picking at her sheets. Finally she said, "I'm only worried this won't end well, Narcissa. For either of us. You believe it's so innocent, but I'm older than you. Something that may seem innocent to you isn't so for me."

"Because you want to have sex with me," Narcissa answered for her. Bellatrix snapped her head up to look at her, shocked that she would even say that out loud. "That's what you said last night."

"No, I didn't mean—"

"You did! You told me you've thought about it, a lot," Narcissa pushed. She wasn't going to let Bellatrix deny it.

"I was drunk!" Bellatrix exclaimed. "I was drunk and I was aroused, what else was I supposed to say? I didn't mean it. I don't… I don't want to have sex with you, Narcissa. That's gross."

"Hey!" Narcissa exclaimed, offended. "I am nothing of the sort, thank you!"

"I didn't mean you, I meant…us. Doing that. We can't do that. Are you kidding me with this?" Bellatrix asked, like it was Narcissa's idea. "It may be alright in our family to breed with our cousins to keep the bloodline pure, but we're not breeding, Narcissa; we're both women, we're both sisters. Even our family would kill us for an indiscretion like this."

"But you're the one who said you wanted to. That's why you're so upset, because you don't want to want to."

"Shut your mouth!" Bellatrix exclaimed. "I'm not an incestuous pervert! Not like that!"

"If I am, then you are as well!" Narcissa shouted, pushing Bellatrix back a little from her, face contorted in anger. "How can you sit there and lie to my face when I'm only being truthful with you?"

"Because I'm scared!" Bellatrix yelled suddenly. The admission quieted them both momentarily and Bellatrix shifted as if uncomfortable in her own skin. She looked down, voice heavy with emotion. "I don't want to want you, Cissy. You're right, okay? I'm scared of what kind of person that makes me, I'm scared of someone finding out, I'm scared of ruining us both."

"And you think I'm not?" Narcissa countered.

"You sure don't act like you are."

"Of course I am!" Narcissa exclaimed, taking Bellatrix's hands in hers. "I know if Mum were to ever find out she'd disown us both. We'd be kicked out with nowhere to go. I know if it got out further then people would look down on us, like we're something sick. I know all of that."

"Then how could you possibly want to do it anyway?"

Narcissa gave her a small smile and brought Bellatrix's hand up to her lips, kissing it softly. "Because I love you, Bella. You're my big sister, my whole world, and I'd like to be able to show you just how much."

"It's not a sisterly love though, what you're speaking of."

"Why not?" Narcissa asked. "Who's to say? How do you know that there aren't countless other sisters out there like us, feeling the same way but are too scared to do anything about it because of what society would say?" Bellatrix didn't have an answer for her, so Narcissa went on. "I know I'm just a girl and you're nearly a woman, but that doesn't change anything for me. I like to be with you, to be near you. I like it when you hold me; it makes me feel safe. And I like it when you kiss me because I feel loved." She took a breath, waiting for Bellatrix to say something, but she didn't. "I know it can't be real, not entirely. We will both have husbands one day and we'll have to live how we're meant to live then. But not now. For now, can't we just be us? Why can't we have a special kind of relationship? Something no one can know and something no one can touch."

Bellatrix sighed a little. "You have such pretty words for someone your age. Sometimes I forget how young you are when you talk like that."

Narcissa smiled a little, "I read a lot of romance novels."

Bellatrix laughed softly. "Those things are trash."

"They are not! You said it yourself, what I said was beautiful. And I meant it, Bellatrix. But I wouldn't have those words to say to you if I didn't know what they meant from reading those types of books."

Bellatrix was silent for a moment, contemplating her offer. Narcissa looked at her with hopeful eyes, just wanting her sister to stop running for once. It may not be meant to be, but she believed it was right, at least for now. She wanted to be close to Bellatrix in that way. It made her feel complete.

Finally Bellatrix looked at her hesitantly. "No one must ever find out. No one, Cissy. You understand the risks." Narcissa nodded, hope spreading through every inch of her body and turning into happiness. "And I will not take your virginity. I won't," Bellatrix told her firmly. "I don't care if one day you want to; I will not do that to you."

Narcissa nodded, a wide grin spreading across her face. She leapt into her sister's arms, engulfing her in a fierce hug. Bellatrix held her, burying her face in her hair before she kissed her neck softly. "I do love you, Narcissa," she told her, her voice mumbled into her sister's neck, but Narcissa could still hear the emotion behind it and it brought tears to her eyes. "You know that… right? More than anything."

Narcissa pulled back, looking into her sister's eyes as she cupped her face in her palm. "I know, Bella. I know…"

It was the beginning of something that neither of them knew at the time would envelop them both. It was something that caused so much happiness is Narcissa's life, yet also managed to cause so much pain. But at the moment, Narcissa couldn't fathom anything bad happening from it.

Oh, how wrong she turned out to be...


*Chapter 8*: Chapter Eight


Their parents didn't find out about the party, which Narcissa was endlessly thankful for. She worried that they somehow would almost constantly, so when they finally did come home she was practically shaking with fear. If they knew, Narcissa was sure that her mother would go back to her old punishments, since it seemed to be the only one that really invoked the response she wanted; obedience. Bellatrix tried to calm her down, tried to tell her it would be okay if only she acted normal, but Narcissa didn't feel safe until they were finally back at Hogwarts, a good distance away from both of them.

Not that Hogwarts didn't come with its own set of problems though, one of them being Lucius. By himself, Lucius wasn't really a problem. It was just the fact that Narcissa felt entirely conflicted when she came back to school.

She knew that she shouldn't, that what she had with Bellatrix was nothing more than a small comfort; something they both needed to survive the walk of life. Their home life was so hard already, and even when they were surrounded by a lot of people they still tended to feel very much alone. The abuse left residual feelings of alienation that they carried around constantly, but that all went away when they were together. It was merely survival in numbers; at least that's what Narcissa rationalized it as. When one feels close to another, one would naturally feel safer.

Except she knew it was more than that. There was a difference between surviving together and being sexual with each other. While it was only kissing, Narcissa was recently plagued with dreams that made her blush from head to toe just thinking about them. Her curiosity about sex was becoming more dominant as she started to grow into a young woman. She would think about Lucius sometimes, but for the most part it was her sister that would star in her fantasies.

She didn't tell her of course. While she enjoyed her secret relationship with her sister, she still held some embarrassment from it. The problem was that it felt too good to stop and besides, she was the one who initiated it. If she drew away from Bellatrix because of her sporadic second thoughts, she knew it would really mess with her sister's already deteriorating psyche. Not that she wanted to, but being back at Hogwarts and having to sneak around to be with her the way she wanted to be made her scared that someone would find out about it.

Lucius finding out was the one that scared her the most though. She really liked him and wanted to try to explore a possible relationship with him. He was nothing like Bellatrix; for one, he was a boy, and for two, he was someone she could see herself being with for the rest of her life. Maybe it was silly of her to assume that the first boy who showed an interest in her would want to marry her, but she couldn't help but dream of it sometimes. Unlike Bellatrix, marriage was something she aspired to. She wanted to be a housewife and to bear children.

But the chances of having Lucius be who she ultimately ended up with was looking rather slim. They had been back to school for nearly three months and Bellatrix rarely let her out of her sight. It was like she knew that Narcissa and Lucius had planned to continue what they started at the party when they got back to school. Lucius tried to get her alone – he even had the balls to tell Bellatrix to let Narcissa live her own life – but that only ended with a duel in which Lucius lost miserably and Bellatrix landed in detention for.

It was probably a bad time for Lucius to try to stand up to Bellatrix though, to be fair. Bellatrix had noticed Gwendolyn getting closer to one particular Slytherin girl and it seemed to put her in a sour mood. When she wasn't angry, she was moping around. Narcissa tried to tell her to forget about her, tried to tell her that Gwendolyn was unimportant, but Bellatrix didn't listen. The jealousy Narcissa had regarding Bellatrix's ex-girlfriend and the fight her sister had with Lucius ended up putting a rift in their relationship.

To make matters worse, after what happened between him and Bellatrix, Lucius steered clear from Narcissa. He would never admit to being afraid of her, but Narcissa was sure that he didn't want to end up with a face full of boils again. Whatever the case, it made her even unhappier and she would constantly wish for things to be simple again. Feelings were complicating her life.

And then there were her grades. Because of the emotional roller coaster ride she seemed to be on – barely speaking to Bellatrix and Lucius not wanting to be near her – her schoolwork took a hit. She was barely passing potions and her mother was informed. A howler came that morning, screaming at her in front of the entire school in the Great Hall. Everyone was laughing at her so she fled from the room in tears, devastated that this was the direction her life was going.

Narcissa ran up to her dormitory, flinging herself onto her bed, burying her face in her pillow as she cried. She supposed it was the natural thing to want to go home in situations like this, but home was far worse than this. She wanted to go somewhere, but Narcissa knew that she had nowhere to go that would make this all seem less overwhelming. She felt trapped.

Narcissa heard someone enter the dormitories, but she didn't look up. She was too ashamed that someone would see her crying, so she tried to pretend she was asleep, but the silent sobs that ripped through her wracked her body, making her unable to stay still. Narcissa nearly jumped a mile when she felt someone crawl into bed with her, but before she could look up she already knew who it was when they put an arm around her.

Narcissa felt the blankets come up around her head so she turned her face away from the pillow, looking at the darkened silhouette of her sister next to her. She shouldn't have been surprised that she came after her – she had witnessed her fleeing from the Great Hall in distress, after all – but they were barely on speaking terms once again because of everything that was happening.

She wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth though so she snuggled into Bellatrix, burying her head into her breasts as she continued to cry. Bellatrix stroked her hair and kissed her forehead, saying nothing. They were both silent for a long while.

"I… hate…everything…" Narcissa finally breathed through her tears, her voice muffled by Bellatrix's chest. She felt Bellatrix take a deep breath before she pulled back a little so they could look at each other. She touched her face softly, wiping away Narcissa's tears with her thumb as she looked at her sadly.

"Me too," she admitted softly.

Narcissa felt a hot tear slip down her cheek, but Bellatrix wiped it away automatically. She took a shaky breath, trying to calm herself down, as she shifted to lay her head on Bellatrix's chest. "Sometimes I hate you too," she whispered.

There was a long pause that followed that admission and Narcissa tensed, afraid she was just about to ruin the one comfort she had. But Bellatrix merely said, "I don't blame you."

Narcissa let out a long breath and pushed the covers off of their heads so she could look up at her sister's face. "You ruined my first chance at having a boyfriend," she told her, needing to finally talk about this.

"I know."

"Why?" She didn't understand it. They both knew they couldn't only have each other. Bellatrix was to marry Rodolphus and Narcissa needed to start having a regular life as well. What they had with each other shouldn't prevent them from having a real life. They couldn't live in fantasies forever.

"You know why," Bellatrix said shortly, sitting up suddenly and swinging her legs over the bed. She looked down at the floor, pausing. Then she stood, as if that was the end of the conversation. But that didn't give Narcissa any answers; that didn't give her anything at all. She stared at her sister in disbelief.

"Come on," Bellatrix said, nodding her head in encouragement. "I'll help you with potions so Mum doesn't have a cow."

Narcissa sighed, rolling her eyes in irritation. When she got up, she slammed her hands down on her bed for effect, which at a least made Bellatrix look at her. "I have class, I can't right now."

"Skip it," Bellatrix told her, leaning against the footboard of Narcissa's bed. "What is it?"

"Transfiguration," Narcissa said as she gathered her books.

"Well you're already doing well in that, aren't you?"

"Yes, but—"

"So then sod it."

"Don't you have class?" Narcissa asked, still feeling irritated by their lack of having a real conversation. She could still feel wetness on her cheeks and she roughly wiped it off with the back of her sleeve, taking a deep breath.

"This is more important."

Narcissa was a little taken aback by that statement. Regardless, as nice as it was, she was still angry with her. She shook her head as she stuffed her books into her bag. "I can manage well enough on my own, Bella. You shouldn't have to sacrifice your own education for me." She tried to hide the spite behind her words, but didn't succeed.

Narcissa threw her book bag over her shoulder and kept her eyes downcast as she tried to slip out of the room without any resistance. No such luck. Bellatrix's hand was on her shoulder, halting her. "Wait, Cissy…"

"I need to get to class," Narcissa tried, but Bellatrix pushed her back farther and then proceeded to stand in front of the door. Narcissa let out a breath, folding her arms across her chest, staring at her. "What?"

"I was only trying to help," Bellatrix tried.

"Well I said I don't need it."

"Don't be a brat," Bellatrix said, looking down at her as she too folded her arms across her chest. Unlike Narcissa though, she looked more threatening than bratty with her stance. "Just let me help you. If you fail, Mum will beat the stuffing out of you, and you know it. I don't…" she faltered a little, emotion filtering through her voice. "I don't want that to happen."

Narcissa looked at her for a long moment. Finally she let out a tiny breath of defeat, yet still told her. "I just don't feel very comfortable being around you right now," a small pause, "...after what you did."

"He was asking for it!" Bellatrix exclaimed loudly in defense, pointing out the door in reference to Lucius somewhere in the castle. "The bloody tosser would have just stuck his dick in you and then left you. I couldn't watch your heart get broken over someone not worth a lick of salt!"

"You don't know he would have done that!" Narcissa bellowed. "You don't know! You just assume, because you can't handle the possibility that someone else might actually be good for me!"

Bellatrix scoffed. "That's ridiculous. You can date whomever you want." She paused, and then added, "Except him."

"Yes, except him and anyone else I may fancy later on, right?" Narcissa shot back.

"Cissy…" Bellatrix started, her voice sounding tired as she sighed a little. She frowned at her and said, "I didn't…" another sigh, then finally, very quietly, "I'm sorry."

"Sorry doesn't fix it," Narcissa said softly.

"Fine, I'm an awful sister, is that what you'd like to hear?" Bellatrix shot back. "Forget I even bothered to protect you, forget that I even give a sodding shit when no one else seems to, right?" She looked furiously over at a small table by the door and shoved it over, knocking all the contents to the ground in a fit of unexpected rage. Narcissa jumped as the lamp broke, but Bellatrix continued on her rant, "Couldn't give a damn less what happens to me, I bet! Fuck what I do, fuck where I end up! You want to live your life without me? Fine. Piss off."

Bellatrix looked angry, even angrier than the situation called for. She was bringing up stuff that Narcissa never said and to say it took her by surprise would be an understatement.

"That's not what I meant!" Narcissa protested, but Bellatrix was still upset. And once again, like always, the tables had been turned. Now Narcissa felt like the bad guy, when she had a legitimate reason to be upset. But she just couldn't stand her sister being cross with her.

Narcissa took a step forward, grasping Bellatrix's hands with hers. "That's not what I meant," she repeated softly. "You're the best sister anyone could ever ask for. I do care, and I don't want to live my life without you. I didn't mean it like that."

Bellatrix let out a breath and they both looked at each other for a long time. Narcissa touched her cheek, wishing for a moment that she could know what went on inside of her sister's brain. Sometimes, like now, she could see the switch behind her eyes, like she was becoming someone else, yet trying to fight against it. Maybe that was where the outburst came from, but she didn't have a chance to ponder it for too long.

She could see it clearly this time; the way Bellatrix's face changed. She closed her eyes and rolled her neck, her face pressing into Narcissa's hand as it looked like she was letting something out. Narcissa looked at her, both in mild horror and in fascination, and when Bellatrix opened her eyes they looked darker. It probably was just her pupils dilating, but it looked a little disconcerting.

Bellatrix's tongue snuck out just barely to lick her bottom lip as she stared at her. Narcissa instinctively took a step back, but it didn't do any good. Suddenly Bellatrix's lips were on hers and Narcissa was practically stumbling backwards as she tried to steady herself against Bellatrix's force so they both didn't go toppling over. She tried to protest because Bellatrix was obviously not well, but it came out muffled beneath her lips.

Narcissa made a sound of surprise as her knees hit the short footboard of her bed and she went falling backwards onto her comforter, her sister on top of her. She tried to use the fall to scoot out from under her, but Bellatrix's hands flew to her wrists and she pinned her to the bed, her tongue swooping into her mouth like she was trying to devour everything that she was.

It was a difficult situation, although mostly because it wasn't exactly unenjoyable. However, since she was the only one thinking clearly at the moment, she should be the one making the decisions. And this one? Well it didn't rank too high in the 'intelligent decisions' column. So when Bellatrix switched to leaving love bites on Narcissa's neck and she finally had use of her mouth she protested, "No, Bella, what if someone sees us?" Her voice was breathy and desperate, but also weak from Bellatrix biting her neck in just the right spot and her hand wandering up her thigh.

"Let them," Bellatrix growled in her ear, but that was not the answer Narcissa was looking for. She gathered up all of her strength and pushed Bellatrix off of her.

"No!" she exclaimed. She looked at her sister like she had lost her mind. "What's wrong with you?"

Bellatrix blinked, her chest still heaving. Then Narcissa saw her eyes soften, followed by an expression of embarrassment. She looked away quickly and ran her fingers through her hair as she got off the bed. "Nothing," she avoided.

"Bella," Narcissa said, climbing off the bed and grabbing her hand before she could run away. "Tell me."

"It's nothing. I'm… I'm not feeling well, alright?" Bellatrix avoided, still not looking at her. "Can we please just do your potions?" She looked out the door. "Down in the common room? I want to get out of here."

Narcissa blinked, unable to understand what had just happened. But she squeezed her sister's hand, trying to let her know that it was okay, whatever it was. "If you want," she said. "I guess… I guess I do need help," she admitted, willing to put the last few moments behind her if that's what Bellatrix wanted.

"Good," she said before taking a deep breath. "Get your cauldron and your books. I'll be down there." She let go of Narcissa's hand and walked out of the dormitories without even looking at her.

It was a long while after until both of them realized they weren't as alone in that room as they thought. One student was sick in bed on the other side of the room, covers pulled up around her. It looked nothing more like a bed in disarray, and as there were so many others in that state since the house elves had yet to come put it straight, they thought nothing of it.

It wasn't until the following school year that they found out who it was.

Narcissa was a couple weeks into her third year at Hogwarts; Bellatrix, her seventh and final. The summer before school was filled with the usual; Andromeda drifting further away from them, her mother telling her that she was getting fat and putting her on extremely unhealthy diets, the occasional lashings (which her mother reprised after she realized a lot of her liquor was missing), and Bellatrix going off to Rodolphus' to study god only knows what with that secret group of hers – world domination plans or what have you.

Narcissa still thought the whole thing was utterly ridiculous; there was no way one group of students and a few adults would be able to change how the world viewed purebloods. It was a nice idea, but the time when they were regarded as royalty seemed long gone. The world never moved backwards, only forwards, even if forward wasn't the direction you'd rather go.

Bellatrix always acted oddly when she returned from them too and Narcissa didn't like it. Narcissa started referring to the times she changed her personality as 'the other Bellatrix', and that one was the one who always came back from those meetings. Sometimes Narcissa wondered if she felt too much of the world during the times that she changed, and that she simply couldn't handle it. Every emotion, no matter how small, seemed to take her over completely. There was no middle ground during those times; only extremes.

But it wasn't all the time, which Narcissa was thankful for. While they seemed to become more frequent, they didn't take her over completely. Narcissa knew that it would only be a matter of time, however.

While other people noted the change in Bellatrix's personality, no one quite understood it to the lengths that Narcissa believed she did. Her mother called it ignorant teenage defiance and Andromeda just called her a bitch. Narcissa sometimes wished she could just pass it off as personality changes to either fit in or stand out, but she knew better.

But Bellatrix wasn't the only thing on her mind. It broke Narcissa's heart when she came back to school only to find that Lucius was dating that fifth-year girl; the same redhead that had talked to him at the party last winter. But she knew she couldn't do anything about it, so she tried to find interest elsewhere. Another Slytherin boy in her year, Dale Doge, had fancied her for a while, so she tried to give him a chance. She was surprised to find that outside of his geeky exterior, he was actually quite charming and was able to make her laugh.

She was with him the day Bellatrix came up to her, slamming her hand down on the table they were sitting at in the library, requiring immediate attention. "We have a problem," she stated.

"Bella, I'm with someone right now. Can't this wait?" Narcissa asked, annoyed at being interrupted again when she was with a boy she liked. She knew Bellatrix did this sort of stuff on purpose.

"No," she replied, her voice ice cold. She looked furious as she grabbed Narcissa's forearm, pulling her to her feet. "Now, Narcissa," she told her as she started to drag her away.

"Ow! Bellatrix, let go of me!" Narcissa protested, but her sister didn't listen. She practically dragged her into the seventh-year girls' dormitory before her eyes flashed at one girl who had the misfortune of being in there. "Get out, now!" Bellatrix screamed at her. The girl jumped a little and scurried out of the dormitory, Bellatrix slamming the door behind her. It wasn't the first person Narcissa had seen Bellatrix scare – she seemed to be doing a lot of that lately.

"Bella, what the hell is wrong?!" Narcissa exclaimed, finally able to wrench free of her grasp. She rubbed her forearm, knowing it would probably be bruised come morning.

"What's wrong? What's wrong is that we're in a pile of shit without a shovel or a prayer, that's what's wrong!"

Narcissa looked at her, confused and resentful at being shouted at. "What on earth are you talking about?!"

"Someone knows!"

"Knows what?" Narcissa shouted, getting really fed up with half answers to her questions.

"About us, you bloody idiot, what do you think?!" Bellatrix yelled.

Narcissa was sure her heart stopped and she didn't breathe for a second. She just stared at her, hoping she just misheard what she had said.

"What?" Narcissa breathed, her voice barely audible. She felt like she was going to fall down, so she backed up a couple steps so she could collapse on someone's bed. "Who?"

"Some little twit in your year. Roxanne or… something or another. Whatever. This fucking bitch threatened me.No one threatens me, especially not some sodding third year!" Her fist came up and she punched the door, making it rattle on its hinges. When she turned around her black hair whipped around her face and she exclaimed, "She's trying to blackmail us, Narcissa! Us!"

"What?!" Narcissa asked, standing up. She then decided that that was a bad idea because she felt lightheaded, and sat back down. She pressed her hand to her temple, feeling a migraine start to split through her head. What were they going to do? She was absolutely terrified.

A million possibilities were swimming through her mind. Her sister and her being thrown out of the house, ridiculed, looked down at, spat on for being disgusting. Having no place to live, no place to work, and no way to survive. It was overwhelming her and it was hitting her so fast that she couldn't pause to dwell on one horrible scenario before a worse one was replacing it.

Her breathing was coming out in short bursts and she tried to put her hand over her chest to steady it before she started hyperventilating. "Cissy?" Bellatrix asked, taking in the state of her sister. "Cissy!" she exclaimed, coming over to her as Narcissa's breathing started to sound like wheezing. "Breathe!" she ordered, grasping her shoulders and looking her in the eyes, worried for her.

Narcissa closed her eyes as she tried to focus on each breath she took and slowing them down; in and out, in and out, slower. Bellatrix was rubbing her arms, speaking encouraging words to help her calm herself, but Narcissa barely heard them. Finally she had her breathing relatively under control and she opened her eyes and looked up at her sister. They were beginning to water.

"What are we going to do?" she whispered. "What does she want?"

"What else?" Bellatrix asked rhetorically as she sat next to her on the bed, grasping her hand. "Money. We come from a rich family, Narcissa. Of course that's the first thing she bloody thought of."

"But we don't have anything more than the pocket change Mum allows us to have!" Narcissa protested, a tear falling down her cheek. "We don't get anything until we get married, only then are our trust funds available."

"Look… I'll think of something," Bellatrix promised her. "I'll figure this out. Don't worry about it, okay?"

"How can I not?" Narcissa sobbed, feeling like her whole world was crumbling down around her. "If we can't pay her, she'll tell everyone! How did she even find out?"

"She was in the dormitories one night when we thought we were alone," Bellatrix said angrily. "She heard everything." She let out a breath that sounded like a growl and went on, "That cocky little face of hers too when she told me. I wanted to rip her throat out and feed it back to her." Her eyes flashed and she smiled, as if she was seriously thinking about how wonderful it would feel to do something like that. "Almost did," she added, chuckling a little. It wasn't in the least bit funny, but Narcissa couldn't be bothered right now with her sister's momentarily lapse in sanity; this was more serious than that.

"Why didn't you…do something?" Narcissa asked, looking at her like she didn't understand what was stopping her. Maybe for once her sporadic insanity could've come in handy. But even as she thought it, she knew it was wrong. If Bellatrix did something… she'd never be the same again, Narcissa knew that. Her being permanently damaged was not worth this.

"And get expelled? Thrown into prison? I mean, what did you want me to do, kill her?" Bellatrix asked, astonished and offended that she would even blame her in the slightest. "Wasn't it you who always told me to think before I do something rash?" she accused.

"You didn't do anything at all?" Narcissa asked, surprised. That didn't seem like her sister.

"Well, I may have held her against a wall by her throat until she started to turn an odd color, but I stopped before she passed out," Bellatrix responded flippantly.

"Oh, great. Thanks Bella, now she's probably going to want our entire trust funds in one go once we marry just because you can't control your temper!" Narcissa shouted, irrationally angry with her. She knew it wasn't her fault, but she felt trapped in a horrible situation that she couldn't find her way out of.

"What the bloody hell do you want from me? First you want me to do something, then you want me to do nothing at all! I reacted, okay? What would you have done? Cry?"

"I can do more than cry, Bellatrix."

"Not much more," Bellatrix mumbled, angry. Narcissa pushed her roughly.

"Sod off! This is your fault! I told you we shouldn't do anything here, but you just want everything your way!" Narcissa shouted. "I told you it was foolish!"

"Oh, piss off. I can't deal with you right now, Narcissa," Bellatrix said, standing up and pulling Narcissa's robes to her roughly in one swift motion of anger. "Unlike you – the Witless Wonder –I, once again, have to fix everything!" She started to storm away and Narcissa just stared at her, furious. "So do me a favor and just stay out of my way until I can deal with this mess that you started."

"Me?!" Narcissa yelled, but Bellatrix had already stormed out of the dormitories, slamming the door behind her. Narcissa hit the mattress with her fists, screaming out her frustration and desperation.

If she only knew then how Bellatrix was going to end up handling the situation, she would have insisted that she found another way. But when the day came that Roxanne turned up missing, Bellatrix swore she knew nothing about it. As the whole castle worried and mourned her possible death, Bellatrix just called it 'good fortune' and smiled to herself. Narcissa knew better though. While she didn't believe Bellatrix planned to hurt her, 'the other Bellatrix' was turning up more frequently, especially after Roxanne's disappearance. Narcissa had to believe it was her, not her Bellatrix that did… whatever it was that she did.

She found separating the two of them helped her deal with the insanity of it all.

Narcissa refused to believe Bellatrix killed her, though looking back on it now she's more than certain that she did. Roxanne was never found again. Bellatrix never talked about it, even years later when Narcissa asked again, Bellatrix avoided the question. She would tell Narcissa that their relationship was based on mutual trust, and if she didn't trust her, then there was no point of them even speaking anymore.

But then again, Bellatrix always did have a way of turning things around.


*Chapter 9*: Chapter Nine

Author's Note:
Reviews are my crack. Feed my addiction.


The day Roxanne disappeared, Narcissa noticed. Not because she wasn't in her classes; she regularly skipped those to go off and do God only knows what with her delinquent friends. No, she noticed because it was the day that she didn't get shoved into a wall as she made her way out of the Great Hall after breakfast. It had become a regular occurrence for weeks after Bellatrix had told her they were being blackmailed.

Roxanne was supposedly pureblood, but was adopted at birth to a half-blood and a muggle. She was educated in a muggle school before Hogwarts and it showed. Her filthy, savage ways of bullying were inflicted only upon Narcissa, seeing as she was the only one out of the two of them that was smaller than her. Narcissa never said anything about it though, she was too scared that Roxanne would turn around and tell the whole school what she knew. So Narcissa endured being shoved against walls and being laughed at as she fell.

She tried to hold herself with dignity, but it was wearing on her. She frequently would flee to the girl's bathroom, crying her eyes out almost as loudly as Moaning Myrtle. At least with her she had some company.

For something that should have united them, even through a bad situation, Bellatrix and Narcissa rarely spoke to each other. Part of it was that they were still blaming each other, another part was that they figured it would be safer if they weren't ever seen together. This thing with Bellatrix was becoming more complicated than it was worth, and Narcissa was constantly hoping that this was her out. Not that she didn't love her sister or even have the desire to be with her in that way, but it was just too hard. She didn't have the strength for this; she just wanted to be normal.

The day before Roxanne's disappearance, the routine continued as Narcissa was brutally shoved into the stone wall as they exited the Great Hall. Some students laughed, others completely ignored it, and the ones that didn't approve of it didn't seem to want to get involved, because they stayed quiet. Narcissa tried to ignore the shooting pain in her back as she picked herself up off the ground, trying not to let her emotions get the best of her. But instead of walking on like she usually did, Roxanne shoved her into the wall again, pinning her there.

"The Hogsmeade trip is tomorrow," she stated, looking her over like the mere sight of Narcissa disgusted her. "I bet your Mummy sent you lots of gold to spend, am I right?"

Narcissa swallowed, looking past her for any sign that someone would help her; a student, teacher, prefect, someone. But all that was left were the stragglers, mainly first years that were too busy chatting with each other to even notice the scene in front of them. And as the last student walked by, leaving them alone, Narcissa felt entirely abandoned.

"I… yes," Narcissa said, looking down at the floor. "But it's nearly Christmas; it's to buy gifts—"

"For what? Your lover?"

"No, m-my family," Narcissa stuttered.

"Same difference to you, isn't it?" Roxanne retorted cruelly. Narcissa had to fight the tears that were welling up in her eyes. She wouldn't cry in front of her. She wouldn't. Unlike Roxeanne, she had some class.

"Please take your hands off of me," Narcissa demanded, but she still sounded so frail. Roxanne was so much bigger than her, and with the way she was pinned she couldn't get to her wand.

Roxanne laughed. It wasn't cruel, only amused that Narcissa would even have the nerve to ask that. "I thought you enjoyed the touch of a girl, Lezzie," she replied, snickering.

"My name is Narcissa," Narcissa told her, glaring. She was scared of her, yes, but she wouldn't be reduced to being called foul names. She was not a homosexual. She just wasn't. "And I would never enjoy anything from you. I have more taste than that." She knew she shouldn't have said that as it was coming out of her mouth, but Narcissa couldn't help but sass her back.

Roxanne's face contorted in rage before she made a fist, embedding it quickly beneath Narcissa's ribs. Narcissa gasped in pain from the blow and nearly fell to the floor, trying to get the wind back that had been knocked out of her. She had never been hit like that before; violence like that was meant for muggles alone. But no matter it being made for wizards or not, it still hurt like hell. Narcissa coughed, closing her eyes in pain.

"Now listen to me, you little shit," Roxanne hissed as she grabbed her robes, forcing her to stand upright and be pinned against the wall once more. "All of the money your parents sent you for Christmas is mine. Every single sodding galleon they send you from now on will always be mine. And if you don't start respecting me, I may just let it slip that—"

But her sentence was never finished. All of a sudden Narcissa felt Roxanne's weight off of her and she struggled to open her eyes as she clutched her stomach in pain. As she coughed, she watched her sister literally throw Roxanne into the wall a few feet from her, a furious rage etched into her face. As Roxanne coughed from the wind being knocked out of her, Bellatrix strode up to her before she put her hand on her throat, pressing down with a horrific amount of force while her other hand trained her wand at her temple.

"Don't you ever touch my little sister," she growled. Narcissa tried to make a sound of protest, but she still was trying to catch her breath from the blow to her ribs.

Roxanne tried to say something as well, but all that came out was sick choking sounds. Bellatrix smiled wickedly. "Would you like to hear a story, Roxie?" she taunted. "Hm?" She sneered and pressed harder on Roxanne's windpipe so suddenly that it banged the back of her head off the stone wall and the girl made a kind of gurgling noise. "Answer me!"

She seemed to release the pressure just a little, enough for Roxanne to croak out, "Let… me… go…!"

"Bella!" Narcissa yelled, her voice hoarse as she watched in horror what her sister was doing. She stumbled over to her, her quickly forming bruise making it painful when she took a step. She grasped Bellatrix's robes, pulling at her desperately. "Stop! You're hurting her!"

"Not now, Cissy," Bellatrix said in a bored tone. "Can't you see your sister's busy? Go play with your toys." She pushed her away with the hand holding her wand, unfortunately hitting the same spot she was bruised. Narcissa doubled over in pain.

"Now, where was I?" Bellatrix started, playing with her wand, idly poking Roxanne in the temple with it repeatedly. "Oh yes," she said, smiling. "The story." She trailed her wand down Roxanne's cheek almost seductively before her grip tightened on her throat, no longer only holding her, but cutting off her oxygen as well. Roxanne choked helplessly. "You see, there once was this bothersome little girl, who stuck her big, deformed nose somewhere it didn't belong."

"Stop!" Narcissa screamed from her spot on the floor, clutching her stomach. Roxanne's face was starting to turn a reddish purple. "Bella! Stop it!" she pleaded desperately. Her sister wasn't right in the head anymore, and Narcissa didn't know if she was capable of knowing when was too much.

Bellatrix looked annoyed at the order, but loosened her grip significantly on Roxanne, who was able to gasp for air. Her sister continued to talk, however. "And this ugly little nuisance learned something she thought she could use for her own advantage. Sadly, she was very, very mistaken."

"You… can't… do anything… to me…" Roxanne gasped out, "You'll… be expelled."

"Is that so?" Bellatrix asked, smirking. "Do you care to wager on that little assessment? Oh! I know. Let's wager something big."

"Wha—What are you doing?!"

It was the voice of a small boy, who looked positively terrified to walk down the hall and witness the scene before him. Bellatrix let go of Roxanne, who automatically started to run. She wasn't very fast since a lot of oxygen was deprived from her brain for an extended period of time, and she looked unsteady on her feet.

"Damn," Bellatrix said, standing there for a moment like this was a very inconvenient thing to happen, not at all taking it as serious as it was. "Now I have to chase her, don't I? I've always detested physical exercise."

Narcissa just stared at her in disbelief, not understanding how she could be so calm about what just happened. Roxanne would surely tell the first teacher she met what Bellatrix did, let alone the secret that she held! Narcissa coughed again as she picked herself up off the ground. But as soon as she looked up again, she saw Bellatrix running down the hall after Roxanne.

"Bella!" she shouted, fear in her voice. She tried to run after them, completely dismissing the boy who at this point was completely irrelevant to the bigger problem at hand, but she couldn't get very far because she was in too much pain.

Narcissa had no idea where they went, or what really happened after that. All she knew was that the next day, Roxanne wasn't found… anywhere. After the teachers confirmed that she didn't miss her classes because of an illness or deviant behavior, a whole search was made and the trip to Hogsmeade was cancelled. Nothing turned up, anywhere.

Narcissa was scared out of her mind. She had the feeling Bellatrix was to blame, and that terrified her because if it were true then her sister was turning into a monster. And if she were to be caught, she'd be thrown into prison and would never see the light of day again. Bellatrix against the entire school; teachers and all? The odds were slim that she would get away with it. There weren't many hiding places in this school that the headmaster didn't know about.

Narcissa's terror reached a new level though when she was called out of class three days later. She was taken to the Headmaster's office by Professor Slughorn, her Head of House. She sat down in front of the large desk, practically trembling. She had never been sent to the Headmaster's office before, and she already knew it was about Roxanne.

"Do you know why you've been summoned here, Ms. Black?" Professor Dippet asked, peering over his glasses at her.

"T-To do with Roxanne Summerhauld," Narcissa answered, her voice trembling.

"Precisely," he responded. He rose from his desk, coming around to face her more fully. He seemed almost majestic in Narcissa's eyes, and very intimidating. She swallowed. "I have heard from more than one student that the two of you seemed to find yourselves in disagreements after breakfast nearly every day. Is this true?"

"Y-Yes, sir," Narcissa stuttered, looking down. She was ashamed and didn't want to tell him what was going on.

"May I inquire as to what they were regarding?"

"She…" Narcissa started, feeling her eyes well up with tears from how frightened she was. "She would… p-push me nearly every morning," she told him, "into walls. She… wanted my money."

Professor Dippet paused, assessing that statement. "She would bully you?" he inquired.

"Yes, sir. I…" she paused before she lied, "I don't know why. But I gave her my money; I was scared."

"And you told your oldest sister, Bellatrix, of this, I presume?" he asked. Narcissa froze. She knew her sister would be brought up, but was still ill equipped to handle it.

She started playing with her robes in her trembling hands. "No," she told him softly. "She… saw her do it one day."

"The day before Roxanne disappeared," Professor Dippet stated, filling in the blanks. Narcissa couldn't help but wonder why he was asking all these questions if he already knew the answer. That boy must have told him.

"Yes, sir," she mumbled, staring at her shoes. She was desperately trying to calm her beating heart, sure that he could hear how loud it was pumping to get blood through her limbs that were going cold in fright.

Professor Dippet took a breath before kneeling down, becoming eye level with Narcissa, who hesitantly looked up at him. "Narcissa," he asked softly. "Do you know anything about what happened to Ms. Summerhauld?"

Narcissa shook her head almost violently, a tear slipping down her cheek. "N-No, sir."

"Why are you crying, my dear?"

Narcissa choked back a sob, "Because I'm afraid everyone is going to think my sister did it because they were fighting. Because of me! But she wouldn't do that, sir! I know her, and she couldn't have anything to do with Roxanne's disappearance! I swear to it!" She looked up at him desperately; scared for her sister, scared for herself.

Professor Dippet sighed a little, putting his hand on her knee for a moment before rising. "I have spoken with your sister, Narcissa. She too swears she knows nothing. And while I am not one to convict anyone without proof, you must realize that your sister's reputation for losing her temper makes a very bad case against her."

"I… I know, sir," Narcissa sniffed, wiping her tears away with the back of her sleeve. "But she's not a bad person, she was only trying to protect me."

"Be that as it may, I will be making further inquiries into this," Professor Dippet told her. "A student disappearing is of no laughing matter. Roxanne's parents are very distressed over this incident, and they want answers. I urge you, Ms. Black, if you come to any information regarding this, that you come to me immediately."

Narcissa nodded, trying to calm herself down. "I will, sir," she promised. But her heart was still pounding in her throat and she had the feeling that Bellatrix's time at Hogwarts was coming to a quick end.

She never spoke to Bellatrix about it though; not at school, anyway. It was far too risky and the teachers had been keeping a closer eye on them than usual, as was everyone else. Rumors circulated like wildfire about how after Bellatrix and Roxanne got into a fight, she murdered her and threw her in the Black Lake. Of course that was ridiculous; everyone knew that the mermaids and the headmaster got along well enough that he would hear word if a body was dumped in there. But it seemed to be the new game: inventing new and creative theories as to how Bellatrix killed her. It was awful. Even Dale, the boy who fancied her, would continuously ask questions about it. Narcissa couldn't stand it.

Bellatrix seemed to ignore it all, but Narcissa couldn't. Even Andromeda was being taunted by the whispers, and her resentment towards Bellatrix was growing. Narcissa still didn't know what originally had caused the rift in their relationship, and maybe she would never know. But it seemed all three of them, when once so close, now seemed to be standing on opposite sides of the world.

When they came home from Christmas, their father interrogated both of them about the disappearance of the girl. Apparently he had been notified that they were the last to be seen with her. He screamed at them for hours about how it wasn't like their family to be mixed up in such nasty business, and how it brought shame to their entire family. They were then handed over to their mother, who proceeded to show them the violent consequences of being the topic of such nasty whispers.

After they were 'taught a lesson', healed, and cleaned up, Druella then told them to go upstairs and get presentable, as the Lestrange's were coming for dinner that night. It was so like her to sweep all the dirt under the carpet before company arrived. Appearances were everything, after all.

Narcissa got dressed quickly as she tried to stop crying. It seemed to be all she was doing lately. Her life just seemed to be one shit storm after another and it was making her miserable. She wasn't happy at home and she wasn't happy at Hogwarts. She had nowhere to run to anymore. She knew, logically, that all of this would pass and there would be happiness in her future, but she couldn't seem to get past looking at today, let alone tomorrow or three years down the line.

After she had dressed, she headed into Bellatrix's room. She knocked on the door quietly and heard something that sounded like a grunt inside. Taking that as a 'come in', Narcissa pushed the door open. "Bella?" she asked in a small voice, looking at her sister zipping up her dress. "Would you do my hair? I can't ever do anything suitable on my own."

Bellatrix let out a breath, turning to face her. She stared at her for a long time before she finally nodded her head, motioning for her to come inside. Narcissa walked in, closing the door behind her before sitting down in the chair in front of Bellatrix's vanity. She watched in the mirror as Bellatrix came up behind her and then reached forward to grab her brush.

They sat there in silence, Bellatrix brushing her hair. It was like they didn't know what to say to each other anymore. Their sibling relationship, their romantic relationship (if you could even call the brief moments they shared that), and their friendship had been torn apart by everything that had gone on. Narcissa felt cold and alone, when once being next to Bellatrix made her feel alive and filled with warmth.

There was a snag in her hair and the brush pulled it. "Ow!" Narcissa exclaimed automatically. The word seemed to echo in the previous silence of the room, and she looked up at her sister in the mirror. Their eyes met.

"Sorry," Bellatrix apologized softly, before looking back down at her head as she brushed her hair a few more times. She placed the brush back on the vanity and grabbed some bobby pins as she started to twist Narcissa's hair into an elegant updo. Narcissa let out a breath, not knowing if she should try to repair the rift between her and her sister, or be thankful that there was one now since them being close seemed to cause nothing but trouble.

But before any of that, Narcissa needed to know something. She waited until her sister was done with her hair before she turned and looked at her. "Bella?" she asked, unsure of herself. She was nervous, not knowing how her sister would react to this question. She wet her lips before continuing, "Do you… know what happened with Roxanne?"

Bellatrix stared at her for a moment, like she wasn't sure what she just heard. She took a step away from her. "I can't believe you just fucking asked me that."

"No, I didn't mean—" Narcissa started, standing up quickly and taking a step towards her, trying to rectify the situation. "I wasn't accusing you of anything, I swear. I just… I don't know what happened after you chased her. You've never told me."

"Because it's none of your concern, Cissy," Bellatrix told her shortly as she started to sweep her own hair up on top of her head, pushing past her to get to the mirror.

"You were fighting because of me!" Narcissa exclaimed. "I believe that gives me the right to know."

Bellatrix stopped what she was doing and abruptly turned to face her. "Don't you trust me?"

"Of course—"

"Then trust me when I tell you I know nothing about it," Bellatrix snapped at her, before turning back towards the mirror. "Besides," she said, fiddling with her hair. A small smile broke out on her face and she finished, "It's a benefit to us that she's gone. You should be happy; I am. It's nothing more than good fortune."

"Good fortune?" Narcissa repeated in disbelief. "Bellatrix, she's missing! She could be dead!"


"So?" Narcissa exclaimed, her voice two octaves higher.

"Are you going to repeat everything I say?" Bellatrix asked, irritated as she finished with her hair and stood up. "Because I have more important things to do, like dining with my fiancé and his parents."

Narcissa looked at her like she didn't know who she was anymore. "How can you be so callous about a girl possibly being dead?"

"Because she was a waste of space and a nuisance to us," Bellatrix told her flatly. "She bullied you, she blackmailed us, and she could have ruined our entire lives. Now be thankful she's gone and shut up about it." She left her room without another word, leaving Narcissa to stare at her retreating form, hurt.

She didn't try bringing it up again though, especially since not more than five minutes later the doorbell rang and the Lestrange's arrived. Dinner was filled with boring small talk and extravagant wedding plans that only the adults actually participated in. Narcissa was usually all for weddings, but she wasn't in the mood to hear about her sister's. Neither was Bellatrix for that matter, since she spent the duration of dinner looking bored out of her mind.

After dinner had ended, the adults went to discuss more wedding plans in the sitting room while Andromeda made herself scarce and Bellatrix and Rodolphus stole upstairs to her room. Narcissa, feeling incredibly alone, trudged up the stairs, planning to write a letter to Dale just so she could remind herself that at least someone wanted to be around her.

However, when she passed Bellatrix's room, she could hear her and Rodolphus talking inside. Her curiosity got the best of her and she snuck towards the door quietly, peeking through the tiny slit where the door wasn't completely closed as she bent her knees, sitting on her haunches. She could see her sister and her fiancé standing in the middle of her room, talking about Roxanne. It infuriated Narcissa for a moment that her sister would speak to him about it and not her, but then she caught the words they were saying.

"The Dark Lord will be so pleased to hear what you did," Rodolphus told her. "You'll be initiated as a Death Eater immediately when you turn seventeen, you know that, right? You've passed the ultimate test," He was smiling at her, like he was proud that Bellatrix could have possibly murdered someone.

Narcissa furrowed her eyebrows at the mention of the words 'Death Eater' though. They sent a shiver down her spine and it frightened her that Bellatrix could be involved in something that sounded so horrendous. Was this what she had been doing with that group? Learning how to kill people?

What was becoming of her sister?

"Rumors are rumors, Rodolphus," Bellatrix stated, shrugging as if it was of no importance. "But if He asks for the truth, I will give it to Him, and only Him."

"Oh don't play coy, Bellatrix," Rodolphus told her. "Everyone knows it was you."

"Everyone can speculate all they want. I, however, do not plan to spend the rest of my life in Azkaban, thank you. I will admit to nothing."

Rodolphus nodded, understanding that. "I agree. You would be of no use to him in there, and he does carry a bit of a preference for you."

Bellatrix smirked. "Jealous?"

"Not in the slightest. We aren't marrying because of our love," Rodolphus said, laughing. "We're in this for the power it entails, and I would prefer having a wife that the Dark Lord has taken a liking to. It benefits us both." He walked over to Bellatrix's bed, sitting down on it and leaning back. "Besides," he went on, "I don't believe he's interested in you in that way."

Bellatrix scoffed. "How can you be so sure?"

Rodolphus laughed, as if Bellatrix's wish for a man to be interested in her was ridiculous. "I'd focus on other areas of importance if I were you, Bellatrix. Don't consume yourself with foolish desires. We have a mission to uphold."

Bellatrix rolled her eyes and walked over to the bed, flopping down on it. She lay there for a while before she turned to her fiancé. "Are you gay?" she inquired suddenly. Narcissa's mouth fell agape at the boldness of her sister's question.

"Excuse me?" Rodolphus exclaimed, standing suddenly to look down upon her in offense. "I am nothing of the sort! That's disgusting."

Bellatrix shrugged, not at all fazed by his anger. "It was merely a question, no need to get haughty. I only wondered since you seem to have no desire to be involved with me sexually."

Rodolphus furrowed his eyebrows at her. "Do you wish for me to be?" Bellatrix laughed.

"No, not in the slightest."

"Then why complain?"

"I wasn't complaining, Rodolphus," Bellatrix said as she sighed. "I was merely wondering if we were planning on having affairs in our marriage, since we have no interest in each other."

"Sex is a tool used by the opposite sex to corrupt us; we should have no need for it. We will not be weakened by desire."

Bellatrix chuckled, "Spoken by someone who has clearly never indulged in the act."

Rodolphus' eyebrows rose at that statement. "Are you implying you're not pure?"

Bellatrix smirked, lying on her side on her bed, propping her head up with her hand. "Are you going to make a scene over it? Insist I don't wear white for our wedding?"

"Hardly. We don't need any blemishes on our reputation," Rodolphus stated. He looked at her for a moment longer, then shook his head. "Have your sordid affairs if you wish, Bellatrix, but keep them under wraps. We cannot afford an adultery scandal."

"Understood," Bellatrix said, smiling at getting her way. Narcissa didn't know whether to be disappointed that Bellatrix would commit adultery, or pleased because she may still with her. Not that they were anywhere close to having an affair of the sort now; they were barely speaking. She supposed it was just nice to have the option.

After that the conversation turned mundane, so Narcissa crept away to her own room. She shut the door and leaned against it, closing her eyes. It frightened her that Bellatrix had gotten so wrapped up in a group that considered murder 'the ultimate test', but she didn't know what she could do about it. If she mentioned it, Bellatrix would know she had been spying and would sure enough punish her for it.

The world Narcissa once knew seemed to be slipping away from her faster than she could keep up with, and she didn't know how to cope with it.


*Chapter 10*: Chapter Ten


After a while, the incident with Roxanne settled down. There was no proof that Bellatrix was the cause of her disappearance and soon it was just another unexplained incident. The students still whispered amongst themselves, but Bellatrix hardly cared. Her seventeenth birthday had come and gone and it sickened Narcissa that she could be up to her neck in something she couldn't get out of. She had changed; that much was certain. After her birthday she seemed to hold herself with much more pride and grace. She felt important and it showed.

What worried Narcissa more was that Bellatrix's group of 'friends' seemed to have extended. Not only was she constantly around Rodolphus, but also his brother Rabastan, another boy named Yaxley, and even worse than that, now Lucius was following them around. Well, more specifically he was following Rodolphus around, but Bellatrix by extension. She didn't seem as hostile towards him as before, but she still clearly disliked her fiancé's choice of new friends.

Narcissa stayed as far away from them as she could though. The lot of them scared her, if she were to be honest. She and her sister had been drifting apart for months, and while they still talked on occasion, it was nothing like it used to be. Narcissa even saw her chatting up a pretty sixth year one day and try as she might, she couldn't stop her stomach from burning with jealously. But she knew that part of her life was over and that it was probably for the better.

It felt so quick, their sordid little affair (if you could even call making out occasionally an affair). It felt like it started in the blink of an eye and ended just as quickly. And while Narcissa was certain she would be better off forgetting about it, she remembered how safe she used to feel in Bellatrix's arms, and she missed that terribly.

Regardless of her nostalgia though, Narcissa knew she had to move forward. She had started dating Dale and quite enjoyed spending time with him. He wasn't as proper or as handsome as Lucius was, but he was sweet and very kind to her. It had been a couple months and they had grown very close; she always spent time with him, even more so than her friends. It was the very definition of young love; fast, fleeting, and foolish. But she surrounded herself with it and let it devour her because she wanted nothing more than to live a normal life amidst the craziness.

It was mostly based on teenage passion more than anything else, but then again, were juvenile relationships ever anything but? It was nice though, for Narcissa to feel completely consumed in something that wasn't based around horror or abuse; it made her feel less like a freak.

One thing that did make her feel very normal though, was her complete lack of experience when it came to the opposite sex. She was constantly feeling flustered, embarrassed, or nervous when she wanted to go a little further but didn't know exactly how to go about it, or even if she should. She of course still wanted to remain a virgin until she was wed, but she wanted to experiment a little, just so she didn't end up becoming a bumbling idiot in bed with her future husband.

However, Dale was very shy. He never voiced that he wanted anything more, even if it was painfully obvious by the feel of his erection through his robes when they kissed, like now. They were hidden away in an empty classroom, Narcissa's arms around his neck as they kissed passionately. She had him practically pinned up against the wall and both of them were getting very worked up.

Feeling bold and adventurous, Narcissa let her right hand wander downwards. Her heart was pounding in her ears due to her nervousness, but her curiosity was starting to get the better of her. She had felt him harden a couple times before, but never had the nerve to try and touch it. This time though, she made an effort to kiss him back harder, letting him know that she was really into this, and that what she was about to do wasn't an accident.

However, when her hand brushed his stiff member over his robes, Dale jumped a mile, nearly scaring the hell out of Narcissa. "What?!" she exclaimed, scared that she just did something wrong. "What did I do?"

"You… er…" He swallowed, looking incredibly nervous, yet painfully turned on. He was a gentleman though, bless him. "You… accidentally… touched something."

Narcissa couldn't help but smile at his nervousness, which made her feel better about her own. She ducked her head shyly, then looked up at him. "That… wasn't an accident," she admitted.

"Oh," Dale said, looking just as shocked as someone who was just told they had been randomly selected as Minister of Magic. "You…really?" Narcissa nodded, biting her bottom lip. She blushed a little.

"I'm sorry if I was out of line. I was only… maybe I got a bit carried away…" she was starting to feel less sure about herself, until Dale spoke up.

"No, no!" he exclaimed immediately, then must have realized how eager he sounded because he looked embarrassed and lowered his tone. "I just mean… that wasn't out of line."

"It wasn't?"


Narcissa looked up at him, still feeling a blush adorn her cheeks. "Then do you think I…?"

"If you want to," Dale breathed quickly. Narcissa smiled a little shyly and nodded. Her heartbeat increased, now even more nervous than ever since she actually had permission. It was like there was no way to back out now, even if she wanted to. Not that she did, but she couldn't account for a last minute change of heart.

They slowly gravitated towards each other, each shy in their own right, until they found themselves in an embrace. They kissed slowly at first, both of them still testing the waters and building up the anticipation. Narcissa's lips brushed softly over his before pressing against him more fully, kissing him harder. He reciprocated and Narcissa guided him back up against the wall as he parted his lips and she took that opportunity to slide her tongue inside his mouth. He nibbled a little on her lower lip and she smiled, feeling more comfortable.

Narcissa allowed her hand to slide down his chest as they kissed deeper. Dale's breathing increased significantly when he realized where she was going, but she didn't stop. Suddenly her hand was wrapped around his hardened member over his robe and he groaned. Narcissa wasn't really sure what to do more than that, so she toyed with it with the palm of her hand a little. This seemed to produce a better reaction out of her boyfriend and she smiled, proud of herself.

Moving her head to start kissing on his neck, she relished in every sound that Dale made. But then suddenly – much too suddenly – he tensed, letting out a loud grunt. Narcissa felt her hand become damp and she screeched in surprise and horror as she jumped away from him.

"What—what…?" she stuttered, frantically wiping her hand on her robes; afraid that he wet himself. "Oh god!" She refrained from tacking 'ew' at the end of that sentence to spare his feelings, though it was hard.

He flushed red, really embarrassed. "I'm so sorry! I didn't know it would happen so quickly!"

"You… you… what did you just do?" Narcissa asked, still horrified. "Did you just—?"

"Yes," he muttered, embarrassed. "I'm sorry, I didn't know it would shock you this badly. I didn't mean to!"

Narcissa was still staring at him, mouth agape. She didn't know what to say. Her boyfriend had just peed on her. Oh god, and she wiped it on her robes! She needed to change, quickly.

"I'm sorry Dale, but I have to… go. I wiped it on my robes…" she tried to explain as she backed out of the room.

"No, I know, I'm sorry," Dale apologized, looking distraught and mortified. "I should… go change too…" he said awkwardly, and Narcissa took that as her cue to leave. She left the classroom quickly then ran all the way to her dorm.

When she got in there it wasn't empty, but she didn't care. She threw off her robes quickly, exclaiming, "Ugh!" as she threw them on the floor. She quickly knelt down and searched her trunk for a new pair of clean robes.

Of all the things to happen, she didn't think that would be one of them. That was so disgusting!

The two girls in the dorm room were staring at her oddly because of her behavior, but she ignored them as she slipped the clean robes over her head. God, she needed to wash her hands. She ran down the stairs to the girl's bathroom, quickly making her way to the sink. As she stuck her hands under the cool water, she started to feel a little better.

That was not how she thought her first sexual experience with a boy would end. Shaking her head and chiding herself about how she probably shouldn't have even tried, she finished washing her hands. As she turned around to get a paper towel to dry them, she nearly screamed when she found herself an inch in front of Bellatrix, about to run into her.

"Christ, Cissy. It's only me," Bellatrix said, looking at her oddly for shouting. Narcissa flushed, pushing past her to grab a handful of paper towels to wipe her hands.

"Sorry, you startled me," she mumbled, just wanting to get out of there. But Bellatrix took a hold of her arm as she tried to leave, spinning her around to face her.

"What's wrong?" she asked, actual concern coloring her voice. Narcissa hadn't heard that from her sister in a while.

"N-Nothing," Narcissa stammered, looking away from her. "I was just startled, that was all."

"Don't give me that; I know you. Now tell me," Bellatrix said, pulling her further away from the door. Narcissa followed reluctantly, knowing that trying to get away would be futile. She was right; Bellatrix did know her, so she knew something had happened, probably just by the horrified look on her face that she couldn't seem to wipe off. She sighed.

"Oh, Bella, it was awful…" she started, feeling embarrassed that this could have happened to her.

"What? Cissy, did someone do something to you?" Bellatrix asked, her eyes igniting in that familiar yet scary way that Narcissa hoped to never see again. The blonde shook her head almost violently.

"No, nothing like that," she said. She blushed as she started, "Well, Dale and I were… kissing, and—"

"Whoa," Bellatrix said, holding up her hand for her to stop. "Who in the bloody hell is Dale?"

Narcissa narrowed her eyes, furious that Bellatrix wouldn't even know something so important in her life. "He's only been my boyfriend for the last couple of months. Glad you pay so much attention to me."

"When the hell did you start dating? Who is this boy? What did he do?" Bellatrix was getting possessive again, Narcissa could see it. But she wasn't her sister's property.

"He didn't do anything; it was my fault! Will you just listen?" she requested loudly and impatiently. Bellatrix's eyes flashed, but she clenched her jaw and stayed silent, waiting for her to finish.

Narcissa took a breath, fighting her embarrassment as she told her, "We were… kissing. And it got, you know, very nice and a little… intense. So I could feel his…you know against his robes."

Bellatrix narrowed her eyes, obviously not pleased. But she tried to be fair to her sister and so she replied flatly, "Go on…"

"And, well…. I was curious. Wouldn't anyone be?" she asked, though rather rhetorically since she probably figured her sister wouldn't be. She had never really shown a real interest in men or the parts they possess. Narcissa looked down at the ground, her cheeks bright red as she admitted, "So I… touched him; over his robes, of course. I'm not a harlot. And… it was nice, for a while. But then…" she trailed off, her voice getting more high-pitched and upset as she exclaimed, "Oh, Bella! He… I think he peed on me!" She covered her face in shame.

"He came on you?!" Bellatrix bellowed, furious.

"No, didn't you just hear me?" Narcissa said, looking up at her confused. She had no idea what 'came' was and thought her sister just misheard her. "He—"

"I heard you!" Bellatrix exclaimed loudly. "He didn't pee on you, you bumbling idiot! He ejaculated on you! Who the hell is he? I'm going to kill him!"

"No! No, Bella, it wasn't like…on on me! Just got on my hand through his robes and… wait, what the hell is that?" Narcissa asked, totally bewildered now. Was this another thing her mother didn't prepare her for?

Bellatrix sighed loudly. "It's when a guy has an orgasm, Cissy. Keep up, will you? God, if you got any thicker I could pop off your head and use it as a Quaffle."

Narcissa ignored her sister's insults; she was too busy trying to work out what she just said. "Oh. Oh!" she exclaimed, finally getting it. Then she smiled; she couldn't help herself. "I really made him do that?" she asked, amazed.

Bellatrix scowled. "Proud of yourself, are you? When the hell did you start going around groping men? Where the hell was I when you decided to suddenly become the Slytherin slut?"

Narcissa glared at her. She was not a slut. "Not around, as usual. You've completely ignored my existence ever since Roxanne! You've been too busy with Rodolphus and his little group that's training you to become a killer, or maybe even worse! You haven't wanted to be around me and frankly, I haven't really wanted to be around you either. I feel like I don't even know you anymore."

"Oh don't be stupid, Cissy. I'm your sister! I'll always be your sister, no matter what I choose to do with my life. Which you best bite your tongue about; it's no business of yours."

"Or what? You'll kill me?" Narcissa snapped. "Ohhh, I'm so scared," she mocked, waving her hands to emphasize her sarcasm.

"Shut your mouth!" Bellatrix exclaimed, before slapping her right across the face. Narcissa held her stinging cheek, her eyes brimming with tears from the pain.

"Who are you?" she asked, voice barely above a whisper.

"I'm your eldest sister," Bellatrix replied, eyes ablaze. "And you better start respecting me as such."

"Piss off."

"Narcissa!" Bellatrix exclaimed, grabbing her again before she could make an escape out the door. She pushed her up against a wall – not hard, but with enough force to make her point. "Just leave my life to me, will you?" she requested. She was still angry, but her voice was softer. Bellatrix knew she could get more out of her sister with kindness than with hate. She took a breath, looking her in the eyes. "Please, don't meddle in my affairs. You'll get hurt and I… I wouldn't want that."

Narcissa just stared at her.

"And I'm sorry I've been neglecting you. The thing with that ruddy girl shook me up; we could have been found out. It would have ruined our lives, your life, and I did whatever I could to protect you. I really wish you wouldn't fault me for that."

"Fault you for it?" Narcissa repeated in disbelief. "Fault you for it? Bellatrix, you murdered—!"

Bellatrix clapped a hand over her mouth, making the rest of Narcissa's words come out as muffles. She pointed her wand to the door and hissed,"Muffliato,"so they wouldn't be overheard before turning to her sister and exclaiming, "Are you thick? You can't go around saying stuff like that Cissy, whether you believe it to be true or not! Do you want the Ministry to lock me up?"

Narcissa's muffled protests stopped and she froze for a moment, contemplating that very real possibility. Narcissa swallowed and shook her head slowly. No, she didn't want her sister to get sent away to prison. The minutes felt like hours as the two sisters stared at each other, Bellatrix's hand still over her mouth like she was afraid that if she took it away Narcissa would continue screaming to the world her theories regarding Roxanne, but Narcissa wasn't stupid.

When Bellatrix's fingers slowly slid down her lips, freeing her mouth to speak, Narcissa still did not get the chance. Her sister took a hesitant breath as she looked at her, her onyx eyes penetrating Narcissa's in a different kind of way, which Narcissa recognized at once; she had seen that look before… on their mother. It was commanding and as Bellatrix spoke, Narcissa understood why she looked at her like that. "I don't want you seeing that boy anymore, Narcissa."

Narcissa knew Bellatrix was still expecting a loud protest, even with her attempt to quiet her with a gaze, but Narcissa was quiet for a moment, staring at her sister. Her silence seemed to unnerve Bellatrix seeing as Narcissa had always been outspoken and she instead chose to use that moment in her favor as she said, cool as ice, "Fine."

Bellatrix looked taken aback, then automatically became suspicious.

Narcissa tried to slip away from her casually, but Bellatrix flattened herself against the bathroom door, blocking her escape route. "You plan to defy me."

"Why would you think that?" Narcissa asked, taking care to avoid giving away nothing but nonchalance in her attitude.

"Because you've always defied me!" Bellatrix exclaimed. "What are you playing at?"

"You're becoming paranoid, Bella," Narcissa said patiently. "I'm going to do what you wish, why do you have to suspect it?"

"Because you've always been a filthy little liar, Cissy."

Narcissa opened her mouth in mock-shock, "I've been nothing but honest with you! Always!"

Bellatrix chuckled suddenly. It made Narcissa's confidence in her lie falter. "Cissy… Oh, Cissy," she cooed, like she finally understood the adorable quality in her pet. She reached up and touched her face and Narcissa noticeably flinched, expecting a slap, but Bellatrix only ran her fingernails gently down her cheek as she looked at her, amused that she would attempt something like that. "I've mastered the skill of deception; do you really think that I would not notice the signs? I admit, you had me confused for a moment. I would never have expected you to manipulate someone for your own ends. I'm a little proud."

Narcissa glared at her, quickly becoming frustrated. "Mastered the skill, did you?" she asked spitefully. "What, did your little Death Eaters teach you that, or did you come up with that one all on your own?"

Bellatrix's eyes flashed dangerously. "Where did you hear that name?" she yelled, forcing her sister roughly into the sink. The hard porcelain bruised Narcissa's back at the impact point and Bellatrix grabbed her arm painfully. "Where?!"

"I overheard you!" Narcissa exclaimed, her face contorting in pain as she tried to fight out of Bellatrix's grasp, "with Rodolphus! Let me go!"

Bellatrix did let her go, but it was more of an angry shove that just happened to free her. "You shouldn't know that name," she told her, voice at a dangerously low level as she stared at her. "You… fuck, Narcissa. Do you even stop to think that the knowledge you hold could get you killed?"

"Going to kill me now, are you?" Narcissa spat at her, knowing that she could never. She held out her hands in jest. "Well then go right ahead; take your best shot if you've got the stones."

"No, you fool! Not me! But do you really think I could stop it if you've been marked for death?!" Bellatrix screamed, bordering on the side of 'frantic' now. Narcissa immediately stopped attacking her, growing concerned for herself. Bellatrix looked absolutely terrified.

"You can't know, you can't know," she repeated, coming back up to Narcissa and grasping both of her forearms to make her see the seriousness of this situation. "You can't know unless you're initiated or married to one of us, do you understand me? This isn't some silly game, Narcissa; this is real! They will kill you and I… I wouldn't be able to stop them. I… I can't…you…" Bellatrix's words were becoming non-sequential and bordering on babbling nonsense, and fear gripped Narcissa's chest for that very reason. Nothing scared her sister. Nothing. Even their mother, who up until now was the most terrifying thing in their lives, never truly scared Bellatrix.

"It is secret," Bellatrix told her in a strained, desperate whisper. "One day it will not be, but for now no one must know. You can't know, Narcissa. Do you hear me? You can't know! So what do you know, Cissy? What do you know?!"

"Nothing!" Narcissa exclaimed quickly, her heart in her throat as she saw her own terror reflected in her sister's eyes. "I know nothing," she breathed, hearing her heart beat heavily in her ears.

It took what seemed like forever, but Bellatrix's breathing finally calmed and her eyes stopped darting around like she was afraid someone was going to pop out of the walls. She let out a breath as she leaned against Narcissa, bringing her arm around to cradle her for the first time in a long time. Bellatrix held her head to her breast as she laid her cheek down on her crown. "You can't scare me like this," she told her, her voice barely above a whisper. "You know I couldn't bear it if we got torn apart, by death or otherwise."

Narcissa felt her bottom lip tremble as her grip tightened on Bellatrix's robes. When she spoke, her distraught voice came out muffled against the fabric. "But you haven't been around…"


"No!" Narcissa exclaimed, burying her face further into her chest as tears started to slip down her cheeks. "You say you can't bear to live without me and yet you leave me alone when I needed you the most. You abandoned me for them! You left me to be tormented by that awful girl, to be put under questioning by the Headmaster, to be abused by mother and have no one to turn to. You left me! You left me!" Her fists hit Bellatrix's chest as she tried to pull away from her, but Bellatrix wouldn't let her.

"I'm sorry! Cissy, I'm sorry! I didn't—shh, come on, be quiet…" she hushed her as she fought to keep her sister in her arms. But Narcissa was putting up a fight, all the months of neglect finally getting to her and she struggled against her until Bellatrix took her face in her palms and kissed her roughly, trying to get her to calm down. Narcissa sobbed against her lips.

"No, you can't—" Narcissa tried to protest, trying to get her off of her. Bellatrix didn't have the right to kiss her anymore. But the force of Bellatrix's lips was bruising against her own; her hand holding tightly to the back of Narcissa's head so that she couldn't get out of it. Narcissa tried to bite her, tried to close her mouth tight to make her stop, but Bellatrix wouldn't let up. After a while Narcissa just gave into it, still crying as Bellatrix's tongue slowly slipped against hers. There was no point in fighting a losing battle.

"Shh…" Bellatrix hushed her, her breath tickling Narcissa's sensitive lips. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." It sounded like such a beautiful lie; a manipulation to keep Narcissa doing what she was told, but the blonde didn't care. Narcissa didn't realize how truly alone she felt before until she was embraced by Bellatrix again, feeling her warmth spread through her. "I'm here now," Bellatrix told her as she kissed her cheek, wiping away her tears. "I won't leave you again, I promise you on my life."

"You will," Narcissa choked out, a fresh, hot tear rolling down her porcelain skin. Bellatrix wiped it away but Narcissa turned her face away from hers. "Your loyalty isn't to me anymore, nor our family. You know that it's true."

Bellatrix sighed, cupping her sister's cheek in her hand. "That doesn't mean I'll leave you," she tried. "I could never, not really. You're a part of me. How can you not know that?"

"Piss off with your pretty words, Bellatrix," Narcissa replied, pushing her away and looking scorned. "Pretty words don't make up for what you did. I'm not… I'm not something you can just toss aside whenever I'm not convenient for you; I'm your sister!"

"You're more than my sister."

"No I'm not!" Narcissa exclaimed. "Not anymore! You lost that right when you left me to fend for myself. And…" she took a breath, holding herself up higher to build her confidence, "and I'm dating someone else now. I don't care whether you want me to see him or not; the decision isn't yours and you can't threaten me into breaking it off with him just because you've decided you suddenly want me back."

"I can't get back what's never really left," Bellatrix told her coolly, folding her arms in front of her chest. "You can't live without me, Cissy. Don't bother to pretend otherwise."

"I've managed to quite fine these last couple of months, thank you."

Narcissa should've known by now that she couldn't ever do anything without her sister's saying so; especially something like leaving when Bellatrix wasn't done with the conversation. Once again, her pathway to the exit was blocked, but this time Bellatrix's eyes softened as she looked at her lighter counterpart.

"Please," she said softly, so softly that Narcissa couldn't believe the sincerity behind her words. "Just let me make it up to you."

"How?" Narcissa asked, suspicion in her voice. She wiped the last tear off of her cheek and folded her arms in front of her chest, narrowing her eyes at her. "Will you leave that group?"

"You know I can't do that."

"Well then your loyalty isn't—" Narcissa tried, but was interrupted.

"My loyalty has always been to you!" Bellatrix shouted, angry that Narcissa would believe otherwise. "Everything I do is because of you, Cissy! It's all about you, don't you understand that? Putting myself between you and Mum, protecting you from that sodding girl, joining the Death Eaters so you, you can have a better life! So you and all those precious little children you want so desperately can live in a world where you'll have the respect you deserve!"

"I never asked these things of you!" Narcissa protested.

"You didn't have to! That's what love is about, Narcissa! You're my baby sister; you're my whole bleeding world, why is that such a hard concept for you to grasp?! You think that I'm selfish, but you couldn't be more wrong. My whole damned life is shaped around you, Cissy. It always has been."

Narcissa looked away, staring at the white tiles that littered the wall of the bathroom. Pretty words, nothing but pretty words, weren't they? Her sister was either trying to manipulate her or really did believe those things. And if she did, if she really did believe that everything she did was because of her, then Narcissa didn't know whether to feel loved or frightened for her sister's inability to think of nothing else. There was a very fine line between love and obsession, after all. But when she looked back up at Bellatrix, Narcissa saw the caring look behind her eyes that rarely found itself present these days. She let out a slow breath.

"How did you want to make it up to me?" Narcissa asked softly. She needed to know if Bellatrix was really serious about mending the broken bridge between them or if she was just taking her for a ride.

Bellatrix smiled. "Meet me in the common room at midnight."

Narcissa furrowed her eyebrows. "Midnight? But Bella, we should be in bed at that hour! If a Prefect were to find out…"

"They won't," Bellatrix assured her, then shrugged. "And if they do? I'll take care of it."

"Bella…" Narcissa started, wary. She didn't want to witness firsthand what her sister was capable of. The mere thought of it already frightened her.

"I won't kill them, Cissy. What do you take me as?" Bellatrix replied. Narcissa wasn't sure if she was mocking her or not, but didn't have much of a chance to ponder it. "Midnight," Bellatrix repeated before leaning in and kissing her softly on the lips. Then she turned and walked out of the bathroom, leaving Narcissa alone.

It was one of those things that screamed 'bad idea' in Narcissa's gut, but like everything else when it came to Bellatrix, Narcissa ignored her instincts. To this day, Narcissa still isn't sure whether it was a good idea or not to follow her that night. Things would have turned out much differently if she hadn't though, of that she was sure.


*Chapter 11*: Chapter Eleven


"What is this place?" Narcissa asked her sister in a whisper filled with wonder as she looked around the large room that was, up until now, one of the hidden mysteries of Hogwarts castle that she had merely only heard about in rumors and legends.

"The Room of Requirement," Bellatrix answered, looking over her shoulder as the door disappeared behind them. "At least, I think." Narcissa turned as well to see the last cracks of what used to be the doorway disappearing into a beautiful marble wall. She turned back and looked up at the ceiling; it was filled with the most beautiful mural she had ever seen.

"Wow," Narcissa breathed, walking forward into the room. When Bellatrix told her she wanted to show her something, she never believed that it would be worth sneaking out of the common room at midnight for. But this? This was. It was beautiful. She turned around, looking at her sister. "How did you find it? The door seemed to appear out of nowhere!"

"Accident, honestly," she told her, even though her 'honesty' didn't sound completely true. Bellatrix always had a specific tone in her voice when she lied. "I was walking along the other day, just thinking about some things and then… then it appeared. If it is the Room of Requirement, it's supposed to fit the seeker's needs. That's what I've heard."

Narcissa chose to ignore her sister's obvious fib and nodded, looking around the room again in wonderment. Ignorance was bliss, after all, and Bellatrix probably found this while doing something delinquent that Narcissa was better off not knowing about.

She had heard the legend of this place, though never thought it to be real. But Narcissa still couldn't help but wonder how this room fit Bellatrix's needs. It wasn't her style at all. It was gorgeous to be sure, but it was bathed in light colors and girly things and Bellatrix preferred darker colors. There was a bed down the end of the room and a regal couch in the left corner. There were magnificent pieces of artwork adorning the walls; things that took Narcissa's breath away.

"Oh!" Narcissa exclaimed as she noticed the most amazing dollhouse she had ever seen sitting in the corner of the room, near the couch. She ran over to look at it; it looked nearly identical to the one she had when she was a little girl. Narcissa turned to look at her sister quickly in both amazement and confusion, who looked like she was trying not to smile.

"Do you like it?"

"I love it," Narcissa said, looking around again as a huge grin spread across her face. Biting her lower lip, she ran towards the bed, jumping onto it and lying on her back. It felt like heaven. "Oh, Bella, I wish we could live here. This is gorgeous. Come feel this bed; it's like it forms to your body!"

Bellatrix grinned, looking so much like an innocent child in that one fleeting moment before she ran and jumped onto the bed next to her sister, making the younger girl squeal and giggle. Narcissa smiled as she propped her head up with her hand and looked down at her. "Why did you…? I mean, if this really is the Room of Requirement, why were you seeking this? It's not anywhere close to anything I would think you would want."

"I wasn't looking for me," Bellatrix told her, lying on her side as she brushed a piece of hair away from Narcissa's face. "I was looking for you."

"Me?" Narcissa asked. "Why?"

"I wanted somewhere where you could feel safe; somewhere where the outside world wouldn't matter and you could forget about everything bad. Somewhere where we could just be us without the fear of others spying."

Narcissa felt a warmth spread through her body that seemed to start at her heart and flow out through her veins as she smiled. "Really?" she asked softly. She couldn't believe it. Out of everything Bellatrix could desire in the world, all she really wanted was to be able to make them feel safe. Safety was such a rarity in both of their lives so to have somewhere they could go to get away from everything was… it was so amazing.

Bellatrix didn't say anything, she only smiled at her. Narcissa bit her bottom lip softly before cupping Bellatrix's cheek in her hand and leaning over to kiss her gently. "I love you," she whispered when they broke.

She wasn't sure whether she meant it in a sisterly way or another way, but it didn't matter. Her words made Bellatrix smile and for the first time in what seemed like forever, she looked truly happy; no ghost of madness behind her eyes, no lines of worry that seemed to crease the corners of her mouth. She didn't look worn out or tired at all. Even when Bellatrix was small she always looked like she carried the weight of the world on her shoulders as she protected Narcissa and Andromeda from the horrors within in their own house. But here… here they didn't exist. Nothing existed besides the two of them.

From that night onwards, Bellatrix and Narcissa didn't sleep in the dormitories anymore. Bellatrix taught her an enchantment that made it look like there was someone sleeping under the covers as a precaution; it made the blankets move every once in a while to give the illusion of tossing and turning and then it would wear off come daybreak. So every night they would sneak to the Room of Requirement and finally be able to spend some real time together; they would talk and play games or sometimes they would just hold each other until they fell asleep in each other's arms.

It was perfect.

Perfect didn't come without consequences, however. Narcissa found herself with her head in the clouds all the time, always wishing that nightfall would come quicker so that she could spend time with her sister. Her grades took a hit at first, but then Bellatrix would make sure that some of the time they spent together in that room was dedicated to her helping Narcissa with her studies. But then there was Dale, who always wanted to spend time with her, and while Narcissa tried, Dale knew that she was distracted. He ended it a month later, hurt and confused as to why Narcissa no longer paid him any attention. She couldn't tell him of course, and still felt badly about it.

She was honestly surprised Bellatrix didn't interfere in their relationship. It was no secret that her sister despised her being so close to someone else. Maybe she let it go to appease Narcissa, but it didn't stop her from making snide comments about him every now and then and nearly scaring the hell out of the poor boy when he tried to interrupt their conversation one time.

There were times that they didn't spend the night together though, rare as they were. Bellatrix told her she had some 'business to attend to' and Narcissa knew better than to ask. She already knew what it was about; Him. She didn't know where Bellatrix went those nights or even how she managed to get out of the castle, but one night she snuck down to see her leave the common room with a small group of boys; Rodolphus, Rabastan, Yaxley, and Lucius. It pained her to see Lucius mixed up in that nasty business, but she knew it was none of hers. So she would sleep alone those nights, finding it hard to drift off without her sister's arms around her.

"What are you thinking about?" Bellatrix asked one night as she lay half on top of her, idly kissing her neck and shoulder softly.

"Nothing," Narcissa answered as she stared up at the ceiling. She didn't want to talk about her fears of what would happen between them after Bellatrix was married in two months' time. The end of the school year was drawing impossibly nearer. So she closed her eyes, willing herself to forget about it. "Just… keep doing that," she breathed quietly. She loved it when Bellatrix would kiss her like she was something to be desired.

"Do you like it when I kiss your skin, Cissy?" Bellatrix asked in a whisper, her breath tickling Narcissa's neck. Narcissa pursed her lips together and nodded, eyes still closed. But when she felt Bellatrix move away from her, she opened her eyes.

"Where are you going?" Narcissa asked.

Bellatrix smirked and hushed her. "Shh… just lay still and close your eyes." Narcissa looked at her for a moment, wondering what she could be up to, but reluctantly closed her eyes and settled down into the softness of the bed.

Then she felt her sister's lips on her ankle, her hands softly running up her legs as she ascended, leaving light, loving kisses everywhere she went. Narcissa made a small sound of contentment, loving the way that felt. Bellatrix's lips fluttered over her milky thighs, making goosebumps appear on her flesh after contact. Bellatrix's hands were pushing up her robes so she could go higher and Narcissa could feel her heart beat increase with each inch it moved. It wasn't overtly sexual, but it still made her nervous and excited at the same time.

When Bellatrix pushed her robes up so far that her panties were exposed Narcissa's eyes popped open, about to exclaim to Bellatrix that virginity was not a variable. However she was pleasantly surprised when Bellatrix bypassed that area completely, having her lips come to rest on her stomach. Narcissa could feel her abdominal muscles twitch in excitement every time a soft kiss was laid on them.

"Is this okay?" Bellatrix breathed, her exhale causing Narcissa's hairs to stand on end. She swallowed, wishing her throat hadn't suddenly become dry. Narcissa shifted, her bunched up robes feeling like a nuisance all of a sudden.

"Y-Yeah," Narcissa stuttered, then internally criticized herself for sounding like such a nervous child; Bellatrix was merely kissing her. She should feel grateful that Bellatrix made a point to even ask; she usually took without asking for permission. Narcissa coughed, clearing her throat as her hands took the ends of her robes a little shyly, unsure of how exactly to ask what was on her mind. "Do you… I-I mean, is it okay if I…? They're in the way and I… I like that; what you're doing. It's nice." Clearly competent sentences were not her strong suit at the moment, but Bellatrix merely looked up at her and smiled a little.

"If you'd like to."

"Yeah but, is it… I mean, it won't be awkward, will it? Kissing me when I'm…?" in my undergarments, Narcissa finished in her head. She didn't want to say it out loud.

Bellatrix chuckled. "Cissy, I've seen you in your knickers before."

Narcissa blushed, feeling foolish. "Yeah, sorry. I…" she trailed off, wishing she would stop acting like such an embarrassed child. She sat up instead, pulling her robes off over her head. "I don't know what I was thinking," she mumbled before laying back down, biting her lower lip. She didn't want to look at her sister, though she already knew Bellatrix was looking at her. It made her flush an even deeper crimson.

Yes, Bellatrix had seen her in her undergarments before, but not like this.

Bellatrix could sense she was embarrassed though. "Hey," she said, getting Narcissa's attention. "I'll take off mine too, if it makes you feel any better." Bellatrix didn't wait for an answer though, she just pulled her robes off over her head, discarding them at the end of the bed. Narcissa tried like hell not to stare.

Bellatrix's underwear was black and lacy, which paled in comparison to Narcissa's cut offs and bra with little pink hearts on it. It made the age difference between them so much more noticeable and once again Narcissa felt embarrassed and wished she had worn something that had at least matched. But those thoughts were quickly bypassed as she finally got to take in her sister's matured form. Her figure was a perfect hourglass; her breasts and backside complimenting each other whereas Narcissa's backside seemed to be winning the race with her chest. She was about to look away when she noticed she was staring in probably the most inappropriate manner one could stare at a person, but then something caught her eye.

Narcissa sat up straight, grabbing Bellatrix's left arm in horror. "What is that?!"

Bellatrix's eyes went wide; she had apparently forgotten that discarding her robes would leave her tattoo exposed to her sister's eyes. She immediately wrenched her hand away from her like Narcissa's touch had burned her. "Don't touch it!" she practically shrieked as she cradled that arm to her chest, as though it was something precious to her.

But Narcissa couldn't be bothered with her strange behavior over it, she was stuck on one thing only. "Oh god, Mum is going to murder you! What did you do?!"

"It's none of your business what I do to my own body!" Bellatrix told her, still holding her arm to her chest.

"But Bella, your wedding dress will surely show that! Mum is going to… oh god," she whispered, feeling sick at the possibility of what their mother would surely do to Bellatrix when she found out she had marked her flawless skin with something so gruesome looking.

"Mum's covering me head to toe in white, Cissy. The virginal look; you know this. I'll have sleeves," Bellatrix said, looking uncomfortable that she even had to have this conversation with her sister. Clearly she was planning on hiding it.

"You don't think that ugly thing will show through it?!"

"It's not ugly!" Bellatrix shouted, as though she had just offended her honor. Narcissa stared at her, wide-eyed and disbelieving.

"Why would you do that?" Narcissa asked, sitting up fully so she could take a closer look at it. Bellatrix hid it from view. "Is this what they did to you? Marked your beautiful skin? Why would you let them do that?!"

"It's an honor, Narcissa! I wouldn't expect you to understand!"

"Of course I don't understand; you won't tell me anything!" Narcissa protested. Her face softened though as she looked at her sister sympathetically. "Why won't you just tell me what you're into?"

"Because it doesn't concern you."

"You say that now, yet you told me you joined them because of me!"

"One day you'll understand, alright? But that day is not today," Bellatrix told her, voice firm. This wasn't up for discussion. Narcissa stared at her, eyes narrowing in offense. Bellatrix noticed her anger though and sighed, bringing her hand up to brush the hair out of her sister's eyes. "Please, Cissy," she begged. "Just let me have my secrets for now. One day… one day you'll know. But let's not ruin this time we have together. You know we have so little of it."

Narcissa pursed her lips, but she knew that pursuing the matter would only lead to a fight and she didn't want that. She looked down at the bed, rolling her eyes a little as she shrugged half-heartedly. "Fine…"

Bellatrix bit her lower lip before she tipped Narcissa's chin up with her knuckle. Their eyes connected for a moment before she leaned in and kissed her softly. Narcissa closed her eyes, her body responding to Bellatrix even though she was still angry with her. "Just lay down, love," Bellatrix whispered, causing the corners of Narcissa's lips to turn up into a smile from being addressed as a new pet name. "Let me make you feel good and we can forget all about of this."

Narcissa did as she was told and suddenly she felt Bellatrix climb on top of her. This wasn't like before; now she could feel the heat of her skin as she slid downwards, kissing down the center of her chest and across her abdomen again, making her forget about Bellatrix's tattoo and what it meant instantly. With each kiss, with each time Bellatrix's tongue would discreetly sneak out to taste her skin, Narcissa felt herself shiver and grow warmer as her heart beat faster.

It felt like Bellatrix was kissing her forever. Her fingertips would dust over every piece of exposed skin they could reach and every touch made the tiny sounds that were coming from the back of Narcissa's throat grow louder. She wasn't sure if she was merely breathing loudly, or if she was whimpering or almost moaning, but they were sounds of enjoyment. She couldn't help but think that no man would ever take this kind of time to get to know every inch of her body with this kind of immense detail and fascination. It was like Bellatrix couldn't get enough of her. Either that or she was hell-bent on making her forget about their previous conversation, but whatever it was, it was working.

The innocent (if you could even call it that to begin with) quality of the encounter started to fade away into nothing however, as Narcissa's breathing started to pick up and she began to squirm ever so slightly as she realized her panties were growing damper. Half of her was embarrassed that Bellatrix might smell her, but the other half was so into this intimate touch that she didn't much care.

Narcissa's hand found itself weaving through Bellatrix's dark curls, her grasp becoming tighter as her sister's lips kissed near the top of her knickers. She made a little sound in the back of her throat which she was sure now was a whimper and she closed her eyes tighter, afraid to open them and see how far this was starting to go. It was like her body had a mind of its own and as Bellatrix brushed her lips over the fabric of her underwear, merely meaning to ghost across it, Narcissa's hips flew upwards, allowing Bellatrix's lips to connect. She exclaimed loudly at the surprising amount of pleasure a mere touch gave her, then immediately froze.

Narcissa's heart was beating so loudly in her chest she was afraid it was about to burst. Her eyes were shut tightly, too frightened to open them and see the expression on Bellatrix's face. Her own face was burning with embarrassment at having done that and all that could be heard in the room was the sound of both of their breathing, slightly erratic.

This was far. This was way too far.

It seemed like forever before one of them moved. It was Bellatrix who did it first, slowly leaning in and wrapping her mouth around the fabric covering Narcissa's crotch, her tongue pressed right up against her clit. Narcissa let out a shuddered breath and held onto her sister's hair tighter, both terrified and more excited than she'd ever been in her entire life. It felt like her body was on fire.

Not getting a sign of protest from Narcissa, Bellatrix did it again, this time more self-assuredly as she groaned softly at the taste of her sister through her underwear. The groan vibrated Narcissa's clit and she moaned loudly, breathing, "Bella…" in a pleading tone. She didn't know what she was asking for, but she knew she needed it.

She could feel Bellatrix's heavy breath on her crotch and her fingers played with the side of her underwear, like she was unsure herself. But she leaned in and kissed her again over the fabric, allowing herself to pull down her sister's underwear only a fraction of an inch. Then she let out a breath, sounding like a frustrated sigh as she started to pull away from her a little. Bellatrix then bit down on her lower lip and moved forward again before letting out an annoyed sound; she was clearly fighting with herself. She slammed her hand down hard on the bed though, holding the sheets tightly in her hand like it would keep her from doing something she regretted before she laid her head on Narcissa's thigh, covering her own eyes with her sister's skin.

"I can't," she whispered. It was barely audible.

A lump automatically began to form in Narcissa's throat and tears sprung to her eyes. Maybe they really did take it too far this time, so far that even Bellatrix wouldn't go on. It made Narcissa feel like a disgusting pervert for wanting it too, even for a brief moment. "What?" she asked, her voice betraying her as it noticeably shook. It was obvious that she was holding back tears and Bellatrix looked up at her quickly.

"No… Cissy, don't cry," she told her, crawling up to be next to her. Her voice was caring, but she still sounded so unbelievably frustrated. But she laid her head on Narcissa's shoulder, throwing an arm around her and squeezing her a little as she held her close, though strangely without allowing her hand to touch her bare skin. "I didn't mean it like—"

"Did I do something wrong?" Narcissa asked, a small hiccup escaping her lips as she started to cry a little. Bellatrix was acting like she was too disgusting to be touched and it hurt her badly. "I-I didn't mean to… t-to do that. I just... I don't know why I did it. Maybe I was confused. I don't know…"

"Shh…" Bellatrix hushed, ignoring her previous stipulations and cupping Narcissa's cheek with her hand, kissing her on the lips lovingly. She rested her forehead against hers, closing her eyes and looking a little pained as she promised her, "It's nothing to do with you. You're perfect, you know that. I just…" she pulled back from her a little and shook her head, once again looking furious with herself. Her eyes connected with Narcissa's and she looked like she was apologizing, but her voice was flat, like she drained the emotional impact it could have carried. "If you let me do that, I'm going to fuck you. I'm not going to be able to stop and I won't give a sod if you beg me to either."

Narcissa wished her stomach dropping after that statement was due to being at least a little afraid, or wary, but it wasn't. She bit her bottom lip and flushed at the perverted thoughts that started flooding her mind. She knew Bellatrix was watching her so she turned away so she couldn't see how red her face was becoming. Sometimes she hated her overactive imagination and her teenage hormones. This was not a situation where she should be aroused; she should be worried like any other normal person on the planet.

It felt like she was hiding forever and the moments ticked by in absolute silence. Narcissa couldn't see Bellatrix's face so she couldn't even guess at what she was thinking about her strange reaction. As the time passed, she grew more and more uncomfortable with the silence.

Then suddenly, Bellatrix pounced on her. Narcissa didn't have to hear the madness in her tone to know she had lost the battle within herself.

Bellatrix was pressed completely against her back, her hand wandering over Narcissa's stomach as she pressed her lips to her ear. "You were thinking about it, weren't you?" she taunted in her ear. "About me fucking you. Dirty little Cissy wants to get violated, does she?"

Narcissa's breathing picked up, both from arousal and fear of her sister in this state. She put her hand over Bellatrix's to still its path down to her knickers, holding onto it tightly for fear she may fight her. "Yes," she admitted in a whisper. "I was thinking about it. But I don't… I don't know…"

"If you really want it?" Bellatrix hissed in her ear before chuckling. "Mmm… Cissy, you forget… I could smell you when I was down there. You wanted me to fuck you with my tongue."

Narcissa's blush after that statement seemed to cover her whole body. "I… I…" she tried, but couldn't seem to get the words out. She didn't even know how to respond to that.

"I… I…" Bellatrix mocked, laughing. Narcissa resented being mocked and turned to face her abruptly, forcing her hand off of her. But Bellatrix didn't seem in the least bit phased as she leaned in and roughly took Narcissa's bottom lip between her teeth, biting her.

"Ow!" Narcissa exclaimed, pulling away from her and putting her fingers to her swollen lip. "Bella, stop this! This isn't you!"

"You wouldn't know me if I came up and bit you on the arse, lover," Bellatrix purred. Narcissa's eyes flashed and she moved to get off the bed, needing to get away from her, but Bellatrix's long fingers grabbed her arm, holding her so roughly that Narcissa was sure she'd have bruises in the morning. "Not so fast, Cissy. See, you've left me in quite a predicament."

"Oh yeah? How's that?" Narcissa asked furiously as she tried to get Bellatrix to let go of her. Her sister was too strong though and her fighting it seemed to only drive Bellatrix onward. She tugged hard, forcing Narcissa back on the bed as she climbed back on top of her, pinning her there. "Bellatrix, get off of me! Now! This isn't funny!"

Bellatrix ignored her pleas. Her eyes were darkening again and she licked her bottom lip, madness in her eyes as she looked down at her. "You may not want me to fuck you, Cissy, but that doesn't mean I should be left with nothing. That's rude, and you wouldn't want to be rude, would you?"

Narcissa's stomach sank as she realized what it was that her sister wanted her to do. But she wouldn't, not like this! She didn't want to touch her sister when she acted like this. "I think I can live with being rude," she managed, but her voice betrayed her as it noticeably shook.

Bellatrix smiled wickedly before she grabbed Narcissa's hand, forcing it towards her body. Narcissa put up a fight, but was ultimately losing. "Don't pretend like you don't want to," Bellatrix hissed fiercely, right before she slid Narcissa's hand inside of her underwear.

Narcissa didn't know what to do. She was frightened but she was also painfully ashamed to find herself turned on by feeling her sister's most intimate area. Bellatrix was completely soaked and at the first touch of Narcissa's fingers on her she groaned, pressing her hips further into her hand as she closed her eyes. Bellatrix licked her bottom lip before looking back down at Narcissa's dumbstruck face. She smiled at her, trying to be sweet, yet it still didn't come off as such.

She leaned down and whispered in Narcissa's ear, "You know that I need you right now, Cissy. Why would you deny me that? Can't you feel how much I need this?"

Narcissa didn't say anything, although she was sure all these questions were rhetorical in this situation anyway. Bellatrix wasn't going to take no for an answer, that much was painfully clear. Part of Narcissa hated Bellatrix for doing this to her; more than part of her if she was to be honest. This wasn't how this moment was supposed to go.

"Please, Cissy," Bellatrix purred in her ear. "Fuck me until I come screaming your name…" Narcissa's insides squeezed and she made a little sound that she immediately felt ashamed to have let slip. It made Bellatrix grin, knowing she was winning. "Fuck me, Cissy," she demanded, moving Narcissa's hand inside of her underwear to gain better friction. She moaned softly and then purred, her lips pressed right to Narcissa's ear, "Fuck me so hard I can't walk in the morning. Fuck me so hard I forget my own sodding name."

Narcissa was feeling overwhelmed and it made her chest grow heavy. She wanted to cry, she wanted to scream, she wanted to kiss her, she wanted to hit her, she wanted to fuck her, she wanted to run away and never look back. But she couldn't move and all she could do was whisper, voice strained with all of her conflicting emotions, "I… I don't know how…"

"I'll show you," Bellatrix breathed, voice tinted with the satisfaction of winning. She let Narcissa's hand go and she automatically pulled it away from her. Bellatrix laughed, "Oh, I'll be needing that back in a moment," she told her as she lifted her hips, pulling her underwear completely off and tossing it across the room.

Narcissa couldn't help but stare at the small, neatly groomed patch of hair between her sister's legs. Her own was unruly and out of control and it irrationally ashamed her that hers didn't look as nice. She didn't know she was supposed to make it look like that. But her thoughts of comparison were cut short as Bellatrix grabbed her hand again, guiding it between her thighs. Biting back a groan, Bellatrix slid her sister's hand further downwards until two of her fingers slipped easily inside of her. Narcissa's eyes went wide.

"Mmm… yes, Cissy…" Bellatrix purred as she leaned her forehead against Narcissa's, closing her eyes. She started moving Narcissa's hand, allowing the girl's fingers to slide in and out of her. "Just do this," she instructed breathlessly, moving her hips in time with the ministrations.

Narcissa's whole face was red and her breathing had shallowed significantly at feeling Bellatrix completely surround her fingers. It was the most erotic thing she had ever felt–that couldn't be denied. Narcissa had never been inside of herself so she didn't know it would feel this amazing, but the shame involved with how it was coming to pass sickened her.

Closing her eyes so she didn't have to see Bellatrix's face she started to move her hand in and out of her slowly. Her sister's quickened breath was on her face, her groans of pleasure enveloping all of her senses and making her hairs stand on end. Narcissa was trying to fight the pleasure that was involved in doing this to her sister in this way, but it was hard. Bellatrix's moans were extremely erotic and Narcissa felt her body responding to them before she could help herself.

"Harder," Bellatrix demanded, speeding up her hips to accent her point. "Harder!" she cried when Narcissa didn't do it as fast as she would have liked. Narcissa strained herself to push into Bellatrix harder and was rewarded by her sister's lips on her neck, sucking on her tender flesh. "Fuck, Cissy," she panted. "Oh my god… mmfph yes, just like that, love…"

Narcissa couldn't stop herself from opening her eyes just as Bellatrix sat up a little, pushing her hair out of her face so it wouldn't stick to her. She was flushed and gorgeous; her eyes were closed and her lips were slightly parted as she rotated and bounced up and down on Narcissa's hand. Narcissa wanted to hate her in that moment but found she couldn't. The knowledge that she was doing this to her sister seemed to almost make her feel proud of herself in a way. There weren't many times where she truly felt like she had power over Bellatrix, but this? Bellatrix couldn't live without this.

So Narcissa took it one step further, knowing that what she was about to do was pleasurable since she had done it to herself, and she slid her thumb against Bellatrix's clit. Her sister exclaimed loudly, her eyes popping open for a second before they shut tightly again and she pitched forward, burying her head in Narcissa's shoulder as her hand slammed onto the bed, grasping the sheets tightly.

Narcissa felt a tear slip down her cheek, all of the emotions of this overwhelming her. She had so desperately wanted this moment to be special and it felt like it was stolen from her. "Tell me you love me at least," she begged softly as she continued to move within Bellatrix.

"I love you," Bellatrix breathed in her ear. Her hand grasped Narcissa's hip roughly before sliding it up to envelop her breast. Narcissa bit her bottom lip and stifled a whimper as Bellatrix told her softly, honestly, and with no trace of madness left in her voice, "I fucking love you more than my own life." She kissed her cheek before whispering, barely audible, "And I'm sorry…" Narcissa felt a tear on her cheek this time that was not her own.

Narcissa choked back a sob and wrapped her other arm around Bellatrix's back, pulling her impossibly closer to her. She held onto her like she was afraid to let her go and she sped up the pace of her fingers, hearing Bellatrix cry out against her neck like she was making her feel the most amazing thing in her entire life. She kept moaning her name in her ear, kept whispering she was sorry and that she loved her, yet neither of them stopped even though they both knew very well how awfully this had ended up coming about. Now that Bellatrix seemed to be relatively back to normal, Narcissa wanted to finish. She didn't want this to be a completely bad experience for both of them.

"I love you, Bella," she told her softly, turning to kiss the top of her head as she focused on playing with Bellatrix's clit since she seemed to respond better to that. Bellatrix sounded like she was trying to say something back, but she couldn't get the words out. She was moaning so loudly, breathing so heavily that she couldn't form a single thought.

Suddenly, Bellatrix's entire body tensed and she froze. Narcissa was terrified for a moment that she had somehow ended up breaking her, but then a loud scream filled the room as Narcissa felt Bellatrix's inner muscles contract rapidly as she came around her fingers. The blonde gasped, not expecting such a huge reaction, and took her hand away immediately. Bellatrix didn't seem to care though because she collapsed on top of her, out of breath and flushed.

It was moments before Narcissa realized her sister was trembling. She looked over at her, concerned as she wiped away the last of her tears from her cheek. "Bella?" she asked timidly.

Then she heard what was an unmistakable sob just as Bellatrix sat up, putting her hand over her mouth and looking at her sister in horror. Her hand was shaking so hard it looked like she was having a seizure. Narcissa's eyebrows knitted in worry as she took in her sister's state, feeling her stomach sink. "Bella…" she tried, reaching for her. Bellatrix nearly jumped a mile, trying to get away from her.

"Don't touch me!" she shrieked, her eyes looking around wildly like a trapped animal trying to find an escape route. "Don't! Don't come near me!"

"Bella, please…" Narcissa begged, fearing for her sister's wellbeing. She looked like she wanted to tear herself apart. "Please, I'm okay, see? I'm okay, I promise."

"No you aren't! H-How can you…? I…fuck," Bellatrix responded, voice trembling as she quickly got off the bed, grabbing her clothes. Her hands were shaking so hard that she could barely get them on. She wouldn't look at Narcissa and it seemed like she was starting to hyperventilate; her breathing was so shallow.

"Bella, it's okay! I promise I'm not angry!" Narcissa tried, suddenly realizing after that sentence how much of a doormat she truly was; either that or how attached to Bellatrix she had really become, because she was absolutely terrified that she was going to leave her. Narcissa held some resentment of course; who wouldn't after a situation like that? But she couldn't have her leave. She just couldn't. Narcissa's whole life she had Bellatrix there next to her and she didn't know if she could bear it if that comfort was no longer there. "Please," she practically begged, crawling over to her. "I know you have some sort of… sickness, okay? I know you didn't mean it!"

"How can you sit there and make excuses for me?!" Bellatrix shouted as she threw her robes back on. "Are you demented in the head? I fucking…! I… I…" her voice lost strength and she looked like she was going to vomit. Her next sentence was a whispered, "I took something from you that wasn't mine to take." It was clear Bellatrix didn't want to say the word 'rape.' Narcissa didn't want to hear it either.

"No!" Narcissa protested, but with one furiously disbelieving look from Bellatrix she revised, "Okay, maybe at first but… but it didn't turn out that way! Please, please calm down," she begged, trying to get closer to her sister. But Bellatrix backed up, shaking her head at her. "Please, don't leave me…" Narcissa whispered, her throat constricting with emotion and fear.

"I'm sorry," Bellatrix whispered, looking up at her regretfully. But she shook her head again and took a couple steps back from her. "Just stay away from me, Cissy, please. It's for your own good. If you're around me I'll hurt you again and I don't… I can't do that. You're the only thing in this whole sodding world I care about and I will not destroy you," Bellatrix told her, voice shaking before she turned suddenly, fleeing from the room without giving Narcissa a chance to respond.

Narcissa could do nothing else but stare after her, her throat tightening so much that she felt like she couldn't breathe. She cried herself to sleep that night, begging whoever would listen that she wouldn't be left alone again.


*Chapter 12*: Chapter Twelve

Author's Note:
Thank you for all the reviews/faves/alerts. Really makes me happy that ya'll are enjoying this ^_^


Bellatrix made sure it was impossible for Narcissa to get close to her after that.

Not that it was particularly hard, however. The last week until the end of the school year was filled with so many exams that Narcissa could hardly think straight. She already struggled in school, and with what had happened with her sister looming over her head it only made her less able to concentrate. The most she could hope for was that she at least scraped by with passing grades.

Narcissa tried to get her alone countless times, but Bellatrix made sure she was always around a lot of other people. It was awful; she would barely look at her anymore. Not out of spite or anger, but out of shame. It didn't matter why though, all that mattered was that Bellatrix was trying so desperately to pull away and it frightened Narcissa because she knew that after the first week of their summer vacation, Bellatrix would be married and living in some nice, big house that Rodolphus' parents provided them with. She wouldn't have to speak to Narcissa again because she would never see her; not at home and not at school. Bellatrix would completely disappear from her life and there would be nothing Narcissa could do about it.

She couldn't deal with that possibility. It made Narcissa's throat constrict and her chest heavy; it felt like she couldn't breathe.

Narcissa knew logically that shouldn't be the kind of reaction that one has to this kind of situation. She was basically forced to have sex with her sister, but it didn't even matter to her anymore. She'd have sex with Bellatrix a thousand times if that meant she wouldn't leave her alone.

Maybe it was the way they were raised though; being beaten into compliance for most of your childhood tended to fuck a person up. Narcissa watched how it had destroyed Bellatrix's mind and maybe this was how it affected her–by making her completely dependent on the one person who desperately tried to protect her from it. All Narcissa knew was that she'd do anything, anything to keep Bellatrix from leaving her.

After school had ended, preparations for the wedding were in full swing. Andromeda wanted nothing to do with the ordeal, her anger with Bellatrix for whatever reason making her bitter. She told Narcissa that she was glad Bellatrix was leaving and then watched in confusion as Narcissa burst into tears and fled from the room.

One day when their parents were out shopping for some last-minute accessories for the big day, Narcissa finally managed to corner Bellatrix in the kitchen. She was sitting on the counter (something that would surely get her a beating if their mother ever caught her), digging into the nut brittle. Her eyes snapped up when she realized she was no longer alone in the room.

"Go away, Cissy," she mumbled, eyes no longer trained on her but at the floor as she nibbled on her food. "I can't do this now."

"So when can you do this?" Narcissa asked as she peered up at her, folding her arms into herself self-consciously. "When you're married, off living a life of luxury? We both know you'll have no need of me then."

If Narcissa hadn't been desperately listening for a response, she would have probably missed the barely audible reply of, "I always have need of you." But Bellatrix covered it up with a loud crunch of the brittle as she slid off the counter. Her eyes flickered over to her sister, before she rolled them slightly. "Stop blocking the exit, I'm of age now. You know I could move you if I wished it with just a mere flick of my wand."

"You'd use magic on me?" Narcissa asked, in a tone that implied she knew very well that she would not.

"Look, I told you we can't do this," Bellatrix told her as she put the plate of food back on the counter. "I'm trying to protect you; I wish you'd respect that and didn't feel the need to be so suicidal all the time."

"You wouldn't kill me," Narcissa told her confidently, taking a step towards her. Her heart was beating erratically, her mind racing as she tried to figure out something to say that would make her sister stop pulling away from her. She didn't want to beg, but that wasn't beneath her either.

"You don't know that!" Bellatrix exclaimed, looking up at her sharply. "You know how I can get; how can you be so sure that one day I won't snap and kill you just because you won't give me what I want?!"

"Because I'm going to give you everything you want," Narcissa told her softly. If that's what it took to make her stay, she would. Narcissa stepped forward, a pleading look on her face. "Anything Bella…" she reiterated, needing her to know it was true. "All you'd have to do is ask."

Bellatrix exhaled a disbelieving laugh. "So if I told you to get on your knees right now and service me here in this kitchen, you would?"

Narcissa looked at her for a moment before she crossed the last remaining distance between them and sunk to her knees in front of her; she didn't even think twice about it. But Bellatrix didn't receive that well and she grasped Narcissa's arm, forcing her to her feet. "Have you gone mental?!" she exclaimed. "What the bloody hell is wrong with you?"

"Bella, please," Narcissa begged breathlessly. "Please, I can't lose you. I wouldn't be able to live with it. I'll do whatever you wish, I promise. Anything!"

"Did you hit your head on something?!" Bellatrix exclaimed, looking at her like she couldn't believe this was happening right now. "You're acting insane!"

"Why?" Narcissa exclaimed, grasping onto her sister desperately. "Why is it insane to want only to please you?"

"Because it's not your job to!" Bellatrix shouted as she tried to pull away from her, but Narcissa wouldn't let go.

"Bella, please, I'll do anything," she begged, grasping her sister's cheeks in her hands, making her look her in the eyes. She needed Bellatrix to understand that she wasn't going to go anywhere; that she couldn't. "You can treat me however you wish, I'll be your sodding slave if you need me to be, just please don't leave…"

"What's gotten into you?!" Bellatrix shrieked, afraid of her sister's new radical behavior. "Have you been dosed with something? Narcissa!" It was her turn to grasp her sister's face, but all she did was search her eyes fearfully like she was hoping to find the source of this change in her sister behind her chocolate eyes.

"I'm not under a spell or anything," Narcissa assured her. "I've just… I've realized I can't live without you. I can't! I'd die, I just know it…"

Bellatrix pushed away from her, running her fingers through her long, unruly curls. "You'd survive perfectly well without me, if not better." She turned around, throwing her hands up. "Look what I've already done to you!"

"You've done nothing!"

"Bullshit! You're acting like I'm the reason you breathe in the morning, Narcissa! This isn't normal! Something's wrong with you!"

"You've always been the reason I breathe in the morning, Bella!" Narcissa exclaimed loudly, grasping her sister's hand to pull her towards her. She looked at her pleadingly, needing her to understand. "If it weren't for you, I'd already be dead. You were the one that would get in the way of Mum's beatings, taking them for yourself. You were the one that protected us both from harm when we were found out. You're the reason I'm able to have any kind of happiness in my life and any sense of normalcy! You're the one that taught me what it means to love someone unconditionally!"

"What are you saying?" Bellatrix asked, taken aback.

Narcissa swallowed, holding onto her sister's hand tightly, terrified that she would run after this admission. "Bellatrix, I'm…" she took a breath before finishing, "I'm in love with you."

Bellatrix stared at her, mouth agape.

"I know you didn't mean for it to happen and neither did I, but it did! I know we fight and I know it hasn't been easy, but being with you has been the happiest time in my life. I feel safe with you, I feel loved, and I feel protected. No one has ever made me feel as amazing or as desirable as you have, Bella. And I know you have a disease spreading inside of you, this kind of darkness, but even though I fear it sometimes, I know that it's a part of you and I accept it and love it just as much as I love the rest of you," Narcissa told her, practically all in one breath.

Bellatrix only just stared at her in response, mouth still agape.

"Please say something," Narcissa begged.

Bellatrix blinked for a moment before she breathed, "Oh my god, you really have gone mental, haven't you?"

"I haven't gone mental!" Narcissa exclaimed, offended that she would think that even after she explained. "Bella, I'm in love with you. Head over heels, disastrously and hopelessly in love with you! I need you in my life, you! You're the one I want to grow old with."

Bellatrix shook her head, her throat constricting. She looked like she was fighting with the urge to cry and pulled away from her. Narcissa eyebrows knitted together in distress, but then Bellatrix turned around quickly to face her, hands thrown up in anger in helplessness as she exclaimed loudly, "How can you tell me this two days before I'm about to be married?!"

"I…" Narcissa started, but she was interrupted.

"I mean what do you expect to happen now? We run away together, live happily ever after in some cottage by the water, shunned by everyone in fucking existence because we're shacking up with our own flesh and blood?" Bellatrix exclaimed angrily. "No one will ever understand, Cissy. No one. It doesn't matter if we love each other, it can never happen!"

"Rodolphus is allowing you to have affairs!" Narcissa exclaimed.

"How do you…?" Bellatrix started, then shook her head. "It doesn't matter, though I wish you wouldn't spy on me! He… yes, he is allowing me to have affairs, but I hardly think they would include shagging my own sister!"

"He doesn't have to know!"

"And what about you, huh?" Bellatrix asked suddenly. "What about you and your desire to have a husband and bear children, what happened to that?"

"You act like I still can't do that," Narcissa said, confused. "You will still have a husband and have affairs, so why can't I?"

"Because your arrangement might not be like mine!" Bellatrix told her. "I have a husband that doesn't desire to have any kind of romantic or sexual dealings with me, yours may not be like that!"

"Do you think I'm so simple that I could only love one person?"

"No, I just think you're insane for loving me," Bellatrix told her before letting out a long, aggravated sigh as she leaned over the kitchen counter, covering her head in her arms. "I'm not right, Cissy," she mumbled. "I accepted a long time ago that it wouldn't allow me to be loved. Not truly."

"Then you were wrong," Narcissa told her softly, coming up behind her. She wrapped her arms around her torso and leaned over, laying her head on her back. She kissed her shoulder once and whispered, "You are so much more than your disease. If others can't see that then that's their problem."

"And what of your disease?" Bellatrix mumbled. She didn't move to stand up, but she slid her arm out of the way so she could lean her cheek on the cold marble of the counter, staring at the wall. Narcissa didn't answer, she didn't know how to. "Come on Cissy, you know what you feel for me isn't healthy. It's becoming an infatuation. You're too attached. Even if you spoke this way about your husband, it still wouldn't be right; to believe you would die without him."

"I accept your faults, why can't you accept mine?"

"Because yours is keeping you from living a normal life," Bellatrix told her, standing upright. Narcissa moved with her, but chose to lay her chin on her shoulder. Bellatrix shook her head and looked out the window as she slid her hands over Narcissa's, which were resting on her torso. "Mum fucked all of us up," she muttered.

"Andy—" Narcissa tried, but Bellatrix cut her off with a laugh.

"You know nothing of Andromeda, Cissy. She's as fucked as we are, trust me. Probably even worse. She followed shortly after me; I guess it was only a matter of time before your abnormality surfaced."

"What's wrong with Andy?" Narcissa asked, shocked. Andromeda had always seemed so… normal. She was angry with Bellatrix all the time, but Narcissa just figured it was sibling quarrels. She didn't think there was something more serious going on. Was that why she seemed to hate Bellatrix? Did she know what was wrong with her and held it over her head?

"It's nothing to concern yourself with. You're better off not knowing, trust me. It's disgusting."

Narcissa's eyes went wide as she spun Bellatrix around to face her. "What?" she asked. "Is she in some sort of trouble? She's our sister, Bellatrix!"

"She's no sister of mine," Bellatrix said flatly. "What we do might be a sin, but what she's found herself entangled with is an abomination against nature."

"Bella!" Narcissa exclaimed, curiosity and worry bursting out of her. "How can you—? She's our sister!" she repeated. She didn't understand how Bellatrix could speak about Andromeda like she was nothing.

"Who's your sister?" came a voice from the doorway. Narcissa and Bellatrix jumped apart as they turned to look at Andromeda, who was leaning against the threshold, arms folded across her chest. She was staring at Bellatrix with burning hatred in her eyes. "Talking about me, were you?"

"N-No," Narcissa stuttered. "We just…"

But Andromeda ignored Narcissa. "You swore you wouldn't tell a soul. Is this what I'm to expect of you now, Bellatrix? Your silence is no longer used for blackmail, if you remember. If you start spilling my secrets, I'll spill yours."

Narcissa whipped around, facing Bellatrix this time with an astonished look on her face. What did Andromeda know? "What is she talking about?" she asked.

"Don't concern yourself with it," Bellatrix told her, but pulled Narcissa to her protectively and put her hand on her head, stroking her hair. She was staring at Andromeda like she dared her to say anything as her other hand reached for her wand.

"Oh typical Bellatrix," Andromeda spat, watching her being protective of her youngest sister. "It's always been about Narcissa, hasn't it? Do you really think she'd allow you to hold her like that if she knew what I knew?"

Bellatrix couldn't help but smirk, amused. "Probably."

Narcissa looked back and forth between her two sisters, completely lost. "What's going on?" she asked. She looked up at Bellatrix, "What does she know, Bella?" She was beginning to become frightened of what kind of knowledge Andromeda held over her.

"So did you have a good laugh?" Andromeda asked, walking towards them, her face contorted in anger. "Was it fun for you, to share my business around? Who else have you told?!"

"I haven't told her anything," Bellatrix replied calmly. "And if you knew what was good for you, you'd quit while you were relatively ahead. You forget that I no longer have the Trace on me."

"I'm not scared of you," Andromeda spat. "And you're a filthy little liar, you always have been! You don't think I know how close the two of you are, you tell her everything! Why should I think this is any different?!"

"Because I don't plan to make my baby sister sick to her stomach by knowing what you've been doing!" Bellatrix exclaimed, holding onto Narcissa tighter as if to shield her from Andromeda. "You call me a filthy liar? You're just plain filthy. The things you do are meant for dogs, Andromeda! You're no better than a sodding muggle, though I wouldn't be surprised if you did th—"

"Shut up!" Andromeda screamed, pointing her wand at Bellatrix. "Shut your mouth, if Mum heard you—"

Bellatrix laughed. "What are you going to do? And Mum isn't here, so save it…"

"Well if she did, how do you think she'd react to your secret? Yours is far worse than mine, I can assure you. Even the mere whisper of it would get you kicked from the family tree, you and your precious little Narcissa, Mum wouldn't even be able to bear to look at you anymore. You think I'm dirty? You're fucking disgusting."

"What the hell is going on?!"Narcissa shrieked suddenly, making both sisters turn to her as she slammed her hands down on the counter, trying to get their attention. "In case you both have forgotten, I'm here too!"

"Trust me, Bellatrix never forgets about you, dear…" Andromeda taunted, giving Bellatrix a pointed look. Narcissa's stomach sank to the ground. She knew. Maybe not the extent of it, but she knew something.

"Shut your mouth, you filthy mudblood lover," Bellatrix spat. "Leave her out of this!"

Narcissa's eyes went wide and she stared at Andromeda, feeling ill. "Oh my god, have you been…?" she couldn't even say it. The thought made her stomach churn.

"Shut up!" Andromeda screamed, lunging towards Bellatrix and pushing Narcissa out of the way. Andromeda's wand pointed at her throat, but Bellatrix didn't look in the least bit alarmed; she merely laughed.

"Secrets out," she cackled. "Andromeda: the harlot blood-traitor, spreading her legs for every willing mudblood she can get to take her. Which, I've got to say, has been a startling amount. It's disgusting that you would even allow that filth to touch you, let alone be inside of you."

"As opposed to you, the girl who masturbates to a childhood picture of her sister?" Andromeda shot back, throwing down her cards as well, looking furious. Her grip on her wand tightened, but Bellatrix didn't move, she just smirked at her. "She was nine in that picture, Bellatrix. Nine! What kind of sodding pedo are you, anyway?"

Narcissa's eyes went wide as she looked at Bellatrix, who was quickly becoming angry now that the age was out in the open. Narcissa saw her eyes darken, her hand reaching for her wand. Knowing what was about to happen she quickly grabbed Bellatrix's hand tightly, holding it to her chest as she covered it with her other hand. "Bella, breathe," she told her. Bellatrix ignored her. "Hey!" Narcissa exclaimed, pulling on her hand to get her attention. "Look at me! You need to calm down."

"How can you touch her after knowing what she did?!" Andromeda asked, looking at Narcissa like she was just as disgusting.

"Shut up, Andromeda!" Narcissa shouted, turning towards her. "You don't know what's going on right now so just leave before you get hurt! Bellatrix is sick and you'll only make it worse!"

"Mmmm…" Bellatrix purred, smiling devilishly as she rolled her neck against Andromeda's wand, closing her eyes like it was giving her some sort of sick satisfaction from being threatened. "You're just jealous," she told her with a predatory look. "I bet you were so disappointed to find it was Cissy in that picture and not you. You've always hated that I loved her more…" She took a step forward and Andromeda automatically took a step back, keeping her wand at her throat.

"You're fucking disgusting," Andromeda told her, but looked a little wary of Bellatrix's change in personality. It was obvious she had never seen this happen to her before. "I don't wish your nasty little fantasies on her or myself. Thank god you're getting married, then you can be out of our lives forever."

Narcissa slid her hand into Bellatrix's robes quickly, grasping her wand. Bellatrix quickly reached to stop her, but Narcissa threw it across the room before putting her hands on her shoulders, attempting to pin her there. "Move, Andy!" she exclaimed as she pushed her out of the way, putting herself between the two of them as she tried to keep Bellatrix in one spot.

"Tsk, tsk, Cissy," Bellatrix taunted. "You know you'll have to be punished for that later. Or is that what you want?" She smirked at her before licking her lips. "Such a naughty girl, you are." Bellatrix leaned forward then, looking like she wanted to bite her but Narcissa used all her strength to push her back against the counter. She did know one thing though: if Bellatrix really wanted her wand back, she would have no problem getting it. She was always stronger, which made Narcissa realize that she desired something else over hurting people when she was in this state.

"What the hell is wrong with her?!" Andromeda exclaimed, looking at Bellatrix like she had been inhabited by a demon, which was roughly the equivalent anyway.

"I told you to get out!" Narcissa yelled, before turning back to Bellatrix. "Hey, hey. Look at me, Bella. Not at Andy, look at me. Come on," she coaxed, her heart beating in her throat. Bellatrix did finally look at her, and Narcissa tried to give her a soft smile. "What do you want, Bella? Tell me."

"Her." Bellatrix's eyes snapped back to Andromeda and she smiled wickedly before hissing. Andromeda jumped a mile.

"No, you don't," Narcissa told her, trying to keep Bellatrix's focus on her. "You and I both know that if you wanted to hurt her than you would have gotten your wand back already. You know it's not wise to hurt her, you know this, Bellatrix! Look at me, look at me!" Bellatrix turned to face her again, her eyes devoid of emotion. "She isn't worth it. Hurting her would defeat the purpose of your plans, would put your marriage in jeopardy, and would tear us apart. You know I'm right."

Bellatrix looked at her for a long time before a small smile tugged at the corner of her lips. "Not even a little? Oh mother may I?" She laughed sardonically.

"No," Narcissa stressed. "Bella, please. You have to focus. Don't let it win."

Bellatrix just smirked and leaned in, pressing her lips to her ear as she whispered, "You know how to get rid of me. Release."

That scared Narcissa more than anything else. Not because of how she needed to get rid of this other Bellatrix, but because it used to not be that way. It made it so much clearer that it would only be a matter of time before either violence or sex didn't work anymore and then she'd be stuck that way forever. Narcissa could only pray that it was a far time off.

"I told you," Narcissa breathed, so softly to make sure only Bellatrix could hear her since Andromeda was still across the other side of the room, looking warily at them both. "I'd do anything you want. I love you."

"Ah, love!" Bellatrix exclaimed, shooting away from Narcissa and twirling a little on the spot, mocking her. "Such a fool's errand. You should know better, Cissy." But she smirked, all but forgetting Andromeda for a moment as she extended her hand. "But I do appreciate how you can be so compliant. The color suits you."

"I'm sure," Narcissa said flatly, but grabbed her sister's hand, starting to pull her out of the kitchen. She was stopped though when Bellatrix halted in front of Andromeda, suddenly remembering she was there.

Bellatrix roughly tapped her other sister's cheek twice. "You got lucky, dearie. But next time, remember that she may not always be around." She cackled then and pushed past Narcissa, making her way up to her room.

Narcissa looked back at Andromeda, who was staring at her dumbfounded. "What…?"

"I told you, just stay away from her," Narcissa said, angry with Andromeda for turning Bellatrix into that person again. She bent down and picked up Bellatrix's wand, stuffing it into her robes. "I have a handle on the situation; deal with your own affairs. I certainly want nothing to do with them."

She turned to leave, but Andromeda exclaimed, "Narcissa!" When she turned around, Andromeda asked, finally showing some real concern, "What's wrong with her? Really?"

"I don't know," Narcissa told her honestly. "It's been happening on and off for years, but I'm handling it." Andromeda went to open her mouth but Narcissa cut her off, "And before you ask, I won't tell Mum your secret. We all have things we don't want her to know. But don't expect me to look at you like you're a person anymore. What you're doing is unforgivable to our race."

And so she turned her back on her sister, shunning her for so many reasons. While Narcissa realized she was a bit of a hypocrite, she felt that being a blood-traitor was worse than what her and Bellatrix were doing; at least they were both pureblood. She loved her sister, but she wouldn't stand by and condone Andromeda smearing their family name. She was also a risk for Bellatrix, who Narcissa needed to protect. If Andromeda was a trigger, then she needed to find a way to keep her from going off.

When she got to Bellatrix's room, her sister was waiting for her. Narcissa tossed Bellatrix her wand which she caught easily, then locked the door behind them. Bellatrix cast Muffliato on the room before she started to undress, layer by layer being discarded to the floor.

"What do you want me to do?" Narcissa asked softly, worried that Bellatrix would want to have sex withher, and she didn't want her to do that when Bellatrix was in this state.

Sex after what happened already wasn't the most satisfactory conclusion, but Narcissa did her best to push what happened in the kitchen out of her mind. She had a job to do; it was only her that could fix Bellatrix now.

"Come over to the edge of the bed and get on your knees," Bellatrix ordered with an excited gleam in her eyes, looking at Narcissa like she was her finest pet. "I'm going to teach you a lesson."

Narcissa swallowed but complied, knowing that this option was much better than what Bellatrix could have possibly done to Andromeda to make her symptoms go away. She watched as Bellatrix spread her naked legs on either side of her head, sitting on the edge of the bed. Narcissa couldn't help but stare at how wet she was already; her scent was surrounding her. All thoughts of the kitchen flew from her mind.

"You like that, don't you?" Bellatrix taunted, grasping a fist full of Narcissa's hair, roughly pulling her face closer to the apex of her thighs. Narcissa's nose was only a fraction of an inch in front of her sex. "Kiss it," she demanded. Narcissa leaned in automatically, placing her lips on Bellatrix's clit as she softly kissed her. "With your tongue, Cissy! Are you stupid?"

Narcissa narrowed her eyes at being called stupid but did as she was told, letting her tongue slide up Bellatrix's dripping sex. She couldn't stop the soft groan that fell from her lips after that. Oh my god, Bellatrix tasted amazing; she had never imagined she would taste like that. Her sister cackled and wrenched Narcissa's head away from her then, causing the younger girl to let out a sound of annoyance at being thrown around.

"Incarcerous," Bellatrix said, pointing her wand at Narcissa. Suddenly the blonde's hands were bound tightly by rope behind her back. "There, that's better. Bondage suits you, Cissy. We should do this more often."

"Hey!" Narcissa exclaimed, trying to get her hands free. "This wasn't part of the deal."

"As I remember it, you said you'd do anything," Bellatrix replied with a wicked smile. "Be careful what you wish for, love. Besides," she said, running her fingers softly through Narcissa's hair before she roughly pulled it again. Narcissa whimpered, but it wasn't entirely unenjoyable. "You look absolutely mouth-watering sitting there, bound on your knees. If I didn't know any better, I would think you were secretly enjoying it."

She leaned down before licking up Narcissa's neck and whispering in her ear, "Tell me the truth, Cissy…"

"It's…" Narcissa breathed, then whimpered as Bellatrix lightly bit her neck. "It's not entirely horrible," she admitted.

"Mmm… that's what I thought," Bellatrix said with a grin before leaning back, coaching the other girl's mouth between her thighs. "Now tell me you're sorry for taking my wand."

"I'm sorry," Narcissa breathed automatically, feeling Bellatrix's wetness on her nose. The smell was intoxicating.

"Good girl," Bellatrix purred. "Now show me how sorry you really are."

That was the first time Narcissa went down on her older sister. It quickly became one of her favorite things to do though, no matter how it ended up coming about. She loved the way Bellatrix tasted, the way she would squirm and moan, pressing her hips into her face before she begged for release. And when she came, Narcissa would greedily drink up every drop that her sister offered her.

Bellatrix was furious with herself again after it was all over, but Narcissa just held her as she told her that she would always be there to bring her back from the edge. She told her that she loved her and she would never leave her, no matter how Bellatrix acted when she found herself in that state. She may not be the most romantic or caring person when she was like that, but she was still her.

And Narcissa loved Bellatrix like she'd never loved anyone else in her entire life.


*Chapter 13*: Chapter Thirteen


"Suck it in!"

"I can't… Cissy! You're going to break my sodding ribs if you don't—!" But Bellatrix's words were cut short as Narcissa gave one last hard pull to the corset strings, lacing her up as tight as she could. Bellatrix nearly choked on her own breath.

"Oh stop fussing, you're going to look absolutely breathtaking when I'm done," Narcissa told her with a sad smile as she tied up the laces. Yes, her sister would look gorgeous, but that wasn't what was making her heart sink. Today was the day: her wedding day, the day when Bellatrix would no longer be Ms. Black… but become Mrs. Lestrange.

For what was supposed to be a happy occasion, it was immensely heartbreaking for both of them.

"Yeah, if I'm able to stay conscious," Bellatrix muttered as she wiggled a little, trying to get comfortable. She put her hands on her stomach and made a face of disdain as she looked in the mirror. "Good god I look like a freak. No one's waist should ever be this bloody small."

Narcissa gave her a half-smile and a look of understanding as she placed her hands on her sister's waist and her chin on her shoulder, looking at her reflection of the mirror. "But you look really beautiful," she told her softly. Bellatrix gave her a small smile in return, grasping her hands to put them around her waist, laying her own on top of them possessively.

"I wish this day would just get itself over with," Bellatrix told her, sighing. "I feel no need to be paraded around like some sort of prized poodle." She looked absolutely livid over her situation and Narcissa leaned up on her tiptoes, kissing her on the cheek.

"Is it absolutely ridiculous to say I wish I was the one marrying you?" Narcissa whispered in her ear. Bellatrix chuckled.

"A little, yeah. You know I'm going to make a rubbish housewife. The whole house would be in shambles; you'd have a flippin' cow."

"Oh come off it, you know I'd be the housewife," Narcissa said with a giggle as she stepped back. She tried to smile as she started fixing the bobby pins in Bellatrix's hair, but her lips turned down into a frown. Them together like that, forever; it was a beautiful wish that would never be.

Bellatrix caught her expression in the mirror and started sympathetically with, "Cissy…" but just then the door to Bellatrix's bedroom was opened with a bang, making Narcissa jump nearly a mile.

"Christ, what are you doing to her, you worthless girl?" Druella exclaimed, striding over to Bellatrix and pushing Narcissa out of the way. She stumbled back, a glare on her face as her mother started fussing with Bellatrix's hair. "She's a Black, not a sodding prostitute. Why on earth would you do her hair this way?"

"Mother, the way Cissy did it is perfectly fi—OW!"

"Shut up and just do as you're told. And stand up straight! No bride in this family has ever gotten married looking like a hunchback and you won't be the first!" Druella exclaimed as she furiously started pinning Bellatrix's hair differently. The pins were jamming into her skull and Bellatrix looked like she was about to explode as she clenched her fists.

Narcissa worried that Bellatrix was going to let the anger take over so she quickly grabbed her hand, running her thumb over the back of it to try to calm her. She tugged on it a little to encourage Bellatrix to look at her, trying to convey love and support in her eyes. She feared what Bellatrix would do to their mother if she snapped. "Breathe," she mouthed to her silently. Bellatrix looked like she was fighting a battle inside of her but briskly nodded to her, trying to fight it for her sake.

Druella didn't notice the exchange, but she did notice their linked hands. "Honestly girls, if you weren't sisters, you'd look like a pair of dykes with the way you two touch each other." She looked at them disapprovingly and slapped their hands, making them untangle from each other. "We're not emotional, we're proud and strong. All this touchy-feely nonsense is beneath us and you both would do well to remember that. At least Andromeda understands that; I never see her attached to someone the way you two are. It's disgusting to look at; you are no longer children. Stop."

Bellatrix's eyes flashed and Narcissa wasn't sure what to do anymore. Touching Bellatrix had always worked as a way to ground her, at least for a little while. Thankfully, they were saved by Druella finishing with Bellatrix's hair. "There," she said, stepping back from her daughter. "Now you no longer look like a cheap whore, thank heavens. It would have been terribly shameful to our family if anyone saw you like that. Narcissa, finish helping your sister get ready and I expect the pair of you downstairs as quickly as possible. Don't doddle."

Druella left the room as quickly as she came, the door closing with another slam. Narcissa hastily grabbed onto both of Bellatrix's hands, standing in front of her. "Hey… are you alright?" she asked.

"One day I'm going to murder her, Cissy. Mark my words," Bellatrix said flatly, trying to calm herself. "I'll make it look like a horrible accident."

Narcissa gave her a half-smile before leaning in and kissing her softly on the lips. When she pulled back she whispered, "If only."Narcissa wished more than anything that Druella would be kinder, would love them all more, but she knew it was a feeble hope. They would never be close; that was a sad fact.

"Not 'if only', Cissy," Bellatrix told her seriously. "I will. One day."

Narcissa looked at her, disappointed that this was the person she was quickly becoming. "Murder isn't the answer to everything," she told her, stepping away from her. "It's not a joke; ending a life is…" but she trailed off, sure that Bellatrix already knew what it was like to end a life. The thought sickened her.

"No, Cissy, you don't understand," Bellatrix told her, grasping her hand to pull her back towards her. "With Mother and Father gone, I'd be your legal guardian; at least until you turned seventeen. Wouldn't you want that? For us to live together again, if only for a few more years?"

Narcissa looked at her like she was being ridiculous. "Aunt Walburga would be mine and Andromeda's legal guardian, not you. She's our Godmother."

"Then I'll kill her too." It was said so seriously that it shocked Narcissa.

"Bella!" she exclaimed, stepping away from her furiously. "The whole world can't revolve around you and I; you can't just kill people to have your way! And what of Sirius and Regulus? How do you think they would feel if their mother was killed? God, you don't think do you?!"

"They'd probably think I was doing them a favor," Bellatrix retorted with a smirk. But Narcissa didn't find it funny in the slightest and started to storm out of the room. She didn't get very far however, because Bellatrix grabbed her hand, once again pulling her back to her. "No, come on, Cissy. Don't leave like that."

"Death is not a joke, Bellatrix!" Narcissa shrieked. "What you're doing, what you want to do, what you've done, it's not something that can just be forgotten! Doing horrible acts like that shreds your soul apart and you wonder why you're going mental?!"

The grip on Narcissa's wrist tightened, making her wince. Bellatrix glared at her. "I was going mental long before I did anything, and you know it. Mum's the reason I'm like this, Mum is the reason we're all like this! She's only going to tear you down more; shred your soul, bit by bit, the longer you stay in this bloody house. I'd be doing it for you!"

"I never asked you to!" Narcissa screamed. "I never asked you for anything and yet you continue to parade around under a banner that says my name as you make excuses for yourself! I don't want you to kill her, Bellatrix, or anyone else! Do you hear me?! I said no!"

Bellatrix stared at her for a long time, jaw locked. Narcissa wondered if she was going to fight her on the matter, since she was usually the one in control out of the two of them, but surprisingly Bellatrix let her wrist go, shaking her head as she stepped back. "Just forget it," she mumbled as she sat down on her bed, grabbing her stockings.

Narcissa blinked. Did she really have some sort of control after all?

Maybe part of it made sense; Bellatrix was the one who said that her whole life revolved around her. Logically, that would give Narcissa some kind of power. It was odd though, having Bellatrix not fight with her. It had become so routine in their relationship that it had become sort of an odd comfort.

Narcissa walked over to Bellatrix, sitting down next to her as she watched her sister pull up her stockings. "I'm sorry I yelled," she said softly. "But you just… you scare me sometimes. You know that, don't you?"

"It's a kill or be killed world, Narcissa," Bellatrix told her as she fixed the bunches in her stockings. "You'll learn that when you get older."

"I'm nearly fourteen!" Narcissa protested, hating when Bellatrix made her seem unintelligent due to her age.

"Speaking of," Bellatrix said, switching the conversation as she turned to look at her. "How's Paris for you?"


"Paris," Bellatrix reiterated, a small smirk on her face as she grabbed her heels, slipping them on, "for your birthday."

Narcissa still didn't understand. "I'm not following. You know Mum would never pay for that."

"Cissy," Bellatrix said flatly, but amused. "I'm getting married." She said it like that was supposed to mean something, but Narcissa still didn't understand.

Then it hit her.

"No… no! You couldn't, you wouldn't… would you?!"

"I'm going to have more money than I'll know what to do with," Bellatrix told her with a smile, glad for the excited look on her sister's face. "What else would I want to do with it than spend it on you?"

Narcissa squealed excitedly, jumping into her sister's arms and toppling them both over onto the bed. "Oh my god, you're going to take me to Paris?!" she exclaimed, more excited than words could ever express. "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god; I love you!"

Bellatrix laughed, turning so they were both lying on their sides, facing each other. She grasped Narcissa's hand and brought it up to her lips, kissing it. "Just the two of us," she told her with a grin. "I already ran it by Rodolphus; he said it was fine if I spent the weekend with you for your birthday. To be honest I don't think he really cared much either way."

Narcissa's smile was from ear to ear and she leaned in, kissing Bellatrix with as much passion as she had in her. When they broke, she whispered against her lips, "You're the best sister ever." She bit her lower lip as she grinned before leaning in and kissing her again, feeling so much that she didn't know how to express in words.

Narcissa could feel Bellatrix's smile as they kissed. She ran her fingers through her hair as she pressed up against her tightly, kissing her like she was trying to devour a part of her soul. But Narcissa already knew her soul belonged to her sister; it always would. Bellatrix encouraged her to get on top of her as their tongues intertwined. Her hands roamed the curves of her sister's body and Narcissa moaned quietly against her lips as she felt Bellatrix do the same.

It was almost anticlimactic in a way, the two of them tangled up on Bellatrix's bed for the last time before she was to be married. It was deeply upsetting, but it only made Narcissa feel like she had something to prove. She needed Bellatrix to know that no matter who she found herself tied down with that she would always be hers. But try as she did to prove that to her, Bellatrix stopped her hand once it slipped inside of her knickers.

For once she wanted to pleasure Bellatrix when she wasn't sick. She desperately needed that memory before watching her sister walk down the aisle, but Bellatrix didn't seem to want that memory for herself.

"No, not in these clothes, he'll know," she told her breathlessly, guiding Narcissa's hand back out. Narcissa looked hurt and Bellatrix could see that so she leaned up, kissing her tenderly before whispering, "Please don't look like that, you know I want to. My body always burns for your touch, Cissy. It's all I dream about when I close my eyes at night."

"I just…" Narcissa whispered, feeling emotional all of a sudden. "I just wanted it to be special, just once, before you're married. It's never…" but she trailed off. She knew she sounded like such an idiot.

Bellatrix closed her eyes, guilt washing over her features. Narcissa knew she shouldn't have brought it up; she knew how much Bellatrix hated to be reminded that she took things without asking when she was sick. "Hey, no," Narcissa pleaded softly, leaning down to kiss her. "I don't…mind, it's—"

"You do mind, clearly," Bellatrix told her, her face becoming sour as she tried to sit up, but Narcissa wouldn't let her. Taking her wrists in her hands she pinned her down to the mattress. Bellatrix cocked an eyebrow.

"Bella, I know you're sick. I know what I have to do to make you better when you are, and I know I'm the only one that can. I'm not complaining," she told her seriously, softening her eyes. She hated that she had to always reassure Bellatrix about this; she wished she had magical words that would rid her of her guilt. "I know it's… unorthodox and I know you feel badly about it, but please don't. I'd let you take anything you wanted from me if it allowed you to be free from your disease. I love you and that's what you do for someone you love. Please stop hating yourself for it."

Bellatrix's eyes softened as she looked up at her sister. "You don't understand," she told her softly. "I remember everything that she does, everything she says to you. I hate the way she treats you, Cissy."

That was the first time Bellatrix completely separated herself from her disease. While Narcissa used to do the same, calling it 'the other Bellatrix', now it worried her to hear Bellatrix do the same. Narcissa had accepted that it was just a part of her sister that grew inside of her, spreading like some sort of infection. She knew it wasn't another person entirely. She had heard about things like that though, where someone would have another person sharing their body almost. They'd have different names and such and wouldn't remember what the other had done, but Bellatrix… she wasn't like that.

"Bella, it's not… it's not someone else," Narcissa told her softly, sympathetically. "You do know that, don't you?"

Bellatrix stared up at her, her pained expression framed by her beautiful curls. Narcissa reached up and brushed one off of her face and Bellatrix took hold of her hand, stilling her. "It's easier if I pretend that it is," she told her softly. "You don't know what it's like to not know where it comes from." She paused, then revised. "Well, I guess that's not entirely true, is it? I know I can be her when I'm…" Bellatrix faltered a little and sighed, not wanting to reveal too much to her sister. "When I'm with them," she explained. "I'm passionate. It's… a passionate cause and I know I can get a bit carried away with it all. But that I understand; that I embrace and fall into completely because it allows me freedom. But around you, being that way to you? I don't know where that part of me comes from and I hate it because all I've ever wanted to do was build a better life for you; to make you feel safe and happy, and I know when I'm like that I don't make you feel either of those things."

Narcissa's thumb traced the curve of her sister's cheekbone as she looked down at her. It was so rare that Bellatrix opened up to her completely and the last thing she wanted her to do was run from it. Bellatrix did feel, as much as she'd like to pretend otherwise sometimes. "I know I'll always be safe with you, Bella," she told her quietly. "You wouldn't be willing to kill for me if you thought that even a part of you could truly hurt me."

"I've hurt you, Cissy. You know that I have."

"Not really, no. Emotionally, yes. But I think I've hurt you just as much in that area. But physically... you know it's nothing that I can't handle. We grew up with Mum, remember?" Narcissa told her, trying to smile to lighten the mood. "You and I both know you would never come close to doing what she did to me, to both of us. Even when you're sick, you protect me because you believe me to be your property."

"You shouldn't have to be anyone's property, Narcissa. That's the point. I shouldn't treat you like you owe me something."

"I owe you everything," Narcissa told her seriously before she leaned down and kissed her again. "You've saved my life in so many ways," she breathed before she let her mouth connect with Bellatrix's more fully, not wanting to hear any more protests on the matter.

It was hard, watching her sister be plagued with guilt over things she had no control over. It was hard to see Bellatrix struggle every day to stay sane. It was hard to see her shred her soul by doing unspeakable evil all in Narcissa's name. It was hard to think that, come tomorrow, Bellatrix would be married and off living her life. It was hard to realize that her fourth year at Hogwarts and onwards she would be alone.

It was all so hard.

So Narcissa kissed her deeper, needing Bellatrix to feel something besides the guilt, besides the pain, and allow her to truly live in the moment and not think about tomorrow or the years after. Here, in this moment, they were nothing more than two people desperately in love. Whether kin or not, it didn't matter, if anything it only showed that love knew no boundaries.

As Narcissa gently squeezed her sister's breast over her wedding gown Bellatrix gasped softly, pulling her lips away for a moment before resting them on Narcissa's neck. She panted into her ear as her mouth littered her neck with kisses that were sure to leave love bites. Narcissa closed her eyes and her grip tightened on Bellatrix's hip as she let out a soft moan, her breath tickling Bellatrix's ear. She could feel Bellatrix's hand between them, sliding over her stomach slowly, teasingly.

"Do you trust me?" Bellatrix breathed into her ear.

Narcissa could feel her heart rate increase at those words. "Yes," she whispered, not hesitating for a second. She bit her lip and her fingers gripped Bellatrix tightly as her sister's hand slipped over her underwear. Even over her knickers, Bellatrix's touch seemed like fire. She opened her mouth to speak, not knowing what her intentions truly were, but Bellatrix pressed her lips to her ear and explained before she had the chance to speak.

"You wanted something special," she told her, her fingers gently teasing her over her panties. Narcissa bit her bottom lip and buried her face in Bellatrix's neck, whimpering softly as she spread her legs for her. "I won't go inside you; I won't break your hymen… okay? I just… I just want to…" Bellatrix breathed, losing her own words in the process as she slipped her fingers under the confines of Narcissa's underwear. Their groans echoed one another.

Bellatrix's touch was so unlike her own. It seemed Bellatrix already knew her body much more intimately than she ever could. "Oh my god," Narcissa breathed as her sister's fingers slipped through her wetness, circling over her clit lightly. She had never felt anything like it; this was nothing like masturbating. Every touch from Bellatrix made her blood rush through her veins, her hairs stand on end. Her hands tangled in her hair and she moaned, pressing her hips further into her sister's hand.

"You like that?" Bellatrix asked before she started kissing her neck, her teeth nipping at her sensitive flesh beneath her ear. Narcissa nodded, trying to speak but words failed her as Bellatrix increased the pressure on her clitoris. She gasped hard, digging her nails into Bellatrix's hip.

"Shh, love," Bellatrix breathed into her ear as she sped up the pace of her fingers. "Someone will hear you." They hadn't used the silencing spell on the door, but Narcissa couldn't even begin to think about that, let alone anything else besides Bellatrix's touch. She couldn't control the sounds coming out of her mouth. She tried to purse her lips together to try to muffle them, but Bellatrix hit an amazing spot and she cried out her name involuntarily.

"Shit," Bellatrix swore, knowing Narcissa wasn't going to be able to quiet herself. She quickly rolled them over, straddling her waist as she continued to pleasure her. Her other hand slapped over Narcissa's mouth, trying to silence her. Narcissa could do nothing else but grab onto her and arch her back, whimpering beneath her. "Come on Cissy, come for me," Bellatrix encouraged, before looking over her shoulder at the closed door, paranoia setting in because of how loud Narcissa was before. But she didn't want to stop; she wanted to finish for her.

It felt like her senses were exploding. Narcissa's eyes popped open to see her sister on top of her and she desperately reached for her, pulling her forward to lie flat. She tangled her fingers in her hair as she shuddered beneath her, feeling like she was climbing a mountain of pleasure, desperately trying to reach the top so she could fall over the other side. Her moans were getting louder but they were successfully muffled by Bellatrix's hand. Her nails dug into her sister's skull as she felt her body begin to tense. Her free hand slammed down on the mattress hard as she arched her back, needing Bellatrix to increase the pressure or she was sure she was going to die.

"That's it… that's it, love…" Bellatrix encouraged in her ear. Narcissa's fingers were gripping the sheets tightly as she screamed out explicits that were drowned out by her sister's hand. She felt like she was flying; she could see stars and every inch of her body exploded in unimaginable pleasure as tears sprung to her eyes, overwhelming her. Her hands desperately grasped for Bellatrix, needing to feel her as she experienced something she couldn't believe she had waited so long to feel.

There was a sound, but Narcissa's ears were ringing and she couldn't hear it. She was in her own world until suddenly Bellatrix was ripped away from her. Narcissa tried to open her eyes, her chest heaving and her cheeks flushed as confusion washed over her.

Then fear; unmistakable terror took hold of her as Narcissa realized they were no longer alone. She should have known – nothing good had ever come to pass between her and Bellatrix without a shit-storm raining down afterward. It was like they were cursed.

"EW! Ew, ew, ew ,ew!" Andromeda shrieked, horror on her face as she witnessed the state of her two sisters. Narcissa wanted to run, but realized her legs wouldn't move. Bellatrix was already on top of the situation though, grabbing her wand quickly off the vanity and pointing it at the door. It slammed closed, locking itself behind Andromeda and she cast "Muffliato" on the room.

Andromeda saw the anger and terror in Bellatrix's eyes and tried to run, but she couldn't get the door open. She was slammed up against the wall, Bellatrix's wand pointed at her throat. Narcissa felt like she couldn't breathe and she hastily fixed her dress, certain that both of their lives were about to fall apart.

"Repeat after me, Andromeda," Bellatrix started dangerously. "What you just saw was Narcissa having a panic attack; that's why she was flushed and short for breath. I was helping her, do you understand me?"

"You… you both are disgusting!" Andromeda shrieked. "God, I think I'm going to vomit…" She looked positively ill and for the first time it truly made Narcissa feel dirty for what her and Bellatrix were doing.

Bellatrix grabbed her by her dress, balling it up in her fists before she pulled her sister towards her, then slammed her violently back against the wall, making Andromeda cry out in pain. "I said do you understand me, Andromeda?!"

"Bella!" Narcissa exclaimed, watching Andromeda cough and struggle to take her next breath. "Don't hurt her!"

"She'll be lucky if I don't kill her!" Bellatrix screamed, madness in her eyes. "Look at me," she demanded to Andromeda. She slapped her face before grabbing it in her hand and forcing the other girl to look her in the eyes. "I said look at me!" she screamed.

Bellatrix's wand dug into Andromeda's throat and Narcissa was terrified that she would puncture her. She got off the bed quickly, running over to grab a hold of her arm. "Stop! Bella, please!" She couldn't bear it if she watched Bellatrix murder their own flesh and blood, no matter how much of blood-traitor she was. But Bellatrix shook her off easily, pushing her away.

Andromeda winced, terror and pain in her eyes as Bellatrix slammed her against the wall again. She coughed, struggling to breathe as she pleaded, "Please… Bellatrix, stop… you're hurting me!"

"Tell me what you saw!" Bellatrix demanded. "Tell me! Crucio!"

Narcissa gasped in fear as she watched Andromeda scream, falling to the ground as Bellatrix used an Unforgivable Curse on her. "Bella, stop!" she screamed, wishing that she knew how to take the silencing charm off of the room. She'd take the punishment for what her and Bellatrix did if it saved Andromeda from this pain. "Stop, please stop!" she shrieked as she watched Andromeda scream in agony.

"Shut up, Cissy, I'm handling this!" Bellatrix screamed, frantic. The curse lifted from Andromeda and she lay on the ground, twitching and crying loudly, holding herself in fear as she cowered away from Bellatrix. Narcissa could feel her own tears streaming down her cheeks.

She tried to fall to Andromeda's side, needing to know that she was okay, but Bellatrix pushed her aside roughly as she knelt down in her place, grabbing Andromeda's face in her hand and forcing her to look at her again. Andromeda shook with fear, looking up at Bellatrix like she didn't know who she was anymore; like in her place stood some kind of monster.

The scary thing was, Bellatrix hadn't switched. She was still very much her; this was no longer the disease. It terrified Narcissa to realize that the sweet person who had just made love to her could so easily become a monster of her own will.

"What did you see, Andy? Tell me what you saw!" Bellatrix demanded, shaking her forcefully. Andromeda choked back a sob, tears running down her cheeks as she struggled to say the words.

"Nothing… I saw nothing…!" She choked a little and Narcissa was horrified to see a tiny bit of blood at the crease of her lips.

Bellatrix still held her face in her hand, eyes boring into hers as she told her seriously, "And it best stay that way. If I ever hear a whisper about it, I won't just kill you; I'll torture you mercilessly until you beg for death. Do you understand me? Even a whisper. I will not have you destroy Narcissa's life."

Andromeda nodded, crying as she shook in fear. When Bellatrix let her go, she backed away from her quickly, huddling against the wall as she curled herself into a ball. Narcissa chose that moment to scramble over to her sister, trying to see if she was alright, but when she reached out to touch her, Andromeda jumped a mile and screeched, "Don't touch me!"

Bellatrix looked down at the two of them, looking rather bored now that she had taken care of business. "Don't bother, Cissy. She'll never look at you again, not after what I just did for you."

"For me?" Narcissa screamed, getting to her feet as she pointed at Bellatrix before poking her hard in the chest. "I told you to stop with that! I never, never wanted you to do this! I would have gladly taken the punishment for our fornications before hurting our own sister!" Her tiny fists slammed into Bellatrix's chest as she choked back a sob.

Bellatrix took her physical anger only once before she grabbed her wrists, stilling her. "I'm sick of your ungratefulness! You may not like the way I do things, Cissy, but I'm protecting you, both of us! If you dislike it so much then feel free to walk away from all of this; I won't stop you."

Narcissa screamed in rage, tears pouring down her cheeks as she tried to hit her sister again. She struggled relentlessly against her grasp before she suddenly weakened, her resolve dissolving as she slumped forward, Bellatrix catching her in her arms.

She hated this, she hated all of this, but she knew she didn't have the strength to walk away, and what was worse was that she knew Bellatrix knew it too. Narcissa had already lost Andromeda; she couldn't lose Bellatrix as well. She couldn't be alone. She didn't know how to be alone.

It was sick, honestly, the way the ceremony went on after that, so normal. But that's what their family did; sweep the indiscretions under the rug and put a smile on their faces for the rest of the world. Bellatrix and Narcissa cleaned themselves up, putting on a show like it was second nature. Andromeda struggled to act normal, but every little sound made her jump out of her skin. She was absolutely terrified of everything now it seemed, and it made Narcissa sick to her stomach to know that it was partly because of her that it happened.

It wouldn't be long before Narcissa would lose Andromeda forever. As an adult, part of her knew it was for the better; Andromeda wouldn't have to live in constant fear. But even after all those years, Narcissa still held some resentment for Bellatrix because of it. It didn't have to happen, it shouldn't have had to have come down to that. It sickened her to see how fast her family was torn apart.

But maybe that was the Black family curse. Happiness was something none of them would ever truly know, no matter how desperately they searched for it.


*Chapter 14*: Chapter Fourteen

Author's Note:
You know, I wrote chapter 25 of this a month ago and haven't touched it since, lol. I really should get on top of finishing it soon xD


Going back to Hogwarts without Bellatrix felt weird.

Narcissa was always used to sitting with her sister on the train, but this time she sat alone. Andromeda wouldn't look at her, let alone speak to her, and she didn't have many friends to speak of that could help fill the lonely feeling that was now settling deep in her chest. As the train rolled on down the tracks she sighed, looking out the window and wondering what her sister was doing right now.

After the wedding, Bellatrix and Rodolphus went on their honeymoon to Scandinavia. Narcissa wondered if they had sex for the formality of it, or if they just went off and did their own thing during their holiday. The two of them never seemed to have any kind of romantic or sexual connection at all, but there were traditions. Narcissa's stomach sank at the thought of him being inside of her.

She was still angry with Bellatrix over what happened with Andromeda. After all, that severely crossed a line, but Narcissa still couldn't help but miss her. She felt so incredibly alone right now. Even with how screwed up her home life was, for the first time it truly felt like her family was being torn apart.

Everything just felt so out of her control. Narcissa was never a carefree youth or anything, but at least she knew when to expect the beatings, when to expect when horrible things would happen in her life. A hair out of place, a couple pounds overweight, defiance; she knew when to brace herself for the pain. But even with everything that had happened over the last couple of years, it all felt like it was coming out of nowhere; just one shit storm after another. She couldn't even be happy with Bellatrix unless something horrible happened directly afterwards. The lack of control was suffocating Narcissa and making her feel weak and like she didn't have a handle on her own life.

She wished that she could just run away with Bellatrix, but it was a fool's desire. This was what their life was now, this; Bellatrix married and Narcissa soon to follow in her footsteps. She longed so desperately for it to be December, time for her birthday, time for her to go away to Paris with Bellatrix, but it would only be for the weekend. It saddened Narcissa as she realized that her time with her sister was fleeting and would more than likely stay that way for the rest of their lives. They were doomed to only be happy a few times a year, the few times that they could find themselves with each other.

Narcissa took to crying herself to sleep most nights after that revelation.

With Bellatrix gone, her mother became practically unbearable. She knew it wasn't just towards her though, she noticed the amount of owls Andromeda would receive from home as well, although she never spoke to Narcissa about them. Andromeda wouldn't get within ten feet of her if she could help it, so it was of no surprise that she didn't share anything with her. Not that Narcissa could blame her. The owls really were horrible though, and they just added more stress that Narcissa really didn't need.

"Mind your weight, dear. You were looking chubby in your bridesmaid dress and I will not have fat daughters."

"Your useless sister still has yet to get any marriage proposals, and at nearly sixteen! This is completely unacceptable and you should be pushing her to try to catch someone's eye, Narcissa. I hope you will prove this family's worth more than she does when you reach her age."

"Your aunt is positively livid over Sirius being sorted into Gryffindor, as she rightfully should be. It's been centuries since a Black was anything but a Slytherin! Oh, the shame that child has brought on our whole family. One bad apple is enough, Narcissa, so you'd do well to prove yourself worthy of your last name."

"For Gods sake, we need to do something with your hair when you get back. Your father is right; that color blonde is so dull and lifeless. You must have gotten it from your father's side, because my side of the family has never produced a child with that freakish looking color adorning their head. Expect for me to lighten it on your return trip for Christmas. Right now you look so washed out, it's no wonder you haven't caught any pureblooded boy's eyes yet."

"Remember to cut what you're eating in half. I promise you, if you come back for the holidays looking a cow I'll force my fingers down your throat until you lose two dress sizes."

"We had so many hopes for you, Narcissa. It's a shame as you're maturing that your features are becoming less desirable. I'll search for a spell to fix that. Blacks do not breed ugly children. If I find one, I'll make sure to teach it to you just in case you breed undesirable looking offspring as well."

Narcissa never had the best self-esteem. She was used to her mother's insults, but now they seemed to be coming in the post nearly every day. Every single sodding day she'd wake up feeling horrible about herself. Bellatrix used to tell her she was beautiful, but she wasn't around anymore. Everyday Narcissa would look in the mirror and cry at what she saw. The more alone she found herself, the more she started believing her mother's words.

She was right, after all. She did look washed out, fat, and ugly. Maybe it was stress, maybe it was depression, but it didn't matter. She had dark circles under her eyes and Narcissa quickly found herself disgusted when she laid eyes on herself. No one was around to tell her that her mother was wrong. No one was around to tell her she was beautiful the way she was. No one was around to hold on to while the world spun beneath her feet. So out of control, so lost.

With Bellatrix gone, Narcissa didn't have anyone to help her with homework. Her grades slipped drastically and she received a howler from her mother that made her flee from the Great Hall in tears. People laughed at her after that, calling her a crybaby. It was juvenile, but it bothered her. Worse than that, with Bellatrix gone, she was picked on. Suddenly it seemed like people who openly hated Bellatrix turned their anger on her just because they used to be so close; just because she no longer had protection from the one that they feared. With Bellatrix gone, she had no one to save her.

Narcissa just wanted to curl up into a ball and die. School used to be a safe haven for her, but it no longer felt like such. Her whole world felt like it was ripped out from underneath her feet and she was falling with no hope of finding something to hang onto. She so desperately wanted control over something, anything in her life.

So Narcissa stopped eating.

It wasn't a conscious decision on her part; she just found that she was either too upset or too stressed to eat. She didn't want to go down to the Great Hall either, for fear of more letters from her mother that she couldn't emotionally handle or more students picking on her just because she was no longer protected by her sister. During those times she usually stayed in the loo, glad to finally have a chance to be alone. She found she hated being in crowds because for some strange reason it only made her feel even lonelier.

Even with all the drama from last year, Narcissa wished more than anything that she could go back in time just so she could stay in Bellatrix's arms forever; block out the world and never have to deal with anything bad ever again. Maybe she never did have control of her own life, maybe Bellatrix was the one who always had all the control over her, but without her around Narcissa finally felt the full impact of true loneliness.

After two months of barely remembering to eat, Narcissa finally started to feel better. She found that controlling her hunger was the first step to controlling her whole life. She would drink so much water to trick herself into feeling full that her bladder could barely stand it, but at least she was losing weight and finally starting to feel like she had a handle on a part of her existence. Maybe now her mother wouldn't beat her the second she walked into the door, which was also a plus.

No one noticed that she didn't eat much of anything anymore. And who would? The few friends she used to have abandoned her when she started spending all her time with Bellatrix. Not that they all didn't like her, because some of her friends really did like her sister, but it was more that Narcissa couldn't be bothered much with spending any time with them last year because she always craved to only be around Bellatrix. She supposed it was her own fault that she was completely alone now, seeing as she basically ignored anyone who ever showed any interest in being friendly with her whenever Bellatrix was around.

Narcissa regretted it deeply. She was finally starting to understand Bellatrix's concern about her being her whole world because unfortunately when her sister wasn't around the world didn't stop.

It was the end of November and her birthday was coming up soon, just a few short weeks. Narcissa was desperately trying to study for her midterm exams in the library, pouring over her schoolbooks and wishing that her eyes would stop crossing when she tried to read the words in front of her. She was feeling lightheaded, but as that was something she had learned to deal with a long time ago, she barely noticed it. That didn't mean it made studying any easier though.

She loathed History of Magic, but she knew she had to pass it to get to her fifth year. God, she hated that it was a requirement. It was horrible, really, thinking about next year. She was already feeling the pressure with her schoolwork now, and to have that triple next year just because of O.W.L.s? Sometimes Narcissa wished she could just go to sleep and wake up when school was over. It was only going to get worse, she knew it. She remembered how stressed out Bellatrix got when her O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s came up, and she was the smart one!

Groaning, Narcissa pitched forward until her forehead hit the book on the table. She couldn't do this. Who bloody cared about the Goblin's Rebellion anyway? They were dirty little creatures that in no way deserved to be equal.

Narcissa suddenly felt her head get pushed and it flew off the book, making her forehead hit the table. As Narcissa sat up and winced, she heard laughing behind her. "You going to cry about it, crybaby? Go on, cry for us," one girl mocked her, encouraging her friends to laugh at Narcissa's expense. It was Astraea; a girl Bellatrix constantly undermined all the time at the Slytherin table during meals. Narcissa never really knew why they didn't like each other, the feud apparently started before Narcissa came to school, but it was merely sniping at each other. As far as she knew, Bellatrix never did any real damage to her.

Narcissa tried to ignore her as she rubbed her forehead with one hand, gathering her books up with another. She wasn't going to sit there and take this. Unfortunately, she was shoved down into her seat by a hand on her shoulder. Narcissa was about to reach for her wand before she felt Astraea's wand digging into the back of her neck. "Wouldn't do that if I were you."

"What do you want? I'm trying to study," Narcissa said evenly, refusing to cry even though this was not helping her overwhelmed feeling at all.

"Studying isn't going to help your utter stupidity any," Astraea told her, laughing. Then she mocked Narcissa from earlier in class by screaming in an overly girlish tone: "Oh my god! This plant is trying to kill me! Someone help! I'm useless and don't know my own head from my arse!" Her friends burst out in laugher as she went on, "Everyone knows you don't go near Venomous Tentacula, idiot."

"Sod off!" Narcissa growled as tears sprang to her eyes. She just wanted to disappear.

"What did you say to me?" Astraea snapped, furious. She pushed Narcissa right out of her seat and the moment she hit the floor hard she heard the words,"Furnunculus," leave her lips. Narcissa screamed as boils started to pop up all over her face. It was excruciatingly painful and she covered her face in horror. She was definitely crying now; the tears were stinging her agitated skin.

Then she heard a loud bang as Astraea was blown backwards into a bookshelf. Her friends scattered instantly. Narcissa was too busy crying and trying to get up to know who just took down Astraea. She didn't care; she just needed to get to Madame Pomfrey before anyone else saw her like this. She couldn't bear the thought of the taunts that would surely follow if the rest of the school got wind of this.

Narcissa nearly jumped out of her skin and she let out a scream when she felt hands on her, trying to help her up. "Are you alright?" a boy asked. His voice sounded familiar, but Narcissa wouldn't take her hands off her face to see him. She struggled to get out of his grasp so she could run far, far away.

"I'm fine, just leave me alone," she begged, but he wouldn't let go of her.

"Narcissa, calm down; it's me, Lucius. Let me take you to Madame Pomfrey, she'll be able to take care of you."

Narcissa wanted to scream and punch a wall when she heard it was Lucius. Her first crush seeing her like this? That was worse than it being just some random stranger. Her day had already been shit, but this was the icing on the sodding cake.

"Please, don't. That's… that's kind of you, but I don't want you seeing me like this," Narcissa begged, still desperately trying to cover her face.

"I've had that curse thrown at me more than once," Lucius told her. "Trust me, it's nothing I haven't already seen. And don't worry about Astraea; the blood-traitorous waste of space is out cold. She'll be dealt with properly later though, I promise you. No one of your status should ever have to endure such torment." His voice held the same tone of finality that Bellatrix had when she marked her victims, and for once, Narcissa couldn't find it within herself to care about another's well being.

Lucius' kindness was more than she could handle though. Narcissa was so used to being alone these past few months – her against the world – that the thought of someone caring enough to avenge her brought her to tears. Well, more tears. She tried to speak, but Lucius only shushed her as he gathered up Narcissa's wand and book bag before leading her to the Hospital Wing.

He kept his arm around her shoulders the whole time as they briskly made their way to Madame Pomfrey's. Thankfully, Lucius took the back corridors so they would encounter less people, but the few students they did come across were silenced from their laughter immediately due to Lucius pointing his wand at them, a warning in his eyes.

When they reached the Hospital Wing, Narcissa's tears had died down significantly, but she still felt horribly embarrassed. She didn't have to worry about it much though because immediately her hand was taken by Madame Pomfrey and she was being led to a bed. "Oh dear, that does look nasty. You children and your curses, sometimes I feel like you must have all been raised in a barn! But no matter; sit, sit, dear. I'll have that cleared up in no time, don't you worry." She fluttered off to get her supplies.

Narcissa felt the mattress on the hospital bed compress as Lucius sat next to her. She refused to look at him though, still covering her face with her hands. This was so humiliating. Not only was she being picked on, but now Lucius had to witness it? It was the first time they had really spoken since Bellatrix scared him off, though she never thought he'd come round again once her sister was out of the picture. He had his girlfriends; Narcissa saw them. He always seemed to find one immediately after he tossed the last. While Lucius was her first crush, and while he was being kind to her again, Narcissa had no desire to be the next girl on his laundry list. She couldn't bear to be tossed aside when she already felt so alone.

"I'm fine, really," she whispered, just wishing he would go. "You don't have to stay with me, Lucius. I... I appreciate what you did though. Thank you."

"It should be a crime for someone to try to defile a beauty such as yourself," Lucius told her. That should have made Narcissa feel better, but it just sounded like a line. She didn't feel very beautiful, even when she didn't have the boils.

"You're too kind," she stated politely, but it didn't sound very much like gratitude. She bit her lower lip as she watched Madame Pomfrey come out from her office with a goblet. Narcissa was worried what was inside of it. Lucius was about to say something, but was interrupted by the nurse.

"Here, here, drink up," Madame Pomfrey told her, pushing the goblet into Narcissa's hands. "And for the love of Merlin, don't ask me what's in it."

Narcissa curled up her lip in disgust but hesitantly brought the goblet to her lips. The liquid tasted foul and she coughed after she devoured most of it. The goblet was immediately wrenched from her grasp by Madame Pomfrey. "You'll be good as new come an hour. You're welcome to stay here until then," she told her before skittering off into her office again.

"God, that was foul," Narcissa coughed, wiping her mouth with her sleeve. Then she realized she wasn't covering her face anymore and immediately threw her hands up, shielding her face from Lucius' view as she looked away from him. "I'm fine," she reiterated, hoping he would get the hint.

"Have I done something to offend you, Lady Black?" Lucius asked in the ever-so-polite way that he always spoke to her. It was ridiculous in a way, because she had heard him be less than polite when speaking with his friends, or even his girlfriend of the month.

"Why do you speak to me like that?"


Narcissa sighed, looking out the window. "You know what I mean; you speak to me like I'm royalty. You don't have to flaunt your proper upbringing in my face, I'm already aware of what kind of family you come from. I just don't understand why you would speak to me like you would your Great Aunt when I know that's not how you normally address people."

Lucius smirked. "Trust me, I don't address my Great Aunt in this manner. She's not deserving of such politeness."

"That wasn't an answer."

"You don't like it? I always assumed women of your status enjoyed being spoken to like a Queen. It's what you're worthy of, after all."

"Just stop," Narcissa said, sighing. "I don't know what game you're playing, but I won't be a part of it. I've seen you with many pureblooded girls and not once have you spoken to them like you do me."

"That's because none of them can compare to you," Lucius told her, chuckling a little like the fact that Narcissa would even compare is ridiculous. "They're all tramps; been around the common room more than once. They have no respect for their blood purity and upbringing. You, on the other hand, have stayed pure and chaste."

"Do I have 'virgin' written on my forehead now?!" Narcissa shouted, offended. She pushed him away. "Piss off."

"It was meant as a compliment…" Lucius tried to explain.

"Well it didn't sound like one!" Narcissa exclaimed, finally turning to look at him. She didn't care about the boils anymore. "It sounds like you've slept around, like the whole sodding world has slept around outside of me; like I'm some kind of freak for wanting to stay pure for my husband! So what of your bloody purity and upbringing, Lucius? Were you not expected to stay pure for your future wife? How can you desire qualities in me that you couldn't bear to hold yourself?"

"Because I admire your strength."

Narcissa rolled her eyes. That was such a weak answer. She turned away from him, folding her arms across her chest and looking out the window. "If you're only chatting me up to take my chastity, look elsewhere. I'm not interested in being another one of your nameless, faceless whores. Unlike you, I stick to my resolve."

"That's not…" Lucius started, then sighed. He knew he was getting nowhere fast. "Sod it," he mumbled before he took Narcissa's hand in his, making her turn to face him. "You don't understand, Narcissa," he started. "I admire you for not bringing shame to your family by breaking tradition. There are so few purebloods that are able to stay untouched before marriage. I'm not taunting you, nor putting you down. I think it's an admirable quality, and very impressive. I think you'd make a wonderful wife one day."

"What are you saying?" Narcissa asked, suspiciously.

Lucius suddenly looked alarmed. "Oh, no! I wasn't proposing or anything, you're too young, that would be—"

"Good," Narcissa cut him off. "Because I'm not going to be married off to someone I have no feelings for; I saw what it did to my sister."

Lucius looked like she wounded his pride. "No feelings?"

"I didn't mean…" Narcissa started, then sighed. "Lucius, you're a fine boy and I'm sure you're going to grow up to be a wonderful man and husband, and while you may be attractive and kind to me, marriage is moving far too fast. I want to be in love before I marry, don't you?" She knew how it felt to be in love because of Bellatrix and she so desperately wanted that for her marriage as well. She wanted to be swept off her feet.

Lucius looked a little taken aback by that question. "I've never given it much thought, honestly. We marry for power, not for love. You know it's a fool's errand, surely."

"I'm aware, but you've never wanted something more than that?" Narcissa asked him. "You've never felt like you deserved that? I know what we're expected to do, it was drilled into my head as a child as I'm sure it was yours, but that doesn't mean there can't be love along with it."

"You speak foolishly."

"Maybe, but at least I have enough of a mind to dream. What do you dream of, Lucius?" Lucius said nothing and Narcissa nodded. "That's what I thought."

Lucius was quiet for a long time before he finally spoke. "So a year from now, you would not accept my hand in marriage if I asked?"

Narcissa almost gave herself whiplash by how fast she turned her head to look at him. "Excuse me?"

"I know it's not proper to ask until a lady is fifteen, but you may as well be forewarned that you are the only woman that has caught my eye that I've deemed worthy enough for marriage. You captivated me when you were twelve, Narcissa. I knew then that you would be the woman I would marry."

Narcissa stood up abruptly, feeling like her breath had been taken from her. For all her preaching to Bellatrix about how she would do the right thing and marry a pureblooded boy with no complaints, she finally knew how she felt to be backed into a wall. Lucius was a good match, surely, and she may have daydreamed of marrying him when she was twelve, but that seemed so long ago. So much had happened since then, she and Lucius had barely even spoken since then, and now the first time they do he springs that on her? She suddenly realized how Bellatrix felt; to have no choice in the matter.

"So you'd trap me into something even if you knew I didn't desire it?" she asked him, her breathing heavier as she refused to look at him.

"You'd decline then?" Lucius sounded a little crestfallen.

"You tosser! You know just as well as I do that I'm not in the position to decline!" Narcissa screamed at him, rounding on him finally. He took two steps back at her rage.

"I didn't mean to upset you, I thought you'd be pleased…"

"Pleased?" Narcissa repeated venomously. "Pleased? Oh, yes, I'm so pleased to know that there's no hope of me leading my own life, or of falling in love of my own accord. Yes, that's positively lovely."

"No, Narcissa, that isn't—" Lucius tried, suddenly looking so much like the boy he was and not like the man he pretended to be. "I'm doing this all wrong, aren't I?"

"Do you think?" Narcissa snapped.

"I… I apologize," Lucius stuttered, his cool demeanor suddenly shattering in front of her eyes. He looked so nervous and overwhelmed. "I shouldn't have said anything. I won't ask for your hand if that's not what you want. You have my word."

Narcissa set her jaw and just stared at him.

"I… bloody hell, you're difficult," he muttered, exasperated. That only made her glare at him more. "I'm sorry," Lucius repeated, looking up at her. "I only meant to ask you out, not cause you distress. I went about it all wrong and I sincerely apologize."

"We've barely spoken in years and suddenly you want to ask me on a date when my face is covered in boils?"

"No! I mean yes, I did… do. I just… Christ. Narcissa, I've liked you since I was thirteen. I only stayed away from you because your sister's wrath was something I wasn't prepared to deal with."

"So you're a coward then?" Narcissa countered.

"I was only a boy!" Lucius exclaimed. "Your sister was older and you may not see it, but she's positively terrifying. And while I'm not excited to face her wrath again, I'm prepared for it this time. I truly think you're breathtaking, Narcissa, boils or not, and I'd be honored if you'd give me the pleasure of a date."

Narcissa couldn't handle this. Too much had happened over the past few months for her to even begin to think about dating someone. "Well I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to politely decline," Narcissa told him, hoping her voice wasn't shaking. She felt so overwhelmed. "I appreciate the offer, but maybe your affections are better suited towards someone else."

"Narcissa!" Lucius called out after her, but Narcissa walked away from him then, never looking back.

She knew she was being stupid; a nice, pureblood boy whom everyone desired practically proposed to her and the only thing she wanted to do was run away. It was what she dreamed of her whole life, but when faced with the reality of it, it only made her feel suffocated. She didn't want to be married off to the highest bidder, she wanted love; real, true, head over heels love. But that love belonged to her sister and to her sister alone. The chances of her finding it in Lucius or in any other suitor for that matter, was slim to none. It was such a devastating thought.

Narcissa knew she was destined to be forced into a loveless marriage, but that didn't mean she still didn't hold feeble hopes regardless.


*Chapter 15*: Chapter Fifteen


The second of December couldn't come fast enough.

Thankfully Narcissa's birthday landed on a weekend, so she would be able to spend the actual day, Saturday, with Bellatrix instead of a few days before or after. People rarely left school on the weekends even though there weren't any classes, but that didn't mean it wasn't allowed if an adult relative wanted to pull her out, just as long as she was back to school by Monday.

Bellatrix had written ahead to the Headmaster, informing him that she would be taking Narcissa for her birthday. Professor Slughorn escorted Narcissa down to Hogsmeade on Friday afternoon after her classes were finished to meet her sister in The Three Broomsticks. The moment she saw Bellatrix she ran to her, jumping into her arms and holding onto her like she never wanted to let her go. God, she never realized how much she missed being in her sister's arms until then.

"Cissy?" Bellatrix asked softly, her smile fading when she noticed her sister's distress. Narcissa was on the verge of tears. "What's wrong?"

"Let's just get out of here," Narcissa whispered, her face buried in Bellatrix's neck. "Please."

"Alright…" Bellatrix nodded, kissing her sister's forehead. "Hold on tight, yeah?" Bellatrix encouraged her. Narcissa nodded and grasped the other woman tightly before her sister turned on the spot, apparating out of the pub. It felt like Narcissa's stomach was being turned inside out and that her head was spinning, but suddenly her feet found solid ground. Narcissa nearly collapsed, but Bellatrix caught her just before she hit the ground. "Whoa, are you alright? I know it can be a little disorienting the first time."

Narcissa felt so incredibly weak. She had already felt lightheaded all day because she couldn't find it in herself to eat the last couple of days. Everything that happened in the last few months just completely overwhelmed her and Lucius' half-proposal was the icing on the cake. Narcissa wanted nothing more than to see her sister and now that she had, it was almost too much for her to emotionally handle. She started crying.

"Cissy, what happened?" Bellatrix asked, gathering her sister up in her arms and leading her over to the bed in their suite. Narcissa just laid down on her side, curled into a ball, and was unable to find her voice. She just stared at her, tears streaming down her cheeks. Bellatrix knelt down in front of her, stroking her cheek and wiping away the tears with her thumb. She hated seeing her like his. "Tell me what's wrong," Bellatrix whispered, searching Narcissa's eyes.

Narcissa's voice broke as she told her in a whisper, "Everything…" She looked away from her, wiping her tears on her robes as she sat up. She didn't want to ruin the little time she had with Bellatrix. Running her fingers through her tangled hair and letting out a shuddered breath, Narcissa shook her head before her eyebrows knitted in confusion and she looked around the room, almost like she only just realized where she was. She tried to change the subject. "You paid for this already, yeah?" With her sister, she could never be sure how she got anything anymore.

"Of course, I checked in just before I picked you up," Bellatrix told her as she sat on the end of the bed. She watched Narcissa slowly pick herself up and get off the bed, walking over to the window. What she saw nearly took her breath away. God, Paris was beautiful.

Narcissa wrapped her arms around herself as she stared at the setting sun in the distance. She tried to smile, but it only furthered her sadness as she found it felt so foreign to her face. She blinked as she felt Bellatrix come up behind her, wrapping her arms around her waist and leaning her chin on her shoulder. "Tell me what's wrong, love," she whispered before kissing her cheek.

"I just missed you…" Narcissa whispered, placing her hands over Bellatrix's that lay on her stomach. Her voice broke as she admitted. "So much…"

"I missed you too," Bellatrix breathed in her ear before placing her lips delicately on her neck. But when she pulled away she coaxed Narcissa to turn around and face her as she added seriously, "But I know that's not all that's wrong. You look wretched, Narcissa." The bluntness of that statement took the blonde aback for a moment. "Have you been eating? Sleeping? I mean, my God, you look like I could knock you over with a feather."

Narcissa pulled away from her, feeling her stomach drop from her sister's assessment of her looks. She needed to hear she was beautiful from her more than anything, and that looked like it wasn't going to happen. Narcissa didn't understand. She lost had weight; shouldn't she be more beautiful now? Then again, when she looked in the mirror the last thing she saw was beauty, so maybe it was foolish to believe that someone else would.

"I'm eating fine," Narcissa lied as she crossed the room to sit on the bed again. She picked at the duvet self-consciously. "I just… haven't been sleeping really well as of late."

Bellatrix looked at her skeptically, but let it go. She followed Narcissa over to the bed, sitting down next to her before pulling the blonde towards her. Bellatrix rested her forehead against hers. "If anyone's hurting you, Cissy, I promise you I'll make them pay." The heat from her palms warmed Narcissa's cheeks and a lone tear fell from her eye, landing on the back of Bellatrix's hand.

"Then you'd have to kill half the sodding school," Narcissa told her honestly, sighing. Bellatrix's eyes flashed and Narcissa closed her own before pulling away. "Just forget it, please. I can handle it. I'm a big girl now, you know."

She didn't feel very much like a big girl though.

"Clearly you can't handle it, look at you!" Bellatrix exclaimed, grasping Narcissa's hands in hers. "What's going on, Cissy? Seriously." She gave her a sad smile and brushed some of the hair away from Narcissa's face, cupping her cheek again as her eyes searched hers. "I saw you three months ago and you look like a completely different person now."

"You left me alone, that's what happened!" Narcissa shouted, looking at her sister angrily as she wrenched her face away from her. "You left me alone and now everyone that hates you is taking their rage out on me. Mum is practically unbearable, I'm failing most of my classes, and I nearly got proposed to and I just… I can't handle this! I don't want to go back to school, Bella! I don't! I just want to run away and never look back."

"Who proposed to you?!" Bellatrix asked, rage filling her eyes. Of course that was the only part of the explanation she paid any attention to. "You're not even of the proper age! What sodding prick is trying to defile my little sister?!"

"It doesn't matter, does it? And I didn't say he did, only nearly. He plans to next year. Or he was, I don't know. I think I probably shattered the image he had of me of being this perfectly bred pureblood after I called him a tosser and shouted at him," Narcissa told her, sighing as she ran her fingers through her hair. "My whole sodding life is falling apart and I don't know what to do."

"What's his name?" Bellatrix asked, voice dangerously calm. "Tell me."

Narcissa just looked at her sister disbelievingly. "I tell you there are people being horrible to me and your biggest worry is who plans to marry me? Do you think of nothing else but trying to keep me all to yourself? You know that's impossible, so I don't know why you insist on trying."

"You're too young for marriage! And don't worry about those other ingrates; they'll be dealt with, all right? I promise you, Cissy, no one is going to hurt you. You know I can't bear to see you in pain."

Narcissa gave her a soft smile. "I know that. But you can't kill everyone who treats me wrong. You do know that, don't you?"

Sometimes she wondered.

"I don't know why you're so against murder," Bellatrix said, like it was something as casual as doing the laundry. Narcissa looked at her in disbelief.

"You're joking, aren't you? Tell me you're just having a laugh." God, she really didn't want to know what Bellatrix did now that she was out of school, did she?

Bellatrix rolled her eyes, sighing like Narcissa was the one whose head was on backwards. "Cissy, one day you'll understand—"

"Oh don't give me that load of crap, Bellatrix. You know it's wrong, you know it is. You just get off on other people's pain like some kind of sadistic psychopath."

Bellatrix stared at her, her face unchanged. Narcissa knew she probably shouldn't have said that, but it was the truth wasn't it? Finally Bellatrix bit the inside of her cheek and smirked, leaning back on her elbows. She was taking this incredibly well. "Two in a pair, love. If I'm a sadist then you're a masochist." Narcissa narrowed her eyes at her but Bellatrix shrugged and went on casually, "It's a kill or be killed world, Narcissa. Power is only available to those who take it by force, not ask for it nicely. It's something you'd do well to learn if you'd like to take care of your bully problem, since you seem so against me fixing it for you." She smirked again and cocked her head at Narcissa. "Unless the masochist in you enjoys being picked on."

"Of course I don't!" Narcissa protested. "But I don't want people to fear me either. I just…" she sighed. "I just want to be left alone. Why can't everyone just leave me alone? I want to be invisible; that'd be nice."

"You're too beautiful for that, love. You know it," Bellatrix told her. "You're always going to attract attention, whether good or bad. It's what you do with that attention that defines who you are."

"I don't want to define anything about myself, I just want to be nobody," Narcissa whispered, barely audible. She looked down at the space between them, wishing that she didn't come here with her angst-filled teenage issues. This was supposed to be a nice time for them.

Narcissa felt the bed shift as Bellatrix crawled towards her. Then she felt her chin being tipped up and before she knew it her sister was kissing her so forcefully that it knocked her backwards. When Bellatrix broke the kiss, now on top of her, she looked in her sister's eyes and told her seriously, "You could never be a nobody. Not to me."

Narcissa gave her a small smile, looking up at her. She was so breathtakingly beautiful. Tucking a fallen curl behind Bellatrix's ear she whispered, "...I know."

Bellatrix returned her smile and told her, "So stop being so depressing, yeah? Come on, I got a whole weekend planned." She sat up, grabbing one of Narcissa's hands and pulling her up. "We'll talk about the heavy stuff later and I'll make my hit list." Narcissa looked like she was about to protest that but Bellatrix smirked and cut her off with a kiss. When she pulled back she whispered against her lips, "Let's just pretend for a second that the rest of the world fucked off and nothing's wrong."

Narcissa pursed her lips before looking up at her under her lashes. "Pretend that we can be together for real?" she asked hesitantly, hopefully.

Bellatrix grinned, "Exactly. We're in Paris, love. No one here knows us. We can do whatever we want. We can go on dates and hold hands and all that romantic rubbish you're into and then after we can shag all over this bloody hotel so hard that we knock it to the ground. It's probably in need of some redecorating anyway."

Narcissa giggled, a slight blush adorning her cheeks as she ducked her head down. Bellatrix grinned and leaned in, tipping her chin up and kissing her sweetly before asking, "You'd like that?"

"Yeah," Narcissa admitted. But then her stomach sank a little as she realized that it wasn't just the fact that they were sisters that was condemned, it was the fact that they were both women in general. Her face fell.

"What's wrong?" Bellatrix asked, noting the change.

"We can't do those things, Bella. Go on dates and hold hands and stuff; not in public. We're still both girls."

Bellatrix chuckled. "You don't know much about the French, do you?"

"What?" Narcissa asked, confused. Bellatrix smiled excitedly, and Narcissa realized for the first time that she missed how innocent she looked when she did that. Bellatrix rarely looked innocent anymore.

"Come on, get up," Bellatrix prodded as she got off the bed. "Get dressed; put on your sexiest clothes. We're going out."

Narcissa didn't really have anything that constituted as 'sexy', but ended up putting on a deep blue dress that Bellatrix magically hemmed to make it ungodly short. Narcissa nearly had a panic attack after that, insisting she was going to look like a trollop but Bellatrix just laughed and told her, "You are a trollop, love." That earned her a smack on the arm. She certainly was not.

Narcissa nearly fainted when she saw Bellatrix's chosen attire; a corset and some skintight pants that Mother would have surely killed her for wearing. Women shouldn't wear pants, they're for men. Narcissa had to admit though, they looked absolutely amazing on her sister. Where she got such attire though, Narcissa didn't want to know. She looked like a complete slag and Narcissa didn't understand how she was comfortable leaving the hotel like that, but when Bellatrix slid on a long black overcoat that covered most of her outfit and then handed one to Narcissa, the younger girl felt a little more comfortable.

She was worried about where they were going though. Dressed like this, they would surely get thrown from any pub they walked into, but Bellatrix was persistent.

Feeling incredibly foolish, Narcissa held tightly to her coat so no one would see how short her dress was as they walked through the small wizarding village. Bellatrix held her other hand tightly, guiding her down a dark, back alley. "Bella, this doesn't look very safe," Narcissa whispered. She never liked the dark, or what could be lurking in it.

"Relax, I'd never let anything hurt you," Bellatrix told her before they stopped at an unmarked building. Narcissa looked at her, confused.

"Are we still in the wizarding area?" she asked skeptically. She didn't want to be subjected to a bunch of muggles.

"What do you take me as? Of course we are."

"But… what is it?" Narcissa asked, looking up at the building. All the windows had been painted black. It looked like a sodding murder house. Narcissa shivered instinctively.

"Open the door and find out," Bellatrix said with a smirk. Narcissa glanced at her sister out of the corner of her eye, knowing she could trust her to keep her safe, but she wasn't exactly trusting that Bellatrix wouldn't put her in an unsafe situation either. However, she swallowed her nerves and opened the door, stepping inside.

It looked like an abandoned building, but she could hear music in the distance. Bellatrix grabbed her hand and said, "This way." She led her down a couple corridors until they opened a door, leading Narcissa into a large room where all the action seemed to be happening.

Narcissa nearly choked on her own breath.

It was… utter madness, was what it was. Sweaty, half-naked people dancing and drinking and fucking everywhere. Narcissa stared in wide-eyed horror. "Oh, oh my God. Oh my God, oh my God!" she exclaimed, yet her shouting was barely heard over the loud music. She could see Bellatrix laughing out of the corner of her eye though.

"What is this? What… what…what?" Narcissa couldn't wrap her head around it, it was like her brain had broken in half. She was staring at two women who were kissing passionately while another man shagged the one on top from behind. Narcissa immediately threw her hand up over her eyes, horrified. Though that wasn't as bad as another man floating in mid air by use of the Wingardium Leviosa spell, his feet and hands bound. While on one hand it was impressive that someone could make a man that had to be at least fifteen stones levitate (Narcissa could barely make a feather float), it was disturbing to see his cock hanging out over the crowd. "Oh my god, I'm so going to hell. Everyone in this bloody room is going to hell."

Bellatrix laughed some more, pulling a stunned Narcissa by her hand into the room and over to the bar. Narcissa sat where she was placed, mouth still agape and unable to really move properly on her own. She was staring at Bellatrix wide-eyed.

"It's a sex club, Cissy," Bellatrix said, stating the obvious with a laugh before turning to the bartender. "Two firewhiskeys."

The bartender looked at Narcissa suspiciously. "What are you playing at? This girl looks fifteen, if that." He looked her up and down, assessing her, and Narcissa flushed guiltily.

"She's seventeen, alright? And stop looking at my girl like that or I'll tear your sodding eyes from their sockets. So just pour us a drink, yeah? Do your job," Bellatrix snapped, giving him a look of fierce warning.

The bartender just muttered as he turned away to make the drinks, "Whatever, not my head on a platter if this goes wrong. I don't get paid enough for this shit."

When the two drinks were in front of them, Bellatrix didn't even have to tell Narcissa to drink up. She took it and swallowed it down in one go, knowing she would have to be drunk to deal with this. Why would Bellatrix take her here? This place was foul. The stuff they do here should be illegal.

"This is making me uncomfortable," Narcissa told Bellatrix finally, refusing to look at any of the half-naked people.

"Oh relax, you need a bit of fun in your life, and you said you wanted to go somewhere where no one would judge us for us both being women, right? Well, this is it." She signaled for the bartender to get them two more drinks and slid one over to Narcissa.

"How did you even find this place?" Narcissa asked, horrified. Something like this should never be brought up in civilized conversation.

Bellatrix smirked. "Lucius."

Narcissa choked on her liquor. When she stopped coughing, Bellatrix was laughing. "Sorry, your face… that was bloody priceless. No, Rosier told me. He's got a bit of kink in him, apparently. Told him I'd cut his bollocks off if he told Rodolphus where I was going though. I think the message got across."

"That's disturbing," Narcissa told her flatly. "This is disturbing."

"The world is disturbing, love. We just live in it," Bellatrix told her before she turned back to the bartender and slapped five galleons on the table. "Just give us the bottle." With that kind of tip, the bartender handed over the bottle without a word of protest. Narcissa just shook her head at her sister, disbelievingly.

"I can't do this, Bella. I can't be here. It's… frightening. Immoral. Disgusting." Bellatrix was about to retort when Narcissa went on, "I mean, my God, how…? Do you just expect for us to shag in front of other people? I won't do that!"

"Oh my god, don't be such a child," Bellatrix groaned, rolling her eyes. "They have rooms, if you really want privacy. But first, you…are going to drink this entire bottle." She held out the half-filled bottle of firewhiskey to her sister with a wicked grin. Narcissa held up her hands.

"Oh no. No. Bellatrix, that's going to get me completely narked."

"Point in case, love. Drink up." She shoved the bottle in Narcissa's hands. "You need to get sloshed more often anyway, you're too uptight. Have a bit of fun with me, yeah? It's your birthday."

"Tomorrow," Narcissa pointed out.

"And it's about to become tomorrow in a couple hours, so no time like now to get a start on it. Come on," Bellatrix said, grabbing her hand and pulling her through the sea of sweaty, naked, drunken people to get to a back room. Narcissa felt like she was going to have to take the longest shower in existence once they left this place. When they got to the private room, Bellatrix pushed Narcissa onto the bed before closing the door behind her and climbing on top of her, taking off her coat and throwing it to the ground.

"Why can't you just take me out like I'm a normal person?" Narcissa complained.

"What, like dinner? That's boring. Besides, I can't fuck you on the table after we're done eating." She grinned at her, but Narcissa only rolled her eyes at her before taking a swig of the whiskey.

"You're intolerable sometimes, do you know that?"

"Why's that?"

"Because now that you've gotten in my knickers that's all you want. To shag me. You're worse than a man," Narcissa told her bluntly before taking another swig of the burning liquid.

"Actually, I haven't been able to properly shag you, so don't play like I have. You're still technically a virgin, are you not?" Bellatrix countered before grabbing the whiskey out of her hand and tipping it back, devouring much more than one person should be allotted to swallow. She coughed for a moment before running her thumb across her bottom lip, wiping off the stray drops of liquid. "But I play nice, don't screw you properly even though you definitely need a good popping. So don't give me shit for only having a taste when I'm not allowed the whole cake."

"I'm not cake," Narcissa protested grumpily. Bellatrix smirked and leaned down, kissing her softly before whispering:

"You taste like it."

Narcissa reddened and forgot what she was arguing about. She stared up at Bellatrix, her eyes trailing over her flushed face to her heaving bosom. Then she furrowed her eyebrows. "How can you even breathe in that thing?" she asked, indicating the corset. Bellatrix smirked.

"Why don't you take it off me then, if you're so concerned for my breathing habits."

Narcissa stared at the corset and its many latches and laces, perplexed. "Honestly, I wouldn't have the first clue how." Bellatrix chuckled.

"Then take off your clothes. I suspect you know how to do that without step-by-step instruction?" Narcissa narrowed her eyes before grabbing Bellatrix's shoulder and pulling her down roughly. Bellatrix let out a shout of surprise, but didn't protest any longer when their positions were reversed and Narcissa was now on top of her, straddling her stomach.

But Narcissa didn't look like she wanted to play games. She looked at Bellatrix a little vulnerably and the brunette's face fell, suddenly realizing the truth. "You don't like it here, do you?" Narcissa shook her head back and forth, her blonde hair flying all over the place, and Bellatrix sighed.

"I'm sorry, but all this? This isn't me. It may be you, but I can't… I can't be so forward with my sexuality like you can be. Sometimes I wish I could, but I don't think it'll ever happen."

Bellatrix looked crestfallen; she obviously thought this was a perfect present.

Narcissa gave her a sympathetic look and leaned down, kissing her sweetly on the lips. When she pulled back she told her softly, "If you want to have sex with me, we can do it back at the hotel, behind closed doors. I'm not with you to be treated like a common prostitute, Bella. I'm with you because you love me. I want to be able to feel that when you touch me, and not the alcohol running through my veins as you take me in what I'm sure would be in a demeaning and immoral way if we were to do it here."

"It's only demeaning and immoral if you construe it as such, Cissy. My love for you wouldn't fade no matter what position we have sex in," Bellatrix told her honestly. She sighed, looking over at the wall. "I'm sorry; I thought you'd enjoy being somewhere where our love wouldn't be judged."

"Everyone's constantly judging one other, Bella. Wherever we are… that doesn't change that fact. I judged at least ten people when I stepped in here and I'm sure you did the same. Some of them have no business being naked in public, that's for sure."

Bellatrix laughed. "True. Did you see that fat bastard with that girl that looked barely seventeen? Pedo central; fucking sick."

"Says the chronic masturbator to a picture of me when I was, what, nine?" Narcissa retorted, but lightly. She only meant to poke fun.

Bellatrix's face darkened. "It was the only picture I had of you at the time, alright? I wasn't getting off on you being young or anything!"

"I don't care, honestly," Narcissa told her softly. Bellatrix looked at her disbelievingly. "Really, I don't. I promise you. I know you were just doing it because of me and not because of my age. You have your flaws, Bella, but lusting after children isn't one of them."

"You're still a child," Bellatrix pointed out.

"We're four years apart; it's not that radical of a difference. You're barely an adult yourself."

"I am so an adult!" Bellatrix protested loudly, offended. Narcissa laughed at how easily that offended her and how much that one statement actually made her sound less like an adult, and she leaned down, kissing her on the forehead.

"Sure you are."

"I am! I have a house now and everything, thank you," Bellatrix huffed. Narcissa giggled as she climbed off of her sister, holding her hand out to her.

"Come on; let's go back to the hotel. You can prove how 'adult' you are there, if you wish."

Bellatrix smirked wickedly and promised, "Oh, I will…"


*Chapter 16*: Chapter Sixteen


The way Bellatrix had touched her last night was perfect. And that was what Narcissa needed - perfection. She needed to feel loved and appreciated and not like she was just another means to her sister's controlling ends. She knew Bellatrix had liked the sex club, and why wouldn't she? Her sister was an uncontrollable being of energy and lust so of course she'd enjoy a place where she was allowed to go wild and not have a care in the world about it, but that wasn't Narcissa. That place just made her feel more out of control, when control was all she craved in life.

Narcissa never had control when it came to Bellatrix though; at least, not in the grander sense. She had been able to control Bellatrix's mood swings with the use of sexual favors to 'release the demon', in a way, but most of her life, it was always her following Bellatrix around, doing what she said, what she wanted. She wasn't complaining about it though, not really. She felt safe with Bellatrix. Even when her sister was off the rails and Narcissa wasn't sure who she even was anymore, she knew Bellatrix would always protect her. Maybe that was why she felt so out of control at school this year; without Bellatrix around, she had no one to give that control to. And Narcissa clearly wasn't very good at controlling anything in her own life by herself, but probably only because she had never really had the chance to. She had become a creature of habit, it seemed.

Bellatrix had made her touch the stars last night though. Her strong fingers caressed her skin, her lips exciting every nerve ending. There was complete adoration in Bellatrix's gaze as she whispered sweet nothings into Narcissa's ear. Love, beauty, perfection; so many things Narcissa needed to hear, needed to feel. And after the fourth time she had come that night, Narcissa looked up into her sister's flushed face and wished more than anything that they could live the rest of their lives like this, here, together. Forever.

They were foolish hopes.

When Narcissa awoke, she was startled to find that Bellatrix wasn't in the bed with her. Her hand blindly searched for her until she realized she was gone. She opened her eyes and sat straight up in bed, worried. Bellatrix was usually the one who overslept. Where could she have gone?

Her first thought was that she was called away by those horrible Death Eaters, which made her worry more about where she could be and what kind of dangerous situation she could be in. She didn't know much about the group of course, but from what she did know, she was painfully aware that they went about trying to achieve this new order by violent means. She could still remember hearing the pride in Rodolphus' voice when he suspected Bellatrix had killed Roxanne. No one should ever be proud of such a thing. No one.

Narcissa found she could breathe though when Bellatrix finally came through the door. "Where were you?" Narcissa asked immediately, fearing the worst.

"I was down in the kitchens, telling those useless house elves to get a move on with breakfast because I'm sodding starving," Bellatrix told her as she closed the door behind her. She looked over Narcissa's naked body that was only half covered by the blankets and smirked. "You better put on some clothes before it comes up, unless you want to give the servants an eyeful."

As if on cue, a loud crack was heard as a house elf apparated into the room, a tray of food in its hands. Narcissa quickly covered her breasts with the blankets and blushed.

"What you ordered, Miss," the house elf squeaked, placing the tray on the small table in the corner of the room. "We hope it is to your liking!"

"It better be. Leave us," Bellatrix replied, waving her hand to dismiss the house elf. It bowed before it disapparated with another loud crack. Bellatrix turned to Narcissa then, smiling. "Breakfast in bed?"

The smell of pancakes and biscuits assaulted Narcissa's senses, but instead of making her hungry, it sickened her. She smiled at her sister softly and shook her head. "Thank you, but I'm alright."

Bellatrix cocked an eyebrow at her. "You haven't eaten since you've been at Hogwarts, you must be hungry."

"I had a little something in the middle of the night," Narcissa lied easily. "All the alcohol upset my stomach and I couldn't sleep, so I had some biscuits to settle my stomach."

"Are you sure that's all you need?" Bellatrix asked, looking at her a little suspiciously. "There's a lot of food here. It couldn't hurt to just have a little more in your stomach before lunchtime."

"I'm fine," Narcissa stressed, giggling a little to try to sway her suspicion. "Trust me, I ate like five last night; I'm more than okay at the moment, but don't let me stop you from eating."

Her eating habits were the only control Narcissa had in her life, so she wasn't going to let them go easily, even for Bellatrix's sake. It was something that made her feel almost proud of herself, and she had so few things to be proud of in her life.

Bellatrix shrugged, letting it go. "Suit yourself," she said as she walked over to Narcissa, leaning down to give her a sweet kiss. "Happy birthday," she whispered against her lips. Narcissa smiled.

After Bellatrix was done eating and Narcissa had dressed for the day, Bellatrix situated herself behind her sister as she started to brush her hair for her. It was something so sweet in its simplicity and Narcissa loved it; it was almost calming for her. She closed her eyes as Bellatrix alternated running the brush and her fingers through her hair.

"I wish we could stay here forever," Narcissa whispered finally.

Bellatrix's hand stilled for a moment and she paused. She took a breath and leaned forward, kissing the top of Narcissa's head, but didn't say anything before she started to brush her hair again. Narcissa bit her bottom lip.

"You don't?" she asked hesitantly.

"I've just… stopped wishing," Bellatrix told her softly. "It'll never be, so why bother with hope?" Narcissa frowned and looked at the blankets in front of her. She shrugged lightly.

"Because then I don't feel like I'm dying inside?"

"You're not dying, Cissy," Bellatrix told her patiently. "You're just being an angst-ridden teenager. Trust me, I was at your age as well."

"Don't dismiss my feelings like that," Narcissa told her, narrowing her eyes.

"I'm not dismissing your feelings. I know that you feel lost and I'm sorry I'm not around to keep your feet on the ground. It makes me feel sodding horrible and like a bad sister because you were the one to keep me from feeling so out of control, and now I can't be there to help you feel the same."

It was strange how adult Bellatrix could sound sometimes. Narcissa was so used to the out-of-control teenager that she was and the childlike madness she had when she got into her 'other' state, that to hear her sound so grounded about something was strange.

"When did you grow up?" Narcissa asked, almost in wonderment.

Bellatrix chuckled and leaned in, turning her head to kiss Narcissa on the cheek. "When I fell in love with you."

Narcissa's smile was ear to ear and she turned her head, connecting her lips with Bellatrix's for a moment. When they broke, Bellatrix told her, "You're the reason I'm alive, Cissy. You're the only thing in my life that makes me feel normal… happy. Without you, I don't know what kind of person I'd be right now."

"A crazy person," Narcissa answered with a teasing smirk. Bellatrix laughed softly.

"Yeah, probably."

They stared at each other for a moment, smiling until they naturally faded. But then concern crossed Narcissa's features and she reached up, caressing Bellatrix's face. "Do you ever worry? That… it'll become permanent? The changes?"

Bellatrix let out a breath and ran her fingers through her hair, a clear sign that she wasn't very comfortable with this conversation. She shrugged idly and replied softly, "I don't know. I try not to think about it." She paused before asking hesitantly, "Do you? Ever worry, I mean."

Narcissa gave her a sympathetic, yet sad smile. "Every day of my life," she whispered. A pained look crossed Bellatrix's face and Narcissa went on, "I'm afraid that you'll have no need for love if that day comes. Then what's to become of me?"

"I'll always need love, Narcissa," Bellatrix told her seriously. "I think I'll especially need it when that time comes."

Narcissa was quiet for a moment, assessing that. "So… you believe it will become permanent?"

"Don't you? You know it's getting worse with time."

"Can I ask you something?" Narcissa asked, looking up at her hesitantly. Bellatrix nodded. "What do you… what do you do when that happens now? I'm not around to fix it anymore."

Bellatrix held up her hand immediately shaking her head, "No. Don't ask me that, Cissy. Please."


"Because you don't want to know, that's why!" Bellatrix snapped forcefully. Narcissa immediately withdrew her body from her due to the force of her tone. A dark look crossed her features.

"So you're either hurting people or sleeping with someone else? Is that it?"

"Cissy, please. Let's not do this now, okay? It's your birthday," Bellatrix told her, sighing. "Let's not ruin it with things that don't matter."

"Of course they matter, Bella! You're my sister and I love you and we need to find another way to handle your problem because you can't be…" she trailed off, not sure if she should finish the sentence.

"I can't be receiving help from someone else, you mean? What would you like me to do, Cissy? Just stay that way until I see you?" Bellatrix snapped impatiently.

"Of course not! But there must be another way to rid that part of you without sex or violence."

It was horrible, but part of her hoped she was doing it with violence. She didn't think she could bear the thought of Bellatrix sleeping with someone else.

"Well I have yet to find another way, but if you have any ideas, I'm all ears, Princess," Bellatrix retorted, annoyed with the way this conversation turned.

"Well, I don't know! Have you tried yoga?" Narcissa asked, flustered.

Bellatrix snorted. "I don't think she'd like yoga very much, do you? She doesn't like anything besides pain and orgasms. Yoga is neither."

Narcissa gave her a disapproving look. "You, Bella. Not 'she'."

"Why does it matter what I call her…me when I'm like that?"

"Because you disassociate. That's not healthy."

"As opposed to what you're doing?" Bellatrix countered.

"What am I doing?"

"I don't know, but you certainly are doing something unhealthy! Look at you; you're losing weight at a horrifying rate. You look like you lost at least a stone, and it's only been a few months!"

"Maybe my metabolism sped up," Narcissa snapped. "I'm a growing girl. Besides, what's it to you how much I weigh? Last I checked, it's my body. And I haven't lost a stone, maybe ten pounds at most, so don't exaggerate."

"Yeah, fine, it's your body; one that's going to wither away into nothing if you don't stop whatever it is you're doing," Bellatrix retorted.

"I'm not doing anything!" Narcissa lied. "Stop trying to change the subject."

"You're a lying sack, Narcissa. Homemade weight loss potions can be dangerous, especially when I know how rubbish you are in Potions."

"I'm not taking any potions!" Narcissa argued. "And shut up, will you? Get off of my back; I'm not the one with a serious problem, here!"

"Why do you always do this?" Bellatrix asked angrily, throwing her hands up in the air, exasperated. "Why do you always have to fight with me? It's like you enjoy getting me angry."

"I'm worried!" Narcissa protested. "I wasn't trying to fight, I just want you to be okay. Is that a crime now?"

"Of course not, but you always have to start some kind of argument whenever we get together; I'm so sick of it. Can't we just be happy? Sod all the other bullshit right now; we only have one more day together so can you please stop ruining it?"

"I don't always start an argument," Narcissa muttered under her breath, annoyed. She furiously picked at the blankets, tearing off the lint fuzz. "You're sleeping with someone else; of course I'm going to get pissed off."

"I'm not sleeping with anyone else!" Bellatrix exclaimed, exasperated. "Okay? I'm not. So can we just leave it now? Please."

Narcissa bit the inside of her cheek, not knowing if she should believe her. But she didn't want to fight either. Bellatrix was right; they had such little time together, it shouldn't be ruined. She sighed, pitching forward to lay her head on Bellatrix's shoulder. Her sister put an arm around her and kissed the top of her head. They were both silent for a long time.

"So… how's married life?" Narcissa asked hesitantly, trying to change the subject. It was the first thing that popped into her head.

"Ruddy boring, for the most part," Bellatrix told her, shrugging. "I don't want a job or anything, but something to do during the day would be lovely. The house elf cleans and cooks, so thankfully I don't have to worry about that, but… I don't know. I'm just bored a lot."

"Are you and Rodolphus going to try for children?" Narcissa asked, needing to know but worried about the answer seeing as how they would have to go about doing that.

Bellatrix laughed. "God, no. We talked about that; we both decided that children would just be an unnecessary risk to our lifestyle. Besides, I don't want his cock anywhere near me. Fucking disgusting. I think he's screwing the broad next door anyway. Glad for it, honestly. He needed to get his cherry popped; this whole 'sex is a weakness' motto he had going on for the longest time was rightfully aggravating."

"You don't care?" Narcissa asked. "That he's sleeping with someone else?"

"No, why would I? I get mine with you, do I not?" Bellatrix answered. "Rodolphus and I don't love each other, Cissy. We just tolerate each other for the sake of appearances."

"I don't understand why you don't want children though," Narcissa said, looking up at her. "That's all I ever wanted."

"Well you can have fun changing diapers and hearing the sodding shit-factory scream day in and day out, but that's not for me."

"Babies are not shit-factories, Bella," Narcissa told her disapprovingly. "They're a blessing from God."

Bellatrix rolled her eyes. "That's laughable, but whatever you believe. Besides, with the way I can get, do you really think I'd be a fit mother?"

Narcissa stayed silent; she didn't want to answer that and hurt her sister's feelings.

"That's what I thought," Bellatrix said, replying to Narcissa's unspoken answer. Narcissa didn't know what to say at first, so she nuzzled her face into her sister's neck and kissed beneath her ear.

Brushing the hair away from Bellatrix's face, and told her softly, "You were a better mum to me than Mother ever was."

Bellatrix snorted. "Cissy, I fuck you. I hardly think that constitutes as good parenting."

"Well, you know. Besides all that."

"Plus, what if I did have a child? A girl? I wouldn't be able to trust myself not to touch her when she was old enough, you know? Blood relations obviously don't stop me. That'd be fucked up. More than fucked up. There's got to be a line somewhere."

Narcissa pursed her lips, leaning up to look Bellatrix in the eyes. "We're different, you and me. You know that. And I know you, Bella. You wouldn't do that."

Bellatrix just dismissed that with a roll of her eyes and a half-hearted shrug. "Doesn't matter anyway, children don't fit into my plans. I wouldn't have the patience, regardless."

"Bella?" Narcissa asked softly, needing to ask a question she had wondered about for the longest time. "Have you… ever been with a man?"

"What? Where did that come from?" Bellatrix asked a little defensively.

"Well, you said if your child was a girl. Specifically. I was just… wondering," Narcissa muttered, starting to feel like maybe she shouldn't pry into her sister's personal life like that.

"I…" Bellatrix started, then seemed to lose her voice for a moment. She looked over at the wall, setting her jaw and before telling her rather begrudgingly, "No. I haven't."

Narcissa raised her eyebrows, surprised. "Really? Why not?"

Bellatrix whipped her head around to look at her. "Because men are filthy, Cissy. They're hairy, hard, and their genitals are a fucking joke. Okay?" she snapped. She obviously was not enjoying her sexuality being scrutinized, which was odd, since she usually was so blatant about it. Maybe she just didn't like to hear it out loud, something of this caliber. It was a rather shameful thing, after all; or rather, it was perceived as such by the majority of society.

"You're… a lesbian then," Narcissa said slowly, filling in the gaps.

"So?" Bellatrix asked, defensively. "No one's sodding perfect."

"No, I didn't mean—I mean, it's not a bad thing. I was just… wondering, you know? I… I guess I always thought that you still liked men, just preferred me to them," Narcissa answered. A part of her always suspected that her sister was gay, but maybe a little part of her wanted to believe that at least a small part of Bellatrix was normal.

God, that was an awful thing to think. Normal. No one was truly normal, were they? And she shouldn't believe that being homosexual is abnormal, because that would only further degrade her own self-esteem. Not that she was gay, because she wasn't. Bellatrix was just… the exception.

"Well I don't like men, okay? Never have, never will, and frankly I'm probably better off," Bellatrix snapped, still feeling threatened by this conversation.

"Okay, I'm sorry I asked," Narcissa told her softly. "I won't tell anyone. You know that, don't you?"

"Of course I know that," Bellatrix mumbled, shrugging. "I just… don't really like talking about it. Doing it is one thing; talking… is complete rubbish, really. Hate it."

"Well we don't have to talk anymore, if you want," Narcissa told her softly with a smile. When Bellatrix's eyes met hers, she cocked an eyebrow naughtily and smirked. Bellatrix smirked back.


"Yeah," Narcissa whispered before she leaned in, pressing her lips lightly to her sister's. She knew it would be a well-received distraction. When she closed her eyes and parted her lips, Bellatrix's tongue slipped against hers, as if she was teasing the soft whimper out of her lungs. Narcissa loved the way Bellatrix kissed her when she was normal; it was like a loving caress, unlike the sharp demand for dominance that she used when she was… unwell.

Bellatrix's hand ran through Narcissa's long locks and the blonde sat up a little, moving over to straddle Bellatrix's thighs. Narcissa often wished as a child that she would be as beautiful as her sister, but now she just enjoyed that she was the one who got to appreciate her beauty, utterly and completely.

When they broke for air, Bellatrix brushed some of Narcissa's hair from her eyes and asked, "So what do you want to do for your birthday?"

Narcissa raised an eyebrow. "Well, I thought we were going to get started on that, yeah?" What else were they doing if not celebrating?

Bellatrix smirked. "I thought you didn't want it all to be about sex."

"I don't. But that doesn't mean we can't have sex now and do something nice together later," Narcissa replied with a grin before her lips connected with hers again and she guided Bellatrix down so her back hit the mattress. Narcissa found the more that they did this, the more comfortable she felt being on top and attempting to take some control. It was always stolen from her of course; she didn't really think her sister could ever be a proper bottom, but it was nice to try at least.

Narcissa's lips left hers and she ducked her head down to kiss her chest, pulling her flimsy tank top down to place her lips on the swell of Bellatrix's breast. Her sister closed her eyes, running her fingers through her hair and made a small sound of encouragement. It was nice, having Bellatrix at her mercy. At least, it was for as long as it lasted. This time it didn't last long, and it wasn't because Bellatrix took back control.

Her sister hissed suddenly like she was in pain as she sat straight up, nearly knocking Narcissa over in the process. "Shit, I have to go," Bellatrix said, all in one breath, as she practically threw her sister off of her and stood up, grabbing her coat.

"What? What are you talking about? Go where?" Narcissa asked, confused. "Bellatrix!"

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, but I have to go. Now." She leaned in, kissing a flustered and angry Narcissa as quick as she could.

"It's my birthday!" Narcissa protested. "Where the hell are you going?!" But then her eyes caught sight of Bellatrix's tattoo. It was moving. Burning black and hideous, it looked positively revolting. Fury spread through every inch of Narcissa's being as she realized what that meant. "No! Bella, it's my sodding birthday, you are not going to Him!"

"I don't have a choice, I'm sorry," Bellatrix told her, giving her a look of sympathy as she threw on her coat. "I'll make it up to you when I get back," she promised before she touched the disgusting tattoo, disappearing in a cloud of black smoke.

"Bella! Bellatrix! God damn you!" Narcissa screamed, picking up the lamp from the bedside table and throwing it where her sister was just a few moments previously. It shattered when it made contact with the wall.

This wasn't fair. It wasn't sodding fair. How could she…? She just left. Without any kind of question! Was Bellatrix His slave now? Because she sure as hell was acting like a servant. Narcissa thought this organization was only run by Him… Voldemort, not that he was recruiting common servants! It was degrading, was what it was. How could her sister allow herself to just be summoned like that? She wasn't a bloody house elf!

Narcissa suddenly hated the Death Eaters with every fiber of her being. They may have an admirable goal, but they were murderous bastards that were tearing her family apart. Teaching Bellatrix those curses… the one she had used on their own sister…She knew it was them, it had to be, didn't it? An Unforgivable. Was she taught the other two as well? God, it was horrifying, what they were doing to her. Bellatrix had enough problems with violence–she didn't need people to help her feed her addiction!

Not that any of them cared. Not that anyone gave a sod about her sister except her. Why couldn't Bellatrix see that? They didn't love her, they didn't care. But Narcissa… God, all she could do was love Bellatrix, yet she prioritized them over her. The tears that were streaming down Narcissa's face weren't just of distress; they were also born from so much rage.

It was nightfall when Bellatrix finally returned. She came back the same way she left; in the same vile puff of black smoke. Narcissa was sitting on the bed, her eyes puffy from crying, makeup smeared down her cheeks. Her knees were to her chest and she sat there, unmoving, jaw locked as she stared at Bellatrix.

"Ohhh… is someone angry?" Bellatrix purred, biting her lower lip as she sauntered over to her. Madness in her eyes, of course. He would fuck her up again, wouldn't he? And on her birthday. Narcissa just continued to stare at her, unspeaking. Unmoving.

"Mmm… I do like when you're angry, Cissy; that fire in your eyes is bloody magical," Bellatrix taunted, a wicked grin adorning her face as she crawled on the bed towards her, eyes searching hers like she was ready to pounce.

"Fuck off," Narcissa told her evenly.

"Oh, not very friendly then, are we?" Bellatrix asked, grinning as she reached up to touch Narcissa's hair. She slapped Bellatrix's hand away roughly, her jaw set. She wasn't in the mood.

"Don't you dare touch me."

"But I thought you wanted to… oh, what was it? Oh right, save me when I'm like this," Bellatrix mocked, laughing at her as she made some overdramatic show of fainting on the bed like a damsel in distress.

"You can stay like that for all I care right now. You chose them over me. Them. So go fuck yourself if you need to get off that badly," Narcissa snapped.

Bellatrix pouted, looking over at her. Then a wicked smile graced her features and she sat up quickly, getting in Narcissa's face. "I can take what I want from you, you know. So easily."

Narcissa narrowed her eyes at her and dared her, "Then do it." They stared at each other, identical dark eyes boring into each other. Strangely, Narcissa had no fear. Maybe she was too angry to fear. Bellatrix ruined her birthday. Her sodding birthday.

Finally Bellatrix exhaled a dramatic sigh and a slumped backward, rolling her eyes. "Well that wouldn't be much fun then, would it?"

"Chicken shit."

Narcissa knew she was pushing her, but she was so angry.

Bellatrix's eyes flashed and she pushed her backwards, crawling on top of her and pinning her wrists to the bed. "Say it again," she dared her, rolling her hips a little to dry hump her. "I might enjoy fucking you while you scream in pain; you never know."

"Chicken. Shit," Narcissa told her evenly. She wasn't backing down. Maybe a part of her wanted Bellatrix to hurt her, even though deep down she knew her sister never could. Not truly.

Bellatrix stared down at her face, furious with being called out. She pushed her roughly before she climbed off of her, brushing her hair off her shoulder and looking at her with a look of contempt. Then she smirked, finding another way to piss Narcissa off. "I could always find some random tramp and bring her back here. Fuck her in front of you. You'd love that, wouldn't you? I'll look you in the eyes the whole time; watch your sodding heart break then lick up your tears."

But Narcissa wasn't listening to her. When Bellatrix moved her hair, she noticed blood. "Shit, what did you do?" Narcissa asked, both furious and tired because she knew she would have to be the parent this time. She got up, walking over to her and grabbing Bellatrix's robes, exposing her neck.

"Ohhh, like it rough, do we?"

"Shut up, you stupid prick," Narcissa snapped. "Jesus, what happened? You—" but she stopped when she let go of her robes, noticing her hand was moist. When she pulled away and looked at it she nearly vomited; it was covered in blood. She didn't notice it before because Bellatrix's robes were so dark. "Ugh, ugh! Fucking Christ, Bellatrix!" she shouted. "What did you do?! Whose blood is this?"

"Don't fret your pretty head over it; it's not mine," Bellatrix told her in this unnerving little girl tone, like she knew she was about to get in trouble. Narcissa curled her lip up at her.

"Do you do this on purpose? Huh? Do you? Do you just enjoy fucking everything up?! Who did you hurt?!" Narcissa screamed, holding up her bloody hand to Bellatrix to accent her point. God, talking to her sister like this was like talking to an uncontrollable toddler.

Bellatrix grabbed her wrist roughly and pulled her hand towards her face, looking at her with mock innocent eyes. "Not hurt, Cissy. Killed," she corrected. "I didn't like the way he spoke to me, some people should really learn manners," she told her with a smirk before her tongue snaked out, licking the blood off of Narcissa's fingers.

"Ugh!" Narcissa cried in disgust, wrenching her bloodied hand away from her before rearing her arm back and slapping her across the face with her clean one. "You're sick, you know that? And what do you mean killed? How are you not better then?!"

Bellatrix caressed the cheek Narcissa slapped with a maddening smile, like she enjoyed Narcissa hurting her. "Well I don't know, Doc. I could've sworn that usually fixes me, yeah?" she replied, mockingly pretending to think deeply on the matter.

Narcissa shook her head, torn between being disgusted with her, furious, and worried that not even violence was helping anymore. It was getting worse.

"God, I can't even look at you right now," Narcissa told her, turning away to head into the bathroom. She cleaned up her bloody hand, suppressing the urge to just dissolve into tears. Everything was so out of control again. She didn't know what to do. She didn't want to have sex with her to fix her problem, not now. Not after… everything. Not after she had ruined her birthday by going off and viciously murdering someone.

Narcissa knew… a part of her knew that Bellatrix had murdered Roxanne, had probably murdered countless others since then, but she chose not to acknowledge it. She didn't want to think of her sister as a monster. But she couldn't ignore it anymore though; it was right in front of her face. It tore her heart to shreds.

When she was done washing, she turned to see Bellatrix blocking her path into the bedroom. "I'm not playing games, Bella. Go wash yourself up; we're going to bed." Off of Bellatrix's wicked grin she amended, "And no, not to have sex. I don't want to touch you right now. I'll figure out what to do with you in the morning." Bellatrix's smile faded and she curled her lip up in defiance.

"Maybe I don't want to wash," Bellatrix said, biting her bottom lip as she smirked, knowing she was going to aggravate her sister. She swayed a little when she moved, like she was drunk, yet Narcissa knew she didn't have a drop in her. It was so incredibly unnerving, but Narcissa refused to show her any weakness.

"Maybe you don't have a choice," Narcissa countered. "You're not getting in that bed with me until you're clean, so get to it." She pushed past her then, shoving her into the threshold of the doorway. She didn't look back as she climbed into bed. After some time, she heard the bathroom door close and the shower turn on.

Control; that was what she always wanted, wasn't it? Yet in an ironic twist of fate, Narcissa realized that she did have control over something: Bellatrix, but only when she was like this. 'Be careful what you wish for', right? It was odd that she would have control over Bellatrix when she was in this state rather than when she was normal, but in a way it made sense. This Bellatrix… she was nothing more than a sexually charged child with a violence problem. She needed someone to listen to, because she certainly wasn't listening to her conscience.

It made it easier to deal with, to now know that she was the one in control in this situation, but it didn't make it any better. Her sister was a monster, a murderer. The tears finally began to fall, but they were silent as she sat there, curled into a ball, holding herself. She hated this. She hated all of this.

This was the worst birthday of her life.


*Chapter 17*: Chapter Seventeen

Author's Note:
I've had some questions asked about Bellatrix's specific mental illness. It's not a Jekyll/Hyde thing, though I know it has some similarities to it. The way I've developed it, it's more like a combination of a few metal disorders (Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder) and like a brain defect, or even sort of like what can happen when one has a brain tumor (depending on what area of the brain is affected). Basically I took a little from each of those and combined them. I also used pain/hate and pleasure/love as almost a mirror to one another; one as a trigger and the other as a temporary cure. I figured if JK Rowling can make up a bunch of things to coincide with her world, I could make up a disorder that's only apparent in the wizarding world :P I can't give too much away, but you will eventually find out the possible cause of it. Also as the story unfolds you'll be able to paint a much more detailed picture of how Bellatrix's brain works, but I'm trying to stretch out the reveals throughout the story. If I do end up doing a sequel for their adult years, I'll probably switch the POV to Bellatrix, so it'll probably be much easier to understand then. But that's a long way off – this story is far from done! By my estimate it'll be somewhere between 40-50 chapters when it's completed.


Trying to sleep with Bellatrix in that state was next to impossible.

Bellatrix had no concept of personal space, her mouth ran a mile a minute, and she was constantly trying to find new ways to bother Narcissa. She was a child with too much energy and nowhere to channel it. Twice she threatened to leave and once she even made it out the door but she ended up coming back in, slamming the door open so hard it probably woke up the entire hotel as it hit the wall, and told her that leaving would only give Narcissa peace of mind, so it was an unacceptable solution. Her way of saying that was a lot meaner and included a lot more swears, but that was the basis of it.

Narcissa wasn't a violent person, but she wanted to punch something.

She loved her sister, she did. She loved her with every inch of her being and Narcissa would give her life just to save hers, but there were times where she couldn't handle stuff like this happening, and now was one of those times. She knew that Bellatrix couldn't help going into this state; she was sick and she shouldn't be blamed for what her disease did, but Narcissa couldn't help but feel that if Bellatrix hadn't left her to go to them, that this never would have happened.

And Bellatrix made that decision while normal.

Narcissa didn't bother yelling at Bellatrix about how she hurt her feelings or how she shouldn't have left because she knew this version of her sister wouldn't care in the slightest. She'd have to wait until she was better, but the last thing Narcissa wanted to do was have sex with her right now so she could be better. Now that she realized Bellatrix was seemingly dependent on her in this state, she knew that she was able to wait until she was up for it. Before she worried about where Bellatrix would go, what she would do. But it was clear as day that Bellatrix couldn't find it in herself to leave. Narcissa wished she knew why, because it didn't make much sense to her, but cloud, silver lining, she supposed.

Unfortunately, it didn't feel like much of a silver lining while Narcissa was trying to properly ignore her and go to sleep. She was more upset than she had been in a long time, feeling betrayed. Bellatrix openly mocked her crying once she finally took a second to notice it, pressing her body up against Narcissa's back and whispering things in her ear that made Narcissa's blood boil. After about an hour of this, Narcissa finally snapped and turned around fast, backhanding her sister in the face in a fit of rage screaming, "Shut up!"

Narcissa was momentarily horrified to find that she had given her sister a bloody nose, but forgot her horror instantly when Bellatrix growled, smirking wickedly before she kissed her in a wave of violence, biting Narcissa's bottom lip so hard that it made her bleed as she told her, "There's my girl." Both of their blood mixed together in the kiss, making them taste the harsh sting of copper.

Narcissa tried to shove her off of her, but it only seemed to turn Bellatrix on more. The two of them had never physically fought before - which was odd for siblings, Narcissa supposed - so it probably was only a matter of time before it happened. Since both of them were angry teenagers, they didn't pull any punches. Narcissa grabbed Bellatrix's hair after her sister bit her neck so hard she was sure she popped nearly every blood vessel. She screamed, calling her a crazy bitch and slapped her hard across the face, which gave Narcissa the small window of opportunity to reverse their positions, so that she was the one holding Bellatrix down.

Narcissa had never wanted to hurt Bellatrix before, but she did in that moment. Bellatrix was supposed to be her savior, her escape from harsh reality and she willingly brought this upon both of them. Her nails dug into Bellatrix's wrists as she held her down, spit flying on her sister's face as she screamed harshly, "I hate you!"

Bellatrix's face, for all her enjoyment of getting Narcissa angry when she was like this, darkened at those words. "She does this for you!" she screamed, struggling beneath Narcissa's weight. "She turns into me for you! Because she knows you like it, you crave the violence just as much as she does, you just don't know how to express it! You get picked on, thrown around, and you do nothing about it–you just take it! Little bitch… taking it like a little sodding bitch. Kicked around, spat on, well do something about it! You love this, you need it, but she knows you need me to show you how to use it to your advantage!"

"Liar!" Narcissa screamed, eyes blackening. It was disturbing enough to hear Bellatrix, while normal, disassociate, but it was worse when she did it when like this. She knew it wasn't a split personality, so she didn't know why Bellatrix did it. "And stop it! Stop it! Stop pretending you aren't the same person! I know you are!"

Bellatrix's pushed her head up, putting her face in hers and hissed, "But it's easier if you think we aren't, isn't it? You'd like not to blame her, wouldn't you? Because you love her more than you love yourself." She was taunting her, riling her up more and more, and Narcissa knew she was being manipulated but she couldn't help but play right into her hands.

"You'd like me not to blame you when you're normal! You can't take responsibility for your own actions, so you try to dismiss it as out of your control. But it's not! You know exactly what you're doing! You know that you're hurting me!" Narcissa yelled.

At that accusation, Bellatrix spit the blood draining from her nose to her mouth at her, growling. As Narcissa shouted in disgust, releasing one of Bellatrix's hands so she could wipe it off her face, Bellatrix told her, "I'm not hurting you, I'm teaching you. So hit me, hit me! Don't let me hurt you anymore; teach me a lesson. Stand up for yourself for once, or are you too much of a coward? Ickle baby Cissy, crying in the corner 'cause she can't handle what life throws at her!"

"Shut up!" Narcissa screamed, rearing back her hand to smack her across the face again. Bellatrix laughed, enjoying it yet at the same time not about to let her just smack her around with no retaliation. She grabbed a fistful of Narcissa's hair, pulling it so hard that the blonde screamed and tried to hit her again. Bellatrix blocked it and pulled her to her roughly to kiss her violently, to which Narcissa responded by biting her tongue.

Bellatrix laughed in her mouth and only kissed her harder, rougher, as they both continued to hit and scratch each other with their nails. Narcissa hated this, she hated fighting with her sister, but at the same time there was the tiny voice in the back of head that told her Bellatrix was right; that maybe she should learn how to stand up for herself and have a way to express her anger instead of constantly keeping it all inside and letting it fester, because no matter how horrible it was to fight like this, it made Narcissa feel powerful.

It made her feel better to show Bellatrix just how much she hurt her.

Maybe it was sick, but weren't they both already? They were both so irreparably damaged from their childhood, so it was almost expected for both of them to come to this place. Abused as children, their self-esteems destroyed; maybe it was only natural for them to deal with that by abusing each other.

The hitting and violent kissing continued, scratching and biting until they were both bruised and bloody. Narcissa wanted to tear into Bellatrix's soul and prove to herself that it wasn't black. She wanted to prove that she wasn't weak. She wanted to prove that she wasn't the sick one, yet when Bellatrix bit her neck and slid her hand into the confines of her pajama shorts, Narcissa cried out in pleasure. She felt like a mess and she was sure she was about to cry, but she found she didn't have the strength to stop the woman when she hissed in her ear angrily, "I want you to tell me you hate me after you come all over yourself. Do you think you can do it?! Tell me you hate me while I'm fucking you, Cissy! I dare you!"

"I hate you!" Narcissa cried out defiantly, but grasped Bellatrix's breast so hard that her sister took it as a sign of compliance. It was a game, wasn't it? All of this was just one sick game, and Narcissa wasn't going to end up being the loser when it was over.

"So wet…" Bellatrix taunted in her ear. "I knew you got off on this just as much I did. You're such a filthy little liar, aren't you?" Her fingers slipped over Narcissa's clit and she gasped, burying her face in Bellatrix's neck before biting it as hard as she could as a response. Bellatrix cried out and dug her nails into her arm. She gasped in pain again as Narcissa grabbed onto her hair, but it didn't stop her from telling her, "You feel powerful and you enjoy it, don't you? So why do you let everyone shit all over you all the time, huh? Take what you want and stop giving a sod what other people think! Fucking feel it, Cissy…can you feel it? It's so sweet like candy when I scream at your mercy, isn't it?!"

"I won't become like you!" Narcissa screamed as she grasped Bellatrix's knickers, pulling them so hard to accent her point that they ripped. "I won't hurt the people I love!" she shouted, slapping her pelvic bone so hard her hand left an angry red mark behind and Bellatrix's hips shot off the bed, crying out in both pleasure and pain. Then she laughed as she put more pressure on Narcissa's clit, rendering her unable to think for a second.

"You're exactly like me, love," she hissed against her lips, "just two inches shorter."

After that, everything seemed to blur together; the violence, the sex, the screams, and the tears. Narcissa pounded into her so hard she made her sister bleed inside, probably from fingernail cuts, but Bellatrix pushed her on, telling her to hurt her more, harder. MORE, HARDER, ARE YOU WEAK?! It was maddening and her voice echoed inside Narcissa's head, fueling her anger and her passion as she showed Bellatrix that no, she wasn't weak at all.

Their orgasms were mindless blurs and afterwards they still hit each other, though it was more Narcissa than Bellatrix, as she was painfully normal and aware of what happened again. Bellatrix told Narcissa to stop but she wouldn't. She cried, smacking her with the palm of her hands until she lost all strength and fell on top of her, continuing to sob into her neck until she completely wore herself out and passed out.

When she awoke the next morning, every inch of her body hurt. She groaned as she rolled over, trying to block out what had happened last night. But as much as her body was painfully aware of it, so was her mind. Narcissa reluctantly opened her eyes and sat up, groaning again as her muscles rejected the movement. She blinked, trying to clear her vision. Her eyebrows knitted in confusion at what she saw.

Presents, everywhere. All shapes, all sizes, were littered around the room. Her eyes landed on Bellatrix, who was sitting at the end of the bed, her knees pulled into her chest. Her underwear-clad body was littered with bruises and scratches and she looked like she had a fat lip and a black eye. Narcissa was afraid of how she herself looked after last night. Judging by Bellatrix's body and how she felt, probably just as bad. Bellatrix didn't even look at her as she spoke, her voice detached and far away.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

Narcissa stared at her, not knowing what to say. Suddenly her sister dissolved into tears, wrapping her arms around her head and burying her face in her knees. Narcissa had never heard Bellatrix cry like this. Her sobs were loud and painful and her whole body shook with her distress. Narcissa got up and crawled over to her, taking her in her arms. Her throat was painfully tight but she didn't want to cry. She had cried too much already.

Bellatrix went into her arms without a fight, sobbing into her neck as tears soaked both of them. Narcissa held her while she cried; unmoving, unspeaking. She didn't know how to talk about this. She didn't know what could make it better.

It was some time until Bellatrix calmed down, but she was still shaking. Narcissa covered her hands with hers, their beaten bodies so identical that it was almost poetic. She shushed her softly, trying to get Bellatrix to stop convulsing. Finally, the other girl whispered with pain in her voice, "I told you… I told you this would happen…"

"You told me you'd rape me. You didn't," Narcissa corrected, her voice strained. She took a shaky breath as she laid her head on top of her sister's, staring at the wall. "I don't know what that was, honestly."

Silence washed between the two girls again. Narcissa rubbed her hands over Bellatrix's arms, hoping it would make her stop shaking, but all it did was make her sister wince from the pain. Narcissa stilled her hands, sighing. She stared at the wall.

"You ruined my birthday," she told her softly, her own voice detached now.

"I know," Bellatrix mumbled, shutting her eyes tight like she wished she could block it all out. "I'm sorry."

"Sorry doesn't fix it."

"I know."

Narcissa's eyes focused on the imperfections on the wall; the small cracks in the corner, the chips of paint. Her jaw trembled and her heart felt like a brick as she told her softly, "I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to run around in the park with you, having everything be silly and wonderful. I wanted to tell you I loved you; I wanted to be happy. I wanted to look at you and see perfection, not destruction."

Bellatrix's fingers found Narcissa's hand and she held it tightly, even though she was still shaking. "I—" she tried, but was interrupted.

"You ruined that," Narcissa told her, voice cracking from the strain. "On purpose. You're the most selfish person I have ever met."

"No, Cissy, I didn't— you don't understand…"

"Bullshit I don't understand!" Narcissa cried, wrenching her hands away from Bellatrix's. "Bullshit I don't know why you would willingly ruin everything for me! You care about your stupid murderous Lord more than me!"

"I don't!" Bellatrix protested, her tone one of pleading as she looked at her sister desperately. "But if I didn't come, he'd think me a traitor and kill me. I didn't think he'd need me this weekend, I swear I didn't know! You have to believe me! I wouldn't—"

"But you did! You did, Bellatrix! Fine, you would have been killed. Fine, then that's just a testament to how utterly stupid you are to get involved with someone like him in the first place! It's not a reason, nor an excuse. You have your own idiocy to blame."

"I'm trying to shape a better world, Narcissa!" Bellatrix cried. "I'm trying to make this place not complete and utter shit for you and your children and theirs after that! I'm sorry I ruined your birthday but I have other responsibilities that I can't get out of! I feel sodding wretched for doing that to you, but you have to believe that it wasn't personal! You have to accept that this is who I am now!"

Narcissa's face darkened and she slapped Bellatrix across the face. Bellatrix put her knuckles to her cheek, looking at her angrily, but didn't make a move to retaliate. "Don't tell me it wasn't personal when you came back like that just so you could teach your little lesson. Are you happy I learned it, huh?! Happy I have no problem hitting you now?!"

"Yes," Bellatrix told her simply, her jaw tightening. "Because that means you'll stop being everyone's doormat. She did you a favor. She may have gone about it in a shit way, but she made you learn. You'll thank me for that when you're older."

"You… or her?" Narcissa asked dangerously.


"There is no 'us', Bellatrix. Not anymore," Narcissa told her, meaning so much more than just Bellatrix's supposed split personalities. She pulled away from her and got off the bed, grabbing her clothes.

"No! Cissy!" Bellatrix exclaimed, eyes widening as she realized what she meant. She frantically scrambled off the bed, coming over to her. "No, you can't walk out on me! I need you! I'll go mental in a week without knowing you love me!"

"Then go mental!" Narcissa screamed harshly. "What do I care? You don't care about me, so why should I allow you the privilege of my love? All you do is abuse it."

"No, no. You told me you needed me too! Told me you'd let me do anything as long as you were with me, what happened to that?!" Bellatrix shouted, fear in her voice because she knew she was losing her.

"Congratulations are in order then," Narcissa told her darkly as she threw her shirt over her head. Her eyes bore into hers as she pulled it down and told her, "Because I think you just made me independent."

"No! I won't let you leave me!" Bellatrix yelled, grabbing Narcissa's wrist. Narcissa glared at her and fought to free herself.

"You don't have a choice!"

"I thought you loved me!"

"I do!" Narcissa screamed. "I love you so much that it hurts! But I can't keep getting hurt by you, Bella! You used to be the solution, but you're now becoming part of the problem!"

"I'll change! I swear to you, I'll try to get better—" Narcissa didn't think she'd ever see her sister beg, but there she was. No shame.

"You can't!" Narcissa told her. "What's happening to you, there's no fixing that! One day that's all you're going to be; this uncontrollable insanity of anger and lust. There's no talking to you when you're like that. You can't control your impulses. You're nothing more than a child and I won't become a substitute for a proper mother!"

"Cissy, please…" Bellatrix begged. "I know I'm shit, alright? I know I don't love you like I should, I know I don't treat you as you should be, but you're all I've had my whole life. Without you, I'll die. I don't know how to live without you, Cissy. You know it's true; you don't know how to live without me either! You've tried, but we always come back here, don't we? I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry! I'll make it up to you though, I swear to God I will. Just don't go. Not yet, please. We're all each other has, you know this!"

Narcissa stared at her, jaw locked. Their eyes locked for a long time and neither of them moved, Bellatrix's hand still holding tightly onto Narcissa's wrist, in fear that if she let her go that she'd run. Finally she told her, voice even and cold, "I needed you to make this weekend perfect for me, Bella. You have no idea how much I needed that."

"We still have one more day," Bellatrix told her softly. Narcissa's bottom lip trembled and she shook her head.

"One day won't fix it."

"Then I'll spend the rest of my life fixing it!" Bellatrix told her desperately. "Please, Cissy. Please don't go…"

Narcissa bit the inside of her cheek, feeling tears well up in her eyes. She had wanted to get away from all this madness so desperately, but one thing Bellatrix said was true: they never lived without each other. Narcissa didn't know if she could even learn how. She tried to get away from her once, but still came back. Was there a point anymore? Was it always just going to be them, no matter how much they both fought against it?

"You're the reason I breathe, Narcissa," Bellatrix whispered, looking at her with more emotion than she ever had in her life.

"I wish I could fix you," Narcissa told her, voice barely audible before a tear slipped down her cheek. "I love you so much and I hate when you turn into a monster. I hate that part of you enjoys it."

"I…" Bellatrix started, then let out a shuddered breath. "I need it, Cissy. I'm sorry, but part of me needs her. She's honest and she lets me express the anger, the hatred, and the truth I have towards everyone around me. She makes me feel powerful. I don't feel like a victim anymore. I felt like one for so long that—"

"And you think I haven't?" Narcissa interrupted. "I got beat by Mum just as much as you did."

"I know and I just… I guess that's why I let her show you what it was like to feel powerful for once. I don't want you to be a victim anymore, Cissy. I want you to feel strong."

"Stop saying 'she'!"

"I can't! There's no conscious decision on my part when I'm her. She doesn't think, she just does. How can it be me when I'm not in control? You don't know what goes on in my head, Narcissa! Please stop pretending that you do, it's fucking infuriating."

Narcissa cocked an eyebrow at her. "You told me 'she' was more honest, yeah?"


"Then you completely fucked yourself because last night 'she' told me that you were doing it to make it easier on me. Which is bull, because you're only doing it to make it easier on yourself. But I think you'd like to believe you're doing it for me."

Bellatrix stared at her for a moment, chewing on the inside of her cheek. Then she said, "I think I liked you better when you were a doormat." Narcissa knew that was a lie, that Bellatrix was only being defensive because she felt backed into a corner, but she narrowed her eyes anyway.

"Then maybe you shouldn't have taught me not to be, yeah?"

Bellatrix averted her eyes away from her and untangled their hands so she could fold her arms into herself. "I need to call that part of me by a different name, okay? I wake up and regret everything I do. I hate that."

"You don't regret everything."

"Most everything," Bellatrix told her, looking back at her. "I'm glad I killed that sniveling little snitch of a wanker, but I hate that I purposely came home covered in his blood to show you. I think I wanted you to be proud of me, as messed up as that is. And I'm glad I taught you some strength, but I had to bloody you up to do it. That was fucked up."

"I'm not the only one with bruises on me, you know."

"Yeah, but the difference is that I deserve them."

"Maybe," Narcissa said softly. She shrugged, looking away from her. The silence was deafening. When she looked back over at her sister, she was nervously picking at the scabbed scratches on her skin.

"Why can't you just be honest with me normally?" She didn't understand why Bellatrix thought she had to turn into a monster just to say the truth.

"I am."

"No, you're not. You may be right now, but I have to get through a string of lies before you tell me the truth."

"Don't act like you don't lie to me as well, Cissy," Bellatrix replied, a little angry with her. "I'm not the only one lying about stuff here."

"Fine," Narcissa said, letting out a breath and leaning against the wall. She peered at her. "So tell me something true then, and I'll do the same. Just keep going until we get everything out, yeah?" She didn't know if it'd do any good, but she prayed it would. It had to, didn't it?

Bellatrix bit her bottom lip and hesitantly sat down on the bed. She was silent for a moment as she picked at the sheets. Finally she admitted without looking at her, "I know what I'm saying and doing when I'm like that."

Narcissa nodded. She pursed her lips before she told her, "I hate that you're a murderer."

"I… I hurt myself when I can't hurt other people."

Narcissa's stomach lurched. She didn't know that. "I stopped eating," she told her softly. Bellatrix's eyes snapped up to meet hers.

"What? Completely?"

"No, Bella, don't stop. Just keep going. We'll deal with it when it's over," Narcissa begged. They couldn't get stuck on every little thing or else nothing would come out.

Bellatrix didn't look happy with that, but relented. "I joined the Death Eaters for myself, not for you like I said."

"Lucius was the one who nearly proposed."

Bellatrix's eyes flashed but she went on, "I lied when I told you I never slept with a man."

Narcissa's mouth dropped open. "Who?"

"Just keep going," Bellatrix muttered, not looking at her.

Narcissa folded her arms into herself and told her angrily, "A part of me hates you for what you did to Andromeda. Another part of me loves you for it and it makes me sick."

Bellatrix ran her fingers through her hair before putting her face to her knees and mumbling guiltily, "I also lied when I said I wasn't sleeping with anyone else."

"Are you fucking kidding me?!"

"Keep going," Bellatrix mumbled into her knees. She wouldn't look at her.

"I feel so out of control that sometimes I just want to die because I think it'd be easier than living like this," Narcissa told her, trying to ignore the fury in the pit of her stomach.

"I feel like I stole your childhood away from you."

"I hope that I can stop eating until I shrivel away into nothing."

That made Bellatrix look at her, worry and distress crossing her face. "Shit, Narcissa…"

"Keep going."

"I plan to kill Mum when you finish school."

"Lovely," Narcissa said dryly, her stomach lurching. "I enjoyed hurting you last night. You're right; it did feel good."

"I wish I could have married you."

"I wish you could have married me too."

They both stopped, looking at each other for what seemed like forever. Finally, Narcissa crossed the room, sitting next to Bellatrix on the bed. She covered her hand with hers, linking their fingers together. Bellatrix whispered, "You need to eat, Cissy. You'll die…"

"I want to die," Narcissa told her honestly, feeling sick to her stomach. She had never admitted it out loud before. She barely even admitted it to herself. She felt her bottom lip tremble as she further admitted, "And be beautiful when I do. I want it to be almost poetic. Finally beautiful, but dead."

Bellatrix squeezed her hand hard, sniffing softly as a tear fell down her cheek. She shook her head almost violently. "I don't want you to die…" She looked over at her, face filled with distress. It made Narcissa ill to see her sister so upset at the mere possibility. "Please eat, Cissy. I couldn't bear it if you died. You've always been beautiful, don't you know that?"

"I'll start eating when you stop killing people," Narcissa countered. They both stared at each other for a long time before Bellatrix pulled away, shaking her head. She knew she couldn't promise her that.

"Who were they?" Narcissa asked finally. "Who have you been sleeping with?" Her voice broke when she asked the question, feeling betrayed.

"I slept with Rodolphus' brother," Bellatrix admitted, not looking at her. "Once. He was… he looks at me with all this desire in his eyes and I just went mad one day and fucked him just to see what it was like. I hated it; I find no desire in the male anatomy. I didn't tell you because…" she sighed, "I don't know, I just didn't want you to know, I suppose. Admitting I'm a dyke seemed easier in the long run."

With her husband's brother? God, Bellatrix knew no bounds.

"And the others?" Narcissa asked, upset.

"I paid two women to shag me when you were in school," Bellatrix told her softly. She still wouldn't look her in the eyes.

"Prostitutes?" Narcissa asked, horrified. "You slept with prostitutes?"

"What did you want me to do?!" Bellatrix exclaimed, finally looking at her. "I needed to get better and you weren't around. Better them than someone I actually gave a shit about, no? Not that there is anyone else I care about besides you anyway."

Narcissa shook her head, feeling incredibly disappointed with her sister. But she knew a part of Bellatrix was right; what else could she do? Narcissa hated it though.

"So what now?" the blonde asked, looking over at her sister.

"Now…" Bellatrix started, sighing. She looked so worn out, but then again, Narcissa felt the same. "Now I heal our wounds and let you open your birthday presents."

"You didn't have to get me all this," Narcissa muttered.

"After what I did, I should buy you an island," Bellatrix told her softly.

Narcissa was pretty sure that even with her and Rodolphus' combined trust funds, Bellatrix still wouldn't be able to buy her an island, but she supposed that wasn't the point. "An island doesn't make up for everything, you know."

"I know… but I hope it'll be a start."


*Chapter 18*: Chapter Eighteen


When Bellatrix healed their wounds with magic, it was painful. She didn't have much practice with bruises so as they healed, they hurt nearly as bad as they did when they were made. The cuts were easier though, less painful. Narcissa realized suddenly it was probably because she was used to healing those all the time.

"I hurt myself when I can't hurt other people."

It hurt Narcissa to know that, but she never brought it up. In some way, she realized she had no place to tell Bellatrix to stop, because she had her own self-destructive behaviors. So Narcissa stayed quiet, letting Bellatrix heal her wounds. Every time a cut healed, every time a bruise disappeared, Bellatrix would kiss her skin as if silently apologizing. Narcissa didn't know if it made a difference as a whole, but it was nice after all of the violence to be touched like she was worth something.

That was why she stayed, ultimately. Bellatrix was the only one who ever made her feel like she was worth anything at all. To lose that, she may lose herself. Narcissa was already teetering towards the edge, often wishing that she would fall off of it. To look back on her life, there was so much despair. And yes, some of it had come from her sister, but Bellatrix had saved her more times than she had destroyed her, and if that didn't tip the scales, then nothing would.

There was so much horror, so much pain between the two of them. So much horror from their childhood and so much pain in their present. Their lives were going two different ways, yet somehow still down the same path; both victims who were just trying to take control of anything they could hold onto. However, Narcissa knew that if they didn't stop fighting with each other that they were going to fall apart at the seams.

Narcissa was tired. On one hand the screaming and the fighting was good for them because it was probably the most honest they had ever been with each other in their entire lives, but on another it was just so emotionally draining.

When Bellatrix was done healing her wounds, she started healing her own. With every cut that sealed, with every bruise that faded, Narcissa gave her the same treatment, a kiss. When Bellatrix was done, she laid her head on her shoulder and asked softly, "What about the one… inside of you?" Bellatrix was bleeding from her vagina after their rough encounter, Narcissa's nails having cut her.

Bellatrix shrugged half-heartedly. "I don't know how to fix that one," she told her honestly. "Besides, even if I could, I don't think I would. It'll bear a reminder not to piss you off; you fight dirty." She gave her a faint smirk and Narcissa snorted lightly, burying her face in her hair.

"Does it still hurt?" Narcissa asked softly.

"Yeah," Bellatrix whispered. "But it doesn't hurt as bad as my heart does."

They sat there for a while, holding each other in silence. It felt like hours had passed, but it couldn't have been that long. They were both so emotionally exhausted and after some time they found themselves curled up under the bed covers, Narcissa's head on her sister's chest. She was running her fingers softly up and down the length of each of Bellatrix's fingers, then over her palm. It made her wonder how many deaths were upon her hands.

"Bella?" she asked softly.


"Promise me something?"

Bellatrix laced their fingers together before bringing them up to her lips to kiss the back of Narcissa's hand. "Anything."

"Don't… don't tell me anymore what you do when you're with them," Narcissa asked quietly, staring at the muscles in Bellatrix's stomach. They had just tensed. "Your… 'work', I guess we'll call it… I hate it. I hate knowing that you're a murderer. And I guess I'll always know that, but I think I need to ignore it, for my own sanity and for the sake of our relationship. I want to pretend you're not; that when you're with me, like this, that this is the only side you have. Okay?"

Bellatrix closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them, staring at the ceiling as she let out a long breath. "You know I'll come back… as her sometimes though, right?"

"I know. But…" giving into Bellatrix's wish to separate, she went on, "don't let her throw it in my face. I'll take care of you, I'll always take care of you when you need me, but I can't handle having the reality of your other life so blatantly in my face, okay? So promise me you'll never talk about it."

Bellatrix pursed her lips before looking at her. "I promise. But an exception has to be made if your life is in danger." A pause, like an afterthought, "Or mine."

"Why would my life be in danger?"

"I don't know, I'm just… saying. I don't know what might happen in the future, I'm just… covering the bases, yeah?" Bellatrix avoided.

"Bella," Narcissa said flatly. "Tell me the truth."

"You told me not to talk about it—"

"Bella." She wasn't going to let her do this anymore; give her half-truths, avoid.

"There's going to be a war, okay?" Bellatrix admitted. She didn't want to tell her, that much was obvious. Her tone was snapping and defensive. "At some point. I don't know when; years off probably. And I swear Cissy if you breathe a word—"

"I won't," Narcissa told her automatically. She knew the type of people her sister was involved with, she knew what they would do to her. The blonde pursed her lips, looking down as she idly picked at Bellatrix's knickers, pulling up the elastic band and snapping it back down to her skin. Not hard, just… she needed to do something with her hands. "Why would the war involve me?" she asked finally.

"I don't know. It shouldn't. I hope it doesn't," Bellatrix told her. "But I never know… no one ever knows what's going to happen. But I need to be able to protect you if I have to."

It was sometime after until Bellatrix finally gave Narcissa her presents. Narcissa protested, telling her that she didn't need fancy trinkets and whatnot, but Bellatrix persisted. She wanted to try and apologize with them or, at least, start apologizing with them. Bellatrix knew that she had a long way to go; ruining Narcissa's fourteenth birthday was not something that would be easily forgotten. However, when Narcissa received the latest broomstick model from her, she knew she was at least a step closer by how loudly the blonde squealed.

The rest of their visit consisted of Bellatrix trying to teach her to ride it. Narcissa never did do well in her first year during flying lessons, but with some help from her sister she at least stopped falling off of the thing.

When the two parted, it made Narcissa feel both sad and relieved. She knew they both needed space, but she dreaded going back to school. Bellatrix told her she'd see her at Christmas, gave her a kiss, and they went their separate ways.

Even with all the horrible, violent things that had happened that night, one good thing definitely came out of it: Narcissa finally knew how to stand up for herself. So when a boy that Bellatrix crossed when she was in school shoved Narcissa into a wall on her way out of class one day, which was sadly a regular occurrence, she hexed him without a second thought. It earned her a detention, but it was worth it. She cleaned those damn trophies with a smile on her face.

After a couple altercations with a few different people that used to bully her, students finally got the message to stay clear of her. They stopped using her as a way to get back at her sister, as a punching bag. When the day came that no one picked on Narcissa, she was happier than she could ever remember being.

She ate a muffin.

Hogsmeade weekend was the weekend before Christmas vacation, and for the first time since her sister left school, Narcissa was really excited about going. She wanted to buy something really nice for Bellatrix because while she was still unhappy with all that had to go down on her birthday, she had also really helped her. Maybe her crazy side did have some uses after all.

Narcissa walked into The Three Broomsticks and sat down at a table, wanting to get a butterbeer before she started her holiday shopping. Now that she was eating – well, sort of, seeing as she allowed herself only one thing a day now (two if she was feeling particularly good about herself) – she wanted to have that as her thing for the day. While butterbeer wasn't food, it definitely had enough calories to be considered it.

Almost immediately after it was delivered to her, a girl slid into the seat opposite her. "Is it true?" she asked out of nowhere.

Narcissa raised an eyebrow, unamused. "Hello Margret. How nice to see you after, what has it been? A year?" While once they used to hang out, mostly in Narcissa's second year, Margret seemed to completely disappear from her life after she got involved with that boy she met at their party.

"Please. Don't give me that; I know I buggered off for a while, but you were hanging out with your sister all the time too."

"Bellatrix hasn't been here for nearly four months," Narcissa told her flatly.

"You got all… odd," Margret defended, furrowing her eyebrows like it was a shameful thing to talk about. "Surely you don't expect anyone to associate with you when you're like that." She looked disgusted just by the memory, but then smiled at her. "You're looking much better by the way."

Such was the way with purebloods though. Most of it was so fake; Narcissa had watched her mother growing up being sweet as pie to someone's face only to turn around and talk bad about them a moment later when their back was turned.

Narcissa cocked an eyebrow and took a sip of her butterbeer. When she put it down she asked, "Well? Is what true?"

"That Lucius plans to ask you to marry him next year, obviously," Margret answered. Of course, the only time anyone was ever interested in being her friend was when they thought Lucius Malfoy was interested in her. It was probably more so this time now that he earned the title of Prefect.

Narcissa's face instantly darkened. "Where did you hear that?"

"From that first year that's been following him around like an abandoned puppy, surely you've noticed him? It's dreadfully pathetic. Snake… Snape, something. Regardless, is it true? I mean, at first I doubted it because, well, look at you, but now I've heard the rumor from more than one person, it's beginning to have some merit."

Ugh. Margret could be such a bitch sometimes. She was probably just jealous though.

"Excuse me," Narcissa told her icily as she slid out of the booth, her eyes landing on Lucius in the corner with his friends. Margret was saying something to her but she ignored it as she strode over to him, cutting into their group conversation.

"Narcissa!" Lucius exclaimed in delight when he saw who had just arrived, only to have his face fall when he saw her expression. "Is something wrong?"

"All of you piss off, I want a word with Lucius. Alone," Narcissa said, her voice ice cold. Crabbe, Goyle, and a greasy haired looking first year all turned towards Lucius, as if waiting for permission from their master.

"Leave us," Lucius said, nodding. They all left without hesitation. When he turned to her, he offered, "Can I interest you in a refreshment?"

"Have you been telling people of your plans to wed me?" Narcissa asked, ignoring his hospitality.

"I… had told my friends of my plans, of course, but this was before you instructed me not to do so," Lucius told her, seemingly a little flustered by her outright bluntness. Narcissa knew proper women did not address their problems like this, but she was angry. Besides, she was yet a woman.

"Well rumors are starting, Lucius. See that they end."

"Why do you act like it's such a crime for me to desire you?" Lucius asked, which took Narcissa back a little. She never expected him to be so… forthright either.

"Because you don't know me."

"I know enough."

"We kissed once, Lucius. Years ago. You never properly dated me, nor took the time to get to know me. You only know of my family and my wealth and that my outward appearance is appealing to you," Narcissa countered, putting her hands on her hips with a look that dared him to argue.

"I'd like to get to know you," Lucius tried.

"A gesture that's too little, too late," Narcissa told him with finality in her voice as she turned away from him.

"I know you like lavender."

"What?" Narcissa asked, rounding to face him. Her face showed surprised. She liked lavender because that's what her sister always smelled like.

"I know that you love your eldest sister more than anyone else in the world. I know that you're rubbish in potions, but decent in charms because you work better with a wand. I know that you dread the post, though the reason behind that escapes me. I know your favorite color is deep blue and that most of your wardrobe consists of that color when you're out of school robes. I know that you wear your hair up only on Thursdays. And I know that you love blueberry muffins, or at least it's the only kind you'll eat."

Narcissa stared at him, disbelievingly. Finally she said, "I don't only wear my hair up on Thursdays."

Lucius smirked. "Trust me, you do. You may not notice it, but I have. It may just be a habit you're unaware of; we all have those, I believe."

Narcissa rolled her eyes, but secretly was a little pleased that he took so much notice of her. "So what does that prove then? That you have your minions spy on me? Hardly romantic."

"I don't get them to spy on you, Narcissa. I noticed that all on my own. I did listen when you talked to me years ago, you know."

Narcissa bit the inside of her cheek as she looked him up and down; assessing him, judging him. She was surprised that for someone who was so adamant that marriage was only for power and not for love, took the time to notice and remember things about her. Only Bellatrix did that. Whether she wanted to be or not, Narcissa was impressed.

"And what do you hope to gain by telling me all of this?" Narcissa asked coolly, not allowing her face to show any sign in his favor.

"A date. A proper one."

Narcissa was silent for a moment, looking him over. He looked sincere, which was another shock. She had become so distrusting of people as of late, but she relented, "Alright. One date; that's all you're getting." She supposed he deserved at least that after that performance.

Lucius smiled, obviously pleased with himself. "That's all I need."

Narcissa snorted. "Cocky, aren't you? One date doesn't automatically mean I'll marry you, you know."

"I know. But I got out of that confrontation last week with your sister alive, so I'm confident courting you won't be nearly as difficult." He smirked, trying to make a joke, but Narcissa's eyes widened.

"You talked to Bellatrix?" she asked, then immediately cringed because she should have known Bellatrix would say something; she did tell her Lucius was the one who nearly proposed.

"Talking wasn't exactly the word I would use," Lucius replied. "But she did confront me about my near proposal, yes. She wasn't happy. I don't know if you're aware, but she seems to think of you as her property."

"I'm sorry about that—"

Lucius held up his hand, "No need. It was bound to happen eventually, but I think we came to an agreement."

"Oh?" Narcissa asked, both surprised and intrigued.

"The terms mostly revolved around if I hurt you, she would 'feed me my own bollocks through a straw' and that she would always come first in your life and I'd do well to remember that, but yes, an agreement was made. I suspect only because…" he trailed off then, suddenly realizing who he was talking to.

"Because you're both in the same 'group'," Narcissa finished for him flatly, using air quotes. That was another thing that worried her about getting involved with Lucius; he was a Death Eater as well, or at least an aspiring one. She had known since she saw him leaving the common room some nights with Bellatrix, Rodolphus, and that whole group.

Alarm registered on Lucius' face and he looked around the room, fearful of eavesdroppers before he leaned in and whispered, "You know? Does your sister plan to have you join?"

"I will never join," Narcissa told him in a low voice. "You may do as you wish, as can my sister, but that is not something that interests me."

"You shouldn't know of this if you aren't—"

"My sister is sick," Narcissa told him seriously. "You must see her; how she can get. I alone am the only one who can help her, so I have to know. I've never breathed a word of it nor will I ever, but my loyalty is to my sister and her health presides over anything else. Understood? So forget this conversation and act as if I do not know, nor that you know about my sister's condition."

Lucius nodded before straightening back up, pulling on his robes a little subconsciously to make himself look more put together. "So," he started, "when will I be allowed the pleasure of your company, Ms. Black?"

"When you stop speaking to me like you're my grandfather," Narcissa told him, smirking.

Lucius chuckled. "I'm sorry, old habits. When can I take you out?"

Narcissa half smiled at him and shrugged lightly. "Whenever you wish, I suppose. I don't have anything planned."

"Over Christmas break then?" Lucius offered.

Narcissa nodded politely, trying to hide the smile. She didn't want to show him how much she was impressed with him less he get cocky about it. "I'd like that. But I can't guarantee that my sister won't interfere… even with an agreement, you must know that she's awfully overprotective of me."

"So I've noticed," Lucius said with an amused smirk. "But… if you don't mind, would you hold off on telling her until after the date? If you wish to continue seeing me after that, then you should tell her. But I'd like to have one night getting to know you on my own without any interference, if that's alright?"

Narcissa raised a flirty eyebrow. "Not planning on using the alone time to get into my knickers, are you?"

"I wouldn't dream of it," Lucius said immediately. Off of Narcissa's disbelieving look he revised, being honest, "Well, a man can only hope of course, but I wouldn't push the matter. Besides, as strange as it is, I think I might actually feel guilty of taking your purity before marriage."

That was surprising, more than anything else. She knew Lucius had been with many women, some of whom she was sure were pure before they met him. She had no idea why he respected her so much, but she wasn't about to complain about it. "Then we have an agreement," Narcissa replied, once again not allowing her face to show her emotion on that matter. She rather enjoyed keeping him guessing.

He smiled at her and she returned it politely before she turned, walking away and leaving him alone. Her grin spread across her face once her back was turned from him and as she walked out of The Three Broomsticks, suddenly she was surrounded by a swarm of girls.

Narcissa didn't try very hard to suppress her eye roll. She hated how fake everyone was. No one had interest in her three months ago, nor three days ago. Now, suddenly, she seemed to be the most popular girl in Slytherin by how many people were surrounding her. It aggravated her.

"Well, what did he say?"

"Did he ask you out?"

"He didn't ask her out, you prat, they're already engaged!"

"The rumors are true then? You're going to marry him?"

"Leave it to another Black to take all the best men off the market."

"Oh shut up, Marla, don't be a jealous plonker just because no one's asked for your hand yet."

"Please stop!" Narcissa exclaimed, rendering the five girls silent for at least a second. "I don't know where you're hearing all these rumors, but Lucius and I are not engaged. It wouldn't be proper for him to ask, I'm only fourteen."

"So? Rules can be changed."

"But he is going to ask you when you're fifteen, right?" Marla asked. "I mean, he told his friends he would."

"I don't pretend to know what goes on inside the mind of Lucius Malfoy," Narcissa told them all coolly. "Now, if you'll excuse me…"

She pushed past them all, leaving them all standing there with their mouths open. She knew any sane person would be overjoyed by all the attention, but Narcissa didn't enjoy getting attention just because of who was courting her. If she wanted friends, she'd want them because they liked who she was as a person.

Narcissa was pleased however that she was getting good attention now, instead of all the bad that seemed to be thrown her way lately. It was a nice change of pace and for the first time in a while, she felt good about herself.

Strange how things could change so drastically, so quickly, wasn't it?


*Chapter 19*: Chapter Nineteen

Author's Note:
Sorry about the long wait, my life has been a bit hectic lately =/


The second Narcissa walked into the door to her house, her mother was practically all over her. "You've been dieting!" she exclaimed in glee, which, if that wasn't frightening enough to witness, was coupled with a disturbingly proud smile that made Narcissa want to vomit. "Oh, you look much better. I was afraid I was going to have a fat daughter, and my God the looks at parties would have been positively unbearable; we have a reputation to uphold, you know. Keep up with whatever you're doing, Narcissa. Hopefully then those love handles you have will finally cease to exist, and with a little luck your thighs will resemble an actual body part instead of the legs of a troll."

Narcissa had never wanted to hit anyone so badly in her entire life.

Thankfully, the attention was then brought on Andromeda. "And you – sixteen years old and still without any proposals?! This is a disgrace upon our family and I promise you, if you don't catch a suitor's eye by the end of the summer, your father and I are shipping you off to a nunnery for your final year of schooling to save us the embarrassment! So you best start acting like the pureblood you were raised to be; then maybe you'll become a proper woman and bear children instead of being virginal and barren your entire life."

Andromeda's face darkened. "You can't ship me off to a nunnery, Mum! Hogwarts is my school!"

"I can do whatever I wish, and you'd do well to remember that!" Druella bellowed before she slapped Andromeda across the face so hard the whole left side of her face turned a deep, angry red for her backtalk. "Now go to your room, I'll try to figure out what I can do to improve your appearance, since what you look like already seems to not be helping you in any way. I swear, even though you're practically a younger version of Bellatrix and she found a husband just fine, somehow no one seems to notice you; that is completely unacceptable for a Black! Now go!"

Andromeda gave her mother a seething look before she ran up to her room, stomping up the stairs to accent her anger. "And don't break my stairs or I'll be sure to break your neck!" Druella screamed, before turning to Narcissa directly afterwards with that creepy, proud smile on her face. "You are looking rather well, Narcissa. Now all we have to do is fix the wretched color of your hair and you'll be well on your way to becoming a proper woman. Aren't you excited?!"

"Sure," Narcissa replied dully.

Druella grabbed Narcissa's chin roughly in her hand, forcing her to look at her. Her eyes darkened. "Proper ladies do not say 'sure.' You say…what?" she prodded.

"I mean, yes ma'am," Narcissa revised, her blood boiling inside of her with anger. But she was still frightened by what her mother could do to her, so she didn't talk back to her even though that was all she wanted to do.

"Good girl," Druella replied, releasing her chin from her grasp. As Narcissa rubbed it like she was trying to get her touch wiped from her skin's memory, her mother went on. "Your aunt and cousins will be staying for a few days this year, and your sister should be here on Christmas Eve. I believe they are due at Rodolphus' parents' house for Christmas day, however. She—"

"She's not even staying a whole day?" Narcissa asked, horrified. Two weeks of vacation and she could only see her sister once?

"Your sister has a life now, Narcissa. Something you yourself should aspire to. You must get over this hero worship you have with Bellatrix; it's not only terribly pathetic, but you're far too old. I think some separation will do you some good. Black women are strong, not sheep, as you so readily attempt to be whenever she's around."

Narcissa's face darkened. This was her doing, she knew it. Druella always hated how close they were. "So I can't even go over to her house sometime later in the week?" she asked.

"No," Druella told her firmly. "And I won't hear another word about it, is that clear?"

"Crystal," Narcissa mumbled, clenching her fist so tightly that her fingernails dug into her palm.

"That's not to say you can't go out with some of your friends, as long as you seek permission first. I will not have you dilly dallying all over the place with God only knows who like some mudblood."

Narcissa suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. But it reminded her of something and as much as she didn't want to ask permission for it, she knew she wouldn't be able to get out of the house without it. "Mother," she started, trying to sound sweet but the word only came out vile and disgusting, "Lucius Malfoy has asked for the pleasure of my company this week. I accepted. Would it be alright if I went out with him?"

Druella's eyebrows nearly shot off her face. "The Malfoy son is interested in you? In you?"

Narcissa hated the way she said that. "Yes," she said flatly. "So may I?"

"Oh, well this is wonderful!" her mother gushed. "Oh, we must fix you up proper; if you don't keep him interested until he can properly propose, your father and I will surely disown you. But what a pleasure! A Malfoy interested in one of my little girls. Of course you may see him, Narcissa. See him as much as you like; you must keep him interested. Do you understand me? You will never get an opportunity this grand again, I assure you."

"Yes, Mother," Narcissa replied dryly. God, one date and she was already expecting them to be wed. Such were the ways of purebloods so it was hardly unexpected, but it was easier knowing about tradition than going through with it, Narcissa found.

It turned out she didn't actually have to tell her mother though because Lucius' father sent an owl requesting permission from Narcissa's parents for their children to go on a formal date. It was all so ridiculous, really, but of course her mother responded immediately, accepting. It was like they couldn't even be bothered to consult their children. But then again, they never did. Even proposals were usually from one family's head of house to another; the children's thoughts and feelings on it didn't matter (Bellatrix's wedding was a prime example of that). Narcissa supposed she should feel lucky that Lucius actually bothered to ask her before asking his father; it showed a little bit more respect.

Regardless, their date wasn't scheduled to happen until the day before Christmas Eve. Druella took to primping her daughter to the best of her ability; she had lightened her hair to (disgustingly enough) match Lucius' color blonde, telling Narcissa that it would likely appeal to him more. Then she slapped so much magical herbal…whatever they were on her face, attempting to rid of her of any imperfections. Her small pimples were gone, blemishes eradicated, and Narcissa could no longer see the dark circles under her eyes, though she was convinced they were still there, somewhere, underneath it all.

Then there were the dresses; the endless dresses that her mother seemed to buy from every shop she could find, trying to find the perfect one. It was maddening and had already gone on for three days now without her mother finding any to be suitable enough. She kept returning all the ones that were deemed unfit, only to come back with more.

Two days before Christmas Eve was the day Aunt Walburga came over with her sons, Sirius and Regulus. The moment they arrived by apparition, her Aunt was already screaming at her eldest. "I told you to get that filthy thing off of you!" she bellowed, practically strangling Sirius as she roughly pulled the Gryffindor scarf from his neck. "You're an embarrassment and I won't have you prancing around, proud of the fact that you're defying our family's honor!"

Narcissa's lip automatically curled up as she took notice of the scarf. It was like wearing a sign that he was a mudblood lover and she didn't understand how he could stand it. She didn't have time to bother with Sirius though because Regulus bounded over to her, wrapping Narcissa in a hug. "Cissy!"

"Hi Reggy!" Narcissa exclaimed, smiling as she hugged her cousin. She always had a soft spot for the boy; he really was quite adorable.

She and Sirius, though closer in age, didn't get along very well (though seeing as he ended up in Gryffindor, it was now no wonder why). It was probably because Bellatrix and Sirius never got on well either, and Narcissa would always side with Bellatrix when they fought. But it was no matter. Sirius had Andromeda; she was closer to him than she was to either of her sisters, even before Bellatrix used an Unforgivable on her. It made Narcissa worry, figuring she must have gotten her mudblood loving habits from him since he was clearly a bad seed, but she knew her sister wouldn't listen if she told her to stay away from him. Andromeda wouldn't even look at her anymore.

"Regulus, take your hands off of Narcissa!" Walburga shrieked, like what her son was doing was against human nature. She grabbed his collar and pulled him off of Narcissa. "We've spoken about this! Men do not hug, they either shake hands or, in the case of women, you take her hand and lightly kiss the top of it. I swear, if your father could see you—"

"Orion is working then?" Druella asked her sister-in-law, her nose upturning a little. "On Christmas? I would have thought he would have gathered enough standing with the company by now to take off the time. Pity." The two of them were always finding fault in each other's families. Druella was practically ecstatic that Sirius got sorted into Gryffindor (though she'd never show it, of course), just because it gave her a reason to look down on Aunt Walburga. Aunt Walburga used to always rub in her face that she was able to bare sons and it ground on Druella's nerves.

Meanwhile, Regulus, just trying to do what his mother told him to do, took Narcissa's hand in hers and brought it to his lips. Walburga nearly had a cow. "Not with her you sodding waste of space, she's your cousin and will be married off to someone not of close blood if we can help it. Though there's always the chance she may turn out as disappointing as Andromeda, in which case I suppose you'll have to marry her, just as Sirius will marry Andromeda if she doesn't find a proper suitor soon."

"Ew!" Both Andromeda and Sirius shrieked, looking at each other and then back at Walburga, horrified. Narcissa and Regulus shared a similar look. Why were they only finding out about this now? And wasn't her mother threatening to send Andromeda to a nunnery if she didn't have a husband? Maybe it was only that though - a threat. Obviously she had other plans for them.

God, Narcissa really didn't have much of a chance to find love, did she? She either needed to find a husband by the time she was seventeen or she'd be engaged to Regulus. This was just getting worse.

"We keep the bloodline pure; there will be no arguments!" Druella told them all. "Of course, it is not our first choice, there are a few pureblooded witches and wizards that are not as closely related, but no one in this family will marry someone of unpure blood! If you cannot find a suitor, arrangements have been made as an alternative plan, and your Aunt and I will not hear another word about it!"

"But I can't marry Sirius!" Andromeda protested. "Our children would come out all…deformed!"

"Don't be an idiot, Andromeda," Druella snapped. "The chances of birth defects are significantly less than if I was to marry you to a brother."

"If you had ever bore sons," Walburga sniped under her breath. Druella gave her a scathing look.

"If I had, they would have surely ended up in Slytherin," Druella retorted. "I would not bare anything else but perfection."

Walburga glared at her, biting her tongue.

"Children, go occupy yourself while Druella and I visit," Walburga told them in a stiff tone. Clearly it wasn't going to be a pleasant conversation. But the children took off, not wanting to stand around and be insulted any longer.

The four of them went out into the garden. It was unusually warm for December, so they would not be having a white Christmas this year. Narcissa didn't mind it; she preferred not having to wear uncomfortably clunky overcoats. She had long sleeves on her dress, and while it was a little chilly, it wasn't unbearable. Her hair was blowing in the soft breeze as she watched Sirius and Andromeda having an animated conversation.

"This is ridiculous!" Andromeda shrieked. "Us? Marry?"

"I'm not marrying you, I don't care what Mother says!" Sirius exclaimed, holding up his hands to indicate he was very much not involved in any of this. "That's completely revolting!"

"Oi!" Andromeda protested, offended by his choice of wording.

"Oh, no, I didn't mean you. Just… you know. Ew," Sirius said, shaking his head, which then vibrated down to his whole body.

Andromeda nodded in agreement. "God, you're so lucky you were put in Gryffindor, I'd give anything to get away from all this madness."

Narcissa's mouth dropped open. "How can you say that? It's a disgrace!"

Andromeda pointedly ignored her as she always did, pretending she didn't exist. Sirius on the other hand, gave her a very rude gesture. Narcissa scoffed at him.

"I want to be in Slytherin!" Regulus announced with a grin. Narcissa put her arm around him, hugging him.

"You will, don't worry. You can't have two black sheep in the family, after all," she said, staring at Sirius and Andromeda the whole time while she said it.

"I don't think we invited you to this conversation," Sirius told her with a bratty tone. He was such a child. "So piss off, yeah? Where's your psychotic disaster of a sister? I'm sure she'd enjoy the pleasure of your rotten company."

"Oi! Lay off Bellatrix before I put you in a hole in the ground," Narcissa exclaimed, angry.

"Bellatrix isn't allowed here for more than a day," Andromeda told Sirius with a grin on her face that made Narcissa want to hit her. "Mother thinks Cissy is getting too attached. If only she knew how much."

"What do you mean?" Sirius asked.

"Shut your mouth!" Narcissa shrieked, running up to her and pushing her flat on the ground. She stood over her and yelled, "You heard what Bellatrix said, so I'd watch what you say if I were you, blood-traitor!" Anger crossed over Andromeda's face and she picked herself up off the ground before her hands connected with Narcissa's chest, pushing her back.

This turned into an all-out brawl.

"Fight, fight!" Regulus encouraged, clearly amused by it while Sirius tried to tear them off of each other. It wasn't the most sophisticated fight; it mostly consisted of hair pulling, scratching, and biting. Andromeda screamed when Narcissa practically tore some of her hair from her head, which earned her a slap across the face.

"Stop it!" Sirius yelled, trying to pull them apart. He wasn't as big as either of them though, so was ultimately failing the task, but he kept trying regardless. "'Meda, she's not worth it!"

"Piss off, you grotty little wank shite!" Narcissa yelled, pushing Sirius back with her free hand, which unfortunately left herself wide open for Andromeda to scratch her face, leaving stinging marks down her cheek.

Regulus gasped out loud at Narcissa's language and then doubled over in laughter, thinking it hilarious. "Sod off you little prick, you're not helping!" Sirius shouted at his brother, pushing him back a few steps. Regulus responded with an angry, "Oi!" trying to shove his brother back but being significantly smaller left him at a disadvantage.

It was complete madness.

"What the devil is this?!" came a shriek from the doorway, which made all four of them stop fighting with each other instantly, stiffening in fear. Druella stood in the doorway, horrified at their behavior as Walburga hurried up along side of her, eyes wide and face contorted in anger when she set sight on her children.

"You're fighting like a bunch of filthy muggles!" Walburga shrieked, eyes maddening as she strode over to Sirius and Regulus, taking them both by the ear roughly and pulling them back towards the house. "We are Blacks! We hold ourselves with honor and pride and we settle our disputes the same way! You all are a disgrace upon our family name!"

"Mum! OW!" Sirius and Regulus protested as they were dragged into the house. The last Narcissa saw of them before they rounded the corner was Sirius trying to escape his mother's grasp, only to earn himself a smack across the face that brought him to his knees.

Narcissa didn't have time to worry about her cousins though; her mother was advancing on her and Andromeda.

"She started it!" Narcissa shrieked, pointing accusingly at Andromeda in a fit of fear. She knew it would make no difference however.

"I don't care who started it!" Druella bellowed. "You two are disgusting; absolute disgraces to this family! Ugly, unwed! I gave up my life to raise proper children and this is the thanks I receive?! I wish I aborted both of you before you had been born!"

Then Andromeda screamed as Druella raised her wand, slicing it down in the air just as it sliced down her back. She fell to her knees. Narcissa tried to run but her mother caught her by her hair, pulling her towards her. "You're next!" she screamed, madness in her voice. Narcissa tried to struggle and screamed for her to let her go, but the more she did, the more it hurt; she was nearly tearing her hair out of her skull.

"You should know better, Andromeda!" Druella yelled as she magically wounded her again. Andromeda screamed in pain, tears falling from her eyes. "You're the oldest! You're completely useless, aren't you? Can't even find a proper husband! Disgusting, is what you are!"

"Stop!" Andromeda begged, crying as she lay on the pavement, shuddering and bleeding. "Please! I'm sorry!"

"Sorry won't teach you a lesson!" Druella shouted, giving her another lashing. Andromeda choked on her own tears.

"Leave us alone!" Narcissa shrieked, but was immediately thrown on top of her sister until a blinding pain ripped down her spine, making her scream in agony. She tried to grab onto her sister's hand, just trying to feel something real, but Andromeda (with the little strength she had left in her) pushed her away, crying.

"This is your fault," she choked out, voice barely above a whisper.

"And you!" Druella roared, turning her anger on Narcissa. "You were doing so well; having the eye of the Malfoy boy! And this is how you act? This is how you thank me for raising you well enough to even achieve his interest? By fighting like a common street rat?! I swear on my life, Narcissa; I will beat the rebellion out of you if I have to! This is for your own good!"

Narcissa screamed again as another hot slice violated her back and she curled into a ball, shaking and crying. It had been ages since they had last been beat; she had forgotten how horrible it was. It seemed to last forever, the pain. But finally it ended and Druella dragged them both to their feet, healing their wounds before she left them in the garden, both of them still shaking and crying. The two sisters wouldn't look at each other.

A silent tear fell from Andromeda's cheek as she held herself, looking out across the garden and away from Narcissa. "I hate you," she breathed, her voice shaking. "You're nothing to me anymore, Narcissa."

Narcissa felt her heart break. For how angry she was with Andromeda for all the fighting, she knew this was her fault and that she had every right to hate her. If she weren't lying with Bellatrix in sin, this would have never happened. Any of it. Andromeda wouldn't have felt so un-included her whole life, she wouldn't have been tortured by Bellatrix. She wouldn't hate her.

"Andy—" Narcissa tried, voice hoarse as she tried to put a hand on her sister's arm. But Andromeda shook her hand off violently, wrenching away from her.

"Don't touch me!" she shrieked before she ran off, through the garden and out the back fence. She never looked back.

"Andy!" Narcissa shouted, but it fell on deaf ears. She supposed her words always would. After everything, she'd need a miracle to have Andromeda love her again.

She had lost a sister.

Narcissa's date with Lucius was the next day, and while she tried to be excited for it, she couldn't find it in her. She was still so upset about Andromeda, but she knew she had herself to blame. She also knew there was nothing she could do; there was nothing she could ever do to make up for the fact that Bellatrix tortured her to protect their own interests. It broke her heart, but she tried to bury those emotions. It wouldn't do her any good to dwell on things that are were beyond fixing.

Her mother was fussing over her, of course. Making sure she was wearing the perfect outfit, fixing her hair just so, and rambling on about how she better act like a proper lady and get asked for a second date or else she'd "beat the ugly out of her so something like that doesn't happen again."

Narcissa hated every second of time she spent with her mother, but she bit her tongue and bore with it because she was too scared to protest. She may have gained some strength, but the fear of her mother's wrath was instilled deep inside of her. Thankfully it was over rather quickly and Druella left her alone, reminding her that Lucius was due at the house in twenty minutes so she had better be downstairs when he arrived.

Narcissa sat at her vanity, staring at herself in the mirror. Her own reflection looked foreign to her. Her hair was much too light now, which only intensified her pale complexion. Her makeup made her look at least three years older and maybe it was the blush, but her cheekbones looked far too defined for her liking. Regardless, she knew this would have to do because her mother would have a fit if she even put one hair out of place.

As she walked out of the room, she nearly collided with Sirius. "Watch where you're going!"

He gave her a look of loathing as his eyes trailed up and down her form. "Where are you going?" he asked, taking note of her outfit.

"On a date; not that it's any of your business," Narcissa retorted as she continued down the hall. Sirius followed.

"Ha! Who would want to date you?"

Narcissa liked him better when he was too young to be such a scathing brat. He used to respect her. Well, not entirely, but he was too scared to talk back at her at least because she was older. He seemed to have no such fear anymore. He was particularly worse this visit, though probably because he sided with Andromeda over everything and she hated Narcissa.

She rounded on him, a self-satisfied smirk on her face. "Lucius Malfoy, maybe you've heard of him? He's about the most upper-class pureblooded boy in the entire school, actually." Narcissa wasn't keen on bragging about Lucius, but Sirius was irritating her.

"Malfoy?" he repeated in disbelief. "You mean that fifth year prat that Snivellus is hanging around?" He laughed. "Good, you two deserve each other."

Narcissa had no idea who 'Snivellus' was, though found she didn't care. "At least I won't be stuck marrying Regulus. I hope you and Andy enjoy breeding your deformed little babies, because there's no way you'll ever amount to anything that any decent pureblooded witch would ever marry," she countered, then spat scathingly, "Gryffindor. Bet you have a bunch of mudblood friends at school, don't you?"

"Oi! Lay off my friends, you classless munter! At least I have some!"

Sirius calling her ugly fueled her anger and she pushed him roughly into the wall before storming off, taking the stairs two at a time. God, why couldn't he just be disowned? Her mother said that anyone that wasn't a Slytherin would be blasted from the tree. Apparently Aunt Walburga didn't have it in her to follow through with the family threat. Pity.

As she descended the last step, Narcissa heard the telltale crack of someone arriving by apparation. Butterflies made camp in her stomach; she was nervous. She knew she had no reason to be; Lucius already liked her and she wasn't out to impress him or anything, but it was her first date. Any sane person would be nervous, right?

As she entered the living room, she saw Lucius with his father, standing with Narcissa's parents. Cygnus shook hands with Lucius' father, who looked like he bore a clone with his son standing next to him. Well, there went the mystery of how Lucius was going to look when he got older. Clearly he wouldn't lose his good looks, which was a plus if Narcissa was ever going to marry him.

Not that she was planning on it or anything.

"You and your son are most welcome in our home, Abraxas," Druella said after proper introductions were made. "We're so glad your son has expressed an interest in our daughter, we feel it's a step in the right direction for our noble race."

"Your Narcissa is all Lucius talks about," Abraxas told Druella with a curt smile. "I have heard many wonderful things about her and I as well as you hope this little…outing will prove to be most beneficial, for both of our families."

But no pressure, right? They might as well be discussing the wedding already.

Narcissa was already embarrassed by this entire ordeal; their parents having to meet before this all happened, but she stayed quiet, looking at Lucius. Thankfully, she wasn't the only one who looked embarrassed. His face was a little rosy but he stood tall and proud, like the proper young man he was.

"It's a bit unorthodox," Cygnus stated, "A date. But I suppose times are changing." Her father gave Lucius a look though that clearly told him that times have not changed that much. It was a silent threat that he better keep his daughter chaste.

"Lucius insisted on it. He believes it will be more proper to get to know young Narcissa before asking for her hand, which I'm inclined to agree with."

Narcissa wasn't sure if that was a dig at her or her family, but she was sure she didn't like his tone when he said that.

"Father," Lucius pleaded under his breath, catching the tone as well.

"Nothing against Narcissa, of course," Abraxas told them with a dismissive wave of his hand. "I'm sure she's a fine young woman. But one does hear rumors about your middle child yet to be engaged and well, one might wonder why that is."

Oh no. By the look on her mother's face, she was sure Andromeda was going to get another beating for embarrassing her.

"Andromeda has many suitors," Druella lied with a curt smile. "She only has yet to choose the best one."

"Do not worry about our affairs, Abraxas. I assure you, this family is well taken care of," Cygnus said shortly before shooting his wife a pointed look that meant 'take care of Andromeda's marital status, and quickly.'

"Be that as it may, I will only allow my boy to have the best," Abraxas told them. "If your Narcissa is it, then by all means I will gladly support their union."

This time it was Narcissa who was shot a look by both of her parents. They needed her to marry Lucius, that much was clear. Narcissa felt her stomach drop to the floor; this was not the way this was supposed to go. She was supposed to have a choice.

Maybe she was fooling herself to think she ever did.

"You have a lovely home, Mr. and Mrs. Black," Lucius said politely, trying to interrupt the tension in the room. "And if I have your permission, I would be honored to escort your daughter to dinner now."

Dinner? The thought was revolting and her stomach turned. She was too nervous to eat.

"Of course, Lucius," Druella said with a smile. "You two have fun."

Lucius grabbed Narcissa's hand, pulling her into the fireplace. He obviously wanted to get out of there as much as she did, but before they could leave Abraxas grabbed Lucius' shoulder just as he took the floo powder in his hand. "If she doesn't come back a virgin, I'll have your head, boy."

"Father!" Lucius protested, horrified. Narcissa turned a deep shade of red as her own father shot a deathly look at Lucius as well. God, they needed to get out of there.

"Let's go," Narcissa muttered, mortified. She pulled on his hand to signify haste.

Lucius wasted no time holding his hand up and dropping the powder into the fireplace saying, "Diagon Alley!"

In a burst of violent green flames, the couple disappeared.


*Chapter 20*: Chapter Twenty


Narcissa and Lucius stepped out from the fireplace in the Leaky Cauldron, coughing and brushing the ash from their clothes. "I can't wait until we can apparate," Narcissa said, hating that she had to travel this way. It was always so dirty.

"Not far off now," Lucius replied, brushing some more ash off of Narcissa's shoulder. The blonde gave him a small smile of gratitude.

"Three years seems like a lifetime away," Narcissa told him honestly. Everyone said her childhood would be over in the blink of the eye, but it only seemed to stretch on forever. She made eye contact with Lucius and said, "I'm sorry about my parents. They're… overwhelming."


"It should be me that's apologizing for my Father. He was very rude to your family," Lucius told her as they began to walk through the pub. "He's very… proud. And rather uptight."

"I was surprised your mother didn't come," Narcissa mentioned. It was usually both parents that were involved in such things.

"My mother died when I was seven," Lucius told her in a low voice as they walked out of the Leaky Cauldron. Narcissa stopped, which made Lucius halt in return.

"I'm so sorry," Narcissa said softly, feeling awful for bringing it up. "I didn't know."

"It's alright. I've had years to come to terms with her loss," Lucius told her, giving her a small smile. "She was hardly around anyway. She worked at the Ministry, like my father. He tried to make her stay home and raise me like a proper woman but she was stubborn; wanted to contribute financially to the family. The only time I ever saw my father weak was when he was around her… he would have given her the world if only he could." He smiled at that thought. "So I was raised by a nanny, mostly. Lovely woman, but I'm too old now to be babysat, so she's since left the family home."

Narcissa peered up at him. "Do you miss her? Your nanny, I mean."

"Not really, no. She wasn't particularly motherly; only took care of my basic needs. She was a nice woman, but I always knew she was temporary."

As they walked down Diagon Alley, Narcissa sighed a little. "You were lucky to have a nanny."

"You think? I always thought the opposite. I understood my mother's need to work and become successful, but I frequently hated that she was gone so often."

"Well, maybe it would have been better for you if your mother was around, I don't know. But myself? I wish my mother was constantly away," Narcissa admitted. "It would have made my childhood much more… peaceful."

"Your mother seemed like a lovely woman," Lucius said, surprised that Narcissa would feel that way.

Narcissa laughed bitterly. "Yeah, that's what she wants you to think." She looked around, wondering where he was taking her. "So where are we going to dinner?"

Lucius smirked. "We're not going to dinner. Somehow, I thought that kind of date would bore you. I seek the opposite effect."

Narcissa raised her eyebrow at him. "So what are we doing then?"

"I have a couple different ideas," Lucius answered, smiling a little as he revealed his grand plan. "First, I could take you shopping, buy you whatever it is that you desire."

"You don't have to buy my affections, Lucius," Narcissa told him disapprovingly. Although if she was to be honest she did find it to be an incredibly grand gesture; anything she wanted. But the last thing Narcissa wanted was fancy trinkets and new dresses; they were nice, but she was a privileged child already.

"I thought not, but it would bring me happiness to give you whatever it is that you wish," Lucius told her charmingly. Narcissa couldn't help but smile, though she tried to hide it. She had to give him credit though; he certainly knew how to treat a lady.

"And your other ideas?" she asked coyly, arching an eyebrow.

"Well, we could buy a bottle of firewhiskey, get completely sloshed, and do something crazy."

Narcissa laughed. "Do you even know the definition of crazy, Lucius?"

"Do you?" He counted with a grin. "Children from our background hardly ever have the chance to do anything exciting in our lives, even our parties are boring and tedious. And while I'd love to keep my appearance of a proper pureblooded boy, something tells me you crave something a bit more… unhinged."

Unhinged. What a perfect word to describe Bellatrix.

"You think you know me, do you?"

"Not at all. I just happen to make unusually good guesses," Lucius replied, not bothering to hide his smirk.

Narcissa crossed her arms over her chest, looking amused. "What if I told you my life was unhinged enough already, and all I craved was normalcy?"

"Then I'd reconsider the dinner option," Lucius replied, looking a little unsure about himself now.

"Well, lucky for you then I prefer getting drunk to eating," Narcissa said with a smirk. She then realized what she said and revised, "In fancy restaurants, I mean." No need to let Lucius in on a problem that was none of his business.

"Then it's settled," Lucius said with a grin, a little too happy about the drinking plan of action. Narcissa figured drinking would settle her first date jitters though and would allow them to get to know each other without any walls.

Lucius purchased the firewhiskey from the owner of Borgin and Burkes, who much too easily sold the liquor to underage students. Lucius said it was because he knew and feared his father, but either way, it was nice that they didn't have to try to steal any, or something equally as degrading. Regardless, they still drank the liquor in a little corner of Knockturn Alley, away from prying eyes that might get uptight about underage students drinking.

"It's so creepy here," Narcissa said, looking down the alleyway as she took a swig of the liquor, feeling it burn its way down her throat. There were more than a few shady people around and she was glad she was with Lucius.

"Scared?" Lucius jested, taking the liquor from her hands. She nudged him with her elbow.

"You wish."

Lucius opened his mouth in mock horror, "I would never wish fear upon you!" Narcissa snorted in response.

"You're telling me you wouldn't want to play the hero? I somehow very much doubt that." She bit her bottom lip as she smiled, watching him take another drink before he passed it off to her.

"Well, one must assert their masculinity periodically, yes. Otherwise we're bound to go crazy," Lucius responded with a chuckle. "Or turn into a woman."

Narcissa rolled her eyes as she took another swig of the liquor. "My sister is a woman and yet asserts more masculinity than most men, I've found."

"Well, your sister is… different," Lucius said, making a face as he received the bottle pass. "Honestly, I thought her a lesbian until she became engaged to Rodolphus. That was a surprise."

Narcissa started to have a coughing fit.

"Are you alright?" Lucius asked, patting her on the back. Narcissa nodded, sucking in breaths of air. God, was her sister's true orientation that obvious to everyone?

"It… went down… the wrong… pipe," she gasped. She coughed a little more, waving him off. "I'm fine."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to distress you with my assessment of your sister. I'm sure you would have been horrified if she had come out as one of…them." He said the word like it was vile and Narcissa's stomach dropped to the floor. "I had heard rumors of that girl Gwendolyn she used to associate with, which was why I was worried."

"Bellatrix dropped her as a friend after she found out her sexual orientation," Narcissa said quickly. She had no problem throwing Gwendolyn under the bus; she cared nothing for her. "She tried to come on to my sister and it absolutely horrified her."

"I'm sorry to hear that. That must have been terribly distressing. It's good she weeded the filth from her life though, something like that is intolerable," Lucius replied before tipping the bottle to his lips. Narcissa nodded, but felt a little sick. This was not a conversation that she wanted to have.

When he passed it back to her she took a nice long sip, needing to get pissed off her arse as quickly as humanly possible. "So," she started, trying to switch the conversation to something more tolerable. "Why me? I mean, you must have realized by now that I'm not the perfect picture of a proper, pureblooded woman."

"You believed that would bother me?" Lucius asked, an eyebrow raised.

"Well… yes. You went on and on about how proper I was and how I was the epitome of chastity and… whatever else you said," Narcissa said, not remembering it all. It was probably in part due to the alcohol in her system. "Oh! And that you admire me for being… traditional."

"I do admire that," Lucius told her. "You may not be a snotty, rich girl but that doesn't mean you're not proper. You're saving yourself for marriage; there's nothing more proper than that. Besides, I'd rather not be with a woman who seeks to find flaws in everything around them, as it seems most pureblooded witches do. You have life inside of you, Narcissa; a spark that I find intriguing."

"And let me guess, you wish to touch that spark inside me, yeah?" Narcissa asked, smirking at his blush.

"I didn't mean it like that."

"You're a fifteen-year-old boy; I find it hard to believe you want anything else from me," Narcissa told him bluntly before tipping the bottle to her lips, taking her last sip. She was already beginning to feel a bit more honest and that was all she really needed.

"You still mistrust my intentions then."

"No, I believe you do want to marry me, Lucius," Narcissa told him as she passed the bottle to him, watching him take a sip. "But I also believe that half the time you're looking at me, you're imagining me naked."

Lucius coughed up some of the liquor he was trying to swallow. Narcissa pressed her lips together, trying not to laugh. "Well, go on then. Deny it."

Lucius couldn't help but laugh as he wiped his chin. "You're very forward, Narcissa."

"I'll take that as an affirmative to my assessment then." She smirked, raising both of her eyebrows at him for a second before she grabbed his hand, pulling him along. "Come on."

"Where are we going?"

"I don't know. Somewhere, anywhere. Just out of this dank alley," Narcissa told him, lacing her fingers with his. The warmth was spreading through her body, an indication the liquor was settling into her bloodstream. She heard music coming from one of the tiny shops from Diagon Alley and lifted up Lucius' hand, twirling underneath it.

"Do you ever wish you could fly, Lucius?" she asked him as she twirled. "Without a broom, I mean. Just… jumping up and taking off into the clouds? No inhibitions, nothing grounding you; just being free and weightless."

Lucius smirked, watching her dance. "Not that I can remember." His eyes trailed over her flowing form as she moved; the sway of her dress around her legs, her hips, her breasts, and finally her face.

"I think it'd be lovely," Narcissa said with a grin before she stopped suddenly in front of him. She cocked an eyebrow, smirking. "You're thinking of me naked again."

"Have you been studying Legilimency?" Lucius asked, taken aback. Narcissa laughed.

"No, it's just written all over your face," she told him with a smirk. Feeling much more desirable and playful now, she reached up, trailing a finger down his jawline. Oh, how nice it was to have someone just fall to putty in your hands. She never had this much control over Bellatrix, although mainly because any sign of a tease and the girl would take her without hesitation. Lucius had more self-control than that, and it made it fun. Arching an eyebrow at him she teased, "Is it hard for you?"

"Excuse me?!" Lucius asked, taking that in the completely wrong way. Narcissa suppressed a laugh, realizing what he was talking about. His face was priceless.

"Not being able to just take what you want," Narcissa clarified with an amused smirk on her face. "All these girls would fall to their knees around you, I've seen it. But you can't just take me like you took them."

"Something good is usually worth waiting for," Lucius answered, trying to compose himself after his embarrassing moment.

"I didn't ask if it was worth it. I asked if it was…hard." She nearly snorted when she saw him noticeably twitch from the use of the word and it took everything in her to suppress the urge to laugh. Oh, this was too much fun. She so wished she could play with Bellatrix in this way.

"Well I don't know, is it difficult to have desires yourself and never being able to act on them?" Lucius countered. Narcissa laughed.

"Touché. Alright, I'll stop playing games with you," Narcissa said with a chuckle, tightening the grip on his hand to lead him further down Diagon Alley. But he stopped and pulled her to him gently, allowing her back to collide with his chest.

"Maybe I enjoy you 'playing' with me," he whispered in her ear. Narcissa blushed, suppressing a grin. His breath was hot on her neck and his arms around her were so strong, so defined. She bit her lower lip and turned her head up to look at him.

"But it wouldn't be very fair if I continued; it'd be like winding up a toy and then restricting it from having a go round the room," Narcissa replied, giggling.

"I think I'll manage," Lucius told her, sliding his hands down her arms before taking a hold of both of her hands. Narcissa bit her lower lip, enjoying the flirtation.

"Yeah? Then maybe I should just keep repeating the word hard until you pop, since you seem to have no arguments against it."

"What would you know of popping, Narcissa Black?" Lucius countered with a smirk. She looked up at him.

"I'm not completely virginal, you know," she retorted. His eyebrows raised, intrigued.


"I… had a boyfriend last year," Narcissa started, then shrugged. "We didn't go all the way or anything, but I had my fair share of experimentation with him." She actually didn't have much experimentation with Dale; it was only the once. Most of her sexual experience came from Bellatrix, but she wasn't about to tell Lucius that.

"Oh, that scrawny little thing that followed you around last year?" Lucius asked, sounding amused. "You do realize you could do so much better."

"Like who, you?" Narcissa counted, calling him out on his unspoken insinuation.

"W-Well…" Lucius stuttered, not wanting to seem like a pompous ass.

"You," Narcissa finished for him.

"Well, fine. Yes, me," Lucius said nodding, like he was affirming that he shouldn't be ashamed to say it. He was slightly intoxicated, after all. "I mean, there's not even a comparison, is there?"

Narcissa rolled her eyes. "Your ego isn't very attractive, Lucius. What makes you think you're a better man than him?"

"For one, I wouldn't have let you go," Lucius told her bluntly. "Seems like a bloody stupid thing to do, if you ask me."

Narcissa turned away from him to hide her smile, looking out down Diagon Alley. She leaned back against him more fully, allowing him to slide his arms around her waist. "Are you staking claim on me now, Master Malfoy?" she teased.

"Only if you'll allow me too."

"Hm," Narcissa murmured, looking up at the sky. It was such a beautiful night. "I'll get back to you on that," she told him finally. She turned her head to look at him before kissing him lightly on the cheek. He grinned. "I will say this much; I'm surprised by how good of a time I'm having with you."

"You doubted me?"

"I doubt everyone until they sway my opinion otherwise," Narcissa answered. "That way I can never be disappointed."

He chuckled. "Sounds a little pessimistic, if you ask me."

"Life rarely gives a reason for optimism, Lucius," Narcissa answered honestly. "That's just the way it is." She bit her bottom lip softly, watching the people in the distance who were having a very loud and animated conversation. Letting out a breath she smirked, nudging Lucius softly in the ribs. "So? You said something of acting crazy and so far we're being very tame. Was that merely an excuse to get me drunk?"

"You don't seem very drunk," Lucius observed, chuckling. "I'm surprised, you drank quite a bit."

"Well let me fix that then, yeah? Where did you put the bottle?" Narcissa asked turning to look at him. He nodded his head at Knockturn Alley.

"I hid it where we were before," he answered. Narcissa gave him a flirty smile and slipped out of his arms, turning to walk back down Knockturn Alley. She may or may have not have swayed her hips a little for effect as she walked, trying to keep his attention. Whether she got his attention with her arse or not, he still followed.

When they got to the corner in the alley they were in before, Lucius handed her the bottle. "Much appreciated," she told him with a grin. She tipped the bottle up to her lips, but then her eyebrows furrowed when she heard a whoosh and a cackling in the alley.

Very familiar cackling.

Narcissa stepped out from the corner in disbelief, about to throw a fit at her sister for stalking her on her date, but she was wrenched back into the darkness by Lucius, a hand over her mouth. "Mmphf!" she protested, angry.

"Shh…" he hushed her, voice quivering a little. "Please believe me when I tell you that you don't want to be seen by them. Even your sister." Narcissa didn't understand; were they not part of the same group Lucius was? Narcissa only saw three figures, but couldn't make out which one her sister was. She was about to protest to Lucius for practically manhandling her when a loud crash was heard, followed by a scream and wicked laugher. Narcissa jumped.

She knew what was going on; Bellatrix and whoever she was with were either hurting someone or about to hurt someone. She struggled against Lucius' grip, but he only held her to him tighter, keeping his hand over her mouth. "Please, Narcissa, just listen to me," he breathed in her ear. "If he sees you, knows who you're related to, he'll recruit you. You won't have a choice after what you witnessed. Bellatrix is quickly becoming his second in command and with her blood running through your veins he'll believe you to be as ruthless and cunning as she is, and I don't believe you have that in you. I won't have you getting involved in something so dangerous."

That made Narcissa still. Lucius had fear in his voice; fear of his own leader. Narcissa nodded slowly, understanding. Her breathing had shallowed significantly, hearing the crashes and screams from inside one of the shops. Wouldn't anyone come? Then again, this was Knockturn Alley. It was famous for shady dealings; a don't ask, don't tell policy. Everyone was probably minding their own business in fear that it was a Ministry raid.

Lucius slowly took his hand from Narcissa's mouth after he realized she wasn't going to shout for her sister's attention. Another loud explosion was heard and Narcissa jumped, burying her face in Lucius' chest. She could hear her sister laughing; she was the loudest of them all. "What are they doing?" she whispered fearfully.

"You know I can't tell you that," Lucius told her in a hushed whisper, holding her close.

"Why aren't you with them?" Narcissa asked bitterly, wishing she could block out the sounds and erase them from her memory. Her hands gripped his robes tighter, looking the other way. She could still see licks of orange light flickering on the brick wall opposite them though; someone had set something on fire.

"I'm not of age," Lucius replied in a whisper. "I have yet to be fully initiated."

Narcissa shook her head before burying it in his neck. "Get out of it," she whispered. "What they do… it's horrible, Lucius. It's horrible…" There were sounds of fighting in the distance now; spells being cast and deflected. "I try to block it out, pretend I don't know what she does… but I do. I hate it. I hate what it's doing to her. But you… you have yet to get so lost. Just run. Run."

His arms wrapped around her tighter and he kissed the top of her head comfortingly. He took a breath, inhaling her scent before his lips tickled her scalp as he told her regrettably, "I can't…"

Narcissa jumped again when another bang was heard, but it was followed by clear voices not far from where they were hiding. Narcissa and Lucius immediately took a step back, deeper into the shadows.

"You have done well, Bella." It was the voice of a man. Narcissa didn't have to ask Lucius who; she already knew. It was like his words chilled her to the bone. He could be none other than Lord Voldemort.

"Thank you, my Lord," Bellatrix replied, like she was speaking to someone whom she desired so deeply. She sought his approval, his acceptance, his love; it was clear even in those four words. Anger rose up inside Narcissa. Bellatrix already had someone to love and accept her.

"Go back to Rodolphus, tell him I will require his services to decipher this in a few days."

"Yes, my Lord. Is there anything else—?"

But she was ignored. "Rosier! Your work is yet complete. Find Dolohov and tell him I require his presence immediately," Voldemort told the other hooded figure.

"Yes, my Lord." It was not the voice of Evan Rosier, however. It was deeper, older. His father, perhaps.

That was where the conversation ended, and Narcissa heard more whooshes as a trail of black smoke was left behind, creeping around the corner where Narcissa stood with Lucius; signifying their leave. Narcissa didn't know she was holding her breath until she finally let it out. She looked up at Lucius, who was still holding her.

"Well, well. Isn't this a pretty picture? I could almost vomit, but I'm not the sister with an eating disorder."

Narcissa nearly jumped out of her skin. Bellatrix emerged from the shadows, cocking her head as she peered at them. "I knew I smelled fear. I thought I told you spying was rude, Cissy. Tsk, tsk."

"It was merely an unfortunate coincidence," Lucius said, trying to keep his voice calm. He seemed awfully frightened of Bellatrix though, no matter how much he tried to hide it. Narcissa couldn't blame him; Bellatrix in this state seemed to frighten everyone.

Everyone except her though, at least now that Narcissa knew she was the one in control when Bellatrix's world turned upside down.

"You…" Bellatrix hissed, getting in Lucius' face as she grabbed Narcissa, pulling her away from him. "Don't talk. I should flay you alive for allowing my baby sister to witness something like this. You should know better. Perhaps I should teach you a lesson?"

"Bellatrix, don't be horrible!" Narcissa exclaimed, wrenching her wrist out of her sister's grasp. "Lucius didn't do it on purpose."

But Bellatrix wasn't listening to her. She was too busy trailing her wand across Lucius' throat threateningly. "It would be so easy…" she breathed, smiling wickedly.

"You don't have the nerve," Lucius told her, eyes flashing. Narcissa didn't know why he was daring her when he was already scared of her, and Bellatrix clearly did have the nerve.

"Stop it!" Narcissa exclaimed, grabbing Bellatrix's arm and pulling her away from Lucius. "You told him he could ask me out; you had an agreement, remember? So stick to it. Don't do something that's going to make me hate you."

"She made the agreement, not me!" Bellatrix yelled, her eyes flashing dangerously.

"She is you, you mad bimbo!" Narcissa snapped, getting sick of those excuses. "Now if you want me to make you better, go back to the house and wait for me in my room. Just make sure Mum doesn't see you; she'll have a cow because you're only allowed home tomorrow. Do you hear me? Go! I won't argue with you."

Bellatrix looked a lot like an irate child who was just told they couldn't play with their favorite toy. She listened, however, but not before she got in Lucius' face without any warning and hissed, making him jump a little. She cackled at his weakness and grabbed Narcissa, pulling her towards her and giving her a violent kiss on the forehead. "Don't keep me waiting, love," she hissed into her ear before she let her go, nearly throwing her backward, and then disappeared from view in another cloud of black smoke, her echoing laughter fading into nothing.

Narcissa let out a breath and leaned against the wall, looking at Lucius apologetically. "I'm so sorry about that, she's—"

"Sick. I know, you told me," Lucius said, straightening his robes to seem more put together. He did look awfully shaken up.

Narcissa gave him a regretful look. "I have to go… she needs me. I can't leave her in that state; who knows what she'll do."

Lucius nodded, understanding. He had an odd look on his face though and Narcissa was worried that her sister's bad habit of turning up whenever they were together was going to make him rethink his interest in her. "I had a really nice time though," she tried, hoping to win his attention back.

Damn, was she actually starting to like him again? The date was fun; at least it was before all the madness, but she also didn't want to turn into another one of those girls who would follow him around like a puppy. She tried to look unconcerned, figuring it was a better plan of action.

"I did too," Lucius said, giving her a half smile. "Considering."

"I am really sorry—"

"It's not your fault. I should have known not to take you down here. Knockturn Alley isn't exactly the place for proper women," Lucius said. "The fault is my own. Next time I'll take you somewhere more suitable for a lady of your standards. Though, I do believe that was the 'crazy' you were looking for, so I'd say this date was still rather successful."

Narcissa couldn't help but crack a small smile. So much for looking unconcerned. "Next time?"

"If you'd like," Lucius replied, catching her eye. Narcissa grinned shyly and took two steps forward. When she met him face to face, she stood on her tiptoes, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him softly on the lips.

"I would like that."


*Chapter 21*: Chapter Twenty One


The second Narcissa got home she was practically pounced on by her mother. After assuring her she would be getting a second date (at least three times, since her mother didn't seem to believe her the first two times) and feigning tiredness, she retreated to her bedroom. It was exhausting, honestly, taking care of Bellatrix. And while she was thankful her sister didn't do something incredibly stupid or hurtful this time, she also had the bitter reminder that it wasn't over yet. That, frankly, this would never be over. If anything, it would become more frequent until it consumed Bellatrix whole.

When she opened her bedroom door, Bellatrix was lying on her bed, tearing the heads off of Narcissa's dolls. "Bella!" she hissed as she closed the door, locking it behind her. "What are you doing? Those are mine!"

Bellatrix cackled softly, tossing one of the dolls heads to her without even sparing her a glance. Narcissa struggled to catch it as it almost slipped from her grasp. Poor Mrs. Patterson, she used to be so beautiful. Narcissa was too old for dolls, but that didn't mean that they no longer held sentimental value to her. She glared at her sister as she smoothed out Mrs. Patterson's hair, as if trying to make up for the physical trauma Bellatrix put her through. She then took out her wand and cast the muffliato spell on the room so that their parents wouldn't realize her sister was there a day early.

"So, did you do it?" Bellatrix asked, finally looking over at her sister. Off of Narcissa's confused look she reiterated, "Did you get down on your knees and blow him? I know you wanted to. Did you suck his cock nice and proper? Hmm? I bet he came in your mouth and you guzzled it up like a greedy whore." She popped off another one of the dolls' heads, throwing it across the room. It hit the wall and landed on the floor with a plunk.

Bellatrix was oddly calm for being in this state and it worried Narcissa a little. She wasn't screaming at her, nor was she raising her voice; it was just flat, monotone. Not lifeless by any means, just lacking the enthusiasm that Bellatrix usually had when she was in this state. "As I said the first time when I was only twelve bloody years old and you threw this ridiculous accusation at me: I am not a harlot," Narcissa responded, her expression thoroughly unamused. She strode over to her, wrenching the doll from Bellatrix's grasp. "Now I would appreciate it if you stopped mutilating my things like a demented toddler."

Bellatrix didn't respond to that with her words, instead she pointed her wand at one of the heads of Narcissa's dolls that was lying carelessly on the floor and muttered, "Incendio." It burst into flame.

"Are you insane?!" Narcissa shouted. It was probably a redundant question. She struggled to pull out her wand and point it at the ball of flame on her floor. "Aguamenti!" The jet of water doused the fire, leaving it a steamy mess. She turned to Bellatrix, anger etched into her brow. "What is wrong with you? Why are you acting like this?"

"I'm bored," was the only response.

"Well that doesn't give you an excuse to light my stuff on fire!" Narcissa shouted. Bellatrix didn't react at all to her shouting - she just stared at her. Narcissa snapped her fingers in front of her face; she didn't react in the slightest.

"Tell me what's going on, seriously. You're acting weird. More than normal, anyway," Narcissa said, looking her over. "Are you sick?" she asked, concerned, placing her hand on Bellatrix's forehead. She felt normal.

"I'm always sick, love," Bellatrix told her with a wicked grin. "Sick in the head, making you sick to your stomach. 'Oh boo-hoo, my sister's a murderer!' Get some sodding perspective, you useless twat." Narcissa didn't look amused.

"I'm serious, Bella. If your disease is progressing into something different I need to know. This isn't how you usually act when you go insane. And I know you're not normal, that's painfully obvious."

Bellatrix gave an overdramatic scoff and an eye roll. "My god, do I have to spell everything out for you? She's sad, you bleedin' pillock. How thick are you, honestly? You'd think you'd understand the emotions of the woman you claim to be in love with. It's completely aggravating; she's being such a downer." An angry look crossed over her face and she slammed her hands down onto the comforter in a fit. "I wanted to have fun," she pointed to herself in a fit, "it was my turn to have some ruddy fun, and she'll barely let me move. It isn't fair, you know! This is my turn out of the box, not hers!" She was whining. It wasn't very attractive on a woman her age, that was for sure. "Tell her to stop, Cissy! The mad plonker usually listens to you, though I still fail to see why."

"You're sad?" Narcissa asked quietly, eyes softening as she looked over her sister. This was new; crazy-Bellatrix was now feeling proper moods. Granted she wasn't dealing with them like a normal person, but she was still feeling. Narcissa didn't know if that was an improvement or if it meant that the two sides of her were beginning to merge into one person, which would ultimately be worse.

"She's sad, that weak-arse bint. God, how she pines over you is completely disgusting. All this love and emotion… it's enough to make anyone irreparably nauseous." Bellatrix feigned gagging. Narcissa rolled her eyes at her childish display. "I don't even know why she bothering being upset over that sodding tosser - we're clearly superior. Plus, it's our genitals that have you tongue-tied."

"Charming," Narcissa said dryly, noting her sister's smirk. "And you're the one who gave him permission to date me, if you've forgotten."

"We didn't think you'd like it!" Bellatrix shouted, angry. "You love us, not him! You're ours. He was merely a formality, not to be taken seriously. Like Rodolphus, the grotty minger. Lucius was only supposed to ask for your hand in marriage and nothing else. He was supposed to keep his hands and especially his dirty little cockpiece to himself." She paused, then grinned. "I've always wanted to castrate someone."

"Don't you dare," Narcissa said firmly. She sighed, "Bella, I didn't mean to hurt you. You have to believe me. But I told you long ago that I wanted to fall in love with a man and marry him. That doesn't mean that I'll love you any less."

Bellatrix ignored her sentiment. "I'm going to tear his bollocks from his body, put them through a juicer and then feed it back to him through a straw." She laughed at her own 'brilliant' idea. "I may sever his cock from his body and shove it up his arse just to make sure they don't find their way out of him again. I think she'd like that."

"Lovely. You should write poetry."

Bellatrix smirked, proud of herself.

Narcissa looked at her, her brow softening in empathy. "Bella, it's okay to be upset. You do know that right?"

Bellatrix scoffed. "Ha! Upset, sadness, depression... weak emotions for weak pieces of nothing like you and her! This is complete rubbish! I want to tear something apart, torture a small animal just for the shits and giggles of it and I can't even move 'cause this useless lump is so depressed she doesn't even know what to do with herself!" She slammed her hands down on the bed in another fit of rage.

"I'm sorry I hurt you," Narcissa told her softly, wiping the hair from her sister's brow. Bellatrix pulled away from her, a grumpy look on her face.

"You hurt her, not me. I couldn't care less, actually. Shove his dick up your arse for all I give a sod. I'm sure you'd still cry out my name like the little bitch you are. 'Oh, Bella!'" she mocked, dry humping the air. "'Yes! I love it when you violate my cunt like the little incestuous pervert that I am!'"

Narcissa suppressed the urge to roll her eyes and sighed.

"I did hurt you," Narcissa said patiently. She was getting far too used to crazy-Bellatrix's insults. She knew it was only to distance herself from her; Bellatrix was scared that she was having real emotions while in this state and was responding to it by lashing out at her. "You're the same person underneath."

"Piss off."


"I don't care about you, Narcissa, I don't! You're a means to an end! A quick fuck that means absolute shit in the grand scheme of everything. You're nothing but an anorexic slut that's hindering my ability to function! This is your fault, Cissy! This is your fault!" She lunged at her then, fury in her eyes as she knocked Narcissa back on the bed, getting on top of her and holding her down, fingernails digging into her arms.

"Bella, stop!" Narcissa shouted, trying to get her off of her.

"You filthy whore!" Bellatrix shouted, spittle flying in Narcissa's face from the force of her words. "We loved you first! Us! And this is how you repay us? By spreading your legs for the first willing prick that crosses your path! You are nothing! Nothing!" Her curls tumbled down around her face, framing her enraged features.

"Get off of me!" Narcissa choked. Bellatrix wasn't hitting her or anything, but all her weight seemed to be on her chest and she was crushing her lungs. "Hurts…!" she gasped.

"You broke my heart!" Bellatrix screamed, for the first time taking personal ownership of her own emotions. "I wasn't supposed to have a heart and you destroyed it!" But she noticed Narcissa's distress and got off of her immediately, climbing off of the bed before proceeding to smash nearly everything in the room in a fit of rage.

As Narcissa tried to regulate her breathing, she watched with a heavy heart as her sister destroyed her room. After what seemed like forever Bellatrix finally exhausted herself, falling down on the floor and curling herself into a ball. She was shaking.

Narcissa felt her bottom lip tremble as she carefully picked herself up off the bed, walking over to her sister. She didn't say anything; she just lay next to her on the floor, making soft hushing sounds.

It was getting worse, Narcissa was sure of that now. This wasn't an improvement. Bellatrix hardly had a handle on her emotions when she was normal, but for this child-like part of her to feel something so adult seemed to make her snap. She couldn't handle it. Her brain just wasn't equipped in this state to deal with such things. She didn't even have it in her to understand such things. She felt without reason.

"Bella?" she asked softly after a long stretch of silence. "Bella… I know this is hard for you to understand right now, but I'm going to be married one day. Maybe it'll be to Lucius, but it may not be. I don't know, okay? But you need to accept that. I wasn't happy when you were getting married either, but we still see each other, don't we? It doesn't stop us."

Bellatrix shook her head, burying it into the area rug. "You can't get married," she mumbled. "You're mine."

Narcissa smiled a little, happy that she was now using personal pronouns. "I am yours," she whispered, brushing her hair back from her face. "Always. I could never love someone as much as I love you."

"Why?" Bellatrix whispered in a tiny voice, looking up at her. For such a magnificently frightful being, she looked so small just then. It was hard to believe this was the woman who was hurting someone hours previously; she looked like nothing more than a scared child as she lay in front of her.

"Why what, sweetie?" Narcissa asked patiently. Well, if this were a testament to anything, it'd be that she'd make a pretty decent mother when the time came. She never had much patience before until she had to deal with Bellatrix's disease.

"Why can't we just go away together?" Bellatrix asked her, sounding upset. Her eyes, which conveyed so much madness in them moments previously, now looked wide and innocent. Narcissa looked at her sadly and ran her fingers down her cheek.

"Because it'd ruin our lives, you know that. You're the one who told me that."

Bellatrix brought her hand up to her head, pressing her palm against her temple. "I hear myself in there sometimes. Like I'm out here. I don't like it."

"What do you say?" Narcissa asked softly, looking her in the eyes. She didn't know Bellatrix was hearing voices in her head. That explained a lot; more than a lot, actually.

"I can't do this. I can't do that. I can't say that to you. I need to stop. I need to focus my anger on them, not at you. It's not allowed. I'm so loud; always talking. Never shutting up. Always on and on and on…" she shook her head, like she was trying to shake the voices from her head. "Bad Bella. Bella's being naughty. Bad girl. Never shutting up. Shutting, shutting… shhh…."

Narcissa wasn't sure what that meant. Clearly she was hearing the normal part of her like it was outside of her head, which seemed more split personality than she realized, but it still wasn't that at all. Narcissa had no idea what her sister really had. Maybe it was something new.

"Do you hear yourself when you're… not like this?" Narcissa asked carefully. Bellatrix shook her head, digging her forehead into the carpet and closing her eyes like it was painful to think.

"Okay," Narcissa said softly. "Do you want me to make them go away then?" she asked, stroking Bellatrix's forehead gently. Bellatrix nodded, a look of discomfort on her face.

"It's not fun when it hurts. It was fun until now."

"I know," Narcissa replied gently, picking herself up off the ground. She helped her sister to her feet and led her over to the bed. "Lie down," she prodded. "Just lie down and try not to think. I'll make you better, I promise."

The sex wasn't rough, like it usually was when Bellatrix was in this state. There was no dominant and no submissive; Narcissa was merely gentle with her because she was afraid she'd break her further. After Narcissa went down on her and Bellatrix came, Narcissa crawled up the bed to lie next to her, looking her sister in the eyes.

"Is that better?" she whispered. Bellatrix nodded and reached for her hand, lacing their fingers together.

"I'm sorry," she apologized softly. "I just couldn't stand seeing you two there, his arms around you. It felt like a betrayal."

Narcissa gave her a sad smile as she reached up, lightly running her hand through her sister's hair. "He's a good man, Bella. I know you hate it, but he treats me well. Surely you'd rather me have someone who treats me nicely than someone who's horrid to me." She shrugged, turning away from her to roll on her back and look at the ceiling. "Besides, you're jumping too far ahead. We had one date, that's it. I'd like to see him again, but I don't know if he'll be the man I spend the rest of my life with."

"He will be," Bellatrix stated. She sounded so sure of herself that it made Narcissa turn her head to look at her.

"How can you know?"

"Because pureblooded men don't ever make the effort to court someone, Cissy," Bellatrix told her, like she was being thick. "They know that whomever they choose to be their wife will usually end up being so because the decision is between the parents, not the children. He has money, he has good looks; any parent would want him to be their son-in-law, and yet he's making the extra effort to make sure you're happy with him. He's trying far too hard. One day you'll realize that and appreciate it, so when he does finally propose, you'll be more than happy with it… with him." She shrugged lifelessly. "At least he's trying to make an effort for you two to have a happy marriage, rather than a bitter one like most pureblooded couples."

"So you approve of his chivalry and know it's good for me, yet you can't get over your jealousy," Narcissa answered for her quietly, reading between the lines.

Bellatrix rolled her eyes defiantly. "I'm not jealous." Narcissa snorted at that outright lie and Bellatrix glared at her, shoving her back a little. "Shut up, Cissy."

"It's okay to be jealous, you know," Narcissa told her. "I mean, how did you think I felt when I found out you slept with Rabastan? With those… those hookers? I was jealous too. I am still jealous, honestly. But I know I can't control it. You need a release to get out of this state and violence is no longer helping."

"It does help," Bellatrix admitted quietly. "Sometimes. Just… not all the time anymore. I was fine, you know, after what happened in Diagon Alley. I got my rage out. But then I saw you with Lucius and it just all resurfaced and I… snapped again."

"What were you doing down there?" Narcissa asked, her voice strained as she asked a question she knew she wouldn't get an answer to.

"You know I can't tell you that. Besides, you asked me to not mention work when we're together."

"It's different when I see it, Bella! Or hear it. I mean… that screaming. It was horrible. I don't understand how you can... how you can just hurt innocent people like that."

"Innocent people?" Bellatrix asked with a scoff. "No such animal."

Narcissa scoffed, offended. "You don't think of me as an innocent?"

Bellatrix outright laughed at that, like it was the funniest thing in the world. "Your innocence is long lost, love. You forget I know all your secrets. I am most of your secrets."

"Fine, I may not be completely innocent in that sense, but that doesn't mean that I deserve to be tortured or killed for it, does it? There are different degrees of sin, Bella. My sin doesn't hurt anyone."

"It hurt Andromeda," Bellatrix told her pointedly.

"You hurt Andromeda," Narcissa corrected, glaring at her. She wasn't the one who cast the torture curse on her. But she sighed, realizing that at least now she held a part in hurting her. "But I suppose I did too yesterday. We got into it. Pretty badly actually. Mum caught us and threw a cow."

That got Bellatrix attention. "Mum hurt you again?"

"She hurt both of us."

"Sod Andy, I couldn't care less about her. But if Mum—"

"She's our sister, Bella! How you can you not care when she cries out in pain? She goes through the same thing you did, that I still am. How can you have no compassion for that?"

"She's no sister of mine," Bellatrix told her firmly. "And she's not yours either. Believe me when I tell you, Cissy, that it's only a matter of time until she truly proves that to you. Best to forget about her now."

"I can't do that," Narcissa said, shaking her head. "It's our fault she hates us; it's your fault she's terrified of us. You didn't have to do what you did."

"She would have told and you know it. I was protecting us! I don't want to have keep going over this, Cissy. What's done is done, just leave it," Bellatrix stated as she rolled over to face her back towards her sister, signifying the end of the conversation.

Narcissa shook her head in anger and disbelief. She was finding it hard to let go; Andromeda was their sister. She pushed Bellatrix's back a little roughly, trying to convey her aggravation. "You're horrible," she told her with a tone that conveyed that Bellatrix's nonchalance on the matter made her feel ill.

"Well if I'm so horrible, why do you love me?" Bellatrix snapped.

Narcissa stared at the back of her head for a moment, her stomach feeling heavy before she admitted in a whisper, "I don't know…"

It was true, she didn't know. How could anyone ever love a psychotic murderer? Someone who hurts you just as often as they make you feel whole? It just didn't make any kind of logical sense. Being with Bellatrix was hard; more than hard. It was emotionally difficult for Narcissa to be in love with her own kin, it was a full-time job to take care of Bellatrix when she was sick, and they seemed to fight more than they got along. But the question was, did love really outweigh all the bad things?

It used to be so much easier when they were younger.

"If that's how you feel, then," Bellatrix snapped, her tone weighing heavy with hurt. Picking herself up off the bed and grabbing her clothes from the center of the floor, she furiously began to put them back on. She wouldn't even look at Narcissa.

"Where are you going?"

"Why the fuck am I here, Narcissa?" Bellatrix asked, her expression both angry and desperate. "Huh? You and I both know all I do is hurt you, and now you sit here and can't even find a reason why you love me? So what's the point, honestly?"

"Are you kidding me?" Narcissa asked, outraged. "Was this your plan then? Beg me not to leave you on my birthday only so you could be the one to leave me?"

"You know, and that's the fucked up thing, Cissy," Bellatrix said, pointing at her. Narcissa could see that her eyes were glassy, but her jaw was tight; she wasn't going to cry. "I didn't say a bloody word about leaving you just now, yet that was the first place your head went to. What does that say to you?"

"It says nothing! You—"

"It says you want me to leave!" Bellatrix shouted. "You told me once you loved me the way I was - flaws and all. Yet all you do when we see each other now is harp on me about how fucked up I am, about how what I do is wrong and immoral and all this other sodding bullshit. So obviously no, Narcissa, you do not love me flaws and all."

"Stop putting words in my mouth; I never said I didn't! I do, of course I do, but that doesn't mean I want to sit by and watch you hurt and kill people and completely lose yourself to your disease. You're doing this to yourself and you know it! If you weren't out being horrible to people, your anger wouldn't get the best of you that often and you wouldn't revert into psychosis. You want to go completely mad, don't you?"

"Of course I don't!" Bellatrix shouted. "Who would ever want to hear voices in their head, be completely out of control? How can you say that to me?"

"Because that's what you're doing! If you just left—" Narcissa tried, but was cut off instantly.

"I can't leave, Cissy! I can't! You know it, so stop thinking it's an option. Even if I could, I still wouldn't; I believe in the Dark Lord's cause. Fine, it may be killing my sanity, but in the long run it won't matter. The work I'm doing will change the sodding world -my sanity is nothing compared to that! So yeah, I'm sorry I'm doing something meaningful with my life while you're destined to be nothing more than a baby factory!"

"I'm glad you think I'm so insignificant," Narcissa snapped.

"You are, that's what you don't get!" Bellatrix told her, which made Narcissa's mouth drop open. "We all are! In the end, whether I'm with you or not… it won't make any kind of impact on the world. But what I do with Him–that's real. The legacy we leave behind will last forever - not just in our lifetime. So if you want me to choose, then I'm sorry, but I'll always stand by the Dark Lord and his cause over you."

Narcissa was too shocked to move; she was too shocked to shout at her, hit her, or cry. She just stared at her, as though her sister's words had pierced her heart and was now making her bleed out upon the floor. The silence that followed Bellatrix's words was deafening and as her last sentence hung in the air, Narcissa swallowed hard, refusing to cry. "You're… you're in love with him, aren't you?" she asked softly, painfully.

"Cissy, that's not what this is about—"

"Don't lie to me!" Narcissa screamed, voice shaking. "Don't sit here and lie to my face! I heard the way you spoke to him in the alley - like all you wanted for him to do was take you up against the fucking wall! Lesbian, my arse," she spat.

"I am a lesbian!" Bellatrix insisted loudly.

"Yeah, a lesbian who wants to get banged by a man," Narcissa spat at her, hurt and angry. "Go on, deny it. Lie to my fucking face, Bella. I want to hear this, it should be entertaining."

"I don't—"

"I heard you!" Narcissa shouted, not allowing her to deny it. "And why else, huh? Why else would you choose him over me? You're completely infatuated with him! No one sane would do the stuff you do for him if they weren't."

"He has many followers who don't have romantic feelings for him!" Bellatrix shouted. "Men… most of them are men, Cissy! They don't want to sleep with him, surely."

"But you do," Narcissa told her evenly, locking her jaw. "That's why you want to leave me, so you can do him without any guilt."

"Do you hear yourself?" Bellatrix shrieked. "I never said I wanted to leave you! Stop putting words in my mouth! But you know what? If I did it'd be for your own good, so I don't know why you're complaining."

"Oh right, it's always for me," Narcissa sniped, throwing her hands up in the air. It was so repetitive. "Every sodding thing you do is because of me; because you love me, because you want to protect me. Yet every time you try to do something that will ultimately make my life better, you only make it worse. You cause me more pain by trying to do things 'for my own good' than you do when you just leave everything alone. So you know what, Bella? Maybe it's time you stopped trying to help – you're horrible at it."

"Fine, if that's what you want," Bellatrix snapped, throwing on her coat. She turned away from her for a minute, like she was going to leave, but then rounded back on her, pointing at her accusingly. "You know what? You wouldn't last five minutes without me!"

"Look who's talking!" Narcissa retorted, laughing bitterly. "I'm not the one with psychotic issues, here!"

"At least I take out my anger on other people instead of turning it inwards – seems a lot healthier, if you ask me," Bellatrix spat, looking at Narcissa's thinning figure with disgust.

"Well it's a good thing no one asked you then, because your vision is disturbingly warped," Narcissa replied, angry. "Those people you hurt, they don't deserve it! They did nothing to you, and yet you hurt them to pretend you're no longer a victim when the sad truth is… you and me? We'll be victims our whole lives. We're damaged goods, Bella. That's just the way it is and there's no changing it."

"So you think turning your hatred inward is the solution? You don't deserve to be hurt any more than you already have been!" Bellatrix told her heatedly. "So why give yourself more pain where there are others who never had the pleasure of knowing it? It's their turn, Cissy, not ours. Not anymore."

"Maybe," Narcissa said, her chest and throat hurting from the strain of not allowing herself to cry. "Maybe it is their turn. But that's not for us to decide."

"Why not? It wasn't for Mum to decide when she viciously beat us day after day! So why her and not us?"

"Because I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to turn into is Mother," Narcissa told her firmly. Her bottom lip quivered finally, giving into her emotion. "And maybe I don't deserve any more pain, Bella. Maybe I've had enough. But… it's all I know…" She broke down then, the tears flowing as she painfully admitted, "And I think… I think that's why I stay with you…" It killed her to tell her sister this, but she couldn't pretend anymore. Her voice came out choked as she told her, "Because you… you hurt me…"

Bellatrix looked like she was falling apart in front of her. She was shaking, her face masked in distress as that information truly sunk in. She looked like she was going to cry, but no tears came. Narcissa wished she could take back what she said, but it was the truth. Bellatrix hurt her. She loved her more than anything else in the world, but she hurt her far too much for them to ever truly have a healthy relationship.

And the sad thing was, Bellatrix knew it. She said it. Yet when it was said out loud, said by Narcissa, it made it so much more real. It made it all the more worse.

"But I love you," Bellatrix said, voice broken from despair. It was barely above a whisper.

"I know…" Narcissa choked out through her tears, feeling more awful than she ever had in her life. She knew she was breaking her sister's heart. "And that's why it was so hard… to tell you that I… I just can't anymore, Bella. I don't want any more pain… I love you and I want to take care of you, but I'm only fourteen. I can't bear this weight on my shoulders alone… I feel like I'm suffocating."

Bellatrix put a trembling hand to her mouth as she tried to suck in breaths of air to calm herself down. The only sounds that could be heard in the room were Narcissa's tears and Bellatrix's erratic breathing. Finally, Bellatrix swallowed as she walked over to Narcissa slowly until she stood in front of her. The look on her face broke Narcissa apart – it was so incredibly sad. But Bellatrix leaned down, kissing Narcissa on the forehead.

"I won't hurt you anymore," she promised in a whisper. Narcissa could feel Bellatrix's silent tears land on her face and she wanted to reach out to her, but her sister stepped away. She gave her one last look of despair before she turned on the spot, apparating out of her room.

Bellatrix didn't come back for Christmas Eve, nor Easter, nor to greet her when she came off the train her final day of her fourth year. It was the end; the end of them, the end of love. And although it hurt… overall, Narcissa found it was the end of her pain.

That was, at least, until she remembered that there was more pain in her life than just the kind Bellatrix brought.


*Chapter 22*: Chapter Twenty Two

A/N: I know I don't say this enough, but I really appreciate all the reviews :) They make me smile.


Narcissa didn't come out of her room for the rest of Christmas vacation. What was worse was that no one cared. She doubted they even missed her.

She sat on the floor, the cold wood eliciting goosebumps on her thighs as she stared into her full-length mirror. Her room was in shambles behind her from Bellatrix's rampage, but Narcissa didn't have the effort to pick anything up. She just stared at herself, her gaze taking in her blotchy face and swollen eyes. She wasn't crying anymore, although she hadn't been for a while. Narcissa didn't know how long she sat there, motionless, in the silence of her empty room. Her knees were drawn up to her chest and she held them as she stared back at her reflection, wondering if she had made the right decision.

Narcissa felt sick, but prayed it would pass. Her stomach felt as though she had swallowed rocks, yet she couldn't remember the last time she had eaten. But it didn't matter – none of it really mattered. She just had this sickening feeling that she would never see her sister again. It was a terrible feeling of loneliness, yet Narcissa knew it was probably for the better. She just wasn't emotionally stable enough to take care of Bellatrix any longer. She was so young and her life already felt so out of control; she didn't need any more reasons to feel like she was suffocating.

Narcissa loved her – it wasn't a question of that. Bellatrix was her other half and she knew that she would be so for the rest of her life. Her sister was the darkness to her light, the pain to her pleasure. But the pain and the darkness were beginning to take over, and they no longer balanced each other out. Narcissa didn't want this to be the end, but she needed a break. She needed to breathe; to live like a teenager should without all the extra stress and responsibility that came with taking care of someone with a… a disability, for lack of a better term. Maybe it was selfish, but Narcissa had spent most of her life being her sister's willing crutch and she just wanted a few moments that were just…hers.

She stared at herself in the mirror, fingers absentmindedly pinching the fat on her arms. Maybe Bellatrix was right, maybe it wasn't her turn to hurt anymore. She knew her sister couldn't stand that she didn't eat much of anything anymore, but it was the one thing that made her feel good. It was odd, honestly; something that was supposed to be so painful and so horrible making her feel better about herself. It wasn't about being beautiful or being skinny, not really. Narcissa's self-esteem was shot to hell, sure, but she didn't go into this lifestyle believing it would make her perfect. It would be a plus of course, but Narcissa merely craved the control. She craved the pride she had when she went another day without eating, without giving into weakness. It made her feel like she actually had a handle on her life. Or, at least a part of it.

It wouldn't be forever. She'd eat again… eventually. Whenever she felt in control, whenever she felt like she had a handle on her own life again… she would eat. She'd have a steak, or maybe a pie. Blueberry, or maybe apple…

Narcissa's stomach growled at that thought and she buried her face into her knees, holding herself tighter. Today would not be the day she allowed herself to eat. Today was just another day of feeling lost, overwhelmed, and alone. Today was just another day to cry.

The school year seemed to fly by once she got back. It was odd, she realized, how fast time seemed to go when you were spending it with people, even if most of it was superficial.

Lucius had begun showing his affections for Narcissa in school, and while at first she was against it, every night she would find a single long-stemmed rose lying on her bed, so it made her begin to warm to him. She had no idea how he was getting them in since boys weren't allowed in the girls' dorm, but she had the feeling he was paying another girl to do it for him. The roses made her smile and made all her newfound "friends" squeal in glee at his sweetness.

Their second date wasn't until the Valentine's Day Hogsmeade trip, in which he showered her with more presents and candy than she could handle. It was nice, for once, to smile. It was nice to feel appreciated, since she knew he didn't have to do the things he did for her. Eventually, she did allow him to hold her hand in the common room and to give her a chaste goodnight kiss before she retired to bed.

The news of the two of them officially dating spread like wildfire throughout Slytherin house, and Narcissa's popularity skyrocketed. She didn't feel so alone anymore, nor was she ever picked on again. It helped her feel better about herself, no matter how superficial the popularity or her new "friends" were, and her grades improved a little now that she didn't have distress hanging over her like a dark cloud.

That didn't mean that she still didn't wait on bated breath every time the post came, hoping to hear from Bellatrix. But no matter how long she waited, day after the day the post came and a letter from her sister wasn't among them. It was hard; it was so hard. She missed her sister more than words could describe, but at the same time Narcissa knew that she was better off. For the first time in her life she felt like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

She was eating again, albeit only a little. She found she had to anyway after she collapsed in Charms one day. God, that was mortifying. Narcissa was rushed to the Hospital Wing and was force-fed a potion that was packed full with a lot of nutrients. Madam Pomfrey never said anything about her lack of eating, though it was obvious she could tell. She merely gave her a stern look and told her that she best not see her in there again for something like this. Narcissa mumbled something inaudible and all but ran from the room, embarrassed.

Her life wasn't unmanageable anymore though, so she did begin to slowly work her way up to decent foods. One day she would eat that pie. One day. But for now, she was living on small servings of crackers and fruit.

Narcissa wrote to Bellatrix once, near the close of the school year. She asked if she could see her over summer vacation. She wanted to know how she was – it killed her not to know. She would lie in bed at night and wonder where Bellatrix was, what she was thinking, how she was feeling. Sometimes she would dream up their next meeting; Bellatrix sweeping her off her feet and telling her that she found a cure for her disease. Then they would kiss, smile at each other. Live happily ever after, the works.

Of course it was ridiculous to dream of such things. There wasn't a cure; Narcissa knew that deep in her gut just as she knew she needed air to breathe. Her sister would never be better. If anything, if they were to see each other again, the chances of Bellatrix being better off than she was before were slim to none. It made Narcissa feel awful, to believe that she probably ruined Bellatrix further. She could be damaged beyond repair – a slave to her own madness.

Narcissa hated not knowing more than anything else, and Bellatrix never wrote her back.

The summer was quiet, outside of the time she and Lucius spent together. As her fifteenth birthday drew nearer, he was doing everything in his power to properly court her. She enjoyed his company, that was true. And she did… she felt for him, of course. It wasn't love, she knew that, but she was beginning to feel like she had when she was twelve again; the butterflies, the shyness. Of course, she was a lot bolder and more playful than she was then, which she believed Lucius enjoyed. Her knowing smirks and sly comments would make him laugh. Narcissa was really starting to enjoy the time the two of them spent together.

They were out in the park during the middle of the summer one day, sitting on a blanket and having a picnic. It was practically forced upon them – the picnic, that is. Narcissa's mother thought it'd be a "nice, pureblooded activity" to do, whatever that meant. Basically, she wanted her to do lady-like things while trying to get Lucius' attention. Which, clearly she already had.

"Are you going to eat anything else?" Lucius asked as he watched Narcissa nibble on a cracker with cheese. She shrugged.

"I'm not that hungry," she told him. She leaned back on her elbows and looked up at the sky, shielding her eyes with her hand from the bright sun. A bird passed overhead.

"You seem like you're never hungry," Lucius commented.

"I'm a night eater," Narcissa lied, turning her head to face him. He looked confused and she smirked, clarifying, "I eat just before bed. I don't know why; it's just something I do. I usually keep something by my nightstand because I'll wake up in the middle of the night and eat then too."

"That's… unusual," Lucius told her, raising an eyebrow. Narcissa could tell he was skeptical so she just smiled at him before she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

"Don't fret over me. You'll get worry lines, dear."

Lucius laughed. "We're up to pet names already and you haven't let me get to second base yet? Somehow I feel gypped."

Narcissa laughed as she laid down on the blanket, looking up at him. "You have yet to play your cards right."

"Oh yeah?" Lucius pressed as he lay down next to her on his side, propping his head up with his elbow to look down at her. "Care to let me in on the secret to playing them right, then?"

Narcissa smirked. "That would be cheating."

"I love cheating."

"I bet," Narcissa responded, giggling. She closed one eye, squinting as she looked up at him. Reaching up, she brushed some of the blonde hair away from his eyes. "I don't know why you have all this hair; it's not like you have an unattractive face you need to hide."

"My father tells me our hair is a status symbol," Lucius answered, rolling his eyes a little. "I don't mind it, although it can become rather unmanageable at times."

"Preaching to the choir," Narcissa replied, laughing softly. "I always wanted to have short hair, but my mother wouldn't hear of it. She told me when I was nine that it was my 'selling point'."

"Meaning?" Lucius asked, not fully understanding.

"Meaning…" Narcissa sighed, closing her eyes as the sun got too bright to deal with, "I'm too ugly in the face – my hair offsets that." She paused, then shrugged. "Apparently."

"You're not ugly, Narcissa," Lucius told her, touching her face to make her open her eyes to look up at him. His brow was furrowed, like he couldn't believe someone would say that to her. "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on. Your mother really said that to you?"

"Trust me, that was one of the better things my mother said to me," Narcissa said, brushing it off like it was of no matter. It wasn't really, not anymore. Her mother had damaged her so badly that she had started to become numb to those types of things. She closed her eyes again, feeling the sun's heat radiating on her face.

"Excuse me for saying so, but your mother sounds like a bitch."

Narcissa laughed openly, finding that one statement more hilarious than anything else. When she calmed down she took a breath before a smirk passed across her face. "Oh… you have no idea how much of an understatement that is." Lucius didn't say anything for a moment so she opened one eye to look up at him. Seeing the look on his face she grabbed his arm, coaxing him to lie down next to her. "Come on, lay with me."

He followed her lead and she snuggled into him, laying her head on his shoulder. They were quiet for a long moment until Lucius asked, "So did you hear who Rabastan married?"

"I didn't even know he was engaged."

"Your sister didn't tell you?" Lucius asked, surprised.

"I…" Narcissa started, then had to clear her throat to try to dislodge the lump in her throat. "I, um… I haven't spoken to her in quite some time, actually."

Lucius put his hand on her head, cradling her as he ran his fingers through her long locks. "I'm sorry, I didn't know." Narcissa didn't say anything and he cleared his throat, sensing that the awkwardness of that subject shouldn't be brought up. "Well, he married that girl Gwendolyn."

That made Narcissa bolt straight up, turning to look down at him with wide eyes. "Not as in…?"

"Exactly as in," Lucius replied. "It's strange… that Rabastan would choose a wife who has always been the subject of idle gossip. I certainly would never. I wonder if 'dyke' is even something that is curable." He laughed a little, enjoying Rabastan's misfortune. Narcissa slapped his arm, irritation crossing her face. She hated when he talked like that, it felt so incredibly personal.

"Don't be horrible."

"What? You don't think her sexual deviancy is an abomination? Because it certainly is, Narcissa. No proper woman would ever choose to be with another woman."

"Maybe she didn't choose," Narcissa told him flatly. She certainly didn't choose to love her sister in that way. Who would ever choose to be different? To be mocked like they were less than a person for who they loved?

"Excuse me?"

"Well maybe she was just born like that!" Narcissa shouted. "Call it a defect if you want, but it isn't something that should be mocked or scorned. For her to marry a man and still crave women? That must take a lot of will power and strength."

"I thought you hated her, why are you defending her honor?" Lucius asked, perplexed. It was a valid question, after all. Narcissa never had nice things to say about Gwendolyn.

"Because she's like my sister!" Narcissa shouted, suddenly very angry with him. She knew she shouldn't have said that, so her brain started trying to figure out another way to spin it. God, she shouldn't allow herself to take the stuff he said about lesbians so personally, but it was hard to hear things like that come out of his mouth. It was the one thing she didn't like about him.

Lucius' mouth dropped open. "Your sister is a—?"

"No!" Narcissa protested, shoving him a little as she pushed away from him. "But my sister has a… I don't know, a defector something. She's sick and she certainly didn't choose to be that way. I see Gwendolyn as having the same problem. That's… t-that's it." Her voice shook a little as she finished her rant. Her heart was pounding in her throat as she looked at him; she knew he wasn't buying it.

"What your sister has is different, Narcissa. She can't be blamed for her disease. Homosexuals, however, choose to be that way. They—"

"They don't!" Narcissa snapped. "My God, do you hear the stuff that comes out of your mouth? You know nothing of the world, Lucius. You only know what's been passed down to you through tradition and upbringing. Have you ever even had a conversation with someone who was homosexual? Asked them how they felt?"

"W-Well… no, of course not," Lucius stuttered, taken aback by her anger. "I don't associate myself with those kinds of people. Are you telling me you have?"

Narcissa locked her jaw and glared at him.

Lucius took that as an answer. "Ah… " he said softly, knowingly. "So, your sister is…?"

"She's married to Rodolphus," Narcissa snapped.

"As Gwendolyn is to Rabastan," Lucius answered pointedly. Narcissa didn't say anything, just continued to glare at him, so he sighed. "I'm… sorry, Narcissa. I didn't mean to talk badly about your family. I didn't know."

"You still don't know," Narcissa told him, warning in her tone.

"I don't know anything," Lucius repeated, holding his hands up in surrender. Narcissa still didn't look convinced. He took her hands in his, holding them as he looked into her eyes. "I swear, I won't breathe a word of this."

"No? Yet now you're associated with 'sexual deviancy' by being with me, are you not? Bellatrix is my sister. I thought you'd never stand for that."

"Well… I mean, it isn't you that's the… you know."

"That makes a difference?" Narcissa asked skeptically. "Because you seemed to hate the very idea of being associated with it at all not a moment ago."

"Narcissa…" Lucius sighed. "Please don't make this into an argument. I apologized. I won't bring it up again; I know how much you love your sister. I'd have to be suicidal to try to come between you both."

It made Narcissa sick to remember that something had already come between her and her sister.

"That wasn't an answer."

"I'm not comfortable with it, okay?" Lucius replied, impatiently. "That won't change. But I like you, Narcissa. I… more than like you, if I'm to be honest. And every family has their indiscretions, mine included. As long as it's swept under the rug, the way your sister lives her life is no business of mine."

"Damn right it's not," Narcissa told him sternly.

Lucius let out a long breath before running his fingers through his hair. He shook his head lightly. "I didn't mean to ruin our afternoon together," he said softly. "I meant for us to have a nice time."

"We won't always have a nice time together, Lucius," Narcissa told him quietly. "That's what being in a relationship is about. The bad times, as well as the good. It'd be foolish to think we'd always get along."

The corners of Lucius' mouth turned up into a smile. "A relationship?" he asked carefully.

Narcissa pursed her lips, trying not to smile as she looked down at the blanket between them. She shrugged casually. "Well, I don't know. We've been dating each other for nearly seven months now, what else would you call it?"

"I was just waiting to hear you call it that yourself. You've been very…distant about the matter," Lucius replied.

"I don't trust easily," Narcissa replied. She bit the inside of her cheek and leaned back on her elbows, looking him in the eyes.

"Does that mean you trust me now?"

"To an extent," Narcissa replied with a sly grin. But then she got serious and told him, "But you have a lot of work ahead of you, and talking about my sister in the way that you do? Or talking about the type of people that are like her? It's not winning you any points."

"I apologized…" Lucius tried, sighing. He was growing annoyed that it didn't seem to help any.

"I know. It just… it bothered me," Narcissa told him, her brow furrowing as she looked down at the blanket beneath them, picking at it. She sighed before her eyes met his again and she told him, "Maybe we should just… call it an afternoon, yeah? I'll see you again. Just… later."

Lucius looked at her for a moment before he shook his head, as if snapping himself out of a daze. "Sure. That's fine. We'll get together for dinner next week or… whatever you'd like to do."

Narcissa got up, brushing the grass from her legs. "We don't always have to do whatever I like, Lucius." Her eyes met his and she gave him a soft smile. He really was sweet; it was hard to picture someone like him being raised by the kind of father he had. "Don't worry, you've courted me enough. This is the point where it should become about both of us, not just about me."

She kissed him goodbye politely and headed home. She had too much fighting in her relationship with Bellatrix, she didn't want to do it with Lucius too. Narcissa knew it was irrational to think that they would never fight, but she wanted to try to hold onto the happiness as long as she could. Maybe it was foolish, but she couldn't help hoping.

When she got back to the house though, all thoughts of going up to her room and resting were dismissed from her mind. Her mother and father were in the living room, screaming at the top of their lungs.

"I don't know where she is, Cygnus!" Druella cried, her hands shaking as she cowered from his rage. "I swear!"

"How could you let her do this?!" Cygnus roared, pushing Druella backwards so hard her back collided with the wall. He was in her face, more furious than Narcissa had ever seen him. "This is your fault! It's your job to look after the children, not mine! I work while you sit around all day doing your hair or whatever it is that you're doing instead of teaching our children obedience! Looking after them is your one bleeding job you stupid woman and now our family will be shamed by this indiscretion. Do you realize what this could do to our reputation?"

"Cygnus, I'm sorry, please…" Druella begged, trying to find a way to get away from him, but he had her path blocked. "I'll find her, I promise I will. I'll find her and I'll bring her back. I'll keep her here, please…"

"Shut your mouth!" Cygnus screamed, slapping his wife across the face so hard that a bruise was already beginning to rapidly form. Druella sobbed, slumping against the wall as she held her cheek. "I don't want to hear your voice again, do you hear me? You've single-handedly destroyed what I worked so hard to build! And no one, especially not some fucking whore is going to do that, do you hear me? You were nothing before you married me!"

Druella's eyes landed on Narcissa who was halted in the doorway, eyes widening with fear and confusion. Cygnus turned around, spotting her there. It only took a couple strides until he came up to her, grasping both of her arms so hard Narcissa cried out in pain. "Where is your sister? Where is Andromeda?!"

"I don't know!" Narcissa cried as he shook her roughly. "I… I was with Lucius! I don't know, I swear! Please!" She was like a rag doll in his hands.

Cygnus screamed in rage, throwing her backwards. She hit the floor and pain shot up her back. As she scrambled away from him, he rounded on Druella again, who was still whimpering, huddled in a corner. He grabbed her arm, pulling her to him violently. His fingers left bruises on her arm and his eyes were like fire.

"You will find her, Druella. Find our daughter, or so help me God this may be the day you take your last breath. That is a promise."


*Chapter 23*: Chapter Twenty Three


Druella couldn't find Andromeda. No one knew where she went; she was just gone.

Of course her parents sent an owl to the school, asking her to be withdrawn from it. Demanding it, actually. They knew she had run away; there was no other explanation for it. But unfortunately for them, Professor Dippet had withdrawn as Headmaster over the summer and was replaced by Professor Dumbledore. He denied their request, telling them that every student had the right to be educated at Hogwarts. Narcissa's parents were furious and called him a spout of colorful names.

Cygnus took out his anger on Druella, who in turn took it out on Narcissa. The more her mother got beat by her father, the more she turned around and beat her daughter. At first Narcissa was worried about Andromeda; where she went, if she was okay, but after a week straight of being brutally beat down, Narcissa found she didn't care anymore. Part of her hoped her sister was dead, as horrible as that was.

It was so easy for Andromeda, wasn't it; to just up and run? To leave Narcissa behind to pick up the pieces, just like everybody else. Everyone always left… it had been the story of her life. In the end, she was always left behind to be the target of her mother's brutality, whether it be as a child when her sisters were off at Hogwarts, or as a teenager when they both abandoned her… again.

Narcissa's body was frail and damaged and she could hardly take the constant beatings. Even when she was healed her body was in pain every time she moved. She didn't know why; maybe it was due to her lack of nutrition or maybe it was because her mother didn't care enough to heal her properly anymore. She just knew that it hurt to even breathe most days.

Narcissa cried all the time. She would huddle under the covers in her bed, shaking and hurting as she waited for the next time her mother would come up those stairs, needing to hurt her. It wouldn't be long now – she could hear her screams from downstairs. He was hurting her again.

Cygnus was so furious. The name 'Black' was going to be mocked at parties, looked down upon. A runaway – a sure sign of a bad upbringing, bad parenting. Not only that, but she was a daughter unwed. Andromeda had single-handedly ruined their family, just by trying to find some freedom.

Andromeda knew better though, Narcissa knew she knew better. She had to have! Running away would give her freedom, sure, but for how long? And at what cost? Andromeda had made it pretty clear that she cared nothing for Narcissa anymore, but even then… she shouldn't have condemned her to this. This wasn't her fault. She was finally feeling happy, but she should have known better, right? Unhappiness, despair… that would follow her for the rest of her life.

Especially while she lived under this roof.

The screams were getting louder downstairs and Narcissa drew the blankets around her tighter. She was frightened. She wished she could run away too, but she had nowhere to go.

And then, like a miracle, she heard the doorbell.

Narcissa sat straight up in bed before she scrambled out of it, stealing to the top of the stairway to see who was there. She heard her father scream at her mother to stay out of sight as he composed himself, and the house elf answered the door. Then she heard his voice. At that moment, Narcissa didn't think she'd ever heard anything so wonderful.

"Excuse me for dropping in so unexpectedly, Master Black," Lucius said politely. "I don't mean to intrude."

"Lucius, my boy!" Cygnus greeted with a smile. "Nonsense, you could never be intruding. Come in, come in." He ushered Lucius inside. Of course he could never intrude; him marrying Narcissa would help the family name out substantially, especially now. "I expect you've come to see Narcissa."

"Yes, I was wondering if I might have the pleasure of taking her out again? I know I should have sent an owl, but I found myself having some free time today and would like to see her, if that's alright."

"Of course!" Cygnus said, all smiles and cheer; eerie for someone who was beating his wife not moments previously. "Let me tell her to put on her face and I'll send her right down."

"Thank you, Master Black."

Narcissa ran to her room, hurriedly trying to wipe the tears from her face. This was her escape and she needed it desperately. She nearly jumped when her father burst into her room. "Make yourself presentable, quickly. The Malfoy boy is here to see you and I swear if you have one hair out of place and lose his interest, you will regret it." He was gone just as quickly as he came, slamming the door so hard the walls shook.

Narcissa made quick work of making herself look presentable. She wanted to get out of there as fast as she could. She was terrified of what would happen if she stayed and every inch of her body still hurt from the last time her mother beat her. She wanted to run…God, she wanted to run so far away. It didn't matter if she left everything else behind, she just needed to get out before her mother killed her. She knew it was only a matter of time too. Narcissa couldn't take the beatings anymore; they were destroying her. She was destroying her.

After the pleasantries which Narcissa remarkably composed herself for, the two of them left. Once they were out the door, Narcissa grabbed his hand, pulling him as she practically ran off of the Black estate. She needed to get as far away from there as possible.

"Narcissa!" Lucius cried as he was dragged along. He sounded confused, and rightfully so. She played the dutiful daughter when she came downstairs, all smiles and politeness. But she was shaking now that she had left, fear gripping her body as she realized there was no turning back now. If she was going to do this, she needed to do it now. It may be her only chance. "Narcissa, wait!"

"Please," she begged, turning to look at him. Her face was a mask of distress and tears were streaming down her face. She couldn't remember beginning to cry again, but she could feel how wet her cheeks were and an uncomfortable lump was forming in her throat. "Please, take me to my sister. Please, Lucius. I need her…please…"

"What's wrong? What happened?" he asked, concerned. She sobbed into his neck, holding onto him tightly. Her whole body was convulsing from the force of her tears and he tried to envelop her in his arms. But she knew he couldn't protect her – only Bellatrix could do that.

"Please… please…" she continued to sob into his neck. She couldn't make out many more words than that. All she knew right now was that she needed her sister; she needed her more than she ever had in her entire life.

"Okay," Lucius said, stroking her hair before he kissed the top of her head. "Okay, shhh… calm down. I will. I promise." Narcissa could do nothing else but nod, choking on her tears. She could barely breathe already and the crying wasn't helping; she started to make painful wheezing noises.

Her mother wasn't just hurting her with her wand anymore; she had started hurting her with her fists, her feet… anything. The Muggle way, the demeaning way. She had too much anger to get out just by flicking her wand at her. Narcissa understood, although wished she didn't. It didn't change anything though – understanding. She still hated her and feared her more than ever. It wasn't her fault Andromeda ran away, it wasn't! So why was she being punished like it was?

After Lucius had calmed her down enough to get her to stop making the wheezing noises, he got on his broom with her behind him, and she held onto him for dear life. It was a quick trip, to the Lestrange estate. They didn't live that far away, even though for how long it'd been since she'd seen her sister, it could have been across the country.

When they got to the door, Narcissa was still holding onto Lucius as though she were afraid that if she let him go her parents would find her. It was irrational, but she wasn't thinking rationally. What had happened to her was the most horrible thing she ever had to go through, to just sit and wait for the beatings to come. She knew they were coming, she just didn't know when. Sometimes it was worse when she did know; when she would hear them fighting downstairs and knew it was only a matter of time. It was different than before; before, she knew if she did something bad she would get hit, which, while it was horrible, was a little more rational. Now, they came frequently and for no reason at all. She couldn't do anything to make them stop.

The door was answered by a house elf. "Master Lestrange's sister-in-law has arrived!" it squeaked, announcing their presence. Narcissa was still shaking as Rodolphus came to the door, confusion crossing his face. Narcissa had never 'dropped by' before, so it must have looked odd. But as he took in the state of Narcissa, his face turned to worry.

"Narcissa? What's happened?" he asked. The amount of sincerity in his voice almost startled her; they had barely had a one conversation in their whole lives.

"I need my sister! Please!" Narcissa sobbed as she shook like a leaf. She barely knew this man, but she needed him to let her inside. "Please, I don't know what else to do…" Lucius put an arm around her protectively as Rodolphus turned to look at him, silently asking for an explanation.

"I don't know," he told him. "She left her house like this. All she could tell me was that she needed to see Bellatrix, so I brought her here. I hope that's alright."

"Of course, come in," Rodolphus said, still sounding confused but stepping out of the way to let them inside. "I'll get her."

But as it turned out he didn't need to get her, because at that very moment Bellatrix was descending the stairs. She froze when she saw Narcissa standing in her doorway, shaking in fear and crying as she held onto Lucius. Narcissa looked up at her, terrified she would turn her away. It had been so long since they'd seen or spoken to each other. Narcissa prayed she didn't hate her, because she knew she'd never be able to deal with that.

The force of emotions she was feeling, coupled with the pain and her fear, made her knees buckle.

Lucius caught her as she fainted, but Bellatrix took the stairs two at a time to get to her. "Move out of the way!" she snapped at Lucius as she pushed him aside, taking Narcissa into her arms. "What happened to her? What happened?" she screamed, looking at Lucius accusingly.

"I don't know!" Lucius exclaimed, backing away from her. "I swear to you I picked her up at her house like that; she practically ran out the door. She hasn't said anything else besides the fact that she needed you."

"Cissy? Cissy!" Bellatrix coaxed, tapping Narcissa's cheek a couple times to help her stay conscious. Narcissa's eyes fluttered open, but she still felt weak. Bellatrix's voice was frantic; she had never seen her sister like this. "Come on, you need to breathe. You need to calm down. You need to… fuck, you need to eat. Rodolphus!" she shouted, turning her head to look at him down the hallway. "Get her food, now!" Rodolphus summoned the house elf and instructed it to bring back some bread and water.

"No," Narcissa tried to protest, but it came out strangled between the tears she couldn't stop. "I don't… I don't need food… maybe just some wa-ow!" she screamed as she shifted a bit too far. It was her ribs; she knew it was her ribs now. That much was painfully obvious. She whimpered and grabbed hold of Bellatrix.

"Don't give me this anorexic bullshit right now, Cissy," Bellatrix snapped, fear in her voice. Narcissa sobbed into her, wishing she hadn't just outed her in front of Lucius like that. "You need to eat. Now tell me what hurts, what happened? What did Mum do?!"

"Your mother did this?" Lucius roared, furious.

"Stay out of this, Blondie, when someone needs you, we'll send for you," Bellatrix snapped. "This is between me and my sister –our family. Just because you're her boyfriend doesn't mean you're a part of that yet." She turned back to her sister, trying to help her to her feet. Her voice was softer as she coaxed, "Come on, let's go sit on the couch, yeah? You'll be alright, I promise." Then she turned and screamed, "Rodolphus! Where is that useless elf with the food?!"

"Bella, please don't make me eat…" Narcissa whispered painfully as Bellatrix helped her into the parlor. "Please… everything hurts. I can't…" She wouldn't let go of her sister as she helped her down onto the couch, so Bellatrix sat next to her and wrapped her up in her arms and legs, using her whole body to shield and protect her. Narcissa grimaced in pain at the position but felt a lot safer. She buried her face in Bellatrix's chest.

After Rodolphus received the food, he kicked the house elf for good measure because it got him yelled at. It squealed in pain and Narcissa shuddered, afraid of the sound. She whimpered in her sister's chest. "Don't do that, you idiot!" Bellatrix screamed. "Can't you see she's in a state of shock? She can't hear screams of pain, they frighten her!"

"Bellatrix, mind your tongue. We have company," Rodolphus reminded her sternly, shifting his eyes to look over at Lucius pointedly. Clearly he wasn't very happy being undermined in front of someone who wasn't family, even though it had always been clear that Bellatrix had most of the power in this relationship.

"Do you see the state of my sister?" Bellatrix screamed at him, grabbing a slice of bread off the platter that was on the table. "Christ, Rodolphus, now is not the time for putting on a proper face! Malfoy will be family soon enough anyway, so it really doesn't fucking matter right now." She held the bread up to Narcissa's face, practically sticking it in her mouth. "Eat this, now. Come on, Cissy."

"I don't—" Narcissa tried to protest, but was interrupted by coughing. The force of it put a strain on her body and she cried out in pain. She was struggling to breathe properly again.

"Shit, Rodolphus, go to St. Mungo's and bring a Healer back here immediately! I don't care what it costs to keep them quiet about the situation, but do it!" she ordered. "Please," she added as a frantic afterthought. She stroked her sister's hair, trying to shush her. "What hurts?" she asks quietly. "What did she do?"

"My… I think it's my ribs," Narcissa choked out as Rodolphus apparated out of the room. "She can't… don't think… she can heal… Muggle beatings… properly…" She winced again as she tried to move, but it only put more pressure on her side and she gritted her teeth, closing her eyes tightly as she tried not to scream again.

"Oh, that fucking bitch. That fucking bitch! I'll kill her, I swear to you Cissy, I'm going to kill her," Bellatrix promised. She kissed her forehead. "Shhh… come on, sweetie. Don't try to move, all right? Just lie still." As she ran her fingers through Narcissa's hair, she looked over to Lucius. "Stop standing around like an oaf; at least be useful if you're going to be here. Try to get her to eat. She won't listen to me and she needs something in her body, she's weak enough already."

"No, Bella, please don't…" Narcissa begged softly. It wasn't the food that was the problem, not really. But she felt so out of control and helpless and her brain started to associate that with refraining from eating. Eating something when she was like this would make her sick. Not to mention now she was getting Lucius too involved in their family indiscretions. It would be a miracle if he wanted to marry her after this, which meant she'd probably be destined to bear defected children with her cousin. The thought made her stomach turn.

Lucius walked over to them, looking a little overwhelmed with the situation. He cared about Narcissa though, that much was obvious. He knelt down beside the couch and Narcissa hid her face from him. She hated him seeing her like this. For all that she had gone through, she still tried to hold onto her pride. She didn't have much, but she was determined to keep what she had, even if it was beginning to fade to nothing rather quickly.

"Come on, Narcissa. You have to eat," he tried, holding up the bread for her. "It'll make you feel better."

"You don't know what will make me feel better," Narcissa choked, burying her face further into Bellatrix by hiding it in the crook of her neck. "Andy ran away, Bella…" she whispered painfully.

"Good, the stupid sod needed to get out of our lives," Bellatrix told her, then shot a pointed look at Lucius to make a better effort.

"Narcissa, please… just eat one slice of bread. I know you're upset but it'll help," Lucius tried again. He was clearly out of his league with all this madness, but he was trying.

"No, no… Bella… she left and Father… he hit… hit Mum and she…" Narcissa explained, dissolved into tears again. Her whole body shook as she held onto Bellatrix, telling her, "It was…all the time…" she sniffed, shuddering a little as she remembered the past week. "All the time…" she whispered, voice so dead and detached. She laid her head on her shoulder, staring at the far wall behind her sister. She tried to ignore the pain in her body. If she stayed perfectly still, it didn't hurt as bad.

"I promise you, Cissy, I promise that I'll make them pay. You'll never be hurt again, okay? I swear on my life," Bellatrix responded strongly, her voice shaking as she turned to kiss her on the head again softly. Suddenly, she turned to Lucius and demanded, "Get down on one knee."

"Excuse me?" he asked, taken aback. That made Narcissa finally turn her head to look at both of them, shocked and confused. She winced at the change of position, but tried to steady her breathing.

"Are you deaf? Get down on one knee!" Bellatrix barked. "Do you love my sister or are you really a slimy little worm who's looking to get a shag and then throw her out on her arse? Because I promise you, Lucius, if it's the latter, you'll be next after I finish with our parents."

"Bella, you can't—" Narcissa tried, realizing what she was trying to do.

"I told you I'd take care of you!" Bellatrix yelled, frantic. "That's what I'm doing! If you're engaged to Lucius, when Mother and Father die you'll be his property, not Aunt Walburga's! She's just as much of a nutter as Mum is and I'm not going to allow you to be placed with her! So get down on one knee, Lucius!"

Lucius nearly jumped out of his skin from the force of her voice, but franticly got down on one knee, looking completely overwhelmed. "B-But… my Father will be furious. She's not even fifteen yet, it's improper…"

"Do you want her to die? Because she will if she gets placed with our Aunt!"


Bellatrix was clearly frightening him, which was making this whole thing worse. Narcissa didn't want him to feel forced. "Lucius, you don't have to do this, I'll be fine," she promised in a wheezy voice; it still hurt to breathe.

She didn't argue about Bellatrix's decision to 'take care' of her parents. She always knew in the back of her mind that if she came here, that would be the end result, and frankly… she couldn't find it in her to care anymore. She needed them out of her life; all they had caused her and her sisters was pain. She didn't… she didn't want them to die but… Narcissa didn't see any other way out.

Maybe she was turning into a monster as well, but it was the monster they made her into.

"Of course he has to do this!" Bellatrix shrieked, impatient. "Lucius may not be my favorite person in the world, but at least he doesn't hit you or treat you like shit! In this world that's the best you're ever going to get, Cissy. Trust me on that."

Narcissa's puffy, red eyes met Lucius' and he tried to give her a small smile, but it only looked like he was going to vomit from nerves. "I… I don't even have a ring or anything…" Suddenly, he looked more like a boy and less like the man he wished he was.

"Then you'll buy one for her afterward!" Bellatrix snapped, impatient. "Just do it already!"

"Lucius, you really don't have to do this," Narcissa told him, coughing. She always imagined the moment she was proposed to as being romantic and beautiful, and this was neither.

"Narcissa, I… I do… love you," Lucius told her, voice shaking a little from nerves. Narcissa's eyes went wide at that admission. "Well, at least I think," he revised, looking confused. "I don't know, I'm a man. I don't think we ever really know. And to be honest I chose you at first because of your beauty and your status and I… played the game of cat and mouse because it was fun to chase you. But I…" he paused, taking a breath, "I grew to care about you," he admitted, looking her deep in the eyes. Narcissa could feel her sister stiffen at those words, but for once she stayed silent. Bellatrix knew that right now this was the only option to keep Narcissa safe. "I grew to care about you very deeply. And you are the woman I want to marry; not just for your looks and your status, but because of who you are."

Narcissa's bottom lip trembled as she stared at him. For someone like him… that was beautiful. Bellatrix's grip on her tightened, like she was trying to keep her from him, but she stayed silent. For once, she was putting Narcissa's true wellbeing over her own selfishness. That spoke volumes as well.

"And I would be honored," Lucius finished softly, "if you would be my wife."

A hot tear slipped down Narcissa's cheek and she bit her bottom lip hard, trying to make it stop trembling so she could speak. She swallowed the painful lump in her throat and nodded. "Yes…" she whispered, trying to force her shaking features into a smile. He smiled back at her and leaned in, kissing her passionately on the lips.

Bellatrix made a gagging sound.

When they broke Narcissa elbowed her hard in the ribs. "Ow! I can't help my gag reflex, Cissy. Fuck." But Narcissa wasn't paying attention to her; she was staring at Lucius as she touched his face, running her thumb softly down his cheek. "Alright, alright!" Bellatrix cried, pushing them away from each other. "You both can stare at each other like love-sick fools later. We have work to do. Lucius, get off your ass and go to your father. I don't care if he flips his sodding shit, you're not renouncing the engagement, understand? If he doesn't want you to live together until you're properly married, Narcissa will live with me and Rodolphus."

Just as she spoke his name, Rodolphus apparated into the parlor with a Healer at his side. "Her," he directed, pointing at Narcissa. "A… muggle attacked her," he lied. "We don't know how to heal her properly from that kind of brutalization. Why the Ministry still lets these kinds of…animals mingle with us is a disgrace upon our people."

A necessary lie. If people heard about the kind of things her family did…

"Oh, you poor dear," the Healer said, coming over to her. Bellatrix moved out from behind her as Lucius got up and Narcissa winced as her position was changed. She took a shuddered breath as she lay flat on her back as the Healer fussed over her, taking out a potion from her bag. "Here, drink this. It will render you unconscious so I can examine you without any pain."

Narcissa's eyes flickered to her sister, who was whispering something to Lucius before she gave him a little push towards the door. The newly engaged couple locked eyes and he gave her a soft smile before he turned, leaving the house to go speak with his father. Then Bellatrix turned to Rodolphus, going to stand by his side as they watched over her.

Narcissa took the potion from the Healer without a second thought. She was such a sea of conflicting emotions today; terrified because of her parents, happy because of her engagement to Lucius, hopeful because her reunion with her sister went… decent, as far as reunions go. It wasn't the best of circumstances, but Narcissa felt safer. She felt more loved than she had felt in a while. And something was…different about Bellatrix. She couldn't put her finger on it, but…

And in the middle of her train of thought, Narcissa slipped into unconsciousness.


*Chapter 24*: Chapter Twenty Four

A/N: Some of you won't like the end of this chapter, but I wanted to allow Narcissa an immature moment, since she's always been the adult about stuff :P Also in regards to the "event" that's glossed over, it will be explained in more detail soon, so don't worry ;)


When Narcissa awoke, she was in a bed. She squinted at the bright light in the room and tried to make out the voices she was hearing. When her vision finally cleared, she could hear Bellatrix and Rodolphus in the corner of her room talking. They hadn't noticed she had awoken yet.

"I wish you would have talked to me before you decided to kill them," Rodolphus hissed at her. "Your life is no longer your own, Bellatrix. You belong to Him, to His cause. He didn't order this and yet you take it upon yourself to seek your own retribution. What if someone finds out, huh? What if you get sent to Azkaban? You act without thinking of the consequences, Bellatrix!"

Narcissa's stomach clenched at the realization that her parents were dead. She held the covers tightly to her body, staring at her sister and brother-in-law across the room. It didn't make sense though; it couldn't be, could it? Her parents were dead and Bellatrix was still sane? She had to be lying, right? Or he was, or something. This didn't make sense. None of this made any sense.

"Oh take the cock out of your arse, Rodolphus," Bellatrix retorted in a hushed whisper. "In case you've forgotten, killing people is what I do best and He will probably reward me for it. Besides, this was personal. My Father… my Mother…they were fucking nothing, do you hear me? Nothing! They brutalized my sisters and me and I refuse to stand by and watch Narcissa be tortured just because my parents were probably inbred and demented in the head! Do you hear me, Rodolphus? It's done, they're gone! Now either help me clean up this mess, stand by me like a proper husband would, or sod the hell off."

Rodolphus' jaw locked and he stared at her, saying nothing. Finally though, he acquiesced with a nod. "Fine. I'll stand by you, Bellatrix. I'll clean up another one of your messes, but you need to remember that we are not a substitute for proper parents for Narcissa. She may stay here until her wedding; I won't throw her to your Aunt. But in this house she is to act like an adult and not expect us to coddle her. She is a roommate, Bellatrix. She is not your child."

"Don't be a pompous arse, Rodolphus; the color doesn't suit you," Bellatrix retorted. "My sister is more than capable of taking care of herself, I can assure you. In our house, we were never coddled. We learned independence before you grew the first hair on your balls. Don't speak to me like I'm an idiot; I know she's not my child. If anything, before I was taking the potion she was the one caring for me. Regardless, she is my sister and I'm allowed to have affection for her. It's not my fault you barely have any with your brother, so don't take it out on me." She raised an eyebrow at him challengingly, folding her arms across her chest. "Now, aren't you late for your date with that scrawny little ho-bag next door? Best make sure her husband isn't home first though, yeah?" Bellatrix gave him a little sarcastic smirk and it was returned in favor.

"Don't be bitter just because your favorite screw lost interest in you," he sniped back. Bellatrix's eyes flashed but she said nothing, which Narcissa was grateful for. She didn't know how much he knew, but obviously it wasn't everything since he was still allowing Narcissa to live under his roof. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I do happen to have a date," he said in mock politeness before he strode from the room.

Bellatrix ran her fingers through her hair in annoyance as she turned to face Narcissa. Her eyes went wide when she realized she was awake. "Shit, I'm sorry, Cissy. We didn't mean to wake you." She walked over to the bed and sat down beside her, giving her a small smile. "How are you feeling?"

"I still hurt, but it's not that bad anymore," Narcissa told her, wincing a bit as she hoisted herself into a sitting position. "What was wrong with me?"

"You had two broken ribs and some internal bruising," Bellatrix answered as she stroked her sister's hair softly. "You've been out for two days now; the Healer said the Skele-Gro she gave you would repair your ribs rather quickly, so they should almost be fully healed by now. The internal bruising though… you'll have to keep taking a potion for that for a week."

Narcissa nodded before she looked down, biting her lower lip. She expected to feel some sense of overwhelming freedom now that her parents were gone, but it didn't feel much different. She wasn't scared anymore, sure, but she was never scared when she was around Bellatrix. "Are they… are they really gone?" she asked softly. But then her eyes snapped up and she held up her hand. "Please don't tell me any details." She didn't think her psyche would be able to handle that.

"They're gone," Bellatrix told her softly, giving her a small, comforting smile. She leaned in, pressing her forehead against hers. "I promised you they would never hurt you again, didn't I?" she whispered. "I keep my promises, Cissy… especially to you."

Narcissa smiled back at her, but she knew she still looked worried. She let out a long breath and wrapped her arms around her sister's neck, trying not to think of anything except the feeling of her sister's breath against her lips again. It had been so long, but she knew better now. It would only complicate things.

Bellatrix, however, didn't seem to know better because she didn't waste any time in pressing her lips to hers. Narcissa made a little sound of protest, but it wasn't loud or forceful, nor did she push her away. It was quick anyway and regardless of whether it was smart or not, it did make butterflies appear in the pit of her stomach again. When Bellatrix pulled back, she kissed her on the forehead. "I love you, Narcissa. I'll always protect you."

"I know," Narcissa breathed, still unable to open her eyes. She swallowed, trying to suppress her urge to just grab for her sister. They sat there in silence for a while, Narcissa counting each breath of Bellatrix's that tickled her sensitive skin. Finally, Narcissa opened her eyes and searched hers, trying to figure out what was going on. "Why are you different?" she asked softly. "You're more…"

"Sane?" Bellatrix offered with a smirk. Narcissa shook her head; she didn't want to use those words with her sister anymore. Sanity, insanity… it all just blurred together sometimes.

"Calm," she corrected.

Bellatrix pursed her lips and said nothing for a moment as she urged Narcissa to move over with her hands. She crawled into bed next to her, laying down and pulling the covers over both of them. "There's…" she started softly as she turned to look at Narcissa, "a name for my condition."

Narcissa's face showed surprise. "You know what it is? How did you find out?"

Bellatrix took a breath and rolled over, looking at the ceiling. "After… after we stopped speaking, my psychosis got worse. Rodolphus didn't know how to deal with me of course, since we had never slept together. He knew my sanity was wavering, but it'd always go away after a while because of… well, because of you. But without you, I had a hard time getting out of it. So he… he took it upon himself to find out what was wrong with me."

Narcissa turned to face her, propping her head up with her elbow. "And?" she prompted.

"And it turns out I have something called Perussi Obscurum Disorder. At least, that's the best guess, it hasn't exactly been known for a long time, apparently. From what they say it's… some kind of mental defect that occurs at birth, mostly from pureblooded wizarding families. So of course it's usually caused by…" she trailed off, waiting for Narcissa to finish her sentence.

"Inbreeding," Narcissa finished softly. Bellatrix pursed her lips and nodded sarcastically.

"Mother and Father were lying sacks, Cissy. They had to have been first cousins – doomed to marry each other because no one else wanted them. They probably weren't raised as such for appearances, but regardless. They fucked my head all up."

"But that still doesn't explain why you're… better," Narcissa replied carefully, trying not to sound too suspicious. It seemed too good to be true.

"I've been taking this potion," Bellatrix told her. "Every single sodding day. It's supposed to… I don't know, slow the effects or something. I won't ever be completely sane though, not really." She let out a long breath and pressed her palms to her eyes, groaning, "I don't know… no one really knows. There's only been a couple cases like mine. It's… rare." She paused and then admitted in a low voice, "And… mine got unmanageable too quickly because of all the fucking abuse that was dealt to me as a child. Apparently the stage I was at was a first for someone of my age; I should have been at least thirty-five." She shook her head, turning over on her side to face away from Narcissa. "It doesn't matter, really," she said softly. "It's fixed now, I guess. Manageable."

Narcissa scooted forward a little, wrapping an arm around her sister's torso before she placed a small kiss on her cheek. "I'm proud of you," she whispered in her ear, a small smile gracing her face.

"Why?" Bellatrix asked softly.

"Because you're not letting it win," Narcissa replied, searching for Bellatrix's hand under the blankets until she found it. She laced their fingers together and finished, "You're not letting it control you anymore. You're free, Bella. Don't you see that?"

Bellatrix laughed softly. "I'll never be free, Cissy. Not truly. And it's not like it stops the changes all the time. It's just that when it happens now I have to take more of the potion."

"Are you supposed to be doing that?" Narcissa asked.

"No, but it works. For now, anyway."

"It's not… dangerous that you're taking too much some days, is it?" Narcissa asked carefully, running her fingers through Bellatrix's curls. She wished she would roll over and face her, but it was clear she wanted to keep some distance, which was probably smart considering they were lying in bed together.

Bellatrix shrugged.

"What if you get sick?" Narcissa asked, worried.

"I'm already sick," Bellatrix told her bitterly. "So I'm not worried about it, honestly. Besides, it hasn't made me feel ill or anything. I'll be fine, Cissy."

Narcissa took a breath as she absentmindedly ran her fingers up and down her sister's arm softly. "Have you spoken to Lucius?" she asked quietly.

"He's been coming over every day to check if you're awake. I'm sure he'll be back tomorrow," Bellatrix told her, her tone indicating she wasn't entirely happy with the arrangement.

Narcissa chewed on her bottom lip a moment before she asked, "Did he…say anything about the engagement?"

Narcissa didn't have to have Bellatrix facing her to know she rolled her eyes. "He's happy about it, if that's what you were asking." Narcissa shook her head.

"No, I mean… about what his father said."

"Oh, he flipped his sodding shit, of course. He told Lucius he was defiling your honor and embarrassing his family and… blah blah, I don't know. I zoned out halfway through the conversation with him; his voice tends to grind on my nerves. But the point is Lucius isn't backing down. However, his father advised him that neither of you announce the engagement until you're fifteen. Appearances, you know."

Narcissa nodded. She expected as such. A small smile crept across her face before she buried her face in Bellatrix's hair, holding her tightly. She was happy Lucius wasn't backing down, but she knew better than to speak of it out loud. While the engagement was Bellatrix's idea, Narcissa knew she didn't really approve. Lucius always made her twitch in anger ever since she met him when he was a first year. It was unlikely that would ever change. But Bellatrix did what she did for her safety, so Narcissa didn't want to rub her face in it.

"I can feel you smiling against my back," Bellatrix said flatly.

"Sorry," Narcissa muttered before she unburied her head and laid her chin on Bellatrix's shoulder. "I know you don't like him, but… I do. He's sweet, you know? And besides, he still stood by me even after knowing most of my dark secrets."

"Not your darkest," Bellatrix told her in a soft voice. She took a breath and turned around before she tangled her fingers in her sister's blonde locks, urging her head towards her until their lips met. Narcissa closed her eyes and allowed it, but only for a moment before she gently pushed Bellatrix away.

"I know you're better now," Narcissa whispered, looking down at the small space that separated them. "But maybe we… shouldn't." She pursed her lips into a thin line and looked up to catch Bellatrix's eye.

Bellatrix stared at her for a moment before she sighed, rolling her eyes as she pushed the covers off of them, sitting up to get out of bed. "Whatever. Not like I don't have someone else to fuck anyway."

"Who?" Narcissa asked, wishing her voice didn't hold so much jealousy.

"That's a business that is none of yours," Bellatrix told her shortly as she stood up, running her fingers through her hair.

Narcissa's mouth dropped open in annoyance. "Seriously? You really won't tell me?"

"Why should I?" Bellatrix asked, turning to face her. "Who's in my bed should be no matter to you; we're no longer… together."

"That doesn't mean I don't care," Narcissa protested.

"You care for the wrong reasons. Your jealousy is written all over your face."

Narcissa rolled her eyes and huffed defiantly, folding her arms across her chest. "Like you're one to talk. You've always been jealous of Lucius."

"My feelings for Lucius are not jealousy, they're hatred. Hatred which started long before he tried to get into your pants, dear," Bellatrix shot back. "Besides, why should you care who I'm sleeping with? You have Lucius now, don't you?"

"I can't sleep with him until I'm married, Bella. You know that."

"Yeah, well, we'll see how long that lasts," Bellatrix laughed, mocking her attempt at chastity. "Have fun with his dick, Cissy. Oh, and good luck trying to figure out what to do with it. God knows it took forever to teach you how to fuck me properly."

"Don't be horrible!" Narcissa exclaimed, angry. "And in case you've forgotten, every time we've been together I've given you an orgasm. So stop being mean just for the sake of being a snippy little bitch."

"Ohhh, big girl words," Bellatrix mocked. She held up her hand to stop Narcissa from retorting and said shortly. "Do you see this face?" she asked rhetorically, circling her finger in front of her head. "I don't care. I don't care who you fuck, so stop caring who I fuck. It was you who wanted to be just sisters, so stop trying to stick your nose in my business."

"You're the one who walked out on me!" Narcissa protested. "You left, Bella. Not me. I wrote to you all year and you never wrote me back. Not once."

"I left because you wanted me to," Bellatrix told her. "You said I was hurting you and I wasn't going to do that any longer. You're the one who said you 'can't', so don't start blaming me for a decision you made. I would have stayed with you until the end of the world, you know that, but I wasn't going to hurt you in the process."

Narcissa pursed her lips together, saying nothing. She knew she was right. Maybe it was just easier to blame Bellatrix for it all. "I'm sorry," she apologized softly, picking at invisible lint on the bed. "You're right. I did want you to leave."

Bellatrix bit the inside of her cheek, nodding as her eyes searched the ceiling. Then she let out a breath and shrugged. "Look… I'm sorry I never wrote. I didn't know what to say; I'm shit with words and my feelings are worse. But don't tell me I didn't make any contact, because you know that's not true."

Narcissa looked at her, confused. "What are you talking about?"

"You didn't get the roses?" Bellatrix asked, shocked. Then she got aggravated, "Ruddy owl. I knew I should have just killed the useless thing. I don't know why Rodolphus keeps it."

Narcissa's eyebrows shot off her face. "That was you?" She had thought it was Lucius. But then again, he never said it was. He never mentioned them at all.

"Who did you think it was?" Bellatrix asked, like she was being stupid for not realizing it was her. But then she paused, understanding. An angry look crossed over her face and she said, "Oh."

"I'm sorry, but he was courting me at the same time you were sending me the roses. You didn't leave a note," Narcissa tried.

"I didn't think I had to," Bellatrix snapped. She shook her head, throwing up her hands at her like she was warding her away as she took a step back. "Whatever. Of course you would think it was him. After all, he's the romantic one, right?"

"I didn't—"

"I just wanted you to know I still thought about you. That I still loved you. Apparently my effort was wasted, since all the credit was given to someone else," Bellatrix said shortly before she turned, walking out of the room.

"Bella, wait!" Narcissa called out to her. But Bellatrix turned the corner, leaving her alone. Great, now she felt like a complete arse.

How was she supposed to know it was Bellatrix? It wasn't like she had ever made any romantic gesture towards Narcissa before. It was always sex and the only time she had ever gotten presents was when Bellatrix had something to apologize for. Narcissa sighed loudly and flopped down on the bed, covering her head with her hands.

God, she was such a worthless plonker sometimes.

The next day, Lucius came to see her. She awoke with him by her bedside and she smiled sleepily, reaching for his hand. He laced their fingers together and looked down on her asking softly, "How are you feeling?"

"Better," Narcissa responded, voice hoarse from sleep. She squinted and sat up as Lucius handed her the potion for her bruises and she took it, gagging a little as she swallowed it. He chuckled. "Shut up, it tastes horrid," she told him, handing the glass back to him. He placed it on the bedside table.

"I don't think it's supposed to taste like pumpkin juice," Lucius told her with a smirk.

"I was hoping for something more along the lines of Firewhiskey," Narcissa told him, leaning back against the headboard. "God knows I need it after… everything." The last word was said quietly as she thought about her parents. It wasn't mourning just… a sudden reality that needed to fully sink in. She still half expected to see her mother burst into the house, demanding that Narcissa be taken back home.

"The last thing your body needs is to get drunk," Lucius told her. He looked her over, almost scrutinizing her. "Have you eaten anything?"

Narcissa sighed loudly, slumping into the bed and pulling the covers over her head. "Don't," she mumbled.

"Don't what?"

Narcissa threw the covers off of her, exasperated. "I already have Bellatrix down my throat about it. Please don't do it too. I do eat, Lucius. I do. I'm not… I'm noanorexic." She scoffed at the word. "Anorexia means you don't eat at all. I do eat. I swear I do. It's just not as much as everyone else."

"You clearly don't understand the definition of anorexia then," Lucius told her flatly. Narcissa rolled her eyes. "Look," Lucius started, softly. "My cousin… she used to throw up her food after every meal. She thought we didn't notice, but we did. No one ever said anything though, because none of us wanted to put a blemish on the family's reputation." He chewed on his cheek for a moment before he told her, "She… nearly died one night. After that, our family had to watch her all day, every day for over a year. She got better though… eventually."

Narcissa didn't say anything; she just looked at him, chewing on her bottom lip.

"I just don't want to watch you go through that," Lucius finished. Silence washed between them for a moment.

"I eat," Narcissa said finally, not sure if she was trying to convince him or herself. "I just…eat, okay? Don't baby me. I'm about to be your wife, your partner; I don't need taking care of. That's not what marriage is about. I'm more than capable of tending to myself."

Lucius sighed, but didn't argue. He knew he wasn't going to get anywhere with it.

"Um," Narcissa started, trying to change the subject as she sat back up and reached back to tie her hair in a knot. "Has Bella gotten my stuff from the house yet?"

"She didn't tell you?" Lucius asked, surprised.

"Tell me what?"

"Narcissa… the uh, the…" he looked like he didn't know how to tell her this, and was worried about her reaction, "the house was burned to the ground."

"What?" Narcissa exclaimed, sitting straight up so fast that she winced as a strain was put on her healing body. She shook it off though and shouted, "Why would she do that? That was everything! All our memories! Photos, old toys, all my clothes…"

"They needed to get rid of the evidence," Lucius told her quietly, obviously not comfortable with the fact that Bellatrix had murdered her parents and that her husband helped cover it up. Narcissa didn't know how he was going to stomach being part of a group that did just that every day. "So we… we went with the story that the house was burning and you managed to escape. Only you… managed to escape." He looked at the upset on her face and sighed, "I'm sorry, Narcissa. I know it must be hard to lose everything you've ever owned."

Narcissa shook her head, covering her face with her hands as she tried to slow her breathing and calm down. She knew it was necessary but it was just hard… to know she'd never see her things again. It wasn't like she couldn't buy more; with her trust fund now active because of her parents' deaths plus the staggering fortune they left to their daughters in their will, she would be all right. But the memories… her old dolls, the photos… that's what she missed.

"It's fine," she whispered, shrugging lightly. "They're just material things… I guess."

Lucius gave her a crooked smile. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, I did get you something to kind of… rebuild off of." Narcissa raised an eyebrow. "Material-wise, I mean."

"I told you, you don't need to buy me clothes and whatever else to win my affections, Lucius," Narcissa replied. "I think accepting your proposal was proof enough you already had them."

"Not clothes," Lucius told her with a smirk, reaching into his pocket. Narcissa's brow furrowed for a moment before they shot up practically into her hairline as she saw him take out a ring box. When he opened it, she squealed.

"Oh my god!" Narcissa exclaimed, putting her hands to her mouth in shock. "Oh my god, oh my god! That's beautiful! Give it to me!" She started grabbing for it erratically and Lucius laughed as he handed it over.

"I take it you're pleased?" he asked, smirking.

Narcissa took it out of the box and slipped it on her ring finger in the blink of an eye. She held out her hand in front of her face, admiring it. "Oh my god, this must have cost you a fortune…"she breathed. The diamonds on it were truly magnificent. It was a ring built for a queen.

Lucius shrugged as if the cost was of no importance. "Honestly I expected it to cost much more. But that was the biggest, most expensive diamond they had in the shop. If you're unsatisfied with it in any way though, we can always go to Bulgaria for another. I hear there is a world-renowned jeweler there who has diamonds of much higher quality."

"No, no, this is perfect," Narcissa breathed, unable to take her eyes off of the magnificent rock on her finger. It captivated her.

"My father, of course, suggests that we do not—"

"Announce the engagement until I'm fifteen, I know," Narcissa interrupted, still staring at the diamond. It sparkled magnificently under the light. Then she put her hand down, pouting as she realized something. "Does that mean I can't wear it until then?"

Lucius gave her an apologetic look and Narcissa sighed. "Well, I see no harm in you wearing it in the house," he tried, hoping to make her smile again. It worked.

"Come here," she said with a grin as she grabbed the front of his robes, pulling him towards her. Their lips connected and Narcissa wrapped her arms around his neck, parting her lips to let his tongue devour her mouth.

Even though they had been dating for a while, Narcissa had never let Lucius kiss her like this. They had French kissed before of course, but it wasn't this blatantly sexual. Sometimes she thought it was a miracle that he'd been so patient with her, considering that he had slept with his share of girls before. She liked to believe she was testing him, testing his loyalty, but in all honesty, she found it hard to give herself completely to someone, especially after what happened with Bellatrix.

But he was her fiancé now; there was no need to keep being a cock tease. Besides, she missed sexual intimacy. It had been far too long.

Narcissa guided him to get on top of her as she sat up a little, tangling her fingers through his hair as she kissed him harder. He seemed a little taken aback at first at her practically jumping him, but he went with the flow rather quickly. He was careful when he put his weight on Narcissa so as not to hurt her healing body, and she could already feel him stiffening under his robes.

Narcissa bit her lower lip as Lucius moved his lips to her neck, sucking lightly on the place where her neck met her shoulder. She closed her eyes and made a little sound of contentment as her hand wandered down his chest, then back up again and down his arms. She laced her fingers with his before she guided one of his hands to her breast. He chuckled against her skin.

"So I take it I've played my cards right?" he asked, sounding both amused and turned on.

"Giving me that ring? Yeah, you played your cards brilliantly," she breathed as she slipped the strap of her dress down her shoulder, pulling on it until her breasts were exposed to him. She hoped she wasn't being too forward, but it had been a long time. She bit her lower lip as he moved his head a little to look down at her and she could feel herself flushing a little from the intensity of his gaze. No one had ever seen her breasts outside of her sister.

Lucius wasted no time descending his lips on her and Narcissa arched her back, biting back a whimper as his tongue teased her nipple. His technique was rather like the equivalent of a baby trying to nurse, but he was man – she didn't expect much else. Besides, while it was a little awkward, it still worked perfectly well for the time being. She allowed him his time for exploration for a little until she became inpatient; her body that had so long been deprived of pleasure demanding something more substantial. She was already more turned on than she usually was, though more than likely because her body was practically jumping for joy that someone was touching it again. She lightly pushed on his shoulders as her breathing increased, guiding him downwards.

"Go down on me," she breathed, eyes still closed because she wasn't sure what kind of reaction she'd be met with.

There was a brief pause, then a mildly shocked, "Are you serious?" It sounded like Lucius was waiting for the other shoe to drop. She couldn't blame him; it took forever for him to get to second base and mere minutes after she wanted him at third.

"Dead serious," she told him, her breathing a little labored. There was another beat before finally she felt him moving down her body and his hands on her legs, pushing her dress up. Narcissa lifted her ass off the bed to allow him to take off her knickers. She wasted no time spreading her legs for him.

She really hoped she wasn't acting like a harlot, but she needed this.

Narcissa groaned loudly once she felt his tongue on her. She reached up, grasping the bars of the headboard, lifting her hips to his face. "Yeah, like that…" she encouraged softly, her body exploding from the sensations. He wasn't as good as Bellatrix, but he definitely got the job done. She felt a little bad comparing him to her, but she couldn't help it – her sister was the only other person she'd been with.

He went at her much like an eager puppy, which wasn't exactly what she needed at the moment, so she directed him through labored breaths, "My clit, Lucius…" She cried out loudly once he took her direction and she opened her eyes to stare at the ceiling for a moment before she closed them again, pushing her hips farther into his face. "God, fuck, oh my god…" she breathed, tossing her head to the side. She let out a loud moan when his tongue hit her clit directly and she grasped onto the bed sheets, bunching them up in her fist.

Then, like always, something had to happen.

Narcissa heard the door slam open, hitting the wall so hard the bang made Lucius nearly jump out of his skin as he shot off of her. Bellatrix stood in the doorway, looking positively murderous. Narcissa knew she should have been quieter; this house was practically empty and sounds were bound to travel.

"Get the fuck off of my sister," she growled.

"Jesus Christ, do you have some sort of sixth sense that tells you when I'm being intimate with Lucius? Get out of my room, Bella!" Narcissa shouted, angry at being walked in on, especially before she had her orgasm. It was ridiculous how many times her sister interrupted them. Could they ever just have a moment alone? Granted she was being a little louder than she should have been, but it just seemed like every time they were together, Bellatrix had to show up and ruin everything.

"This is my house!" Bellatrix shouted, pointing at her. "You've lived here for a total of three days, most of which you have been passed out for, so don't fucking tell me that this room is 'yours' just yet!"

"Fuck off!" Narcissa screamed, throwing a pillow at her. Her body was tense, so close to having pleasure and now it had stopped. It was a little painful. "I'm allowed to do what I wish with my fiancé, Bellatrix." She found she was really angry with her for having someone else to sleep with, as irrational as it was since they were no longer sleeping with each other. She turned to Lucius and ordered, "Finish."

"Don't you dare," Bellatrix growled.

Lucius looked like he had no idea what to do. He very much looked like a child who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

"Finish!" Narcissa screamed, sitting up to grab his hand, pulling him back towards her. The look in her eye expressively told him not to argue with her. "I'm going to be your wife, not her. She has no say," she told him. "Now make me come." She glanced over at her sister and smirked at her, probably being far too horrible than the situation called for, but she was angry. All she wanted was an orgasm, and that was stolen from her.

"You're a fucking whore, Cissy," Bellatrix told her, a look of seething hatred on her face as she watched Lucius climb back on the bed and into position.

"Buh-bye," Narcissa said with mock sweetness, waving at her to leave. She knew she was being a bitch, but she didn't care. Didn't her sister have someone else to fuck? Whatever. Bellatrix's jealousy was not her problem anymore.

Her sister responded with her middle finger, then promised, "You'll regret this." Narcissa knew she would, but couldn't find it in herself to care. She merely guided Lucius' head back down between her legs as Bellatrix stormed off.

And after Lucius was finished, Narcissa made sure she screamed out his name as loud as she could when she came, hoping that her sister could hear her.


*Chapter 25*: Chapter Twenty Five

A/N: Really sorry for the long wait. I was at a convention over the weekend and totally forgot to send this to my beta until, um, yesterday. lol


Bellatrix didn't speak to Narcissa for the rest of the day.

Not that Narcissa could blame her. After it was all said and done and she had her orgasm, she started to feel guilty. On one hand, she tried to rationalize it: Bellatrix had constantly hurt her in the past, so why shouldn't it be Narcissa's turn to do the same? But the problem was, Bellatrix was doing nothing but trying to keep Narcissa safe, loved, and happy – at least for the last couple days. Even if Narcissa realized she really was angry with her for having someone else, she knew it was a stupid thing to be angry for. She had Lucius, after all. Why shouldn't Bellatrix have a lover as well?

The sad part was that she was sure Bellatrix would drop whoever she was sleeping with in a moment if Narcissa told her she wanted her back. The problem was though that she didn't actually know if she wanted her back yet.

On one hand, she did. Narcissa missed her sister; she missed the way she used to touch her, she missed the ways Bellatrix showed her that she loved her. But it was complicated. It always was. Even with Bellatrix taking that potion and being essentially 'better,' there wasn't any guarantee that things would be simpler. Plus, they were now living under the same roof with Bellatrix's husband– it was far too risky.

Narcissa felt guilty though and knew she should apologize, so she climbed out of bed the next day, set on finding her sister. She was a little sore, but was feeling much better overall. Her bare feet crossed the floor to the door and when she opened it she stopped, staring at the other side of it.

There were four roses stuck to it; one for each day she was here… however, the last one was colored black. That was probably today's rose, a sign Bellatrix was still furious with her. Not that she blamed her. Narcissa carefully unstuck the roses from the door, bringing them inside to put them on her bedside table before she left the room, heading downstairs.

She found Bellatrix lying on the couch in the parlor, her wand pointed at the ceiling as she conjured small birds before exploding them. The sparks showered down on her, disappearing right before they hit her skin. Narcissa chewed on her bottom lip for a moment as she watched her, unsure of what to say.

"What do you want?" Bellatrix asked flatly, without even looking at her. Narcissa jumped a little from the sound of her voice; she didn't expect her to know she was there.

"I… I came to apologize."

"Well then, I suggest you take your little apology and shove it up your arse," Bellatrix told her, still not sparing her a glance. She continued to conjure her birds, subsequently destroying them moments after they appeared.

"Bella…" Narcissa tried, sighing softly. She crossed the room to sit on the chair opposite the couch so she could look at her. "I really am sorry. I shouldn't have been that horrible to you. I was just…"

"Horny?" Bellatrix finished for her sardonically.

"A little," Narcissa admitted, giving her a guilty look. "But I was also angry with you. You… I mean, you tell me you have this other person you're sleeping with, yet then expect me not to have any kind of sexual relations with my own fiancé?"

"You can let him shove his cock in your ear for all I give a sod. I just don't want to hear it in my house," Bellatrix told her, finally turning to look at her. "This is my house, Cissy," she repeated. "Not yours. You need to remember that, or I swear to god next time I won't just walk away." The threat lingered behind her words, her eyes blackening as she stared at her, promising her, "Next time, I'll prove Lucius irrelevant right in front of him."

"You wouldn't do that," Narcissa told her, like the thought was ridiculous. "You know as well as I do that if you did that it would destroy both of us. This house? It would no longer be yours. So don't threaten me with things like that. You may plan your revenge if you wish, but not like that. Never like that."

"I will," Bellatrix told her shortly, then clarified, "Plan my revenge." Her eyes met Narcissa's, and while she tried to look intimidating, Narcissa had long since learned to see her feelings behind the mask. She was hurt. "And I hope it makes you cry," she told her venomously before turning away from her, continuing to conjure her little birds.

"Did you cry?" Narcissa asked her, pulling her knees to her chest and resting her head on them.

"I don't cry anymore, Cissy. The fluids in my body are best put to other uses."

"Such a pretty load of shit," Narcissa answered. When Bellatrix turned her head to look at her, Narcissa cocked an eyebrow in response. She knew better. Her sister may thrive on this foolish sense of pride, but she did cry. Such was a time that Narcissa was privy to those moments.

Bellatrix looked like she was about to retort, but Narcissa stopped her with, "I love Lucius, Bella." She watched her sister's right hand twitch at that statement, but she went on. "But I'll never love him like I love you. I'm not sorry for what I did, but I am sorry for how I acted towards you – it was childish and petty. You welcomed me into your home; I should have acted more grateful."

"Damn fucking right," Bellatrix responded, practically spitting the words out. "You have no idea what I did for you in the last couple days, Cissy. You have no fucking idea how much shit I'll be in if anyone was to know. You came to me for help and received it, yet you still act like a spoiled, ungrateful child!"

Narcissa recoiled a bit at her words. She knew they were true.

"Do you want me to go to Azkaban?" Bellatrix prodded, her dark eyes piercing Narcissa's intently.


"Do you?!" Bellatrix hollered, and Narcissa tried to compose herself after she noticeably jumped from the shrieking in her tone.

"No!" Narcissa shouted, knowing she'd have to raise her voice to get her point across. Silence filled the room after that as they stared at each other.

"…She cried, you know," Bellatrix told her after a long stretch of silence, staring at her intently. She raised her eyebrows as Narcissa looked confused.


"Mum," Bellatrix clarified.

"Bella—" Narcissa tried. She didn't want to hear this, but Bellatrix interrupted her.

"I wanted to see the look on her face when she realized all her children were abominations," Bellatrix told her, voice a disturbing level of monotone as she explained. "Andromeda gone, probably shacking up with a mudblood; her eldest daughter, corrupting her perfect little princess, fucking her until she screamed in ecstasy. Oh, how her baby girl enjoyed that – I made sure she knew just how much."

"Bella!" Narcissa exclaimed, horrified. "How could you—?"

"What? Tell her?" Bellatrix answered. "Easy. They're only words, Narcissa; words that fell on the ears of the walking dead. She was doomed to die the moment I stepped foot in that house. Father, I took care of him with the killing curse. I didn't even spare him a glance. But her…her I took my time with. I tortured her until she couldn't scream any longer, until all she could do was croak as tears slipped down her cheeks. I made sure she knew she made me this way, that she made all of us this way; that it was her fault we run away, that we fuck each other, that we kill. She made us, Cissy; I found it only fair that she realized the true profits of her labor. That was, at least, until I set her on fire and watched her take the house with her."

Narcissa stared at her, sickness creeping up her throat. She never wanted to know anything about that. All she wanted to know was that they were gone; not how it came about. She didn't want to feel the guilt of her parent's death, but it was obvious Bellatrix didn't plan to share that burden alone.

If Bellatrix even felt guilt at all.

"Did you enjoy it?" Narcissa asked, face set in stone as her voice quaked. She didn't know why she was asking; it just fell from her lips.

Bellatrix smiled and told her, "Every single moment. That, Cissy, was true freedom. I wish you could have been there. You'd eat a feast afterward, I swear to you."

"You think I don't eat because I don't feel free?" Narcissa asked, her hands gripping her shins as she held herself in a ball, staring at her sister.

"Yes," Bellatrix told her simply. "I know you, Narcissa. You haven't stopped eating for superficial beauty; you're already beautiful. You stopped because it was the only thing that you had control over."

"You think you know me, do you?" Narcissa asked defensively. Every word Bellatrix said was true, which unnerved her a bit and made her put up her walls.

"I've known you your whole life. I've known you more intimately than any other person in this world. I know your thoughts, your feelings, and your soul. So yes, I do know you. I know why you do the foolish little things that you do – power. You and I? It's all we seek, yet we do so in two very different ways."

Bellatrix cocked her head as she looked her over. "But you seek the wrong power. You already have power over yourself, Cissy. You had it even before Mother and Father left the picture; you just didn't see it because they clouded your vision with their hate and their anger. But now that they're gone, I suggest you look for another outlet for what you require."

"Like what?" Narcissa asked, holding herself tighter. What other power could she have? She wasn't going to take to hurting others like Bellatrix, she could never stomach that.

"You're marrying a man who comes from a very powerful family. I know you, Cissy; you love the charade of the socialites and their perceived elegance. You may be going through your little phase of rebellion, but your true values never change. You enjoy the pretty dresses, the cocktails and the properness of it all. When you were a child, you used to dream of your perfect husband, your perfect children, your perfect little world. So why not build it? What's stopping you from being the most powerful woman in pureblooded society?"

Narcissa didn't have an answer for that.

Bellatrix sat up, resting her elbows on her knees as she looked at her intently, advising her, "Don't just love Lucius, use him to build a world in which you are the queen. As spineless and annoying as he is, I'd be foolish if I didn't see him going places. Maybe not with the Death Eaters, try as he might. No, he'll never measure up in that aspect. But mark my words, Cissy, with his political ambition, he'll be working at the Ministry almost immediately after he graduates, and in some years after, I wouldn't be surprised if he had the Minister's ear. A few more years after that… well, he may very well become Minister himself. He craves power just as you do, in the very same way that you do. He wants money, fame, fortune, and society's respect. So do yourself a favor and focus on what your life could become, instead of focusing on how to end it."

Narcissa didn't know what to say to that. She never thought her sister would think so far in the future in regards to Narcissa's well being. "Why aren't you?" she asked finally. "Why aren't you striving for just the same thing? Rodolphus is just as powerful, just as driven."

"Rodolphus and I don't want that," Bellatrix told her. "What we're meant to do, we're doing. We have no need for parties and political power. We are the rebellion, in every sense of the word. We care not for what the world thinks of us in the end, nor do we care for underhanded deviancies."

"Are you calling my fiancé underhanded?" Narcissa asked, offended.

"What else would you call it? He's to be the Dark Lord's puppet inside the Ministry when the time comes. That's not to say it'll go unrewarded; the Dark Lord has wanted someone inside the Ministry for quite some time, yet none of his followers have had the qualifications. Lucius has already expressed an interest in the assignment and with his OWLs he'll probably get there as long as he passes his NEWTs with the same ambition. Surely you knew he would prefer that to mass slaughter; he doesn't exactly have the spine for it. He's a worm, but one who may very well prove his worth no less. That is, if he ever does earn His mark."

"I wish you wouldn't speak about my fiancé in that way," Narcissa told her, looking a little peeved. Lucius was not a worm. "I don't speak ill of your husband."

"He is a worm; he's slimy and he's sneaky and he'll talk your pretty little head off with empty words that still sound so perfect to your ears. I bet you believe he's never been with another woman while he was dating you, don't you?"

"He hasn't!" Narcissa exclaimed, horrified that Bellatrix would even think he had.

"Wrong. He's a man, Cissy. If you don't put out, he'll find someone who will. And why shouldn't he? Why shouldn't you? Monogamy is for fools and poets; the only thing that should matter is that it's your bed he calls home and it's his Gringotts account that will come to you should he see an untimely death," Bellatrix told her, not softening the harsh reality of her words. "You need to grow up and see the larger picture, Narcissa. There are no fairytales. You will never have a white knight that will sweep you off your feet and carry you off into the sunset. All that matters are appearances and power. As long as those are kept up, what else he, or you do, should be rather irrelevant."

"So I should expect loyalty from no one, then?" Narcissa asked, her chest hurting from the upset Bellatrix's reality was causing her. It was like a beautiful mirror shattering in front of her eyes.

"Loyalty is another thing entirely and isn't even relevant to the conversation at hand," Bellatrix answered. "I may have fallen into whores' beds while we were together, but true loyalty is not based on monogamy; it's who, at the end of the day, would be willing to die in your place." She paused, her eyes boring into hers as she finished, "And you already know I would do that for you."

"And Lucius?" Narcissa asked, her voice a soft whisper.

"I can't tell you how he feels, you'd have to ask him. He may fuck other women, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he isn't loyal to you." Bellatrix eyes flickered to the ring on Narcissa's left hand. "I believe that rock on your finger is proof that he holds enough loyalty to you, at least for now."

Narcissa swallowed as she absentmindedly twisted the ring on her finger, as if convincing herself that it was real and she hadn't made it up in some foolish dream. Her throat felt like she had consumed rocks. It was a harsh reality that Narcissa had not yet wanted to face. She wanted to be caught up in the fairytale of it all, at least for a little while. She wanted her knight to carry her away to the castle and live happily ever after.

She should've known things were never that simple.

"So what are you suggesting? That I find alternative means to sate my appetite?" Narcissa asked, feeling a little like a harlot for even entertaining the idea.

"Either that or you can compulsively masturbate – it's your choice," Bellatrix told her as she stood up, smoothing out the wrinkles on her black, tight-fitting dress. When she looked up at Narcissa she stood to full height, brushing her long, dark curls off her shoulder. She looked so magnificent for such a frightful being.

"But I…" Narcissa started, feeling a slight blush creep up her cheeks as she realized what she truly wanted.

"You…?" Bellatrix prodded, sounding a bit bored by her hesitation.

"How am I to find someone who can satisfy me while my husband's away?"

"Men flock to you, Cissy. You'd be blind if you told me you didn't see it," Bellatrix told her, like she was being thick.

"No… I don't…" Narcissa took a breath, her cheeks burning deeper as she admitted, "I don't want another…"

"Man?" Bellatrix finished, looking amused and completely self-satisfied. "Got to you, did I?"

"Don't be a pompous arse, Bella. You and I can't engage in those things anymore, you know that. It'd be foolish to do it while under this roof; if your husband were to ever find out it'd be the end of us both. I just meant… it's not something I can exactly inquire about openly. I'd surely shame my own name if word of that ever got out."

"What's your point?" Bellatrix asked, shortly. "Are you honestly asking me advice on how to get a girl to be your plaything? Not to sound selfish, but if I can't have you, no other bitch will; I can assure you of that."

"Oh yes, you don't sound selfish at all," Narcissa answered sardonically. "How can you speak such utter bullshit like that at me when you yourself fuck another woman?"

"I only fuck that woman. I don't sleep with my own husband. I have my one person and you have yours – Lucius. Take it or leave it. I will not willingly advise you on how to get another."

"So what do you do, then?" Narcissa asked. "When she can't come around, when she's entertained by who I assume would be her own husband? What then? You spit on the concept of monogamy, yet you seem to practice it."

Bellatrix laughed. "I have prostitutes, Cissy; bitches that lick my cunt if I throw enough galleons in their face. I need no other satisfaction."

"Ugh," Narcissa groaned. "That's vile. You know that, right? How many other's came before you, do you know? I'm surprised you haven't caught something yet."

"Please, do you think I would hire a common street whore? I only pay for the best; I would not waste gold on anything but," Bellatrix answered. "These women are as upper class as you or I, only they make their money by fucking their way to the top. Trust me when I tell you that they make sure they're cleanly; they would have no business otherwise."

"So you're suggesting I buy myself a whore?" Narcissa asked, disgusted.

"Even if you wanted to, you couldn't. You're still underage, Narcissa. It'd be immoral, not to mention illegal for them to take payment to screw you."

Narcissa was not saddened by this fact at all. She had no desire to pay a stranger to pleasure her; it seemed incredibly impersonal. Not to mention morally demeaning.

"So what you're implying is that I'm shit out of luck until I'm seventeen, is that it?" Narcissa asked with an attitude.

Bellatrix smirked and walked over to her. Narcissa put her legs down so she could stand – she didn't want to be towered over. But before she could get up Bellatrix was already over her, her hands on the armrests, successfully trapping her. Bellatrix leaned in, her lips pressed to Narcissa's ear as she whispered, "Unless you want to fuck me." Narcissa went to protest, but Bellatrix didn't give her a chance. She kissed her cheek roughly before she stood. As she looked down on her she finished, "But regardless of our nice little chat, I'm still pissed at you. So if there's to be any screwing, it won't be until I hurt you in the same way that you hurt me – purposely and without any hesitation."

Narcissa locked her jaw and narrowed her eyes at her, glaring. Bellatrix merely smiled, but it was of no comfort.

"Don't play games you can't handle taking a part in, Cissy. You're liable to get hurt," she warned before she turned on her heel, exiting the room in a wave of arrogance and anger. Narcissa just stared after her.

Part of her knew she wouldn't get away with what she had done, but that didn't mean she was looking forward to the aftermath either.


*Chapter 26*: Chapter Twenty Six


Narcissa awoke from her unexpected nap still feeling incredibly drowsy. She squinted her eyes as she rolled over in bed, looking at the serpent-shaped clock that adorned the wall. Five-thirty? That meant she must have slept another six hours. What the hell?

Confused, she sat up in bed, pushing the covers from her body. It felt like it took so much more effort than it should; her muscles were incredibly sluggish as they struggled to allow her body movement. Groaning, Narcissa tried to remember what had happened before she fell asleep. She certainly didn't mean to nap in the middle of the day, even if she was trying to give her body time to heal. But she was doing much better lately – nothing that should warrant her passing out at strange hours of the day. Shaking her head to clear it, she hoisted herself up off her bed.

"Shit," she gasped as she nearly fell over. Her head was swimming and her legs felt like bricks. Her body wanted nothing more than to just crawl back into bed and pass out for the remainder of the day. God, what could have caused this? Was it something she ate? Something she—


Suddenly Narcissa remembered what had happened before she passed out: Bellatrix. She had brought her the medicine that she had to take for her internal bruising. But her medicine didn't make her pass out like this. At least, it hadn't before.

It took a moment, but Narcissa finally realized her sister must have drugged her.

Confused and angry, Narcissa just stood in the middle of her room in disbelief. Why would her sister do that? She knew she was angry with her still, but that was no reason to drug her! Did she really want her away from her that badly? Whatever her reasoning, Narcissa was still angry. What Bellatrix did crossed a serious line; what if what she gave her only stood to make her sicker?

Narcissa made her way to her door, fully intending to scream at her sister until her voice was raw, but halted once she heard the sound of the doorbell ringing through the house. She grasped the door handle and was about to open it until she heard voices down the hallway – two female voices.

"Who the bloody hell is that?" came Bellatrix's muffled voice. Narcissa put her ear to the door.

"Just get rid of them," replied the other voice, one that Narcissa thought she recognized, but with her weary state and only hearing it through the door, she couldn't place it. Narcissa heard the distinct sound of a kiss before the woman finished, "then come back to bed, yeah? We don't have much time until our husbands get back."

Narcissa heard some shuffling and Bellatrix letting out a soft groan. It made Narcissa's blood boil as she realized her sister was with her lover. She had half a mind to go out there and beat the other woman to a bloody pulp, but she knew she'd probably fall over before she even made it to her. Damn her. Damn Bellatrix. What a sleazy pillock! How could she do that when Narcissa was in the next room? They may no longer be together, but that didn't mean she had to flaunt it in her face like that. It still hurt.

"Give me a minute," Bellatrix told her…guest, right before Narcissa heard another kiss and footsteps retreating down the hall. Angry, Narcissa yanked open her door, hoping to at least see the stupid bitch that was sleeping with her sister, but the door to Bellatrix's room closed just as she opened her own.

Still intending to find out who she was, Narcissa started to head towards her sister's room. She stopped however once she heard the voice of Lucius downstairs.

"What do you want?" Bellatrix all but snapped after she presumably opened the door.

"Lovely to see you too, Bellatrix," Lucius responded dryly, running his fingers through his hair. "I'm here to see Narcissa."

Narcissa turned around and headed down the hall, towards the stairs. She stopped at the top of them, peering down to see her sister and Lucius standing in the doorway. Bellatrix looked less than pleased.

"She's sleeping," she told him shortly, not even trying to hide her dislike of him.

"In the middle of the day?" Lucius asked, looking at her in disbelief. "She was doing much better, I thought."

"Yeah, you'd think that, wouldn't you?" Bellatrix snapped, looking furious as she remembered yesterday's events. "Maybe you should keep your cock away from her throat; it seemed to trigger some nausea, not that I'm surprised."

Narcissa's mouth dropped open. They hadn't done that! And she wasn't nauseous either!

Lucius looked halfway between embarrassed and angry. "What your sister and I do is between us, Bellatrix. I don't appreciate you—"

"What? Telling you what you can and cannot do in my own house?" Bellatrix interrupted, taking a step closer to him. Her eyes burned black and the look made Lucius take a step away from her. "I'll tell you this once, Lucius, and only once: keep your cock away from my sister while you're under my roof. If not, you may find it detached from your body. Do you understand me? I don't play games, nor give many chances; consider yourself lucky I even gave you the courtesy of a warning."

Lucius was looking increasingly more uncomfortable with this altercation, so Narcissa took that as her cue to make her presence known. The creaking of the stairs as she walked down them made both of them turn. "Cissy!" Bellatrix exclaimed, looking surprised that she was even awake. Well, she would be, wouldn't she? Bitch.

Narcissa stopped on the third to last stair down and glared at her. "You drugged me," is all she said, voice dangerously low.

"She did what?" Lucius asked, surprised and angry as he turned to Bellatrix accusingly.

"Lucius, go home," Bellatrix told him without even sparing him a glance. She was staring at Narcissa atop the stairs, not showing an ounce of regret for what she had done. Her composure was oddly still.

"Do not tell him to—!" Narcissa started, but was interrupted.

"This is my house!" Bellatrix screamed, throwing her hands up in the air like she was sick of having to repeat that already. "And Lucius is not welcome in it right now! If you'd like to have a conversation with me, then by all means do so, but I will not discuss this in front of him, is that clear?"

Narcissa met her sister's fierce gaze with one of her own. They stared at each other for a moment, a battle of wills, before Narcissa consented. "Perhaps it's better if you come back tomorrow, Lucius," she told him, looking over at him apologetically. "Would you be alright with taking me to Diagon Alley? I need to replace my school supplies and get new robes."

Lucius looked at her for a moment, then over at Bellatrix. He didn't look happy, but he nodded. "Of course. I'll pick you up in the morning."

"Thank you," Narcissa replied, trying to give him a small smile. It wasn't reciprocated however and Lucius turned, leaving the Lestrange manor. Bellatrix closed the door behind him and Narcissa made her way down the rest of the stairs.

"Why?" she asked, voice shaking from anger. Bellatrix looked like she was about to reply, but Narcissa didn't give her the chance. "Are you that thick, Bella? You could have seriously hurt me! I'm sick! How selfish are you, anyway?"

"Oh, don't have a fit over it, Narcissa," Bellatrix sighed, acting like this entire conversation was taxing and unimportant. "It was herbal, you'll survive."

"That wasn't an answer!" Narcissa shrieked, striding up to her before pushing her backward. "What gave you the right to do that to me? I'm not something you can just put to sleep when I'm bothering you! I'm not your bloody pet!"

"It was for your own good!" Bellatrix shouted, pushing Narcissa back with just as equal force. "You needed the rest, so stop acting like I'm some kind of monster for trying to give you some!"

"Bullshit," Narcissa spat, looking at Bellatrix like she sickened her. "If you were merely trying to help, you would have told me what you were doing. You didn't do it for me, you did it for you! You did it so you can screw your little whore upstairs without me knowing!"

For the first time, Bellatrix actually looked alarmed. Narcissa nodded scathingly off her reaction. "Yeah, I know. I heard you two. What the hell are you playing at? How can you do that to me; I was in the next room! Are you so self-involved that you forget others have feelings as well?"

"Why should it even matter to you?" Bellatrix shouted, getting angrier because she was starting to feel backed into a corner. "She's no concern of yours!"

"No?" Narcissa spat as she laughed; the very idea that it wasn't was maddening. "Stop pretending you can have any other life but one centered around me! Frankly it's ridiculous and just plain sad. You love me, Bella; not her, nor any other woman! You can't!"

Narcissa had no idea where that came from; it was certainly counterproductive to the space between them that she was trying to achieve, but it was the truth, wasn't it?

It wasn't jealousy though. It wasn't. It was just… it was just truth. The truth had a right to be spoken.

"Oh, don't be so pompous, Cissy. The color doesn't suit you," Bellatrix scoffed, pushing past her like she was something to be disregarded. Narcissa turned furiously.

"Don't walk away from me!"

"I can do what I like. Again, this is my house," Bellatrix replied with a slight chuckle, like her power over Narcissa amused her. All it did was make Narcissa see red.

She screamed something inaudible at her before she ran, pushing her so furiously that Bellatrix landed in a heap on the stairs. Her sister whipped around and grabbed Narcissa's wrist just as she was about to hit her and pulled her down on the stairs in a flash, pinning her there as she hovered over her. Her hand flew to Narcissa's throat, holding her down. Her eyes were crazed, but not crazy enough.

At least the potions seemed to be working. Probably an odd thought to be having while her sister held her by her throat, but it floated into her head regardless.

"Don't test me, Cissy," Bellatrix hissed at her before pressing down on her throat hard before letting her go, standing up. "I'm warning you." Narcissa coughed and rubbed her neck as she felt the hot sting of tears threatening to fall from her eyes as she watched her sister climb the stairs.

"I said don't walk away from me!" Narcissa yelled, her voice a little hoarse from the strain on her vocal cords. Bellatrix merely ignored her.

When Bellatrix was out of sight, Narcissa allowed the tears to fall as she picked herself up off the stairs. Every inch of her body was screaming in pain and she struggled to make it back up the stairs. She was so angry that it felt like it was using up all her energy, draining her.

She knew she shouldn't care, but she couldn't help it. Suddenly she felt so betrayed. Bellatrix was hers. Maybe she didn't want her now, but that didn't mean that Bellatrix had the right to just go ahead and replace her. She knew her sister loved her; she breathed because of her, just as Narcissa breathed for her in return. They were each other's life source.

She was foolish to believe she could ever walk away from Bellatrix unscathed. Her sister had made a permanent mark upon her soul and it was starting to show. Narcissa was jealous. She was more than jealous.

She was so fucking jealous that it tore her heart apart.

She wanted to scream, she wanted to cry, she wanted to hit Bellatrix until she told her she loved her, and only her; that no one else mattered. Because no one else did matter to her in the way Bellatrix did. No one. Not even Lucius. She liked him, but the feelings she held for him were incomparable to the ones she held for her sister.

But it was over. It was over because of her doing. It was what she wanted, wasn't it? Narcissa couldn't help but wonder if she was forever doomed with unhappiness. When she was with Bellatrix she was unhappy, but without her she was even more so. There was no escape.

Narcissa didn't know what she wanted to do. She didn't know what she should do. Was it better if she left it? Probably. But she was so angry and upset that she didn't listen to her conscience, and as she headed down the hallway she only had one destination: Bellatrix's room.

Narcissa all but kicked in the door. It slammed against the wall hard, splintering from the force. "You—!" she started, about ready to tear her sister a new one for making her heart bleed in this way, but she stopped as she caught sight of who she was in bed with and it only served to shred her soul a little more. Narcissa stared at them in disbelief, unable to move or say a word.

"Christ, Narcissa, you could knock," Bellatrix snapped as she got off of her little whore. Thankfully they were both still clothed, but it didn't make it any better. Narcissa couldn't breathe; she stared at the other woman as all the blood drained from her face. She felt like she was going to fall over.

"I'm so sorry, we thought you were asleep," Gwendolyn explained, embarrassed and flustered as she made space between her and Bellatrix, trying to pretend they weren't in here doing exactly what Narcissa knew they were doing.

Her? Narcissa knew she was about to completely break in half. Out of the millions of witches in the world, why did it have to be Gwendolyn? It hit her like a brick in the face as Narcissa remembered Bellatrix's words so many years ago on the train:

"If I was to marry anyone, I would've wanted to marry her."

Narcissa's legs gave out then and she collapsed on the floor, her body too weak to hold herself up anymore. Her head hit the wooden floor with a loud thwack and her world went black for a moment.

"Cissy!" Bellatrix exclaimed, fear gripping her as she ran toward to her sister. Her knees hit the floor hard and she gathered Narcissa up in her arms, running her hand across her forehead. "Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck!"

"Christ, is she okay?" Gwendolyn asked, crawling out of the bed after her. "Damnit Bellatrix, I told you we should have been more discreet! What if she tells someone? We're both married!"

"Oh shut up, will you?" Bellatrix snapped, furious. "My sister just fucking collapsed. Just… go home, yeah? Lemme take care of her!"

Gwendolyn stood there for a moment as if debating on whether or not she should do as directed. Finally, she leaned down and kissed Bellatrix on the top of her head. "Alright, but I'm trusting you to keep this swept under the rug. If Rabastan ever found out…"

"Don't talk to me like I'm stupid, Gwen. I have a husband as well; I know how vital it is that we keep this a secret. Now go, will you? I have to take care of my sister." Bellatrix smoothed down Narcissa's hair worriedly, who was still unconscious.

Gwendolyn gave her one last look before she strode from the room, her footsteps echoing down the hallway as she left. Bellatrix bit down on her lower lip and tapped Narcissa's cheek lightly, trying to rouse her. "Cissy? Come on Narcissa, wake up; you're scaring the shit out of me."

It took a moment of coaxing, but Narcissa finally started to come round. She groaned as she opened her eyes, the world coming to her slowly, albeit a little fuzzy. Her head was pounding and she tried to sit up, but it only stood to make her nauseous so she groaned and laid her head back down on Bellatrix's shoulder asking softly, her voice filled with confusion, "What happened?"

"You fell," Bellatrix told her, stroking her hair softly. "You hit your head, you should probably lie down."

"Yeah…" Narcissa affirmed softly, still not remembering what went on before she fell. She allowed Bellatrix to help her to her feet, but as soon as her eyes landed on Bellatrix's bed, it all came back to her so quickly it nearly knocked her back down again.

"Shit," Bellatrix exclaimed, catching Narcissa before she tumbled to the ground again. "You need to move slowly."

But Narcissa was barely listening to her. The memory of Bellatrix and Gwendolyn on that bed kept replaying in her mind like some kind of cruel joke, taking the breath from her. The anger and the betrayal were boiling inside of her, threatening to explode. Her eyes met Bellatrix's and they burned with hatred and jealousy as she pushed her off of her. "No, get off of me!" she exclaimed. But she wasn't able to stand on her own due to the injury to her head and she fell back against the wall, gripping a nearby chair to steady herself. "Don't you touch me! Ever!"

"Cissy…" Bellatrix tried, for the first time actually looking guilty for what she was doing. She tried to take a step closer to her, but Narcissa stumbled back away from her, feeling the tears welling up in her eyes.

"I hate you! I can't believe you would do that to me!" she screamed at her, still trying to back away while Bellatrix was advancing, but she ran out of things to hold onto and her legs couldn't hold her body weight anymore and she fell again, landing on the floor in a heap.

"I didn't do this to hurt you!" Bellatrix told her, then watched Narcissa hit the floor. "Shit," she swore as she rushed over to help her sister up. Narcissa only swore at her and pushed her away, but she was weak and eventually Bellatrix had her gathered up in her arms as she helped her stand. "No, come on, Cissy. You need to be in bed!"

"Fuck you! You're the most horrible person I've ever met in my life!" Narcissa screamed, but she wasn't in the condition to fight her sister any longer. Try as she might, she couldn't get Bellatrix off of her. After about a minute of fighting her so she would just stop touching her like she even had that right anymore, she gave up and allowed Bellatrix to carry her to bed.

But once she landed in bed, Narcissa wasted no time pushing her sister away from her. "Just go away," she growled at her, wishing her eyes would stop watering. She looked weak, she knew that. She was weak, but that didn't mean she had to look that way. Narcissa wanted to be strong; she wanted to tell Bellatrix to go to hell for what she did, but she knew she would never have that kind of strength within her.

"Why are you so angry with me?" Bellatrix asked, sounding both hurt and angry herself. "You knew I had a woman before and you didn't act like this, not until today. You're being a brat, Cissy; you act as if you no longer want me and then assume I'm still your property!"

"I didn't know it was her!" Narcissa shouted, curling up under the covers and wishing she could just disappear. "You knew she was different, Bella; that's why you drugged me so I wouldn't find out, that's why you never told me her name. You knew she was different than if it were any other woman."

"And yet you scream at me for trying to protect you; for trying to make sure you didn't find out and get hurt? That's ridiculous," Bellatrix retorted.

"You drugged me!" Narcissa shouted. "In what twisted world do you believe you have the right to do something like that to me?" Bellatrix looked like she was about to answer, but Narcissa didn't give her the chance. "And if you really didn't want to hurt me, maybe you should have never started sleeping with that minger in the first place!"

"So what, you expect for me to be all alone while you're off fucking Lucius? I need to live my own life, Cissy, with or without you in it!"

"But it didn't have to be with her!"

"Why are you so against Gwen? What has she ever done to you?" Bellatrix asked, getting angrier by the moment. It was clear she believed she was being attacked for little reason. Her chest compressed more as her breathing got shallower, her eyes blackening for a moment as she stared at Narcissa hatefully.

"Are you joking?" Narcissa asked, though rhetorically. She looked at her sister like she was sure those potions she was taking rattled her brain, because wasn't what Gwen did clear as day?

"If I was joking, I'm sure I'd hold at least a little bit of amusement! Do I look amused to you, Cissy?" Bellatrix shouted, waving erratically at her very unamused state of being. "Why are you being like this? Gwen is of no matter to you; she never has been. My feelings for her are not even comparable to the ones I hold for you!" She was starting to look a little crazed, desperate to get her point across. Her hands were shaking now.

"I can't deal with this," Narcissa gasped as she drew her legs to her chest, hiding her face behind her knees. Her hands ran through her hair, tugging on it a little as she attempted to calm down. She knew she was freaking out, probably much more than the situation called for since they were, after all, no longer together. But it just hurt so much. Narcissa wasn't done with Bellatrix. They were just… just taking a break. She just needed some breathing room, that was all!

Gwendolyn would ruin all of that, Narcissa was sure of it. She always loved Bellatrix, and Bellatrix always held feelings for her. What if her sister decided to run away with her? What if she was willing to give up everything for that sleazy bitch, but not for her own flesh and blood? What if Narcissa was never the right person for her and it was really… it was really Gwendolyn?

Narcissa felt sick.

"Cissy, please," Bellatrix begged, sitting on the bed next to her sister. Her voice was soft, pleading; even a little desperate as her words shook. "Don't push me, okay? Please. If you keep screaming I'm going to—"

"Going to what?" Narcissa spat angrily as she turned her face to look at her. "I thought you were getting 'better'," she mocked with air quotes. "You told me you were! Are you a sodding liar about that too? How long were you fucking her, Bella? I want to know! Was your tongue halfway up her cunt while you claimed you lived and breathed only for me? Answer me! I want to know!"

"I—" Bellatrix tried, but was interrupted.

"You tell me you love me, but you're nothing but a filthy liar! You've been fucking her, haven't you? Was I just some game to you? Some sort of sick conquest? You're deranged, Bella! It's your fault I'm like this, it's your fault everything bad has ever happened, you know that? You just use people and you take what you want and you don't give a sod about anyone else's feelings. You make me into some kind of incestuous sinner just because it gives you pleasure to screw up my life! I'd be normal if it wasn't for you – happy!" Narcissa screamed, seemingly on a roll now. Try as she might, she couldn't seem to stop herself; it all came out. "But no, because you couldn't stand being screwed up alone, you had to take me down with you! And now you have the nerve to do something like this to me, after everything? You were screwing her behind my back, weren't you? Weren't you? I know you were!"

"Do you really want to know?" Bellatrix screamed, recoiling from her as if she found herself suddenly locked within a cage and was desperate to escape it. She seemed to have lost her train of thought as her hands flew to her hair and she scratched her scalp, frantically moving throughout the bedroom, her eyes seeming to catch every detail of it. "Fuck," she breathed as she closed her eyes for a moment; she looked as if she was trying to control herself and Narcissa instantly felt guilty. She had asked her to not push her and yet she deliberately did. This was different than before though and that became clear when suddenly Bellatrix's face twisted into a look of agony and she screamed bloody murder.

"Bella!" Narcissa exclaimed, frightened as she watched her sister collapse on the floor, holding her head like she was in immense pain. "Bella! Bellatrix!" she cried again as she fell to her knees next to her sister, having no idea what to do. She wanted desperately to help and yet she didn't know how. Her fear was gripping her chest, threatening to suffocate her.

Oh god, she had done this.

The screaming stopped though and Bellatrix just lay there on the floor for a moment, breathing hard. Narcissa swallowed as she reached out to brush her sister's hair away from her face, but nearly jumped out of her skin when Bellatrix grabbed her wrist in the blink of an eye. Bellatrix rose up to become face to face with Narcissa and she peered at her, cocking her head to the side for a moment before a huge grin spread across her face.

"Oh, how I've missed you, Cissy…" she purred, that all too familiar madness back in her eyes again. She practically crawled up Narcissa's body, who stayed stock still, wary of the changes that had happened since last she saw her like this. "Mmm…" Bellatrix continued, humming against her neck. "Did you miss me too?" Her tongue snaked out, flicking against the base of Narcissa's neck. She drew back almost immediately though, making a face before spitting on the carpet. "Uck, you taste like man. That's such a disgusting habit; I should teach you better table manners."

Narcissa watched her sister carefully, still trying to see if Bellatrix in this state was a threat to her now that she seemed to have… evolved, for a lack of a better term. "You're using your madness to get out of what you did," Narcissa told her flatly, figuring she might as well be honest with her displeasure of this happening now. "Where are your potions?"

Bellatrix's eyes darkened. "You wanted the truth, didn't you? I am the truth." She grabbed Narcissa's dress, making the younger girl yelp as she pushed her into the floor, crawling on top of her. She smiled wickedly as she pinned her there, "So ask me again, lover."

"Get off of me," Narcissa demanded, not looking the least bit amused. She was much too weak to fight Bellatrix off herself, so she knew demanding it was her only option. "Now."

"Say please…"

"Eat me," Narcissa retorted. She wasn't going to play her games. But Bellatrix merely smiled, as if she was told the world was hers for the taking.

"I thought you'd never ask," she replied as she lifted up Narcissa's dress. The blonde's eyes went wide as her sister grabbed her panties, so she summoned up all the energy her sick body had within and kicked her.

"No!" she yelled as her foot hit Bellatrix in the stomach, making her fall back a little as she coughed from the blow. Narcissa scrambled up to a sitting position, looking at her furiously. God, it still hurt to move. This was such a bad time to have something like this happen. "How can you even think I'd want you to touch me after what I saw you do? Are you that mentally fucked?"

"Seems that question is a little redundant, love," Bellatrix replied, chuckling as she rubbed the offending area on her stomach. She licked her lips and tilted her head, peering at her sister as if she was studying her. "You want me to," she stated finally, after a moment's silence. She grinned. "You still lie in bed at night and touch yourself thinking about me, don't you? Oh, you're so dirty, Cissy. I like it."

Narcissa flushed but continued to glare at her. "I'm not dealing with you like this, Bella. I'm sick. If you cared even an ounce for me, you'd just go take your potion." She didn't want to argue anymore; she didn't have the strength for it. She laid her head against the mattress of her bed and wiped the hair from her face clumsily. "Please," she begged softly. She prayed Bellatrix still had enough sanity in her to at least oblige her for now.

Bellatrix peered at her for a moment, but it wasn't long enough. She was suddenly in her face again, trapping Narcissa against the wall and the bed frame, arms on either side of her. "I want to play a game with you first," she told her, smiling like an excited toddler. Her hand was tapping on the floor like she couldn't keep it still.

"No, no games," Narcissa sighed, feeling much too exhausted. She should have never started this fight to begin with; she should have just let it go until she was well. She looked at her sister pleadingly. "If you love me, go take your medicine. Then… then put me back to bed, okay?" she requested softly.

It was odd, the way Bellatrix was looking at her. She was almost like a child discovering something new about the world. Her hand stopped its incessant moving suddenly. "Do you still love me?" she asked her curiously. For how frightening Bellatrix usually was when she was in this state, at the moment she looked more innocent than Narcissa had ever seen her look in her life. The shock made Narcissa blink, taken aback for a moment.

Bellatrix's rapid moods always threw her for a loop. Angry one moment, excited the next, curious the minute after… Narcissa had a hard time keeping up with it all sometimes.

"More than anyone in the world," Narcissa whispered honestly, her lips turning into a sad smile. It was the truth, after all. They could hurt each other so much and yet they always ended up back here. If only they both learned to grow up and gain some sense, maybe then the pain would stop. But both of them becoming true adults would be years off, if ever. They still had so much to learn from the heartache.

Bellatrix looked like she was assessing that statement for the truth in it. When she seemed to find it honest, she suddenly leaned forward, her lips colliding with Narcissa's. Her first thought was to protest, but she didn't have much fight left in her. So Narcissa kissed her back, closing her eyes as she tried not to cry. The feelings that were resurfacing from kissing her sister were too much for her to handle. She wanted to grab onto her and never let her go, but at the same time she wanted to beat her within an inch of her life.

When Bellatrix broke, she pressed her lips to Narcissa's ear. "She's been fucking that girl since she became engaged to Rabastan," she told her honestly, though now disassociating, probably to relieve herself of the guilt. Bellatrix in this state wouldn't know how to handle guilt. Narcissa felt her heart clench; they were together then. "But every time she was with her, she pretended she was with you." She paused, and Narcissa could feel Bellatrix's nails lightly running over her skin. "Don't tell her I told you," she finished finally like she was afraid of her other, saner half.

"Bella…" Narcissa tried. She didn't know what she wanted to say, but she knew she had to say something. Bellatrix didn't give her the chance though; she rose and fled from the room without a second glance.

It took a while, but Narcissa finally rose from the floor and crawled into her bed. She wasn't sure when she started crying, but it didn't really matter. She was too young to deal with things like this and yet no matter how far she tried to run, she always ended up back here with her heart broken all over again. She clutched the covers to her chest and stared out into nothing for a while, tears streaming down her cheeks.

Finally she saw her sister standing in her doorway, silent. Guilt and shame colored her face as Bellatrix watched her, her fingers digging into the wood of the threshold. She tensed when Narcissa's eyes landed on her and she looked like she was about to run, but Narcissa only requested in a hoarse voice, "Come here…"

Bellatrix looked wary of Narcissa inviting her inside after everything, but slowly made her way into the room. Narcissa held the covers of her bed up for her, pursing her lips. Her sister stopped, looking confused. "I just want to sleep with you," Narcissa pleaded, sounding weak and distraught. "I don't… I don't want to think about anything else right now. I just want you to hold me…" Her voice cracked at the end of her request and her bottom lip trembled, hoping her sister wouldn't abandon her again. "Please."

She was still angry; so damn angry and betrayed, but she didn't want to deal with that now. She just needed to be held. That was all she wanted.

It did take a moment, but Bellatrix finally crossed the remainder of the distance, crawling into bed with Narcissa.


*Chapter 27*: Chapter Twenty Seven

A/N: Sorry for the long wait, I've been a bit scatterbrained lately. The summer is always crazy for me.


Narcissa fell asleep in Bellatrix's arms, but only for a short while.

When she awoke, she could feel her sister's slow, even breath on the back of her neck as she slumbered. Narcissa could feel her arm around her torso, her breasts snuggled firmly against her back. It felt as if they were two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – a mess by themselves, but together they fit perfectly within each other. The reality of what she had been missing came back to Narcissa and as she opened her eyes to greet the world, a single tear slipped down her cheek. She didn't make a sound though, nor did she move. She just laid still, her eyes staring at the far wall, wondering how everything had become so utterly screwed up.

Her parents were dead. Andromeda was gone, possibly forever. Bellatrix was with another woman; a woman who… a woman who loved her, had always loved her.

It was so horrible, all of it. Yet here in her sister's arms, everything felt right. It was a lie though. Bellatrix had been cheating on her; she may have pretended it was her when she was in bed with Gwendolyn, but that didn't excuse it. Narcissa knew that technically her having Lucius would be considered cheating, but she had always been up front about it. Bellatrix offered her no such favor. Maybe if she had known, maybe if she had been warned, it wouldn't be so bad; it wouldn't feel like she was suffocating.

Narcissa knew she had brought this all on herself though. Her parents were dead because she couldn't suck it up and handle the beatings like a big girl, Andromeda was gone because of the rift in their relationship due to her immoral liaisons with Bellatrix, and Bellatrix was with Gwendolyn because Narcissa foolishly tried to find freedom.

No, that was a lie. Bellatrix was with Gwendolyn before that. But maybe it was less… before. Maybe it wasn't as serious. But then again, did Narcissa even know how serious it was? No, not really. Part of her didn't want to ask; didn't want to know.

It wasn't fair. Bellatrix was hers. She had always been hers. Sometimes Narcissa wondered if they truly were two different people, or if their soul was split between them. Their darkness and light, hatred and love… they complimented each other so well that it had to be more than just what appeared on the surface. So what did that mean, if it were true?

Narcissa closed her eyes again for a moment and let out a breath. She slowly untangled herself from Bellatrix before rolling over, looking at her sister sound asleep on her bed. She was, honestly, the most beautiful person Narcissa had ever laid eyes on. There was something so fascinating about watching Bellatrix sleep; in deep slumber, she looked like an angel. Her face took on a more childlike appearance – an innocence that appeared long since lost when she was awake. If only Bellatrix could see it for herself, maybe then she wouldn't believe herself to be as damaged as she thought.

Narcissa's hand fell to Bellatrix's cheek as she delicately traced her jaw. She almost found herself in some kind of trance-like state until she remembered: Bellatrix was being touched by another now. Narcissa took her hand away from her as though she'd been burned. It made her sick, knowing that all the love and adoration Narcissa etched into her sister's skin was slowly being replaced by someone else. Sooner or later, Gwendolyn's mark on Bellatrix would burn much deeper than anything Narcissa had ever carved into her soul.

Narcissa wanted to erase Gwendolyn's touch from her sister's skin. She wanted to grab onto her and never let go; shake her violently until she realized that no one was ever going to replace the real thing. She needed her to know, she needed her to feel that no one would ever give her the pleasure Narcissa could.

Narcissa sat up in bed, feeling a lot better now that the sleeping draught Bellatrix had given had completely worn off. Part of her was irrationally angry as she looked at her sister, or maybe it was just jealousy that was coursing through her blood. Whatever it was, it was probably the reason her decision-making skills weren't exactly peak. She grabbed her wand off the bedside table, her hand trembling just slightly as she pointed it at the door."Muffliato,"she whispered. She knew Rodolphus was probably home by now and she didn't want any interruptions for what she was about to do. Then she whispered,"Defigo," properly locking the door so no one could get in.

Replacing her wand back on the bedside table, she turned to look down at her sister who was still sleeping soundly. Narcissa swallowed, finding herself nervous for reasons she didn't understand. She needed to do this though, she needed to show Bellatrix that she was the one that she truly loved. No one else. No one else would ever come close to the connection that they shared, and that Bellatrix was an idiot for ever trying to find it within someone else.

Narcissa carefully removed the covers from them, pushing them down to bunch at the base of the bed. She licked her lips and hesitated for a moment before she carefully lifted Bellatrix's robes. She knew what she was doing was probably wrong and could end up not being well received, but a large part of her didn't care. Bellatrix was hers. She needed her to remember that.

And Narcissa was going to make certain that she did.

Settling down next to her, Narcissa lay on her side as she allowed her fingers to gently roam up Bellatrix's supple thighs. She wanted to be rough with her to prove her point, but that time would come. For now, she was enjoying being able to do pretty much anything she wanted because her sister was asleep. It filled her with a sense of wrongdoing that in some twisted way made it sexier for her.

Narcissa bit her lower lip as she slipped her hand under the confinements of Bellatrix's underwear. Bellatrix let out a small, sleepy sigh and turned her head to the side, but did not wake up. Narcissa swallowed her nerves and boldly slid her fingers over her sister's clit, smirking a little when Bellatrix exhaled an out of character, pathetic sounding whimper. Her legs fell apart, allowing Narcissa more room. She still seemed fast asleep though; she probably believed herself to be dreaming.

But Narcissa found she didn't like that thought much. For all she knew, Bellatrix could be dreaming about Gwendolyn. So Narcissa sat up a little, grasping her sister's underwear, yanking it so violently that it ripped from the force of her grasp. Bellatrix's eyes popped open and she made a cranky sound of protest as she looked around, confused and drowsy. "Cissy?" she mumbled, as if she wasn't sure if this was even real. She looked so dazed.

Narcissa locked her jaw and threw the torn remnants of Bellatrix's underwear to the ground before forcefully getting on top of her, pinning her down. "Who else would it be?" she asked, as if the very idea that Bellatrix had to ask offended her. Bellatrix looked up at her confused though, like she couldn't even comprehend what she was saying, let alone what was going on.

"What'reyadoin'?" she mumbled, her words stringing together as she closed her eyes for a moment. When she opened them again she blinked a couple times, trying to make sense of everything.

"What do you think I'm doing, idiot?" Narcissa asked, becoming increasingly angrier the longer Bellatrix was awake. She needed to show her, she needed to prove this… and she needed to do this now before she lost her nerve, or realized this was probably a horrible idea. "Now stop talking; I don't want to hear your voice right now."

Bellatrix looked halfway between offended and perplexed, but she seemed to get the hint once Narcissa cupped her burning center roughly. Bellatrix made a small sound and closed her eyes for a moment, lifting her hips to Narcissa's hand. The blonde didn't waste much time with pleasantries; she was here to make a point. So without hesitation she slid two of her fingers deep inside Bellatrix's hot core, making her sister gasp loudly, "Cissy!" Her hand grasped at the bedsheets, bunching them up within her palm.

Narcissa's heart was pounding hard in her chest; she had never strived to take this much control away from her sister. Usually, Bellatrix was the one calling the shots, but this time one of Narcissa's hands was holding her down to the bed, grasping onto her so tightly she was sure she'd leave bruises. Her face was a mask of domination and determination as she stared down at Bellatrix as her fingers moved within her more roughly than should even be considered pleasurable, and yet Bellatrix was obviously enjoying it by the sounds she was making.

But her eyes were closed, and Narcissa hated that. She didn't know what Bellatrix was thinking about when she closed her eyes so she demanded, "Look at me! Look at me or I'll stop!" Bellatrix's eyes flew open and she looked up at her, a kind of sexy vulnerability about her, but yet she still held this cocky little look in her eye that made it seem like Bellatrix thought she had won. But she wasn't going to win; this was Narcissa's game, Bellatrix was just a pawn in it. "If you close your eyes for even a moment, I will stop and never touch you again for as long as you live, do you hear me?" Narcissa asked her, nearly spitting each word with the force of her anger. Her thumb slipped across Bellatrix's clit then and her sister nearly closed her eyes, but forced herself to keep them open. "I said do you hear me?" Narcissa asked again. "I'm doing this to you – me! Not some skanky two-bit hooker you picked up on the street, not that grotty little cunt that you had in your bed earlier! Me! I'm your everything, Bella! I am! Do you understand?"

"Yes," Bellatrix gasped out, her fingers digging into her palm through the sheets that she held. "Fuck, Cissy…" she tried to reach for her then, maybe to kiss her, or maybe just bring her closer so as to feel more of her, but Narcissa wouldn't let her. She slapped her hand away.

"No, you don't get to touch me. You don't get to move. You're only to do what I say, when I say it. Understood?" Her voice broke a little on her last word as she allowed herself to get a little more emotional than she would have preferred. She was trying to harden herself to all the feelings, but Narcissa hadn't touched her sister in so long. She hadn't felt her writhing beneath her, hadn't heard her gasp her name. She hadn't realized how much she needed it until right then. "You're the one who ruined everything, so you don't get to call the shots. Not anymore."

Bellatrix for a moment looked like she wanted to argue with that, but she seemed to reevaluate her priorities rather quickly. Instead, she pushed her hips rather frantically against Narcissa's hand, her mouth dropping open as she let out a low, primal moan. "Please," she begged breathlessly.

"Please what?" Narcissa gasped out as she increased the pressure on her sister's clit, loving the way she could see Bellatrix lose her train of thought for a moment.

"Make me come… make me forget about every other sodding bitch but you. I want to only see you. Please, Cissy…"

Part of Narcissa knew Bellatrix was manipulating her. Bellatrix had always known how to push her buttons, and this button to push was a rather obvious one. But it didn't matter; just hearing her say anything about those other women enraged her and Narcissa did feel the desperate need to prove that she was the only one Bellatrix should ever be thinking of.

So she sped up the pace of her fingers. Narcissa pounded into her sister mercilessly and Bellatrix struggled to keep her eyes open as she screamed. She stared at her, identical brown eyes boring into one another. Narcissa could see Bellatrix's need to touch her written all over her face, but she still wouldn't let her. She kept her pinned down, at what she believed was her mercy. "Say my name, Bella!" Narcissa demanded, needing to hear her say it. "I want you to remember who fucks you like this!"

Her words sounded foreign even to her own ears. She sounded like another person entirely. But she didn't care; she embraced it. It had been far too long since she last felt powerful.

"Cissy! Narcissa, fuck, oh shit… I… fuckkkk. Cissy, I can't!" she gasped out, right before the feeling overwhelmed her so much that she had to close her eyes. Narcissa had half a mind to stop because she disobeyed her, but it didn't matter anyway because her sister was soon coming so hard she nearly made Narcissa go deaf from her screams. Her body went rigid for a moment and the contractions from Bellatrix's orgasm squeezed Narcissa's fingers unbelievably tight as she continued to keep the pressure on her sister's g-spot.

As Bellatrix released, Narcissa felt her anger go with it. The reality of what she had just done seemed to sink in and she got off of Bellatrix quickly, wiping her soiled hand on the bedding. Her breathing was labored and she turned away from her sister, dangling her feet off the edge of the bed as she stared at the wall. She knew she had just made a mistake. Her hands grasped the edge of the mattress, holding on tightly as her arms went rigid, trying to not get emotional.

She felt Bellatrix move after a moment, sitting up and coming over to sit behind her. Narcissa could hear her breathing; it was loud, like she was still turned on. Narcissa closed her eyes, trying to block it out. She needed to think. But Bellatrix's fingers ran through her hair; softly, delicately. She then placed her lips upon her neck, kissing her gently. Narcissa allowed it for a moment until Bellatrix wrapped her arms around her torso, sliding her hands up to her breasts before she traced the shell of Narcissa's ear with her tongue. The younger girl pushed her away.

"You don't have to do me," Narcissa whispered, refusing to look at her. She bit her lower lip, trying to stay completely still. She didn't know what she was going to do; what they just did didn't fix everything. It didn't fix anything at all.

"But I want to," Bellatrix breathed in her ear as she leaned into her once more, trying again to ignite the spark in Narcissa. But the flame refused to burn and Narcissa shook her off of her again gently.

"I don't want you to," she told her softly. Bellatrix's hands froze for a moment on her hips, before she finally took them off of her. She sat back on her heels and looked at Narcissa for a moment. Narcissa didn't have to see her face to know that she was both confused and a little upset; she could hear it just in the way her sister's breathing changed.

"You…?" she tried, but Narcissa interrupted her quickly.

"It was once," she told her. She paused for a moment as her hands picked absentmindedly at the bedsheets. "It was only once."

Bellatrix let out a scoff of disbelief. "But you just fucking said—"

"I do want you to forget about her," Narcissa told her honestly, bringing her legs up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. She rocked back and forth slightly, just needing to feel herself move. Narcissa continued to look at the wall, knowing the second she looked at Bellatrix it could all crumble apart. "But what we did doesn't fix anything, Bellatrix. We're still so incredibly screwed up, and you know it. It made me feel better for about a second, but that was it."

"So then we never stop shagging, yeah? Just stay in bed for the rest of our lives and always feel good," Bellatrix suggested, but it held a hint of sarcasm. She sighed though, knowing already she wasn't going to convince her sister of anything. She sat back a little in defeat and ran her fingers through her hair, staring at Narcissa. "So what, that's really the last really great orgasm I'll ever have? Because it's a bit fucking ridiculous that you didn't warn me of that first so I could at least savor the moment."

Narcissa rolled her eyes slightly in annoyance, placing her chin on her knees before she shrugged. "I didn't say it would be forever. I think I'd be fooling myself if I believed that it would be." She let out a breath, turning her head a little so her cheek was pressed against her knee. She held onto herself tighter. "You need to understand something, Bella," she told her softly. "Being with you, it's like…" she searched for the right simile and though it took a moment, she found it, "it's like being a mother. I'm just not ready for that kind of responsibility yet; I'm too young to deal with such things."

"I'm fine now, Cissy! I'm taking my potions. I'm—" but she was cut off by a bitter laugh from her sister.

"Yes, and I saw firsthand how well that was working out for you earlier," Narcissa told her, clenching her jaw as she remembered it. "And you… I've never seen you act that way when you lost control," she whispered, remembered Bellatrix's screams. "That was the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed in my life. It's getting worse, Bella. I… I don't know, maybe you can ask to increase the dosage; stall the permanence a little longer?" She turned her head then, finally looking her sister in the eyes. Her lips were turned down into a worried frown.

"No, I can't do that," Bellatrix told her quickly.

"Why?" Narcissa asked, putting her legs down and turning so she could fully face her. "If it'll help you get better, why not?"

"Because the pain didn't start happening until I started taking them!" Bellatrix exclaimed, frustrated. Narcissa's eyes went wide, but Bellatrix didn't give her a chance to comment. "They're helping, yeah… I don't fuck off and go mental every other day now but I still do sometimes. If I get too emotional, I just… I explode or something. Anger, jealousy, bitterness, sadness, guilt, fear… they all fuck me over in the end. It feels like my head's being ripped apart and my brain is being put in backward and I can't stand it. But I don't know what to do; I need to take them and I can't avoid an intense emotional situation forever, that's impossible." She let out a breath and ran her fingers through her hair as she looked away from Narcissa, her nails scratching at her skull.

Narcissa felt sick. She had told Bellatrix to take her potion last night. Had she just poisoned her indirectly? Whatever it was, it didn't sound safe if the side-effects were that bad. What if it was only serving to deteriorate Bellatrix's brain more? She had said it was an experimental treatment.

"You need to stop taking them," Narcissa told her, looking at her worriedly. Bellatrix's eyes snapped up to meet hers.

"Excuse you?"

"They could be giving you – I don't know – a brain tumor or something!" Narcissa burst out, voice a little frantic. "What's happening to you, that isn't normal! It could be seriously damaging your brain further. What if you die?"

"Don't be dramatic, Cissy. I'm not going to die," Bellatrix told her, brushing off her concerns like they were nothing. "And what's been happening to me even before the damned potions wasn't normal either. No one else goes through the crap I go through. No one else hears voices in their head or sometimes isn't able to think because the only thing they know is feeling in those moments. No one else grows down, Cissy!"

"Grows down?" Narcissa asked, confused.

"Yeah, like instead of growing up, I'm growing down. Aging backward in my head or something."

Narcissa narrowed her eyes a little as if scrutinizing her sister. She didn't know how true that statement was, but she decided to answer based on her own judgments. "You're not… growing down, Bella. You're just impulsive when you get like that. That's really all it is, in a nutshell; you lose the ability to control your impulses."

"It's more than that and you know it."

"You lose your conscience," Narcissa added, an apologetic look in her eye. "You don't understand right and wrong; only pain and pleasure it seems."

Bellatrix's eyes connected with hers and she let out a small breath before she admitted, "More than that."

Narcissa furrowed her eyebrows, trying to think of more things, but then she stopped, realizing she shouldn't have to be the one to play guessing games. "Are you ever going to tell me?" she asked her sister. "What it's like for you, I mean."

Bellatrix stared at her for a moment before averting her eyes, shrugging a little as she leaned back on the bed on her elbows. "It doesn't matter," she mumbled.

"Of course it matters," Narcissa told her, astounded she would even say something like that to her. "Bella," she prodded, furrowing her eyebrows a little and reaching over to cover her sister's hand with hers. Bellatrix looked at Narcissa's hand on top of hers for a moment before she looked up at her, face unreadable. "Please tell me."

"It…" Bellatrix started, but then sighed. She slipped her hand away from Narcissa's and folded her arms into herself, looking out the far window. She shrugged again and then shook her head like she didn't even know where to begin. Narcissa stayed silent; patient, waiting. "Everything is brighter," she told her softly. "Louder, more intense. Whispers sound like screams. It's like… it's like being on drugs; I'm overstimulated by everything. It's like the world is coming at me fast and hard and my brain can't keep up with it enough to process it correctly. I can't… I can't fucking focus on anything; it's too much. So I have to look at details; the leaves on the tree instead of the whole thing, you know?" She chewed on her bottom lip, looking pained. "I don't want it to be like that all the time…"

Narcissa pursed her lips together, looking at her sister sympathetically. She hesitantly reached up, cupping Bellatrix's cheek with her hand, watching the brunette's eyes close from the touch. "I'm sorry," she whispered. It was the only thing she had to offer. She wished more than anything else in the world that she had a solution, but maybe one didn't exist.

Her thumb traced her jawline softly, her fingers brushing back the small pieces of hair that framed Bellatrix's face. It took a moment before Bellatrix let out a breath, opening her eyes and looking at her with an expression filled with longing, guilt, and love. It made the breath catch in Narcissa's throat, but she suppressed her feelings. One look didn't change anything, nor did one shag for that matter.

But Bellatrix seemed to think it did because she leaned in, pressing her lips to Narcissa's firmly. Her hand tangling in her long blonde hair, fingers massaging her scalp, and Narcissa let out a soft moan. But she didn't want to lead her sister on so she pulled back gently, turning her face so Bellatrix couldn't get to her lips any longer. She stared at the comforter and Bellatrix moved away from her, sighing loudly in annoyance.

"I'm sorry. I just… I can't," Narcissa told her softly.

"Why the bloody hell not?" Bellatrix asked, voice reflecting her anger and hurt. "I don't understand you, Cissy. You wake me up by fucking me, by making sure I know I'm your sodding property, but then once I tell you I am you no longer want me? What the fuck kind of mind game are you playing?"

That made Narcissa angry; she wasn't playing any games. She turned her head to look at her and retorted, "You can't just have everything you want, you know!"


"You always get whatever you want without even working for it, Bella! People just fall to their sodding knees around you and I'm sorry but I'm sick of doing that!" Narcissa exclaimed. "You tell me you love me, yet you rarely show it outside of fleeting orgasms. Then I find out you're fucking that… that tart…and you…" she took a breath, trying not to become emotional, "you broke my fucking heart, Bella. I know how you feel about her and what's worse is I know how she feels for you! I can't deal with that, I won't. I can't just look the other way knowing you're off shagging her—"

"Then I'll dump her if that's what you want!" Bellatrix told her hastily, without even a moment's hesitation. "She's nothing compared to you, you know that. You have to know that…" Silence fell between them and Bellatrix knit her eyebrows together, looking a little desperate. "You're the one I'm in love with, Narcissa. It's you I need in my life."

Narcissa sighed, feeling awful. Part of her wanted more than anything to fall into Bellatrix's arms and forget the world, but nothing was ever that simple. "I wish it could be that easy, Bella, but it's not. You have such pretty words all the time, but no actions to confirm their meaning. Words are meaningless on their own."

Bellatrix looked offended. "You don't believe I love you? Are you kidding me?"

"No, that's not…" Narcissa tried, sighing. This was giving her a headache. "I do know you love me, Bella. But sometimes I just don't…feel it, you know? Sometimes I think you believe you don't even have to try with me; like I'm your property by default."

Bellatrix looked at her, confused. "So you want me to what, court you?" She made it sound like the very idea was ridiculous and it didn't help that after she said it she laughed.

Narcissa's cheeks flushed with anger. "Is that so wrong? To want someone to earn the right to call me theirs?"

"Cissy, you already are mine. I don't know why you insist on fighting it," Bellatrix told her bluntly. "I'll leave Gwen if you wish, but I won't be reduced to groveling to get you back. That's degrading."

"I didn't say grovel!" Narcissa exclaimed, getting angrier. "God, do you really see showing acts of love as a weakness? You wonder why you hurt me all the time – that would be a big indicator as to why. Love may be a weakness to you, but it's what makes me stronger. You don't give it to me and yet you wonder why I search for it in others?" she asked, referring to Lucius. Bellatrix's face darkened.

"And you don't fuck me, yet you wonder why I find myself in bed with others?"

"Please," Narcissa scoffed scornfully. "I had sex with you all the time! Don't blame this one on me, Bella. You cheated on me not out of necessity, but out of selfishness. Just based on that alone, yes, I do think you should have to earn back my love. You're the one who threw it away in the first place! But if you're not willing to then…" she trailed off, making her point silently.

Narcissa waited for Bellatrix to say something, anything; that she would try, or even just tell her to go to hell, but her sister stayed silent. She was staring at her, halfway between disbelief and anger.

"Fine," Narcissa said, standing up and gathering her things. She tried not to look hurt, instead putting much more effort than what was normally needed to stay composed. "If that's the way you want it, then I guess we're done here. I need to get ready anyway, Lucius is stopping by to take me shopping in an hour."

"I hope he gives you chlamydia," Bellatrix responded flatly, turning away from her and curling up in Narcissa's bed angrily, practically throwing the pillows around to get comfortable. Clearly she wasn't planning on leaving anytime soon. Narcissa sighed.

"I'm surprised you haven't gotten it already," Narcissa retorted before she grabbed her wand off the bedside table. "Slut," she muttered before storming out of her bedroom.

God, Bellatrix was so bloody intolerable sometimes! Was it really so hard to put forth some kind of effort? Narcissa didn't know how her sister could sit there and tell her she loved her when she barely cared enough to show it. It just… it wasn't fair. Narcissa loved her sister with every inch of her being and had tried time and time again to show it, but apparently she wasn't worth enough in her sister's eyes for her to reciprocate the gesture.

And that devastated her.


*Chapter 28*: Chapter Twenty Eight


"She's completely infuriating!" Narcissa fumed at Lucius as she stood in Madame Malkin's, getting fitted for her new school robs since her others had perished in the house fire. "I mean, she acts as if I should kiss her bloody feet for being allowed the privileged of breathing in the morning!"

Lucius stood next to her, tight-lipped and silent. He had been listening to Narcissa rant for the better part of a half hour and it looked as though it was trying his patience. Not that Narcissa noticed, of course. She was too wrapped up in the drama of her sister and her utter lack of caring. It wasn't as if Bellatrix was averse to romance; the roses she left for her every day last year while she was in school was proof of that. So why was she so against courting her properly?

Maybe it was that she didn't want to do it in front of Narcissa, like she took it as a sign of weakness. Bellatrix had only left those roses when she wasn't around, so it was a valid deduction. Regardless, the way she blatantly laughed in her face hurt Narcissa deeply. It was like Bellatrix didn't deem her worthy of any effort. Maybe she was still angry about walking in on her and Lucius, but it's not like she didn't get her revenge with Gwendolyn.

Not that Bellatrix planned it that way though. She took far too many steps to ensure Narcissa wouldn't find out, which honestly puzzled the youngest Black. Bellatrix swore revenge on her and yet when she had the perfect course of action to dish it out, she hid from her? It made Narcissa wonder if she was planning something else, then quickly became paranoid that her sister had already doned something else and she just had yet to know. She prayed neither, since it would be inhuman for Bellatrix to hurt her again after the heartbreak of seeing her with Gwendolyn; that nearly destroyed her and Bellatrix knew it.

They were even now though. As screwed up as it was, that was the way Narcissa looked at it. It was probably a testament to how unhealthy their relationship was when scores were being settled by causing emotional pain, but then again neither of them had ever known how to function like normal people. Bellatrix most of all.

Narcissa found herself counting the days until she would be back on the train and away from her sister, even though she knew the moment she was gone she would want nothing more than to return. She worried about Bellatrix constantly, even when they were fighting with one another – which lately seemed to be happening more often than not. However, Narcissa knew that before she left she would have to try to patch things up; she didn't want this to be another year where they didn't write to one another. But today was not the day for forgiveness and reconciliation – today, Narcissa was still furious.

"I understand what she did for me," Narcissa went on, continuing her rant as Madame Malkin made adjustments to her robe. "I'm not daft and I'm not ungrateful. But I'm my own person, not her property! She disregards aspects of my life as though they're not important unless she's involved in them. I mean, it's absolutely ridiculous if she really expects me to shape my entire life around her! And god, the way she treats you is horrible; I don't treat her husband like an insignificant flea, she has no reason to treat mine that way!" She paused, then revised, "Future husband, I mean. Regardless, I've dealt with her control issues my whole life but for her to try to assert dominance and abuse you just isn't fair. She—"

"Narcissa," Lucius interrupted in a sharp tone, which made her stop mid-sentence and actually take notice that he did not look pleased at all. "Please stop your foolish ramblings. We need not discuss this now." It looked like he had been holding that in for a while and only now plucked up the courage to actually say it to her.

Narcissa opened her mouth, offended that he had just spoken to her in that way. "Excuse me?" she replied, then hissed in pain as a needle stuck her. "Damnit, woman! Watch where you put those things; I am not a pin cushion!" The old woman too quickly apologized.

Narcissa knew her anger shouldn't be directed at her; she was mad at Lucius after all. But being rude to a tailor was truly of no importance; the woman was not a pureblooded elitist and therefore her opinion of Narcissa weighed next to nothing. It made Narcissa feel like a bit of a bitch for thinking that, but that was the truth. Besides, she had more important things to worry about than the hurt feelings of some old woman – like why her fiancée was being completely rude to her. In public, no less.

"You heard what I said," Lucius told her, trying to keep a firm ground yet still looking shaky as he stood upon it. Narcissa looked at him in utter disbelief. What had gotten into him?

"No, I'm fine!" Narcissa snapped impatiently to Madame Malkin as she tried to kneel down to finish the adjustments on her hem. Narcissa stepped off the platform in a wave of frustration and told her, "I'll need seven of these. See that they don't take too long to make."

"But Ms. Black, I still need to adjust the hem at the bottom—" Madame Malkin tried, but was interrupted.

"I'll grow into them, surely," Narcissa replied shortly, signaling the end of the conversation as she stormed into the changing room to put back on her dress. She really didn't care that she'd probably be tripping over her robes all next year; she needed to speak with Lucius privately. Her fights with her sister seemed to last forever, but Narcissa refused to let this one with her fiancé linger. They were going to settle this dispute before she finished with her shopping, otherwise it'd drive her mad. One person she loved being mad at her she could handle, two she could not.

When she exited the changing room, she shot Lucius a glare before she went over and spoke to Madame Malkin. After paying the woman and instructing her where to send the robes she left, Lucius following behind her. They didn't utter a single word to one another.

When Narcissa entered The Leaky Cauldron instead of going into another shop, Lucius broke the silence. "Narcissa, we don't have time for drinks. You lost everything you own, replacing it will take all afternoon."

Narcissa ignored him and strode past the bar, coming to a stop in front of the innkeeper. "We'd like a room for the night," she told him before grabbing a handful of galleons from her purse and nearly slamming them on the table in front of him. His eyes went wide; it was probably far more than what he would ask for a night's payment.

"Take any room you wish," he told her as he greedily scooped up the gold.

"Thank you," she replied curtly before marching off down the hall, leaving a perplexed Lucius no choice but to follow her. Once she found a vacant room she went inside, closing the door once Lucius entered.

"What are we doing? You know we don't have time for this," Lucius told her, sounding utterly confused about why they were there. "And my father will surely have my head if I bed you for a night. Not that it wouldn't be worth it, but regardless…"

Narcissa laughed, like he had to be the stupidest man on the face of the earth. "Did you honestly expect that we came here to fool around? Have you gone completely mental, or are you just suffering from temporary stupidity?" she snapped. Lucius looked taken aback at her anger, like he couldn't even fathom the thought that she would still be angry over what happened in Madame Malkin's. He seemed to catch up to the situation rather quickly though and he started to look peeved.

"Are you seriously still cross with me because of what I said in that shop?" he asked in a tone of frustrated disbelief. "You were airing out our dirty laundry in public, what was I supposed to say?"

"Maybe something a bit less rude," Narcissa retorted angrily. "You treated me as if I should oblige you like an obedient puppy!"

"You're a woman!" Lucius replied heatedly, which clearly was the very wrong thing to say by the look Narcissa gave him. He cleared his throat uncomfortably, yet didn't retract his statement.

"So because I'm a woman that gives you the right to speak to me like that?" Narcissa replied, disbelievingly. "What has gotten into you? You used to not be this much of a pompous arse."

Lucius sighed heavily, looking like he was torn between fixing the rift between them and sticking to his newfound values. He was clearly trapped between the boy he was and the man he was trying to become. The problem was, Narcissa wasn't quite sure she liked the changes he was instilling into his personality.

"Narcissa, you're to be my wife in a few years," Lucius started, keeping his voice calm as he attempted to explain his behavior. Even though he was no longer shouting at her, it didn't diminish Narcissa's anger any. "We both need to grow up and stop acting like love-struck teenagers. We're pureblood elitists and our marriage is going to make us very powerful in our society; surely you know that. But if we don't start acting as we should, that power will be ripped away from us quickly. I know you're independent and strong-willed and I do love that about you, but in public you must act like a proper woman and an obedient wife. It's what's expected of you."

"I am not your wife yet," Narcissa told him shortly, a hint of a threat lingering behind her words. It was a threat she knew she could not carry out; she couldn't leave him for so many reasons, but it didn't matter. She was just angry. "And I'm not stupid. I know exactly what is expected of me when I am to become your wife, but that time hasn't come yet. I am fourteen years old, Lucius! I am allowed to make mistakes and I'm allowed to be overtaken by my emotions like any other normal teenage girl! I'm sorry I spoke about our affairs in public, I shouldn't have done that and you were right to stop me, but the way you said it was so degrading and I will not stand for that. I won't be spoken to like my thoughts and actions are insignificant."

"I don't think you're insignificant, Narcissa," Lucius replied, letting out an exasperated sigh. "But my father said—"

"Oh," Narcissa interrupted heavily. "Your father. I should have known."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Your father already thinks badly of me, of course he would be coaching you to treat me as such!" Narcissa exclaimed, upset that Lucius cared more about his father than he did about her.

"He's not—" Lucius started, then threw up his hands in a fit of annoyance. "This is ridiculous, we shouldn't even be having this conversation. Why can't you just accept that we need to act a little more maturely in public?"

"That's not the part I have a problem with! Why can't you just apologize? Do you honestly think I need this right now, after everything? My parents are dead, my whole world has been turned upside down in the matter of a week, and I'm just overwhelmed, alright?"

Silence hung heavily between the two of them for a moment and they just stared at each other, both frustrated that they were having an argument when it was so rare that they quarreled with one another. Finally, Lucius let out a breath and leaned against the doorway, looking apologetic. "You're right, I'm sorry." Narcissa looked surprised that he actually apologized. "I should have taken into account what you've been through lately. My father though he just… he gets under my skin sometimes," he admitted. "I'm not proud of it, but I know that if I don't turn out to be the man he expects, he'll disown me. I fear that more than anything."

Narcissa looked at him for a moment, her lips turning down into a frown once she noticed actual distress on Lucius' face. He tried to hide it, but he wasn't as good of an actor as he thought he was. Lucius, like herself, had always grown up privileged; to be stripped from that would be a death sentence for people like them. "Did he tell you he would?" Narcissa asked softly, taking a step forward to slide her hand into his. She felt like she should be giving him some sort of comfort.

"Not in so many words, no," Lucius told her as he stared out the far window. It was like he was worried what Narcissa would see if he looked at her. "But I know my father. He's already unhappy that I proposed to you before you were fifteen; he went on and on about how that wasn't how he raised me and that I should know better than to get tangled in some harlot's web."

A look of offense crossed Narcissa face, but she said nothing.

"I told him you weren't one, of course," Lucius went on. "That you were still chaste, that you were loyal to me, and that you came from an incredibly wealthy family that stayed true to pureblooded values. I didn't understand why he was so furious when you were all he ever wanted for me in a wife." He took a breath before he chuckled lightly, remembering what happened. "It turned out that he thought you had dosed me with a love potion to try to secure your own future. It was completely mental, but that's the kind of man my father is – paranoid to the last. Of course, when no antidotes worked he let it go, but he still makes a point to remind me at least three times a day that if I don't start acting like a proper man and start respecting tradition then he will force me to withdraw my proposal."

Narcissa looked horrified. "He can't do that!"

"He can and he will," Lucius told her darkly. "He will have no problem giving me an ultimatum: you, or the family fortune. So I must start respecting his wishes and act as I should, at least when we're in public. I don't wish to put more weight on your shoulders, especially now, but I fear that if you don't act like he expects that he'll deem you unworthy of marriage."

"Lucius, why didn't you just tell me?" Narcissa asked, sighing softly. "Don't you realize we could have avoided this entire fight if you had just told me what was going on?"

"No, we wouldn't have," Lucius replied, finally looking at her and cracking a tiny bit of a smile. Off of her confused look he explained, "I know you, Narcissa. Regardless of knowing my reasons, you still would have tried to rip my bollocks from my body because my choice of wording was rude."

Narcissa smirked. That was true. "Yes, but I would have composed myself a little better and waited to rip them from your body until you brought me back home." She leaned into him, putting her head on his shoulder. "You should have just told me," she finished softly. She was going to be his wife, shouldn't he be confiding in her about his doubts, his fears?

"Between you being sick and the never-ending drama with your sister, it just never seemed the right time," Lucius told her. "Besides, it's not easy for any man to admit weakness."

"You're not weak," Narcissa told him firmly, looking up at him as she placed her chin on his shoulder. He did not make eye contact, but she didn't expect him to. "Sometimes it's necessary to adapt for survival."

"You speak as if we're prisoners of war," Lucius replied, exasperated. "I won't die if I'm disowned."

"Won't you?" Narcissa countered. Lucius turned to look at her, brow furrowed. "Maybe not literally, but do you honestly think you, you, could survive poverty? Being homeless? You're not built that way Lucius, nor am I. We were raised knowing our place in society, to take that away would feel like ripping the life from us. You know I'm right." Lucius said nothing, so Narcissa went on, "Besides, I very much doubt that you would choose me over your wealth."

Lucius looked surprised that she said that and didn't sound angry about it. "Would you choose me over your wealth?" he countered.

Narcissa pursed her lips and looked away from him before she admitted, "No." She could not live in poverty, she wouldn't know how. With Bellatrix it was different; she would give up all the galleons in the world to just be happy with her, to always feel loved. Maybe it was because Bellatrix was a survivor in every sense of the word and she would be certain to take care of Narcissa if that happened. She'd find a way to clothe her, feed her, shelter her. Unfortunately, Narcissa was certain that Lucius would fall apart if put under those conditions, and there was only room for one of them to be weak.

"I suppose I don't feel so guilty for feeling the same way then," Lucius admitted. He wrapped his arm around Narcissa, holding her close. "But it's not a choice I have to make right now. I'll appease my father's wishes so it hopefully will never have to come to that."

Narcissa smiled after he spoke, a feeling of warmth filling her abdomen. It would have been so easy for him to secure his fortune by leaving Narcissa, yet the thought didn't seem to even be on his mind. "Sometimes it surprises me how much you truly care."


Narcissa looked up at him, a little taken aback by his question because she thought the reasons obvious. "Does it not surprise you that I care?"

"Should it? You told me once that you would not get married to someone that you had no feelings for," Lucius replied pointedly. "Do you remember, in the Hospital Wing? You nearly destroyed my pride that day," he admitted, laughing a little. "But the fact that you refused my advances only made me want to try harder."

"I remember," Narcissa replied, smiling. But then her smile faded and she shrugged lightly. "But you know as well as I do that fighting for love was foolish. It's all I wanted when I was a girl and I suppose I was just trying to hold onto the hope that I could marry someone of my own choosing."

"Aren't you?" Lucius asked, sounding a little wounded.

"Of course I am," Narcissa reassured him. "But I watched my parents live in an unhappy marriage, I watched my sister marry someone she held no love, nor affection for. I assumed the same would happen to me. I suppose that's why it sometimes surprises me that you do care; I'm not used to having many things go right in my life."

"I didn't expect to," Lucius admitted. "Care, I mean. Not as much as I do, anyway. I did pursue you at first only because of your reputation and beauty." He smirked as he finished with, "It was obvious that we stood to make impeccable looking children." Narcissa scoffed in mock offense and pushed him a little before they both started laughing.

"You told me you liked me, you liar," Narcissa teased. She knew it was in the past though, so it didn't offend her. Besides, it was rather expected.

"I did like you!" Lucius defended, still chuckling a little. "I wouldn't lie about that; I did like you since I was twelve. But I've also liked a few other girls over the years and I didn't pursue them for marriage."

He had a point.

Narcissa pursed her lips as she brushed the hair back from her face. "Do you ever fear that regardless of our reputation, of our money, that when we are married we will somehow lose all the influence our parents earned for our family names?" she asked quietly. It was her own private fear; that she was not near ready for adulthood. Narcissa didn't know if she would ever be, honestly.

"We won't."

"That wasn't a proper answer."

Lucius looked down at her as he took a breath. "There's no use thinking about things that aren't going to happen," he told her. "In a few years' time I will be working at the Ministry; I know that because I won't settle for anything less. We will have a mansion grander than anything either of us have ever seen, and in it you will throw magnificent parties that will be the envy of all pureblooded society – parties that everyone will come to so we can chat them up to further advance my career." He smiled then as he finished, "And we will have children; lots of children that will be looked at by their peers with awe because they carry the Malfoy name. Everyone will respect us, Narcissa. Everyone."

He sounded so sure of himself that it helped ease Narcissa's doubts, at least for the moment. They would resurface again though, she was sure of that. Narcissa had a long way to go if she wanted to be a respected elitist, especially when it came to maturity and shallow socializing. Narcissa hoped that they both came automatically with age, because if they did not then she wasn't sure where she was supposed to learn such a skill.

"If you want more than three children you're going to have to find a way to birth them yourself," Narcissa replied, needing to set that ground rule. She knew childbirth was excruciatingly painful and purebloods had always refrained from taking the potion to dull that pain. It was insanity, but it was tradition; due to the amount of inbreeding in pureblooded families, it was widely feared that any potions taken while pregnant would increase the chances of bearing a mentally handicapped child, or worse… a squib. While she and Lucius weren't raised as relatives, it would be foolish to believe that somewhere far down the line their families weren't connected; most were nowadays. Their race was a dying one, unfortunately.

While Narcissa was sure that they were distantly related enough to bare a normal, healthy child, it didn't change anything. Maybe it was silly, but since there was still a minuscule chance of something like that happening, she wanted to take any and all steps to prevent it as the shame would be utterly unbearable if they produced an imperfect child.

Lucius laughed. "I am fine with three," he answered. Narcissa smiled as she looked up at him before she rose on her tiptoes to give him a quick kiss on the lips.

"We need to finish shopping," she told him regrettably. Now that they were talking about their future, Narcissa wanted nothing more than to make use of the bed in the room. They didn't have time though. "Perhaps we should split up, it may be the only way we get everything done. I'll busy myself replacing my wardrobe and you can get my school things, is that alright?"

Lucius nodded. He paused for a moment, knowing that bringing up the topic he wanted to could lead to another fight. "And then we will get some dinner before I bring you back to your sister's," he told her, deciding that an argument was an acceptable consequence for something so important.

Narcissa looked as though she was about to protest, but Lucius would not let her get a word in. "No, Narcissa. Don't argue with me, I don't want to hear it. This starving yourself nonsense needs to stop. I will not watch you wither away and die because of your superficial insecurities. You are not that weak, I know you're not."

"Lucius, I'm fine," Narcissa stressed, chuckling a little to try to make light of the situation. "I just wasn't eating before because I was sick. You know that…"

"Don't talk to me as if I'm stupid and easily manipulated," Lucius snapped. Narcissa immediately silenced herself. "I didn't push the issue when you were sick, but that was only because Bellatrix told me she was mixing liquid meals into your healing potions."

Narcissa's mouth dropped open in horror. That was such an incredible violation of her freedom of choice that she didn't even know where to start. Liquid meals? Narcissa had heard about them, they were primarily for wizards who went on survival hikes and the like, in case they found themselves somewhere that didn't have food. They supposedly held the nutritional equivalent of eating three meals so the person taking it didn't have to worry about eating until the next day. Narcissa suddenly felt sick; her sister had given her two potions a day – that equaled six meals. Who eats six meals a day?

She should have known though. Usually, Narcissa was constantly lightheaded and weak, even when sitting down. When she was sick she didn't notice the change because she was too preoccupied with the pain of her internal bruising, and as she got better she expected to feel stronger. She probably just forgot she wasn't supposed to feel this good. The pain, the stomach growling, the lightheadedness and the weakness were gone now and Narcissa didn't even notice until just now because she had learned to ignore them. She accepted them as part of her life and didn't dwell on feeling unwell because the feeling she had when she looked in the mirror was worth all the sickness.

Now she just felt like an utter failure. But more than that, she was furious that Bellatrix had made her that way and that Lucius knowingly allowed her to. "She did what?" she yelled, anger pouring from every fiber of her being.

"She made sure you didn't get any sicker, that's what," Lucius retorted. "I know you're angry but you need to understand something, Narcissa: this ends now. I will watch you eat every sodding meal if I have to. I don't know how or why Bellatrix allowed you to go on like this as long as you have, but I'm not going to let it go any further. Make no mistake, I am not asking nicely and I'm not lecturing you; I am telling you this is how it's going to be."

Narcissa gaped at him, too angry and filled with utter disbelief to even form a coherent thought. Finally she exclaimed, "This is fucking ridiculous! I eat, for shit's sake, Lucius; I do eat! You act as if I never consume anything!"

"You don't eat nearly enough and you know it. Eating a few crackers or a couple slices of fruit a day does not make one meal, let alone three," Lucius told her. "And I'm willing to bet there's been days at a time that you go without any food at all."

Narcissa just locked her jaw and stayed silent, glaring at him.

"I'm sorry," Lucius continued, and at least he had the decency to sound a little apologetic. "I didn't want to force you, but you're still so far in denial that you can't even admit that you have a problem, let alone able to go about fixing it on your own."

"This is so stupid! You believe my sister's psychotic ramblings over me?"

"Narcissa, we've been dating for nearly a year! You really think I haven't noticed how little you eat? I believed your lies before; that you weren't hungry, that you were sick, that you already ate before you came, and oh, my favorite: you're a 'night eater," Lucius air-quoted sarcastically. "But once Bellatrix said something, it all made perfect sense. And frankly, Bellatrix gains nothing by lying to me about this, so I'm liable to believe her over you, yes."

"Why did you have to do this?" Narcissa asked, growing upset. A lump was beginning to form in her throat and she was beginning to feel trapped because for the first time she was unable to talk her way around the issue. She didn't want to deal with it now; too many things had happened. "We stopped fighting. We were having a nice time and I was feeling happy again. Why did you have to go and ruin it?"

"Because this has waited long enough."

He watched as Narcissa turned away from him to hide her tears; she didn't want him to see her cry over this. She didn't want him to know how helpless she was starting to feel. She had no control, not anymore. It made Narcissa feel like a puppet and she hated that. She wanted to be stronger than that, why wasn't she stronger than that?

Narcissa muffled a sob by biting on her lower lip so hard that it cracked and bled. Her eyes closed, she clenched her fists then, willing herself to calm down. But it wasn't working; the tears wouldn't stop, her nose wouldn't clear. She felt like she was suffocating.

Lucius put a hand on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her, but Narcissa furiously pushed him off of her. "Don't you dare touch me!"

"Narcissa, this isn't the end of the world," Lucius tried. "Don't you remember before, when you did eat? Your world didn't end then, did it? If it's your weight you're worried about, we can find suitable dieting plans that—"

"You are so utterly stupid, aren't you?" Narcissa shouted, rounding to face him in a wave of desperation and anger. "You think it's all about being beautiful; about being skinny? I want those things, yes, but so does every other sodding girl on the earth! That's not the reason I do anything, it's merely a perk. The real reason is much less shallow, I assure you."

Lucius looked at her disbelievingly. "I don't believe that. You think I don't hear the girls talk at the Slytherin table? All each of them wants is to be skinnier because somewhere in this demented part of their mind they believe it's more attractive. But I have news for you, Narcissa; it's not. No man wants to look upon a woman that's skin and bones, it's revolting. And frankly when we were in bed and I saw every single one of your ribs, it was a complete turn-off."

Narcissa's stomach felt like it dropped to the floor. Out of everything he could have said, she didn't expect that. It surprised her how badly that hurt and how ugly it made her feel and so she lashed out in return. "You're a sodding liar, Lucius; I felt how hard you were and seeing my ribs certainly didn't stop you from going down on me! So keep spewing more ridiculous bullshit at me, I won't believe a word of it."

"It didn't stop me because it was a flaw on an otherwise perfect package," Lucius told her. "That's what you don't understand, Narcissa – before you started all this, you were sodding perfect. You aren't improving anything, you're destroying it. Each week that passes I don't look at you and think you've grown more beautiful because you lost weight; I look at you and wish you looked more like you did the week before."

"And that's all you care about, isn't it? How I look," Narcissa snapped.

"No, but I believe that's all you care about," Lucius responded. "Did I or did I not first mention your health? Don't turn this around just because you know you're fighting a losing battle. I'm not Bellatrix; I will not sit idly by and let you do as you please. I'm going to be your husband and with that comes the responsibility of taking care of you and keeping you healthy, whether you want me to or not."

"Taking care of me?" Narcissa scoffed angrily. "Taking care of me? You're going to destroy me, Lucius! My whole life has been so out of control, so completely and utterly fucked, and I've never felt like my own person. I never had any control over my own life; my mother dictated how I dressed, what I ate, even how long my hair was supposed to be. My father dictated how I live my life; careerless and a baby factory for the highest bidder. And my sister, Bellatrix, she dictated all the rest. All of my life I've felt like a puppet; completely helpless and someone else's to control. I felt weak because I couldn't do anything about it. There were no options in my life, only obedience. Half of the time I wanted to die because I already felt like I was suffocating and I couldn't bear it any longer."

Lucius stayed silent, knowing better than to speak when Narcissa was finally talking about what was really going on. Narcissa didn't notice his chosen silence, however; she was in the middle of a tirade and once she started, she found she couldn't stop – the truth came pouring out whether she wanted it to or not.

"I got so upset and became so withdrawn that I simply forgot to eat for a long time. But then when I realized how long I had gone, for the first time I felt a sense of power. Not many people can go without eating for that long; they simply don't have the willpower. But I could," Narcissa told him, pride in her voice. "For the first time in my sodding life, I knew I had strength inside me. Maybe it wasn't the kind of strength that would grant me freedom from being everyone's bloody puppet, but it gave me enough strength to feel proud of myself. And with pride I didn't feel as sad; I didn't feel as helpless as I had before. I was controlling an aspect of my life when before I held no control at all."

"And yes," she admitted, "maybe part of it was superficial, but my mother had made quick work of destroying my self-esteem as a child by constantly calling me fat and ugly." Narcissa felt herself starting to cry again, but she didn't stop. "And it's horrible because now every time I look in the mirror that's what I see. I can't stop it. She told me these things every day since as far back as I can remember and now it's all I can believe, even if I don't want to. You tell me I'm beautiful, my own fiancé, and I should believe it and yet all I can think of after you say it is that you're lying to me…"

"I'm not – Narcissa, I'm not," Lucius told her quickly, holding his soon to be wife as Narcissa began to break down in tears. She didn't mean to tell him all that, but now that she had she felt so incredibly raw and exposed.

"Your mother was a bitch for telling you those things," Lucius told her softly, cradling her in his arms. "And you're not a puppet; you're one of the most strong-willed people that I know. You're headstrong and incredibly outspoken. You say you do this to not feel so weak, yet all I've ever seen in front of me is a strong woman. And if you think you need control, look around you –you have it. You're free, Narcissa. Your parents are never going to hurt you again. How can you not see that you have your life back?"

Narcissa didn't answer; she didn't have the strength to. She felt too drained to argue anymore and besides, she couldn't very well tell him that her relationship with Bellatrix was still something that made her feel helpless.

"You're going to start eating," Lucius told her softly. "I know you're going to hate it at first, but you have to realize now that you have a problem, right?" The tone in his voice sounded like he was worried she still would not admit it, even after everything. It was nearly pleading.

It took at least a full minute before Narcissa reluctantly nodded her head. It wasn't worth it to deny it any longer. No one believed her anymore when she said that she was fine, so what was the point?

But admitting she had a problem and taking the first step to fixing it… those were two different things entirely, and Narcissa wasn't sure if she could emotionally handle changing her lifestyle right now. But then again, it wasn't like she had a choice anymore.


*Chapter 29*: Chapter Twenty Nine

A/N: Again, thank you for all the reviews :) I started writing this story again about a week ago (not that you guys probably noticed that I wasn't for like, three months, seeing as I try to keep the update rate pretty regular regardless of whether I'm writing it or not) but I just wanted to share that in six days I wrote nearly 30,000 words ^_^ FYEAH. Damn this story is long. I swear. It's looking like it'll be close to 50 chapters when it's finally finished. And then there's the sequel...


Narcissa sat at the Lestrange's dining room table, knees pulled up to her chest as she stared at the plate of food in front of her. Lucius sat on the opposite side of the table, silent, just as he had been for the last twenty minutes. He didn't push, he didn't force her, he just waited. Narcissa couldn't help but wonder how long his patience would last.

She was glad he hadn't brought her to a restaurant. After the emotional rollercoaster she had been on all day, Narcissa was sure she couldn't handle something like that. She felt so incredibly drained. Even if she wanted to eat the food in front of her, she didn't think she'd have the appetite to; all of the fighting, all of the stress, and all of the constant breakdowns were taking a serious toll on her. She didn't want to move, she didn't want to think, she didn't want to do anything. Normally she would eat a few vegetables on her plate. That, she could handle. But right now, even making the effort to pick up her fork was more than she felt she could do.

Narcissa wanted nothing more than to just crawl into bed, but she knew Lucius would not allow her to leave the table until she at least ate something. The problem was she didn't think she could. Narcissa exhaled a heavy breath as she laid her head on her knees and stared at the wall. They were going to be here for ages.

They never did end up finishing the shopping. After Narcissa had calmed down they picked up a few more things, but it had already grown much too late. Thankfully she still had a few more weeks before school, but Narcissa had wanted to get it all over and done with today. Unfortunately, it looked as though she would have to return to Diagon Alley at a later date.

The seconds ticked by loudly from the analog clock adorning the wall, reminding Narcissa how late she was keeping Lucius. If he didn't get home soon his father would surely be angry with him, yet Lucius made no move to rush her. He just continued to stay silent as he watched her, waiting for her to pick up her fork and take her first bite.

Narcissa looked up as she heard someone entering the dining room. Her eyes landed on Bellatrix, who stopped as she took in the scene in front of her. "What the hell are you doing here?" she asked Lucius, not looking pleased to find him camped out in her dining room. Narcissa sighed; she didn't need them to fight right now.

"Waiting for Narcissa to eat something," he told her shortly. Bellatrix snorted.

"Good luck with that," she scoffed as she crossed behind Narcissa, stopping at the cabinets that adorned the wall. Narcissa watched as she took a small vile out from the top shelf; her potions, Narcissa assumed. The youngest Black made a face of displeasure; she was sure those things were dangerous and yet Bellatrix didn't seem to care in the slightest. It concerned her.

"Your lack of care for your own sister is disgusting," Lucius told her furiously. "No wonder she's like this."

"Don't confuse intelligence with a lack of caring, Lucius," Bellatrix snapped as she removed the cork from the vial. "I just know better than to force Narcissa to do anything." She tipped the vial up to her lips then, consuming the potion in one swig.

Narcissa wasn't sure how true that last statement really was, but she stayed quiet nonetheless. She had been in enough arguments for one day.

"I'm not forcing her."

"No?" Bellatrix asked skeptically. "You may not be shoving it down her throat, but you're keeping her here until she eats. What else would you call it?" Lucius didn't answer, he just stared at her, tightlipped. "You're going about this all wrong," Bellatrix informed him. "If you really have the desperate need to make her start eating now, you may try to offer her something in return; at least that way she's getting something out of it."

"What, you mean bribe her?" Lucius asked, scoffing. "That doesn't fix the underlying problem."

"And sitting here and waiting until she eats does?" Bellatrix countered.

"I'm right here," Narcissa interrupted, getting annoyed with being talked about like she wasn't even in the room.

"Really? And here I thought I just had a rotting corpse sitting at my dinner table," Bellatrix retorted. "My mistake."

"Watch your mouth!" Lucius exclaimed, glaring at his soon to be sister-in-law across from the table. "I won't have you speak to her like that."

"Just fuck off, Bella," Narcissa mumbled, wrapping her arms around her legs tighter as if to protect herself from Bellatrix's verbal blows. She knew why Bellatrix had said what she did, but it didn't make it hurt any less.

"Why not?" Bellatrix countered, addressing Lucius. "It's what she strives to be, after all. The truth hurts and she's a big girl; the time for coddling her is over."

"You're not helping!"

"No, probably not," Bellatrix affirmed, leaning against the far wall and crossing her arms over her chest. "But I'm willing to bet I can make her eat before you can."

"This isn't a competition," Lucius replied, glaring at her. "Your sister is really sick, or don't you care?"

"Don't ever presume to know how I feel!" Bellatrix shouted, pointing a finger at him in warning. "Narcissa has been the only thing in my life I actually give a damn about, so get off your fucking high horse before I throw you off it head first."

"Well you have funny way of showing it," Lucius furiously retorted. "You've let her starve herself for God only knows how long!"

"I let her do as she pleases, as she lets me," Bellatrix answered heatedly. "She has a choice and I allow her to exercise that right; I don't try to shape her into someone she doesn't want to be."

Narcissa buried her face in her knees. She didn't want to deal with this right now. She wished they would just stop fighting.

"So you allow to her to slowly kill herself because she has the right to choose?" Lucius replied disbelievingly.

"In case you've forgotten, I step in when it gets out of hand," Bellatrix retorted, no doubt referring to the liquid meals she had spiked her healing potion with. "I won't let her die. At least I noticed when she stopped eating; you, on the other hand, had to be told because your head is stuck so far up your ass that you can't even see the light of day, let alone anyone in it."

Lucius fumed. "Maybe I didn't notice, but it was probably because you allowed it to go on for so long that she got good at lying about it."

"She didn't have to lie to you," Bellatrix shot back venomously. "Perhaps she didn't trust you, or maybe she just didn't love you enough to tell you the truth. Pity."

"Oh my god, will you two just stop?" Narcissa shrieked finally, making them both turn to her and finally take into account her presence in the room. "I have had a really bad day and neither of you are helping. So do me and a favor and just, for one second, shut your sodding mouths."

Lucius looked guilty for upsetting her. Bellatrix however just smirked, taking Narcissa's outburst as her cue. She slid into the seat next to her, cocking her head as she peered at her. "You want us to stop fighting?" she asked rhetorically. "Then eat something." She pushed the plate of food towards her, looking at her expectantly.

Narcissa just stared at her, finding her proposition ridiculous. They would never stop fighting; if Bellatrix had a cock they both would have already whipped them out and laid them on the table so they could measure. It was so completely and utterly stupid, how much they fought over her affections.

"I doubt she cares that much," Lucius retorted, finding Bellatrix's proposition ridiculous as well.

"Yes, she does," Bellatrix answered, keeping eye contact with Narcissa. "She feels helpless when we fight; she hates it. It's completely beyond her control and she can't deal with that."

Off the mention of the word 'control,' Lucius turned to look at Narcissa. He was starting to find that Bellatrix's proposition may hold some merit after all. He raised his eyebrows as he waited, wondering if Narcissa was going to take the bait.

Narcissa continued to stare at Bellatrix, chewing on the inside of her cheek. Finally, she said, "You despise Lucius, you wouldn't know how to be civil to him even if you wanted to be."

"Maybe I couldn't be forever, no. But tonight I can treat him like an actual human being, if you really want me to," Bellatrix pressed, knowing she was getting to her. "Or we can sit here and argue all night – your choice."

Narcissa knew she was being manipulated, and while she didn't particularly care for that, she also knew that Bellatrix could have blackmailed her instead, which she would have liked far less. She could have also disregarded her choice entirely and continued to slip liquid meals to her in her morning pumpkin juice, which would have made Narcissa constantly paranoid. As much as she didn't like this, the option Bellatrix was giving her was the lesser of many evils.

And God, Bellatrix was right; she did feel helpless when they fought, and she hated that it was beyond her control. But in the end, that was what Bellatrix was offering her: control. Narcissa now had the choice to be free from the constant heartache of the two people she loved tearing each other apart.

Narcissa picked up her fork.

But before she gave in completely she paused, looking at the both of them. "If you snipe at each other tonight, even just once, I will never allow either of you to try to sit me down in front of a plate of food again."

Lucius looked shocked that this was actually working. "Understood," he replied, his voice still filled with disbelief. Bellatrix looked smug.

"I won't be able to eat the whole thing," Narcissa told them, looking at the full plate of food. "It's… still too much."

"You're stalling," Bellatrix said, calling her out. Narcissa sighed, pushing the food on her plate around with her fork. She still didn't feel hungry in the slightest, but maybe her curiosity was getting the best of her. Could they really get along for a night?

Narcissa's fork pierced a piece of meat and she raised it to her lips. Both her sister and fiancé were staring at her. It was so awkward, to be watched like some sort of child. But in the back of her mind she knew she brought this kind of supervision on herself. It seemed like it took forever, but finally Narcissa did take a bite.

Lucius seemed to let out a breath he had been holding for god only knows how long.

The meat was cold from sitting there for so long, but it wasn't entirely horrible. The sensation of eating it was odd, as she hadn't had meat in quite a long time, but it didn't make her sick like she expected. Maybe it was because this time when she ate she was getting something out of it; getting peace of mind. She couldn't even remember the last time she had that.

Narcissa took another bite and chewed slowly, eyes downcast so she didn't have to see them staring at her.

"Great, now that that drama is over…" Bellatrix started as she rose from the table, "I'm going to get some wine." She paused mid-stride however, remembering the deal she just cut with Narcissa. She turned to Lucius and scrunched up her face in distaste, yet forced herself to be polite and ask in dry monotone, "Would you like any, Lucius?" She sounded as if she was reading off a blackboard.

"I would, thank you," Lucius replied, looking a little amused at Bellatrix being forced into politeness with him. She merely rolled her eyes in response as she headed into the kitchen.

Well, it wasn't perfect, but it was something at least. Narcissa took another bite of food, already feeling like she had too much. But she had made a deal and so she swallowed it without complaint.

Bellatrix came back with the wine shortly and poured a glass for each of them before flopping down again next to Narcissa. She let out a heavy breath before she brought the wine glass to her lips, taking a sip as she stared at the far wall. Now that the entire eating argument was over, Narcissa finally felt the tension coming off in waves from her sister. She had nearly forgotten about their fight this morning with everything else going on, but now the aftermath was clear as day: Bellatrix was still upset over being rejected yet again.

And truth be told, Narcissa was still upset that Bellatrix didn't think she was worth enough to put forth some effort.

However, maybe it was a testament to how much Bellatrix actually cared that she ended up putting that aside to help Lucius in her own backwards little way. Or maybe she just enjoyed arguing with Lucius and something good accidentally came from it all. Regardless of how it came about, Narcissa knew Bellatrix could have just ignored her and gone about her own business. Instead she stayed. She was still staying with her, even though she was clearly unhappy about it.

Narcissa wondered why, exactly.

Not that it really mattered. Bellatrix was here for her, being civil to Lucius for her, and that was all that mattered. Narcissa tried to show her gratitude by finding her sister's hand beneath the table, but the moment their fingers touched, Bellatrix yanked her hand away and buried it in her lap without even sparing her a glace. Narcissa tried to not look hurt as she stabbed another piece of meat with her fork.

Lucius cleared his throat, trying to break the awkward silence between them all. "So, where is Rodolphus?" he asked Bellatrix attempting small talk. "It'd be nice if he could join us."

"I don't know; out shagging some tart, I suppose," Bellatrix replied flatly, not giving into meaningless pleasantries. Lucius looked a bit taken aback at her bluntness and coughed awkwardly before taking a sip of wine.

Narcissa sighed. It seemed that even without all the yelling, the two of them were still unable to have a proper conversation. She flicked her broccoli around her plate, knowing she should probably attempt to dictate the conversation, but she had no idea where to even start.

How she was going to end up being a hostess, she had no idea. Her parties were going to be complete rubbish.

"I'm thinking of trying out for the Quidditch team this year," Narcissa blurted out suddenly. She had no idea why she just said that; she had never given it a thought in her life. She supposed she just didn't want them all to sit there in uncomfortable silence.

Bellatrix snorted in response. "You're rubbish at Quidditch."

"I am not!" Narcissa protested. It was a stupid reaction, but she felt like she had to defend herself. The truth was, she was rubbish at Quidditch. "Fine, maybe I am a bit," she mumbled as she reached for her wine. This wasn't going very well.

"Perhaps you're more suited for the Wizard's Chess Team," Lucius replied a little awkwardly, trying to be helpful without hurting her feelings.

"She's rubbish at that too," Bellatrix interjected. "Rubbish at quite a lot of things, actually," she finished, like a personal afterthought that just happened to come out of her mouth.

"You do wonders for my self-esteem, Bella," Narcissa replied dryly.

Bellatrix just now seemed to understand that she had insulted her and so she tried to smooth it over with, "Well, I do know one thing you're good at." Narcissa wasn't sure she liked her tone when she said that though.

"What?" Lucius asked, curious.

Bellatrix gave Narcissa a dirty smirk in response and the blonde's eyes went wide before she swatted at her arm. "Shut up!" she snapped, not believing that Bellatrix just implied they had a sex life in front of her fiancé. "Ignore her," she instructed Lucius, hoping her voice didn't betray how much she was shaken up by that. "She's just being a cow." She glared at Bellatrix, who merely chuckled in response before taking another sip of her wine.

Lucius looked confused, but didn't press the matter. Within moments they all fell into an awkward silence again.

And once again, Lucius tried to break it by asking Bellatrix all the wrong questions. "So are you and Rodolphus planning on having children soon?"

Narcissa's head fell into her hand and Bellatrix outright laughed at the question like it was the funniest thing she had heard in months.

"Do you honestly think I'm fit to be a mother?" she asked like she couldn't believe the stupidity that fell from his lips.

"Please don't answer that," Narcissa mumbled, knowing that if he answered they were liable to get into a fight again. It was almost like Bellatrix was baiting him. Then again, he did bring this upon himself. Lucius knew Bellatrix was a lesbian, so why he continued to push the marriage issue, Narcissa had no idea. Perhaps he thought they would still try to continue on as normal for appearances.

Lucius swallowed his answer and cleared his throat. "I just thought…"

"That every woman wants that?" Bellatrix answered for him. "Hardly. I don't have time for that sort of nonsense, nor does Rodolphus. Besides, I don't think either of us could stomach going through the process of making the little brats."

"Are you truly that .unhappy with each other?" Lucius asked, like he couldn't understand it in the slightest.

Bellatrix looked taken aback by his question; it was incredibly personal. Narcissa was shocked that he had asked her that as well, but maybe it just fell from his lips before he could stop it. He did look rather uncomfortable with the stunned silence that followed his question.

"I don't need happiness with Rodolphus," Bellatrix answered finally, her voice even. "It's not why we're married. And if you were forced to marry someone you held no affection for like the rest of us, you'd understand that. You and Narcissa both seem to easily forget how rare your relationship is."

"We don't," Lucius told her. They had had a conversation about just that earlier in the day. "But I suppose I just fail to understand how someone cannot hold even a small amount of loyalty to the person they're going to spend the rest of their life with."

This was getting into dangerous territory. "Perhaps we should discuss something else," Narcissa tried, but she was ignored.

"You mistake love for loyalty; they aren't one in the same. I am very loyal to Rodolphus; he's my husband and if he so wishes I'll stand by his side through anything," Bellatrix answered shortly. Her patience was being tested, that much was obvious. However, she was still trying to keep things civil. How long that would last though, Narcissa didn't know.

Lucius looked surprised by her answer. He also looked intrigued, which worried Narcissa. Intrigue meant more questions. "That's interesting," he stated, meaning every word. That took Bellatrix aback for a moment and she furrowed her eyebrows, not understanding why he would find her marriage interesting in the slightest.


"It's always interesting to see the other side of things," Lucius answered. "You don't think?"

"Not particularly; I care nothing for how others live their lives," Bellatrix told him flatly, flicking her wrist gently to make the wine swirl in her glass. She looked tense.

Narcissa took that moment to slide her plate away from her. It made a screeching sound against the glass table and both of them looked at her. "I'm finished," she stated, needing to change the topic. Both of them looked at the amount of food left on her plate.

"Can you try to eat a little more?" Lucius asked at the exact same time Bellatrix said, "Fine." They looked at one another.

"She ate significantly more than she has been lately," Bellatrix said, coming to Narcissa's defense. "Just leave her be; there's always tomorrow."

Narcissa expected Lucius to protest, so she was surprised when all he did was nod and settle back in his chair. Them not arguing was odd; it was like the world was turning backwards. But Narcissa wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth, no matter how awkward this little chat was turning out to be.

"I suppose now that we're being forced to get along," Lucius started, fiddling with his wine glass absentmindedly, "it would be the perfect time to ask why you despise me so much."

"Lucius," Narcissa warned. Now it was he who was baiting her.

"You want us to get along, do you not?" he countered. "We won't ever be able to do that unless we understand where the other is coming from."

He had a point, but this was still liable to turn into a disaster. Narcissa pursed her lips, glancing over at Bellatrix. She was staring at Lucius, expressionless.

"You took what's mine," she told him flatly. Narcissa prayed she didn't elaborate on that statement further.

Lucius looked a little exasperated at Bellatrix's possessiveness, but he didn't comment on it. He had known for quite some time that Bellatrix thought of Narcissa as her property. "She's right here," he told her, motioning to Narcissa. "She hasn't gone anywhere."

"Not what I meant."

"You were the one who pushed us to get engaged," Lucius pointed out. "You even gave us permission to date before that."

"I only did that to secure her future," Bellatrix told him, not looking entirely thrilled by this conversation, but relenting to it nonetheless for Narcissa's sake. "Your family is wealthy and respected. I expected you to take care of her needs; to give her everything she deserves, but to be rather minimal in her life otherwise. I didn't expect you to…" she paused, trying to find the right words. She sighed, frustrated as she finished, "care so goddamn much. It's unnatural and I have a hard time trusting you because of that."

"So because I didn't want to just collect her as some sort of trophy wife, you mistrust me?" Lucius asked, looking a little perplexed.

"I mistrust you because I believe you're leading her on."

"How?" Narcissa asked, interrupting. That didn't make any sense at all. Bellatrix ignored her, however; she was having this conversation with Lucius. Once again, her presence was disregarded in the room and she was talked about as if she wasn't there.

"I'm marrying her," Lucius replied, still confused. "How would I be leading her on?"

"Because you both foolishly think you're the exception to the rule," Bellatrix told him bluntly. "You think because you're in love that things will be different for you, when the truth is, you'll quickly learn that showing affection in our society is looked down upon. Not because it's wrong, but because of simple jealousy; everyone will hate you for having what they don't and your reputation will quickly crumble. So to save face you both will distance yourself from each other until eventually it's no longer an act, but reality."

Bellatrix paused, tapping her finger against her wine glass for a moment. "That's going to break her heart," she told him, a slight accusation behind her voice for something he had yet to do. "Narcissa is so wrapped up in the fairytale of it all; her white knight and all this sodding rubbish. She still bloody believes that you're monogamous with her."

Narcissa's eyes flew up to meet Lucius', wanting him to deny the accusation that he was sleeping around. Even after Bellatrix gave her that lecture about how she best see the reality of it all, she still held onto some small hope that she was wrong, that Lucius was waiting for her. However Lucius quickly averted his gaze and he didn't need to answer; she already knew. Narcissa suddenly felt like she swallowed rocks.

"What are their names?" Narcissa demanded, her voice cracking slightly under the emotional strain. She wanted to live in her fairytale just a little bit longer, but apparently that was too much to ask. Whether she wanted to or not, it was time to grow up and face reality.

But before all that, she'd like to put each and every one of those women who touched her man in the ground.

"Don't let her give you a guilt trip," Bellatrix interrupted, taking note of Lucius' face. The tone in her voice was odd; like she was playing a children's game. Maybe that was all this was to her. "She hasn't been monogamous with you either."

"Bella!" Narcissa exclaimed, horrified that she would tell him that. When Lucius looked over at her surprised, she covered her face in shame.

"You need to stop being a hypocrite," Bellatrix told her, not sounding sympathetic in the slightest. "And you also need to stop living in this ridiculous dream world."

"Wait, are you not…?" Lucius asked, trailing off and looking at Narcissa like he didn't even know who she was anymore. "Did you lie to me?"

"My hymen is still intact; I'm not a bloody slag," Narcissa snapped, offended that he would think that of her. Lucius' ears turned a bit pink and he silenced himself before he ended up questioning her honor further. Narcissa rounded on Bellatrix then, angry. "You're doing this on purpose; making us fight."

"Wrong," Bellatrix told her, a fierceness to her tone as she spoke directly to Narcissa. "I'm trying to ensure you don't end up heartbroken. You're welcome."

"Why do you even care?" Narcissa shouted, angry that her whole pretty façade was just shattered before her eyes. "You certainly didn't seem to care any other time I got my heart broken," she finished, a very specific meaning to her words that Bellatrix understood instantly.

"Don't fucking tell me I didn't care!" Bellatrix shouted, slamming her hand on the table. Two glasses were knocked over from the force and wine began to spill, but she hardly took notice of it.

"Narcissa, please," Lucius interrupted. "Bellatrix is right; her concerns are more than valid." That admission made both women stop, and they turned to look at him. Bellatrix looked confused that he actually agreed with her and Narcissa looked shocked that he would really believe those things would happen.

"I don't plan to break your heart," Lucius told her, "but she's right; when we're married we will have to establish some distance so as to not upset the community. I can see where that can become problematic in our marriage."

"Surely we won't behave that way behind closed doors though," Narcissa protested.

"No, but sometimes when you put on an act for so long you forget after a while that it isn't the truth," Lucius told her regrettably. "But that doesn't mean I won't try to remind myself every day that it isn't."

Narcissa set her jaw, trying not to look as upset as she felt. "So that's it, then?" she asked, trying to keep her voice steady. "We just try? There's got to be a better solution than that."

"If you have one, I'm listening," Lucius replied, sighing a little in defeat.

But Narcissa didn't have one. She just sat there, silent, trying not to break down and cry in front of them. Was she really doomed to be unhappy with anyone she was with? That wasn't right; that wasn't fair.

Sometimes Narcissa wished she had never fallen in love at all. With him, with her, with anyone.

"So," Bellatrix started, interrupting the cloud of depression that seemed to settle over the table. "Getting back on topic, I'm now curious as to why you hate me so much, Lucius." She settled back in her chair, folding her arms across her chest as she waited for an answer.

"Do you want to know the truth?" Lucius asked, shifting his gaze to land on Bellatrix.

"I asked, didn't I?"

"Alright," Lucius replied, before taking a breath. Clearly he never expected to voice this out loud. "Your possessiveness of Narcissa is completely out of hand. You may not realize it, but you act like a scorned lover, which unnerves me immensely for a variety of reasons. It also makes me fear for her safety when she's with you."

Narcissa choked on her own breath and she began coughing so violently that she had to reach for the single glass of wine left on the table to try to control it. Both Lucius and Bellatrix stared at her because of her reaction and Narcissa tried to stop herself from going red because she caused so much attention to herself. Bellatrix looked positively murderous; like Narcissa had just outed them by being so completely taken off guard. Narcissa didn't dare look at Lucius' reaction.

Finally, Bellatrix turned to the man across from her, trying to appear calm. Narcissa could see her hand shaking under the table, however. "Are you implying that you think I'm going to try to fuck my own sister, is that it? How deranged do you think I am?"

Lucius looked extremely uncomfortable. He didn't answer her.

"Well?" Bellatrix prodded, looking at him furiously. "Speak up. I think I deserve an answer after an implication like that."

Narcissa's heart was beating a thousand miles an hour; she wished Bellatrix would just deny it. The longer this dragged on, the more suspicious he was probably going to get. Narcissa tried to keep her face neutral so as to not show how completely terrified she was at that moment. She was certain she was going to vomit.

Lucius cleared his throat uncomfortably, refusing to make eye contact with Bellatrix. He knew he had opened up a huge can of worms and that there was no getting out of it now. So he sucked it up, tried to be a man and stick to his words. "Actually, after Narcissa's reaction I'm inclined to believe you already have," he told her in a barely audible voice. He kept his eyes downcast and it sounded as though he was instantly regretting each word that came out of his mouth, yet he didn't stop himself from saying it.

Narcissa couldn't breathe. Her eyes went wide with panic and she tried to suck in some air so she wouldn't pass out, but her lungs weren't cooperating. She felt dizzy and she was sure she was going to vomit; all she could do was pray that she did it before she fainted, otherwise she'd probably choke on it.

Bellatrix noticed her reaction and grabbed her thigh from underneath the table, squeezing it so hard that the shock of intense pain allowed Narcissa to breathe because she had momentarily forgot in her near panic attack. She bit her lip as she tried to endure it, knowing that if Bellatrix stopped then she probably would go back to panicking.

"The fact that you think I'm that fucking sick, Lucius, is so goddamn offensive I don't even know where to begin," Bellatrix growled, trying to get all of Lucius' attention to focus on her so he didn't notice Narcissa in her own private hell. "And to assume that your soon to be wife would allow that to happen is even fucking worse. Congratulations, you've now insulted her honor so badly that it'd be a bloody miracle if you two even make it down the aisle."

Lucius' eyes shifted to Narcissa regrettably, but Bellatrix slammed her hand down on the table. "Look at me when I'm speaking to you!" she shouted, knowing Narcissa was still in no fit state to pull off this lie convincingly. Lucius' eyes immediately snapped back to look at her; he looked frightened. "I may be overly possessive, but that's because she is my baby sister! And you know, the fact that you twisted that into something revolting is not a reflection upon our relationship, but your own sick mind."

"I-I'm sorry," Lucius stuttered, clearly afraid of Bellatrix's expression that indicated she would love nothing more than to jump over the table and slit his throat. He turned to Narcissa then, seeing her look positively distressed; her elbows were on the table and her face was buried in her hands. She was shaking as she tried to keep her tears as silent as possible. "Narcissa, I'm sorry I said those things… Narcissa?" he tried desperately, but she wouldn't look at him.

"Just get out," she croaked between sobs, grabbing fistfuls of her hair as she slid her head down to rest on the inside of her elbows. She didn't want to look at him; she was afraid he'd see the guilt and shame on her face. "Just get out of my house."


"Did you not hear her?" Bellatrix shrieked, standing up so suddenly that her chair fell to the ground with a loud bang. Lucius jumped to his feet immediately like someone had just fired a curse in his direction. "Get the fuck out of our house, now!"

Lucius didn't need to be told again. He ran from the house as quickly as he could and never once glanced back.

Narcissa started wheezing painfully through her heavy tears as she struggled to breathe. Her whole body was shaking and she tried desperately to calm down, but she couldn't. She felt like she was suffocating; in a matter of mere minutes, her whole world had fallen apart. She wanted to scream, but no sound would come out. She wanted to rip herself to sodding pieces because surely that would be better than going through this kind of pain. It felt like it was cutting her up inside and she prayed the pain would stop, but it only seemed to get worse. Her tears fell from her eyes heavier, her breathing became shallower, and she started choking on her own snot that was now draining down the back of her throat. Suddenly her eyes went wide with fear as she realized she was no longer getting enough air and she slammed her hand down on the table, frantically needing her sister to help.

Bellatrix tore herself from her own private breakdown that Narcissa didn't even realize she was having until that moment. But once she saw the look of absolute terror on her sister's face and realized she was no longer breathing, she jumped to her feet. "Shit, shit! It's okay, Cissy; I promise it's okay, just try to relax," Bellatrix instructed her frantically as she rifled through the potions in her cabinet. Narcissa couldn't relax though; instead she grabbed a hold of the back of her chair as she desperately tried to suck in as much air as she could. It was futile though – she couldn't even get a quarter of a lung full.

She was terrified that she was going to end up dying.

But Bellatrix grabbed a potion from the cabinet and rushed over then, popping open the cork and tipping Narcissa's head back so she could pour the contents down her throat. The last thing Narcissa remembered was choking on it a little before her world went black.


*Chapter 30*: Chapter Thirty

A/N: I made a companion video! I'm pretty damn proud of myself. Since links don't work on here, just search Amphierotic Bloodlines on YouTube and you'll find it ;) Also I know the religion thing has come up in my reviews before and I feel like I should address this (because I do have my reasons), however that could get lengthy. But I was thinking, since there's a couple other subjects that have come up in reviews that I'd like to touch on in length, how would ya'll feel about me doing a kind of FAQ thing? Idk, just an idea so I don't have to continue spamming you with long authors notes. Also I'm not sure where I'd even put that, so suggestions are more than welcome. As always, thank you for the support and the reviews!


Bellatrix had been crying for the better part of a half an hour. Narcissa awoke to the sounds of her soft sobs and instantly continued to feign sleep, knowing Bellatrix wouldn't allow herself to continue if she knew that Narcissa was awake. Her sister hadn't allowed her to see her tears since that night she broke it off; she no longer trusted Narcissa with her weakness. Narcissa was upset over what happened last night, but she tried to suck everything in and contain it to allow Bellatrix a moment to break down.

It was her turn.

The sound of her sister's agony was heartbreaking. Even when Bellatrix cried in front of her, she never let go like this. The entire bed was shaking as sobs wracked her body and Narcissa bit her bottom lip to keep herself from crying with her as she stared at the far wall, trying to focus on the imperfections of it to keep her emotions in check. Her hand gripped the mattress hard, bunching the sheets up in her hand. She didn't know how long she could continue to lie here and not comfort Bellatrix.

Narcissa tried to last as long as she could, but finally she couldn't take it any longer. When she rolled over to face her, the sudden movement of the bed seemed to startle Bellatrix and she whipped around, freezing once their eyes met and she realized that she was no longer the only one awake. Narcissa reached for her, pulling her down to cradle her sister's head to her chest, using her whole body to envelop her.

Once Bellatrix was aware of the situation, she tried to pull away. "I'm fine. It's nothing… allergies," she feebly croaked, her voice even less convincing than her lie. Though she had tried to get out of Narcissa's grasp, she found she couldn't. Narcissa held onto her as tightly as she could, closing her eyes as the lump that had been forming in her throat for the past half hour began to border on painful.

"Don't," Narcissa requested, her voice broken and distraught. She tightened her grip on her sister as she whispered, "Please don't."

Bellatrix stopped struggling once she heard the desperation in her sister's voice. Feeling defeated, she laid her head atop Narcissa's breasts and closed her eyes to try to stop the tears. "I'm so sorry," she breathed. Her fingers searched for something to hold onto and she grabbed a fist full of the bed sheets, pulling on it a little in distress as she buried her face into her. Narcissa heard her let out a strangled sob.

Narcissa brought the back of her hand up to her lips as she took a shaky inhale of breath, trying to compose herself enough to speak. She sniffed loudly and wiped her tears away with the back of her hand before she ran her fingers through Bellatrix's hair, staring at the ceiling with vacant eyes. "It's not your fault. You're not the one that made it painfully obvious that his suspicions were correct by having a panic attack."

"Stop," Bellatrix exclaimed in a strangled voice as she pushed her in a wave of frustration before she looked up and caught her sister's eyes. "Just… stop, okay? You fucking know it was my fault; I'm the one that probably just destroyed your engagement. I've dangled our affair in front of his face more than once now. It's my arrogance that backfired."

Narcissa stared at her for a long moment, not knowing what she was supposed to say. She didn't even know how she was supposed to feel. She was emotionally drained though and she didn't want to argue and so she conceited softly, "Fine. It was your fault."

Bellatrix's jaw trembled, but she said nothing. She looked away from her quickly and climbed out of Narcissa's arms, moving to the opposite side of the bed and sitting on the edge, facing away from her. Narcissa watched her sister scrape her nails roughly down her bare thighs, leaving red, angry marks behind. It was the first time Narcissa noticed that they were both in their underwear; Bellatrix must have put her to bed and decided to stay the night with her. She was glad she hadn't left her alone.

"I love you," Narcissa whispered, needing her to know that. Her words made Bellatrix tense before she rolled her shoulders, like she was trying to get a sickening crawl off her body. She shook her head almost violently.

"No," she whispered, her voice husky from all the crying she had done. "Don't say that to me. Not now."

Narcissa felt the tears well up in her eyes. After everything that happened, all she needed in this moment was to make things right with her sister. She needed the comfort, she needed her love. She couldn't deal with Lucius, not now; it was too soon. But Bellatrix? She needed her. Narcissa's throat felt tight as she asked, sounding hurt, "Why not?"

"Because I don't deserve it."

Narcissa pursed her lips and lay there silently for a moment, wiping away the stray tears that fell down her cheeks. After taking a shaky breath, she pushed herself into a sitting position before crawling over to her sister. She sat cross-legged behind her, though still didn't make a move to touch her for fear of being pushed away. Narcissa ran her palms across the sheets nervously and she knew Bellatrix was aware that she was behind her, yet she didn't make a move to turn around or even acknowledge her presence.

"Why is everything always shit?" she whispered finally. Her jaw trembled and she sniffed before she finished, "I never get any happiness anymore."

"Do you really want to know why?" Bellatrix asked, eyes staring at the far wall rather vacantly as she fought to swallow the lump in her throat. Narcissa merely sniffed in response, but Bellatrix took that as enough confirmation. "I think we're being punished… for loving each other the way we do," she admitted softly. "It's not natural."

Narcissa blinked, surprise coloring her face at her sister's words. "Do you believe in God, Bella?" she asked in disbelief. She never took her sister to be the religious type, but what she just said certainly implied she believed someone or something was out there punishing them for their sins. She watched her sister shrug rather lifelessly.

"I never did before, but after all that's happened, I don't know anymore. We get too much shit rained down on us for it not to be some sort of punishment, right?" She turned her head towards Narcissa, but only slightly. She still didn't make eye contact and she furiously picked at the bedsheets like she was trying to distract from picking herself apart.

"Maybe," Narcissa agreed softly. Bellatrix's hand froze for a moment before she picked up the pace with her new, erratic compulsion. Finally Narcissa couldn't take it any longer and she put her hand on top of Bellatrix's stilling her. "But fuck Him." That made Bellatrix turn to look at her; she wasn't sure if she had heard her right. "Fuck God," Narcissa repeated firmly.

"I'd really appreciate if you didn't try to get us smited," Bellatrix replied, looking like she wasn't sure if she was joking or actually serious.

"No, fuck Him!" Narcissa exclaimed, getting worked up as she actually entertained for a moment the possibility that He may exist. "What kind of God allows children to be beaten nearly every day? What kind of God punishes people for merely loving each other? Fuck Him. If he actually exists, then fuck Him! He's no God of mine."

"The next time something bad happens, I'm going to remind you of this moment."

"He's not real!" Narcissa shrieked, the force of her voice taking Bellatrix aback for a moment. "If He was real we wouldn't be this utterly fucked! So just stop pretending that He is just to find a reason that doesn't exist; stop it!"

"Cissy, relax!" Bellatrix ordered as she grasped both of Narcissa's arms, holding her still. Narcissa hadn't even rrealizd she was thrashing in rage until Bellatrix stopped her. Her breathing was heavy and angry; she couldn't handle the thought that there could be a God up there that cared nothing for her and her sisters. It was easier accepting that he didn't exist. "You're getting hysterical," Bellatrix told her, worry crossing over her features.

"I'm fine," Narcissa insisted, pushing her sister off of her. She took a deep breath and ran her fingers through her hair, shaking her head. "I just don't know what to do anymore," she whispered. She stared down at the bed as she admitted, "Sometimes I just want to end it all; it's got to be better than finding happiness and having it all turn to shit moments later."

"We could make a suicide pact. End it together."

Narcissa looked up at Bellatrix in surprise. "Really?" she breathed, for one single moment happy that she wasn't alone; that even in the end she wouldn't be alone. Her surprise and momentary happiness ended quickly, however.

"No, not really!" Bellatrix snapped as she shoved her backwards hard, disbelief written all over her face that Narcissa, even for a moment, was serious about something like that. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

"You suggested it!" Narcissa shouted, angry that Bellatrix had just tricked her. She didn't need head games right now.

"I was being sardonic, you prat! I can't believe your idea of a good solution to all of this is stabbing each other in the fucking throat."

"I was actually thinking of something involving a little less violence, but if that's what you want," Narcissa snapped, furious that she got tricked into this conversation. She had brought it up, but she thought Bellatrix would assume she was merely being overdramatic when she talked of suicide. Then again, the truth was that she was only mildly entertaining the idea at first, but when Bellatrix spoke of dying together… that was when she actually wanted to do it.

That was probably really sick. Maybe there was something wrong with her.

"God, you are so stupid!" Bellatrix shouted. Narcissa was caught off guard when her sister wrapped her in her arms tightly; when she came at her she expected to be hit. "You're so fucking stupid," she repeated, her voice breaking. Bellatrix pulled back enough to rest her palms on Narcissa's cheeks as she laid her forehead against hers, closing her eyes like keeping them open was far too painful. "I hate that you're so stupid sometimes," she whispered before her lips connected with hers, kissing Narcissa with all the anger and love she had inside of her.

The emotion behind it hit Narcissa like a freight train and she gasped, choking back tears that suddenly seemed to spring up from out of nowhere. Bellatrix pulled back and automatically placed her lips where Narcissa's tear had fallen down her cheek. "You may think it's nothing, but it tears me apart inside when you talk like that," she whispered against her cheek, her voice hoarse will emotion as she cradled Narcissa's head in both of her hands. "I fucking love you, you idiot."

"I love you too," Narcissa whispered, voice shaking as she closed her eyes. She could feel Bellatrix's erratic breath against her face, like she was still in a panic that Narcissa would go off herself if she left her alone for even a moment.

Bellatrix smoothed out her hair a little frantically before kissing her firmly on the forehead. When she pulled back to look at Narcissa her expression was serious. "We're going to be fine," she promised her all in one breath. "I promise you we'll be fine."

"How can you possibly know?" Narcissa asked softly, feeling like a dead weight had settled in her stomach. "Lucius—"

"Believes he was wrong," Bellatrix finished for her, her voice still sounding desperate and rushed. She ran the flat of her hand over Narcissa's hair, trying to comfort her in a way that a child would a cat; her stoke was much too firm and rather uncoordinated. "He apologized, did he not? We must have convinced him he was imagining things."

"Even if we do work things out, he's always going to suspect," Narcissa replied, voice filled with dread. "It's going to be this huge boulder over our marriage, waiting to crush us."

"So let him suspect." Narcissa looked at her sister in disbelief but Bellatrix went on, "You can't lose the engagement, Cissy. You'll be someone else's trash then; no one will want to marry you. Then how will you be taken care of?" Narcissa didn't have an answer for her, she just looked at her sadly. "Just do as I say and everything will be fine, alright?" Bellatrix told her, grasping her hands tightly. "I'll fix this."

"Do you promise?" Narcissa whispered, sounding so incredibly frail. Bellatrix nodded before bringing one of her hands up to her lips and kissing it.

"I promise."

Narcissa's bottom lip trembled as she looked up at her sister. "Bella?" she asked softly, sounding much too vulnerable for her liking. "Can we please stop fighting now?"

Bellatrix looked at her sadly as she tucked a piece of fallen hair behind Narcissa's ear. "I could just say yes, but you know we'll be back to screaming at each other over the same things days from now."

"Why?" Narcissa whined, knowing she sounded so much like a child, but Bellatrix's answer had devastated her. She really wanted all this to be over. "Why can't we just forget about it all?"

"Because this isn't just something we can forget, Cissy. The moment Gwen comes over you're going to be furious with me," she told her regrettably. Narcissa's face darkened at the mention of Gwendolyn. "And then I'll be furious with you because you don't want me with her, yet you refuse to let me have you."

"You can have me," Narcissa told her desperately, the words coming out all in one breath. "You can have me whenever you want, however you want; I just don't want us to fight anymore…" her eyes welled up with tears and she finished, "Please. I just want to be happy again… please make me happy, Bella…" Tears spilled down her cheeks again and Bellatrix pursed her lips as she wiped them away with her thumbs.

Narcissa looked into Bellatrix's eyes pleadingly, but her sister took her hand away from her cheek and looked away. Her voice was heavy when she told her, "I know I don't make you happy, Cissy. You want all these things we both know I can't give you."

Narcissa stared at her, astounded by the words falling from her lips. "Yesterday morning you told me I was your property and that you didn't know why I insisted on fighting it!" she exclaimed. "Why is it that the first time I actually need you to be a selfish arsehole that you find some sense of morality?"

"Probably because yesterday morning I hadn't nearly ruined your life," Bellatrix answered quietly, still refusing to look her in the eyes.

"No, that was just last night," Narcissa snapped, hurt. Bellatrix noticeably flinched from her words, but Narcissa couldn't find it in herself to care. Of all the times for Bellatrix to have some big moral revelation, why did it have to be now? She had wanted her back so badly yesterday and now today she was trying to be the bigger person and step aside for Narcissa's own emotional well-being?

It was fucking ridiculous, was what it was.

"I never thought I'd see the day that you ran away from something because you were scared," Narcissa muttered, pulling away from her to lie on her bed. She faced away from her and curled into ball, holding herself since no one else seemed inclined. "Please leave," she requested loudly, trying not to sound as bitter as she felt.

Bellatrix didn't move. "I never said I was scared, Cissy. I'm not."

"You've been acting odd all morning; I'm not stupid, I know what changed," Narcissa told her, glaring at the wall. She wasn't going to turn around. "You were crying this morning because you thought I would want nothing to do with you anymore because of what happened. You were sodding terrified that you'd lose me."

Bellatrix was silent. That in itself was enough confirmation for Narcissa.

"So why are you pushing me away now?" Narcissa asked, her voice barely above a whisper. She bit the inside of her cheek as she heard Bellatrix sigh and the bed shift. Her sister settled behind her, wrapping an arm around her torso.

"I'm not trying to push you away," she told her softly as she ran her fingers through her sister's hair. "I'm trying to protect you. It's what I should have done a long time ago."

"What is wrong with you?" Narcissa whispered, furrowing her brow. She hadn't seen this side of Bellatrix in years and frankly it sort of unnerved her. "You're being… sweet. I don't understand."

Bellatrix's hand froze halfway through her hair. "Have I really been that awful to you lately?"

"Yes," Narcissa replied simply. She shrugged halfheartedly, "But I've grown used to the way you speak to me. This… I don't even know what to make of this. It makes me feel like something's wrong with you, or that it's some sort of trick."

Bellatrix was silent for a moment as she twisted tiny locks of Narcissa's hair between her fingers. She swallowed hard before clearing her throat, then admitted quietly, "I've never been so fucking scared in all my life than I was yesterday." Narcissa pursed her lips and slid her hand over the one Bellatrix had on her stomach, covering it protectively. Bellatrix took a breath and went on, "You were right; I thought I was going to lose you. And it's fucked up because I didn't realize how much I took you for granted until then." She sighed, "So maybe I'm trying to actually show that I give a shit, I don't know."

"You could still lose me," Narcissa told her sadly. She didn't want to say it out loud, it was the possibility they had both been avoiding, but it had to be said. Suddenly, Bellatrix's hand was on her shoulder and she forced her to turn around to look at her so quickly that it made Narcissa dizzy.

"Why the fuck would you say something like that?"

"Because no matter how much you say everything will be fine, it's not a guarantee!" Narcissa told her sharply. "There's the very real possibility that one, maybe both of our lives could fall to ruin." She swallowed, looking up at her sister with regret, "There's also a chance that we may never see each other again. You know as well as I do that if Lucius gives me an ultimatum I would have to save face over anything else."

"I'll kill him before he can do that," Bellatrix promised her, sliding her fingers down Narcissa's face, touching her as if she was made of glass. "You and me? We're forever, Cissy. I don't care who it is; no one is coming between us."

"Then prove it," Narcissa whispered, looking into her sister's eyes pleadingly. She needed her, especially now. Especially because for the first time in what seemed like forever, Bellatrix was treating her like an actual human being and not just a piece of property. She had forgotten what that felt like.

Bellatrix's eyes flickered to her lips for a brief moment before catching her sister's gaze again. Narcissa knew she probably looked like a pleading puppy, but she was far from caring at this point. The whole past week had been one fucked up thing after another and all she wanted was to be happy. Even if it was for a brief moment, she needed that more than anything.

Bellatrix leaned in slowly and Narcissa closed her eyes once their noses brushed against one another. She could feel her breath on her lips and she wanted so badly to close the distance, but she knew right now it had to be Bellatrix's decision. It seemed like it took forever, but finally her sister's lips brushed lightly over hers. But instead of connecting fully, Bellatrix pulled away and leaned her forehead against Narcissa's, letting out a soft sigh.

"I promised myself years ago that I wouldn't let it go this far; that I wouldn't let what was supposed to be innocent experimentation fuck up your life," Bellatrix whispered regrettably, closing her eyes. "I also promised you last year that I would stop hurting you. I fucked up both of those promises because I was selfish. You're only fourteen, Cissy; you have your entire life ahead of you. You shouldn't want to waste it on me."

"I wouldn't be wasting it," Narcissa protested as she grabbed Bellatrix's chin and pulled her face down so she could look her in the eyes. "Bella, please… don't make me beg you."


"You can take my virginity," Narcissa blurted out desperately. That made Bellatrix pause and she looked her over, tightlipped before she shook her head and sat up, knowing she needed to establish some space between the two of them.

"I don't want to."

Narcissa's chest felt heavy as she watched her sister sit on the edge of the bed. Her eyes stung hot with unshed tears and her voice broke as she told her, "But I want you to… You're the only one who ever really deserved to."

"And if I did, what would you say when Lucius beds you and feels that you've already been broken?" Bellatrix countered.

"That I did it while masturbating," Narcissa answered, clutching onto the bedsheets as she stared at her sister's back. She was silent.

Finally Bellatrix sighed, "This isn't even about sex, Narcissa. Nor your virginity. This is about keeping you safe and assuring a better life for you."

"But I don't want a life with anyone else but you!" Narcissa shouted, slamming her hands down on the bed as she sat up quickly, staring at her sister like she really couldn't believe that she hadn't just given in yet.

"That's a lie," Bellatrix told her simply. She did not turn around to look at her. "You're only disregarding Lucius right now because you're too scared to think about what might happen. You're trying to use me to hide from him."

"Can you honestly blame me?" Narcissa asked in disbelief. "Bella, I don't… God, I don't want to think about yesterday. I've probably cried out half my water weight just in the last twelve hours alone and I'm just… fuck, I'm just done." She moved to sit on her knees, hoping that the feel of the bed moving would at least make her sister turn to look at her. It didn't. "All I want right now," Narcissa told her softly, "is just one hour. For one hour I want to pretend that nothing horrible happened, that nothing horrible is ever going to happen. If you don't want to be with me then fine, but humor me for just an hour. It's all I ask; it's all I need. Just one hour… please."

Bellatrix sat there; she was silent, unmoving. Narcissa felt herself hold her breath as she waited for her sister's answer. Finally, Bellatrix rose from the bed and turned back to look at Narcissa. "I'll be right back," she told her before she walked over to the door. Narcissa's face masked in confusion, not understanding in the slightest what she was doing and why. She watched her sister walk out the door; she didn't come back for a few minutes.

Narcissa was slightly taken aback when Bellatrix burst into the room again, shoving the door closed behind her as she practically ran to the bed. "He's gone," she told Narcissa breathlessly as she pushed her sister's back flat against the mattress, wasting no time in passionately crushing her lips to hers. "I…" Bellatrix tried speaking in between kissing her, "I needed to make sure… he was… gone first…" Her hands tore at the waistband of Narcissa's knickers as her sister unhooked her bra with one easy movement, grabbing at the straps to peel it from her body. "I didn't want…" Bellatrix tried to finish, but was interrupted by a gasp as Narcissa latched her teeth onto her neck.

"I know," Narcissa breathed, understanding that she no longer felt comfortable doing this with her with only the muffliato spell to shield them from her husband's prying ears. After what happened yesterday, Bellatrix's paranoia level quadrupled. "I know," Narcissa murmured again, closing her eyes as she allowed her lips to slide over the smooth skin of her sister's throat, letting her tongue gently taste the saltiness of her skin as she finished helping her sister out of her bra.

Bellatrix's lips crashed against hers again, kissing her more fiercely than she had in ages as she started pushing Narcissa's knickers down her thighs. She left them around her knees just before she slid her hand between Narcissa's legs, then continued upwards to spread her juices across her abdomen. Narcissa gasped and her hips twitched as Bellatrix left her lips, sliding down her body until her tongue was teasing her bellybutton. "Just once," she breathed against her skin. Narcissa swallowed a moan when she felt Bellatrix's tongue trace over the area where she had spread her secretions. "Just for an hour," Bellatrix murmured before she slid Narcissa's panties down to her ankles, allowing the blonde to kick them free and spread her legs for her.

Bellatrix didn't fool Narcissa in the slightest; she had been bursting to touch her, to kiss her, to fuck her, ever since Narcissa came to stay with them. How quickly she pounced on her once she gave in was enough testament to that. Just because circumstances had changed, it didn't mean Bellatrix's sexual attraction for her did any. Narcissa was happy that her sister seemed able to express how much she cared for her now, but she hated that something had to scare her nearly half to death for her to be able to remember how important she was to her in the first place.

This was the Bellatrix she had fallen in love with though; Narcissa could remember now. Before all the verbal abuse, before all the claiming of property, this was who she fell in love with. But the problem was the only time Bellatrix was actually truly good to her, good for her, was also the only time Bellatrix seemed to think the exact opposite. It was maddening.

As Bellatrix's lips were sliding up her bare thighs, Narcissa had to ask, "Is this the last time?" She knew, regardless of her sister's answer, that there was no way that this would be their last time in bed together. It may not be for a week, it may not be for a year, it may not even be for ten years; but they always came back to one another in the end. She just wanted to hear Bellatrix's answer.

Bellatrix's lips stilled at the junction where Narcissa's hip and thigh met and her eyes flickered up to meet hers. "You told me before that we'd be fooling ourselves if we believed we'd never end up shagging again. So no, it won't be the very last time. It'll probably just be the last time for a while."

"Then take me properly," Narcissa requested, swallowing her nerves. She was done waiting; she wanted Bellatrix to be the one.

Her sister caught her gaze for a long time, her fingers absentmindedly stroking the bare skin on Narcissa's thigh. She was chewing on the inside of her cheek, looking torn. Finally she looked away – such a coward's thing to do, Narcissa thought – and told her, "No. You're too young."

Narcissa bit the inside of her lip for a moment before she replied, "But you lost yours when you were twelve."

"Don't ever look to my life as some kind of guide. I may be your oldest sister, but I'm a shit role model. You don't want to be like me. Besides," Bellatrix went on, looking down at Narcissa's sex as she brushed her thumb lightly over her labia, making the girl beneath her shiver. "I've taken away too much of your innocence already."

"I'd let you take them all again, if I could," Narcissa breathed as she closed her eyes, focusing on the light tickling sensation of her sister's fingers against her most sensitive area.

"I know," Bellatrix replied softly. "That's the problem."

Narcissa wanted to argue with that, but her words caught in her throat as her sister's mouth covered the apex of her thighs, her tongue mapping areas that had long since been explored. Narcissa bent her knees and pushed her hips towards her as she closed her eyes, gasping quietly. She had missed this; God had she missed this. Her sister, despite her many flaws, had always been the perfect lover.

Bellatrix's fingers dug into her thighs as she softly teased Narcissa for the better part of twenty minutes. It was odd, how long she spent down there. Bellatrix had always taken her fast and hard, like some kind of freight train barreling down the tracks at lightning speed. But today she was taking her time and Narcissa couldn't help but wonder if it was because she was trying to savor the moment, or perhaps just savor her taste. Regardless, Narcissa needed an orgasm and was beginning to grow impatient.

"Bella," she gasped as she grabbed at her sister's hair to tug on it lightly, needing to get her attention. Bellatrix looked up at her and Narcissa requested breathlessly, "Please… I need more… I…" but she didn't have to finish. Bellatrix slid up her body and crushed her lips to hers, sliding her fingers over her clit, making Narcissa emit a loud moan that was swallowed by Bellatrix's tongue. Narcissa grabbed for her; her back, her hips, her breasts, as she rocked against her hand.

"Shit," Narcissa breathed as Bellatrix started sucking hard on her neck. She knew she would leave a mark, but Narcissa was far from caring at this point because it felt too good to protest. "Bella," she gasped, digging her nails into her sister's skin as she closed her eyes, giving into the sensations. But it wasn't enough. She so badly wanted to be connected to her sister; truly connected to her, like Narcissa was when she took Bellatrix over the edge so many times before.

"Bella, please," she begged, her voice ragged and needy. "I need you… inside me…please…"

"No," Bellatrix breathed into her ear before she allowed her tongue to trace it, making Narcissa shiver. In retaliation to her rejection though, Narcissa grabbed a fist full of her sister's hair and pulled on it so hard that she actually made Bellatrix cry out accusingly, "Fuck, Cissy!" Narcissa knew she wasn't going to get away with that so it was hardly surprising when her sister's teeth sunk into her neck. Narcissa cried out in pain and pleasure as Bellatrix firmly rubbed her clit at the same time and she swore she could see stars behind her eyes.

"Fuck you," Narcissa gasped, grabbing onto Bellatrix's hips firmly to try to distract herself enough so she could actually think through her waves of pleasure. "I want… to feel you," she struggled to say between moans. "I need… to feel connected… to you…please…"

"Don't ask for something you aren't sure you want to get," Bellatrix warned as she nipped at her neck, her chin, her ear. Her fingers slid against Narcissa's clit harder and she cried out as her hips twitched involuntarily. "Because I can be inside you," Bellatrix whispered throatily in her ear, "But it won't be in the way you're expecting."

"I don't care," Narcissa gasped, sliding her fingers through Bellatrix's dark curls, using her nails to scratch lightly at her scalp. And she didn't care, not in the slightest. She wanted to feel Bellatrix inside her so badly. "I don't fucking care, Bella. Do it," she pleaded breathlessly.

"Don't say I didn't warn you," Bellatrix replied. Regardless of her warnings, she sounded excited. She slid her fingers down further, past Narcissa's wanton opening and to her anus. Narcissa's eyes popped open as Bellatrix began to spread her juices down there.

"There?" she asked in a rush of breath, surprised. That wasn't exactly what she was expecting. Okay, she wasn't sure what she was expecting, but it definitely wasn't that. Her heart pumped louder in her chest and she bit her lower lip as she squirmed. The feeling of Bellatrix gently sliding her fingers over her down there wasn't entirely unpleasant. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Liking it made her feel kind of dirty, though. This was so far past the boundaries of acceptable sexual behavior, but then again so was sleeping with her own sister.

"Second thoughts?" Bellatrix asked, sounding a little amused. She chuckled against her neck as she continued to gently tease her entrance with her wet fingers. "I figured you might be a bit too vanilla for this."

Narcissa swallowed hard and closed her eyes again. Pursing her lips, she allowed Bellatrix to softly tease her while she debated. It was a backdoor way of getting what she wanted; quite literally actually. On one hand she wanted to feel Bellatrix's fingers inside of her, but on another this was so many levels of wrong and dirty. Biting her lower lip, she made her decision. "No," she told her softly. "Do it."

When she opened her eyes to look at Bellatrix's reaction, she expected the surprise on her face. But then that surprise turned into a wicked smile. "Really?" she asked. Narcissa nodded, feeling her heart rate double from her nerves. "Okay," Bellatrix said before she brought her fingers to her lips, sliding them into her mouth to get them as wet as she could. When she placed her middle finger at Narcissa's opening she warned her, "This is going to hurt at first."

Narcissa nodded and closed her eyes, tightening her grip on Bellatrix. "Everything always does," she breathed, tensing herself to ready for her sister's entrance. But Bellatrix didn't move to go in her, she just chuckled.

"Cissy, you need to relax. Nothing is going to fit in there with you clenching like that."

"How am I supposed to do that?" Narcissa complained. This was a huge step; it was bound to be rather frightening. But Bellatrix just continued to chuckle as she kissed her neck softly.

"Think of rainbows and unicorns," she suggested, thinking she was being funny.

"Shut up."

Bellatrix laughed before kissing her, sweeping her tongue in her mouth as she tried to distract her from her nerves. After a few moments it worked, at least until Bellatrix slipped the tip of her finger inside of her and Narcissa cried out in pain, digging her nails into her sister's skin as her whole body tensed again. "Shhh, it's okay," Bellatrix breathed against her lips, trying to calm her down.

"It hurts," Narcissa gasped, her eyes shut tightly to keep them from watering.

"I told you it would. Your arse isn't used to things going in the opposite way yet."

Narcissa swallowed, holding onto Bellatrix for dear life at this point. Her voice came out slightly strangled as she asked, "Is this how it's going to feel when I lose my virginity?"


Great. That wasn't exactly what she wanted to hear. "I'm staying a virgin forever," Narcissa told her, squirming uncomfortably. Bellatrix chuckled.

"I highly doubt that, love." Bellatrix kissed her chin, her neck, then up to her ear. "Relax, Cissy," she whispered in her ear. "It won't hurt for much longer."

"Do you promise?"

"I promise."

Narcissa took a breath, trying to calm herself. God, this better be worth it in the end. It took a moment, but finally she was able to relax and as Bellatrix slowly slid the rest of her finger inside her, she whimpered softly. Once she was all the way in there, Bellatrix paused, letting her get used to the feeling. "Does that feel okay?" she asked softly.

Narcissa took a shaky breath, assessing the feeling. It still hurt, but not nearly as bad, more like a slight stinging sensation than anything. It was odd though, feeling so filled down there. Bellatrix's fingers weren't that big, yet it felt as if she took up every bit of space inside of her. "Yeah," she breathed, sliding her hands up Bellatrix's back as her sister continued to kiss her neck.

When Bellatrix started to move her finger inside her, Narcissa whimpered and dug her nails into Bellatrix's skin. It was the most conflicting feeling in the world; it felt good, but the pain was still present. Her breathing started to become labored as Bellatrix kissed her throat. "You're fine," Bellatrix encouraged softly. "Just relax, all of the pain will be gone shortly."

Narcissa nodded and allowed her sister to continue her slow, steady in-and-out movement. It took a little while, but finally the pleasure was starting to far override the pain. Narcissa's breathing became labored and she rocked her hips against Bellatrix's hand, meeting her for every stroke. "Fuck, Bella," she gasped, grabbing a fist full of her hair before she moaned hard, letting the feeling of her sister finally being inside of her consume her whole.

"You're so fucking tight, Cissy," Bellatrix told her, her own breathing slightly labored as she sped up the pace of her finger. She still only had one inside of her and Narcissa was thankful for that; at the moment is was more than enough for her. "I could fuck you all night."

So much for their 'hour.'

"Then don't stop," Narcissa panted, feeling the pleasure rise deep in her abdomen. She cried out loudly when Bellatrix used her other hand to slip over her clit and she held onto her tighter, arching her back. "Never stop," she demanded breathlessly, meaning so much more than just the sex.

Instead of answering, Bellatrix sped up the pace of her finger and put more pressure on Narcissa's clit, making the younger girl's eyes roll in the back of her head as she cried out, her hips twitching in pleasure. "Fuck, fuck," she gasped, knowing she was going to come soon. "Fuck, Bella, fuck." She emitted a scream then as every muscle in her body tensed before she finally released, clawing up her sister's back in progress as she rode out her high.

When Narcissa had finished and her body completely relaxed, Bellatrix slid out of her, wiping her hand on the bedsheets. Narcissa wanted to protest that she could have just gone to the bathroom instead of soiling her sheets, but she couldn't get a word out with how heavy she was breathing. Whatever, she would just have the house elf change them; it wasn't worth the lecture. She had just had an amazing orgasm. Nothing else mattered.

Instead of Bellatrix coming up to cuddle with her though, she laid next to her, a look of pain on her face as she held the side of her head. "What's wrong?" Narcissa asked, out of breath as she took notice of her sister's condition.

"Just a headache," Bellatrix murmured, eyes closed. It looked like more than just a headache; her expression was contorted in agony and she was breathing hard as her fingers dug into her scalp.


"I'm fine, Cissy. Just… please, shut up," she begged as she turned over on her side, facing away from her as she curled into a ball. Her hand wouldn't leave her head. "I just need to rest, okay?"

Narcissa didn't want to put Bellatrix through any more pain so she didn't argue. "Okay," she whispered, not being able to help the worry in her tone. She had a suspicion it was those potions Bellatrix was taking, but now was not the time to bring up. She just settled in next to her sister, allowing her to rest in peace and quiet.

Even if the potions did have nasty side effects, Narcissa knew Bellatrix still would not stop taking them. It frightened Narcissa though; the unknown of it all. It could make her sister seriously sick later on down the road and she didn't seem to care in the slightest.

Narcissa knew she was going to have to do something about this… even if Bellatrix didn't want her to.


*Chapter 31*: Chapter Thirty One


"How many is that now?"

Narcissa looked up from the pile of letters in front of her, seeing Bellatrix standing in the threshold of the living room. Narcissa sighed heavily as she leaned back on the couch, running her hand through her hair. She was beginning to get a headache. "Seven," she answered.

"In three days?" Bellatrix asked, eyebrows raised. A smirk crossed her face as she finished, "Impressive. You really have him whipped, don't you?"

"It's not funny, Bella," Narcissa answered, scowling at her as she picked up the letters again, rifling through them. Seven letters, all of them from Lucius. They all said relatively the same thing: that he's sorry, that he loves her, and that he was being an idiot. But no matter how much of a relief it was that he was trying to win her back, Narcissa was still nervous about seeing him again. She'd have to put on a good act and frankly, she had never been the best actress in the world.

"Oh relax, will you? He's completely kissing your arse; everything will be fine," Bellatrix answered, crossing her arms in front of her chest as she leaned against the wood paneling.

"There's arse kissing going on? I'm offended I wasn't invited."

Both Bellatrix and Narcissa turned to see Rodolphus walk into the living room, grabbing his coat off of the hook. He didn't sound very interested, but he was probably trying to make meaningless conversation so it wasn't awkward as he rifled through the room. "If you start kissing my sister's arse, I'll put you in a hole in the ground," Bellatrix threatened, which made Rodolphus laugh as he slipped his coat on.

"Lucius?" he presumed, looking towards Narcissa. She nodded.

"He insulted her honor," Bellatrix told him.

Rodolphus chuckled lightly, "Idiot. But it's to be expected; he is just a boy." He turned and gave Bellatrix a kiss on the cheek before he started to walk towards the front door.

"Leaving?" Bellatrix asked, raising her eyebrows. Rodolphus turned around to look at her as he grasped the door handle.

"Only for a few hours, I'll be back for… dinner."

Bellatrix nodded and Rodolphus turned, leaving the house. Narcissa couldn't help but wonder why he would make the effort, as he never had before, but she didn't get the chance to ask about it because all of a sudden Bellatrix was screaming for the house elf. Narcissa covered her ears; her sister had a set of lungs on her and sometimes her pitch could be rather piercing.

The house elf ran into the living room at lightning speed, balancing a tray of finger sandwiches with incredible ease. Bellatrix grabbed them from its hands. "That took too long," she snapped, which made the elf apologize profusely before Bellatrix ordered it to leave. It scurried out of the room just as fast as it came.

"What's that?" Narcissa asked as Bellatrix brought the tray over to her.

"Lunch, Cissy. It's the meal that comes between breakfast and dinner, commonly eaten by people that are not currently suffering from anorexia."

Narcissa narrowed her eyes at her sister's sarcasm. "You're hilarious," she responded dryly. Bellatrix just smirked and held up a finger sandwich to her, waving it in front of her face for a moment before Narcissa reluctantly grabbed it.

Her sister had been making her eat at least two meals a day since that whole sit down with Lucius. Since she hadn't eaten breakfast this morning, Narcissa supposed this was the substitute. "What do I get for it?" she asked, peering at the tiny sandwich in disdain. Bellatrix was still bribing her, since it was the only thing that seemed to work.

"Well what seems beyond your control right now?" Bellatrix asked, settling in on the couch next to her. She ran her fingers softly through Narcissa's long hair, waiting for her answer.

"You," Narcissa replied, the same answer she had for the past couple days. Bellatrix sighed.

"We've been over this. You had your hour."

"Yeah but you got a headache before I could do you," Narcissa complained, turning her head to look at her instead of at the sandwich. She knew she was fighting a losing battle, but she couldn't help but try.

"Shit happens," Bellatrix answered, not sounding sympathetic in the slightest. She leaned forward, grabbing the letters from Lucius and holding them up, "I can help you compose a reply if you want."

"I don't want to talk to him yet," Narcissa mumbled, turning away from her to stare at the tiny sandwich again. She sighed heavily; it was filled with ham. She hated ham.

Bellatrix pursed her lips and said nothing for a moment. Finally, she broke the silence with a quiet admission, "I need you to see Lucius tonight."

Narcissa turned to face her, surprised and a little angry. "What? Why?" Out of anyone, she didn't expect Bellatrix to advocate their reconciliation, at least so soon; she knew it was hard for Narcissa right now. What she was asking of her wasn't fair.

"I… need you out of the house this evening. Just for a couple hours," Bellatrix told her softly, knowing this wouldn't be taken very well.

Narcissa's face darkened. "Why, is Gwendolyn coming over? Is that what this is about? Because I swear to God, Bella; if that tosser steps one foot into this bloody house I'll—"

"You'll what? Glare at her in an attempt to look intimidating?" Bellatrix snapped, annoyed that was the first place Narcissa went to. "You're half her size and have half her skill, Cissy; don't be stupid." Narcissa dropped her mouth open in offense but Bellatrix continued, softening her voice. "I just… have a dinner party tonight, is all."

"And I'm not invited?" Narcissa asked, growing more offended as this conversation went on.

"Cissy, you barely eat; I don't want to risk anyone finding out about your little 'problem.' Secondly, yes, Gwen will be attending; which will only stand to provoke your anger. Third, if you attended and weren't accompanied by Lucius, you'd surely become the topic of idle gossip," Bellatrix told her, not softening any blow for Narcissa's benefit. "Our family has enough blemishes on our reputation already with Andromeda disappearing and both our parents dying under mysterious circumstances," she told her. "My hope is that this party will rectify most, if not all of that shame."

"And you think I'm shameful, do you?" Narcissa asked, sounding hurt and angry.

"No—ugh, for fuck's sake, Cissy, will you just do as I say?" Bellatrix asked, quickly getting frustrated. "This is a delicate situation. You're not fit enough to put on an act just yet and you know it. I'm not trying to offend you, so I'd appreciate it if you stopped fucking attacking me." She grabbed Narcissa's hand that held the finger sandwich and practically shoved it in her face as she demanded, "Now eat."

Narcissa pushed the sandwich and Bellatrix's hand away. She was not a toddler and didn't appreciate being treated like one. "I don't want it."

"I don't give a shit if you want it."

Narcissa glared at her. "Thank you so much for considering my feelings," she replied sardonically. Bellatrix sighed.

"Cissy, please just eat. Please?"

It wasn't often that Narcissa saw a pleading look on her sister's face, so she sighed heavily in annoyance – indicating how much she still hated this situation – but brought the sandwich up to her lips and took a bite. It tasted like crap, mostly due to the ham, but she reluctantly chewed and swallowed it.

"Thank you."

Narcissa merely grumbled something inaudible in response.

They sat in silence together for a little while, Bellatrix watching her like a hawk as she ate. She probably was trying to make sure she didn't try to spit it out or hide it in some other way, but being stared at was still a little awkward. After eating three small finger sandwiches, Narcissa told her quietly, "I'm not seeing Lucius tonight." She wouldn't look at her as she spoke.


"No, I don't care!" Narcissa burst out, frustrated with being put in this position. "I'm not ready yet. I'm sorry, but I'm just not. I'm not happy about it, but I'll stay out of the house if you wish. I'll take a room at The Leaky Cauldron or something. Just don't make me see him, please."

Bellatrix stared at her for a moment, debating her alternative solution. Finally she ran her fingers through Narcissa's hair in a comforting gesture before she told her, "Fine." Narcissa turned to look at her in surprise, shocked that it was so easy to convince her. It made her a little suspicious, but she wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth either. She wasn't emotionally ready to see Lucius now, so she was thankful it wasn't being forced upon her.

"Thank you," she whispered.

Hours later, Narcissa found herself alone in her room at The Leaky Cauldron. Bellatrix made her promise she wouldn't go off wandering, which in all honesty Narcissa found utterly ridiculous since Diagon Alley, for the most part, was completely safe. But she complied because knowing her sister she'd find some way to keep her contained against her will if she didn't. It was awful, being treated like a child, but she was quickly coming to the realization that that was how her sister saw her.

Maybe it was because for so long she had felt to be on relatively even ground as Bellatrix - probably due mostly in part by Bellatrix not being the most mature person when she was actively suffering from her disease - but now that she was "better," she was quickly slipping into the role of the overprotective older sister. Narcissa couldn't help but wonder if maybe that was the reason Bellatrix no longer wanted to be with her; she thought of her as too young now. Too vulnerable. Too innocent.

She should know by now her innocence and vulnerability was lost long ago.

It hurt though, regardless of the reasoning. It always seemed like no matter which side of the fence one of them stood on regarding their relationship, the other stood firmly on the other side. It was maddening, neither of them ever being on the same page about it. Narcissa couldn't understand for the life of her why when Bellatrix was actually being, well, sane that she would want to push her away. Shouldn't it be the opposite?

Trying to decipher her sister's backwards logic was tiring however, so as Narcissa lay on her bed she tried to think of other things. Though it was, honestly, very boring to be trapped in there. She should have at least brought a book.

Her musings were interrupted however by a knock on the door. Furrowing her eyebrows, Narcissa rose from the bed before letting her feet carry her across the room. It was probably the innkeeper, though why he would disturb her, she didn't know. Maybe he was just there to inform her that it was dinnertime down in the pub. She didn't feel like eating though. But then again, when did she ever?

When Narcissa opened the door, she immediately froze once she saw who was on the other side of it. Lucius stood there, adorned in his best suit with a bouquet of flowers in his hands. He looked positively nervous as he shifted his weight between the balls of his feet, barely making eye contact. Which was probably for the best, as Narcissa was sure all the blood had just drained from her face.

"How…?" she tried to ask, but the rest of the question didn't make it out of her mouth. She just stood there, frozen, mouth agape as she stared at the one person that she was trying to avoid.

"Your sister sent an owl," Lucius explained, eye still downcast. "She… asked me to look after you for the night."

"She what?" Narcissa exclaimed, finally finding her voice. How dare she! Narcissa explicitly stated she did not want to see him and even after Bellatrix agreed, she sent him over anyway? What a grotty little cunt! Why would she force this upon her? Bellatrix knew she wasn't ready!

God, she couldn't handle this. An interaction like this required a lot of acting and for that she couldn't be caught off guard! Now she was just staring at him, torn between angry and terrified, and apparently struck mute again because no matter how much she wanted to speak, nothing seemed to be coming out of her mouth.

"I… got you these." He held out the flowers like some sort of peace offering and Narcissa looked at him in disbelief. This wasn't right… any of this. Lucius was standing there looking like he had something to be ashamed of and sorry for when it was Narcissa who was the one who was a cheating, incestuous harlot.

But she couldn't tell him that. She had to make him believe he was the one who was in the wrong to save face, but her heart clenched, her chest became heavy, and she turned away, unable to do this right now. "I don't want to see you, Lucius," she told him, voice quavering as she wrapped her arms around herself. Her speech came out rushed, pleading. "Please leave."


"I said go!" Narcissa shouted desperately, her hand shaking as she ran it through her platinum hair, terrified that he would stay regardless of her wishes. Her breathing was starting to shallow already and she closed her eyes, trying to calm her rapidly beating heart so she didn't have another breakdown.

The silence seemed to last forever until Narcissa heard the distinct sounds of footsteps and her door being closed. She let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding and her whole body noticeably relaxed. She opened her eyes and pursed her lips, wishing she had enough guts to deal with this on her own, like a proper adult. But that was the thing, wasn't it? She wasn't an adult. Yet in their society she was expected to act as such at a very young age. Despite what was expected of her, Narcissa couldn't find it in herself to feel like a proper woman. She wasn't mature enough to deal with any of this.

She turned, expecting to head towards her bed, curl up into a ball, and cry half the night again, when she nearly jumped out of her skin. Lucius apparently had not left, merely closed the door behind him and was now leaning against it, looking a little more scared now that she had taken notice of him.

Narcissa quickly became angry, which was probably a good thing because it overrode her fear.

"Are you deaf?" she asked hotly, furious that her wishes weren't being respected. "I said leave, Lucius!"

"I can't. Your sister—"

"Oh, so you respect Bella's wishes but not mine?" Narcissa interrupted, eyes flashing in anger. "My sister and what she wants is none of your concern, Lucius! I am! So stop being a complete prat and get the hell out of my room! Respect me for once!"

"I do respect you!" Lucius exclaimed as he looked up, seemingly offended that Narcissa would question such a thing. "But I'm not about to leave you here alone! God only knows what kind of people inhabit this place at night and what they might do to an unattended young woman. I won't take that chance; your safety is too important."

"You're so full of crap!" Narcissa yelled, getting angrier by the moment as she began to feel more and more trapped in the situation. "You came here to force forgiveness out of me, even though my not answering your owls should have been enough of an indicator that I'm not ready to speak to you yet!"

"I would never force your forgiveness," Lucius told her, face immediately softening. "I know what I implied was… unforgivable. But I am, truly, more sorry that I've ever been in my life. You have to believe me, Narcissa." His eyes met hers and Narcissa felt like collapsing into tears due to how utterly screwed up all of this was.

But she knew telling Lucius that she didn't want to talk about it was futile. He was clearly forcing his presence upon her for the night and they couldn't very well stay here in silence for the duration of the evening. Narcissa hated this; she hated every second of this. She didn't want to do this right now and yet Bellatrix took it upon herself to throw her into a situation she clearly wasn't ready for.

If they were going to do this now though, she had to try to find some way to be convincing. Her whole future may very well depend on it and that was something she didn't want to screw with. So she took a moment to immerse herself in a lie, attempting to convince herself it was truth, and looked up at him. "I just… I don't understand why you would think something like that," she started, her voice quivering from nerves. It sounded as though it was from distress, however, so it worked to her advantage. "Do you honestly believe me to be that vile?"

"No, of course not…" Lucius tried, stepping forward to try to close the distance between them. But Narcissa stepped back, out of arms reach, turning her head away from him and setting her jaw.

"You sodding liar. You wouldn't have said anything of the sort unless you believed it true. Is this what I'm to expect when we're married? You thinking so little of me?"

"I'm sorry! I didn't know what I was thinking—"

"Stop!" Narcissa shouted, turning her head to look at him again. She mustered up all the anger she had inside of her, channeling it into faux offense. "Don't try to get around this by lying to me! You knew exactly what you were thinking, exactly what you were saying. What I want to know is why."

She may very well regret this question, but she assumed that it was something one would ask when put in a situation like this.

Lucius' gaze fell to the floor. "You know why." But Narcissa didn't find that to be a proper answer so she crossed her arms over her chest and stayed silent, staring at him expectantly. It took a moment, but Lucius finally took a hesitant breath. "I'm not so naïve that I'm unaware of the things that go on in pureblooded families," he told her softly. "It may never be spoken about, but we all know."

"That's to breed, Lucius," Narcissa retorted angrily. "Surely you're not daft enough to believe my sister and I could reproduce."

"I know how biology works, thank you." His tone was sharp and it made Narcissa set her jaw again, narrowing her eyes. "But it's never been only to breed. Incest runs in our blood; it's in our heritage, whether we like it or not."

"Are you condoning it now?"

"Of course not! I'm merely trying to explain to you why I suspected," Lucius told her. "That is what you asked, isn't it?"

Narcissa shook her head, pursing her lips together angrily as she took another step back from him. "So you believed I'm an incestuous whore because what, it runs in my blood? Screw you. Is there something you're not telling me, Lucius? Does your father touch you at night, is that why—"

Narcissa didn't get to finish her sentence. The slap that connected with her cheek silenced her immediately, making her skin sting and her eyes water. She looked up at him aghast, pressing her knuckles to her face. She should have been expecting that after what she said, but it still felt like it came out of nowhere.

"Don't you dare imply something like that," Lucius growled, looking furious. It stood only to anger Narcissa more.

"And yet you're free to imply I sleep with my sister?" she shouted. "Fuck you. Fuck you and your hypocritical arse, Lucius Malfoy. Fuck you!" Her hands connected with his chest hard as she shoved him backwards before turning around and storming over to the bed. She crawled in and curled into a ball, facing away from him as she allowed silent tears to make their way down her cheek. She hated this. Nothing would ever be the same between them again; she knew it.

Silenced washed over the room for a long time. Lucius just stood there as he watched Narcissa hold herself as she cried, believing it was his fault that this was all happening. But that was the problem, wasn't it? Lucius believing this was his doing when in reality it was Narcissa's. So when she cried, she didn't cry because she was a lover who was mistrusted – she cried because the perfect façade she had created was cracking around her; exposing the dark, ugly truth to someone who should never be privy to such secrets.

Narcissa didn't move when she felt the bed compress next to her, though she did flinch when she felt Lucius' hand upon her arm. "I'm sorry I hit you," he apologized softly. Narcissa merely bit her bottom lip, closing her eyes tightly as she desperately tried to stop the flow of her tears. His hand stroked the length of her forearm lovingly, though it only stood to make her feel worse. "Narcissa?" he prodded gently.

"Is this how it's going to be now?" Narcissa asked, sounding distressed. She still did not turn her head to look at him, nor move to accept his comfort. "Every time I'm with my sister, are you going to believe I'm being unfaithful to you?"

"No," Lucius told her firmly. "No, Narcissa. I came here to apologize to you; I didn't want…" he sighed, rubbing his temples. "It was a stupid thought. I just find myself fearing for your safety. Your sister isn't exactly the most stable person in the world…"

"That doesn't mean she's going to violate my honor!" Narcissa exclaimed angrily, finally turning to look at him. Her cheeks were stained black from her smudged mascara. "I know you don't care for her Lucius, and I know full well that she isn't sane, but she's protected me more than anyone else my entire life; she isn't about to hurt me!"

"You can't deny the way she looks at you though."

For someone who just wanted this over and done with, for his apology to just be accepted, he sure had a lot of comments. But perhaps he just needed to be sure. Perhaps pretending absolutely nothing was going on was the wrong way to go about it. Lucius suspected for a reason, so maybe if Narcissa confirmed his suspicions, at least in some way, it would seem much more believable and they could just be done with this. She wouldn't be able to stand this hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives.

"So what?" Narcissa asked, sitting up to better face him. "So what if she does look at me in that way? What does it even matter? She's unstable; she's bound to look at things differently than the majority of the world. But that doesn't mean she'd ever act on it. If you don't trust her, than trust me. She would never force me; I promise you that. Even when she's psychotic and raving like a bloody lunatic, she listens to me. I am her conscience when she lacks one. She would never do something like that without my say so and I would never allow it." Her voice quaked at the end, feeling awful for throwing her sister under the bus like that. But it was doubtful he would ever bring it up to Bellatrix; he was much too scared of her for that. He nearly peed himself at the dinner table when she went off on him.

Lucius chewed on the inside of his cheek for a moment, assessing that. He didn't look happy. "So, you're saying she has…?"

"She hasn't tried," Narcissa interrupted firmly, her heart beating a thousand miles an hour. She hated lying. "But I'd be blind if I didn't see it too. She's just confused, Lucius. When she falls apart she doesn't know up from down. She certainly doesn't know right from wrong. I'm the only one who can save her from that so it's no wonder she'd look at me like I'm her everything. I promise you though, when she's normal, she knows better. It isn't a constant thing."

Narcissa studied Lucius' expression. He looked torn between being disgusted by the prospect and being glad that some truth was finally being told. He may not be aware of how little truth it was, but it was of no matter. It was working; Narcissa could see it written on his face. It made her calm down a little and she found herself breathing more regularly.

"Why didn't you just tell me this earlier?" he asked softly.

"Do you think I like telling people how my sister, how my best friend, is completely and utterly fucked?" Narcissa exclaimed. "This isn't easy for me, you know! But I've been dealing with it for years now. I've never thought it to be anyone else's business!"

"I'm to be your husband!"

"Then maybe it would be relevant if she was actually bedding me, but she's not! Please Lucius, just let it go… I have a handle on Bellatrix, it's none of your concern."

Lucius bit the inside of his cheek, shaking his head slightly. Narcissa looked at him with pleading eyes, wanting this to be over and done with. Maybe she was foolish to ever think it would be though. "If she ever lays a hand on you—" Lucius started warningly.

"She wouldn't."

Lucius looked up at her, catching her gaze. "Swear to it." Though he meant for it to sound like a request, it came out more like a demand.

"I swear," Narcissa responded, making sure her voice didn't shake this time. She needed to sound firm, strong. "I love her, Lucius; I'll never deny that. But I don't love her like that."

Lucius nodded, accepting what she said. He took a breath before running his fingers through his hair, looking a bit more relaxed himself. "Then… I'm sorry." He took her hands in his, running his thumb over her palm. She looked down at their intertwined fingers a little sadly and nodded.

"I forgive you," she whispered. It made her feel awful, lying outright like this. Previously she only had to avoid the truth, pretend it didn't exist. Now… now it was all fucked. Everything. But such is every pureblood marriage, on one level or another. Narcissa supposed this was theirs.

Lucius leaned forward, placing his lips on Narcissa's forehead. She closed her eyes, trying not to let the guilt wash over her features. To save him from seeing it, when he pulled back she leaned up, capturing his lips in a deep kiss. Maybe she wanted to distract him, or perhaps she was just trying to distract herself. Either way, it worked.

As Lucius' hand came up to tangle in her hair, bringing her closer, Narcissa found herself silently praying that they would never have this conversation again. But she would be with him for the rest of her life; that was a long time. Maybe it was foolish to ever believe she and Bellatrix would never be suspected again. Maybe it was foolish to believe that this wouldn't end badly, when they were doomed from the start.

And maybe, just maybe, her sister was right. No matter how much it pained Narcissa to admit it, perhaps all of this was just too risky.


*Chapter 32*: Chapter Thirty Two


Narcissa lay sideways on the bed, head resting on Lucius' stomach as she stared up at the ceiling. She had been idly picking at her nail polish for the last half an hour and she was sure her hands were starting to look a complete wreck. However, she was also sure Lucius didn't notice nor care. He never exactly paid much attention to the details she put into her appearance, so sometimes she even wondered why she bothered. Perhaps it was just habit. It wasn't like her sister noticed either.

While Lucius and Narcissa had come to some kind of mutual understanding, the silence that hung in the air around them was still awkward. It probably didn't help that there wasn't much to do when locked up in a room. If this were a week ago they would have probably made use of the bed in there, but as they stood now, Narcissa didn't quite feel comfortable with it. Lucius seemed to be on the same page.

His hands were in her hair, gently playing with it. It seemed like forever until his voice broke the silence of the room. "Why did you come here?" he asked. "Are you and your sister fighting again?"

"We are now," Narcissa mumbled, still furious that Bellatrix had directed him here when she explicitly told her not to. But she let it go for now; that wasn't Lucius' problem. She shrugged lightly, sounding bitter as she answered, "She's having a party. I'm not invited."

"Why not?"

"Apparently I'm shameful."

"That's bollocks," Lucius replied firmly, which made Narcissa throw up her hands, thankful that someone else understood. It really was quite ridiculous that she wasn't invited; she bloody lived there, for shit's sake.

"I know! She's just being a prat, really."

"You're more of a woman than she could ever hope to be," Lucius told her, looking down at her. Her eyes caught his and she smiled softly, happy that he would come to her defense even though lately he seemed to have been siding with Bellatrix more often. "Honestly, I don't know how she plans to pull off a proper party, she's hardly a fit host. Besides, I thought she cared nothing for the socialites. Why is she entertaining them?"

"To repair our damaged reputation," Narcissa answered, sighing softly as she began to pick at her nails again. "She says we're the topic of idle gossip due to our parent's death and Andy running off. She wants to rectify that."

"Ha!" Lucius laughed bitterly, making Narcissa look up at him as she furrowed her brow. "I'm sorry, but I just find that image funny. I don't understand why Bellatrix thought that she was the person to do that. If anything, it should be you there. You, at least, have some class."

"Oi," Narcissa exclaimed warningly. "My sister has class, Lucius. She may not exude it as much as other people, but it is there."

"Now you're just sugar-coating Hell."

Narcissa shoved him lightly, scowling. "Shut up. Don't be a tosser just because you're bored. I'm not exactly thrilled with being stuck in this room all night either. You, at least, have the option of leaving."

"Sorry. I just think it's bullshit that she didn't invite you."

Narcissa looked up at him, smirking a little. "You're just angry that you weren't invited." It wasn't exactly common for the Malfoy family to be excluded from such gatherings.

"Well of course if you had gone I'd have to have your arm," Lucius answered, confirming her suspicions. "It's ridiculous that she thought nothing of our future as a couple. Father told me it would do us well to start making contacts early and I'm inclined to agree."

Though Abraxas Malfoy wasn't Narcissa's favorite person in the world, she would be stupid if she didn't realize he had a point. With all of their internal, familial affairs going on, it would be wise to start building up their reputation as a pureblood power couple to the outside world. Though Narcissa didn't have much faith in herself when it came to the proper side of elitist living, she knew she needed to learn. It would probably be best if she did that while young; people were much more forgiving of mistakes then.

Narcissa got a wicked idea then and turned around, sitting up so she could properly face Lucius. "Do you want to gate crash?"

Lucius' eyebrows got lost in his hairline, though he looked impressed. "You're serious?"

"Well why not? It's my house anyway, and it isn't like Bella could do much about it once I'm there. She'll have to put on a curt smile and deal with it; she can't exactly go off on me in front of her guests, now can she?"

Lucius smirked. "You do know you're going to get yourself in trouble though, right? When the party's over, she'll probably pitch a fit." Though he was trying to make her see reason, the boyish deviancy was shining through in his eyes. He wanted to go.

"So? Like that's anything new." Narcissa smiled wickedly and slid her legs under her body, getting up on her knees. She looked excited. "Sod it, right? Let's go. We deserve to be at that party as much as anyone else."

Lucius smirked. "Fine, but only if you admit that you're doing this solely to piss off your sister." Well, clearly Narcissa wasn't very good at hiding that. But Bellatrix pissed her off by lying to her face and then going behind her back and forcing Lucius upon her. Why shouldn't she dish out a little payback? Sure, making contacts was important, but ultimately it wasn't her driving force in the matter.

Narcissa smiled, despite herself. "I definitely want to piss off my sister." Lucius laughed.

"Alright then."

An hour later, after they had acquired some dress robes from Madame Malkin's, Lucius and Narcissa were on the doorstep of the Lestrange's. Lucius kept fiddling with his tie, seemingly a little nervous now that they were actually there. Narcissa couldn't blame him; it was one thing to have an idea, another to execute it. She wasn't scared of her sister's wrath, that she could handle. She was more worried about schmoozing the other guests. It wasn't something she had a lot of practice with, after all.

But Narcissa gave Lucius an encouraging look as she took his hand, opening the door. She expected to be greeted with incessant chatter and music, but instead all she heard were low murmurings that ceased once the door creaked open. Narcissa shot a confused look at Lucius, who seemed equally perplexed.

"Bella?" Narcissa called out, walking into the living room with Lucius trailing behind her. She stopped short though once she looked through the threshold into the dining room, taking notice of the dozen robed figures gathered around the table.

Oh, fuck.

Lucius' grip on her hand tightened, knowing what this was and obviously terrified that they interrupted it. He had yet to become a full-fledged Death Eater, as he wasn't of age, so he had no business being at something like this. Neither did Narcissa. Narcissa had no business even knowing about something like this. She took a step back, pressing her back against Lucius' chest. She was frightened. Lucius wrapped his arms around her torso, as if protecting her. They didn't move.

"What did I fucking tell you?" Bellatrix shrieked, looking murderous. When she got up the chair screeched against the wood flooring. She took out her wand and pointed it at Lucius, looking like she wasn't opposed to flaying him alive on the spot. For how angry she was, she looked downright terrified too. Narcissa knew Bellatrix didn't want her to be involved in any of this. She too was scared of the consequences.

"Calm yourself, Bellatrix," came the droning voice of a man Narcissa didn't need any introduction to. She knew who he was. Though his back was turned towards her, his voice made a shiver run down her spine. She wanted to run, but she couldn't move. She looked at Bellatrix helplessly, terrified of what was about to happen. She was either about to be recruited or killed, she was sure of it.

"I'm sorry, My Lord," Bellatrix breathed, looking at him with such adoration and pleading in her eyes. "I had told Lucius to keep her away from here, he—"

Voldemort held up his hand, silencing her. Bellatrix shut her mouth quickly, casting her eyes downwards as she fell back into her seat, head bowed. Narcissa's breath shallowed as he rose from his seat, turning to face them. Narcissa almost cried out loud when she looked at his face. He was sickeningly pale, his skin nearly scale-like. If you looked beneath the surface you could tell he once was a handsome man, but those days were long past. Narcissa trembled in Lucius' arms.

"Lucius, join us," he offered, extending his hand. Lucius looked torn between being frightened and honored and immediately let go of Narcissa, who instantly missed the feeling of semi-protection his embrace gave her. Bellatrix looked furious that Lucius was actually asked to join them and she sat in her seat, seething.

Narcissa, on the other hand, was practically on the verge of tears she was so scared. Not that anyone who claimed they loved her came to her aid, however. Lucius forgot about her the moment he was acknowledged and Bellatrix was the Dark Lord's personal lap dog so it wasn't like she would choose her over him.

"And who are you?" Voldemort asked as Lucius joined his table, looking at Narcissa with an expression she couldn't decipher. She was pretty sure she didn't want to decipher it though.

"N-Narcissa Black, M'Lord," she stuttered, pretty sure she was shaking from head to toe. She wrapped her arms around herself in an attempt to feel a little more put together.

This was not what she thought she'd find when she walked in here. Why didn't Bellatrix just tell her? Why did she have to lie about it? This wouldn't have happened if she weren't so bloody stupid most days.

"Bella, you never told me you had a sister," Voldemort chided, prompting Bellatrix to mumble hasty apologies. She wouldn't look him in the eye. Narcissa, on the other hand, wasn't enjoying the way Voldemort was looking at her; it was like he was trying to pick her apart and see what she was made of, rather than what she willingly showed to the outside world.

"There is no need to be afraid," he told Narcissa, which didn't comfort her in the slightest. "I would not spill blood as pure as yours." She swallowed nervously, but said nothing. She was sure her voice wasn't working properly anyhow. "Join us," he offered.

"With all due respect, My Lord," Bellatrix interrupted, looking fearful for actually having done so. "My sister is far too young to be involved in such things. She's merely fourteen."

"Perhaps," Voldemort mused, looking Narcissa over. "Though I expect when she is of the proper age I will be permitted an audience with her?" It didn't sound like a request, more like a demand, to which Bellatrix and Lucius quickly agreed to. Narcissa hated that they were discussing her future in front of her like that, but was too frightened to say a word against it. She didn't want to become a Death Eater, yet how could she say no to the Dark Lord's face when the time came? He would surely kill her.

Narcissa wanted to break down and cry, but bit the inside of her cheek instead in an attempt to control her emotions.

"If My Lord permits it," Bellatrix started, keeping her eyes downcast as a sign of respect. "I would like to escort my sister elsewhere, so we may continue." Voldemort waved his hand, like it was of no matter, and Bellatrix rose, quickly crossing the distance between them and grabbing a hold of Narcissa's arm. Narcissa almost cried out at the force of it but kept herself quiet as her sister began to drag her upstairs.

When Bellatrix brought her to her bedroom, she immediately closed the door behind them. Narcissa looked at her, both in fear and in regret as she tried to apologize, "Bella, I'm so sor—" But she didn't get to finish her sentence. Bellatrix backhanded her so hard she fell to the floor in a heap, her lip split from the force of the blow. Her entire face felt like it was on fire as she whimpered, backing up quickly across the floor to huddle in a ball near the wall.

"Don't you ever do that again!" Bellatrix shouted, furious. "You're such a stupid fucking child, aren't you?"


"Shut up!" Bellatrix roared. "I'll deal with you later. And I swear to god if you take one step out of this room in the meantime, you'll really have something to cry about when I get back." Narcissa stayed silent, holding her bruised cheek with one hand as she tried to stifle her tears. Bellatrix's look held no remorse though as she turned, her black robes flowing behind her as she exited, slamming the door behind her.

It was many hours until Bellatrix returned. Narcissa had spent most of it crying on the floor, too upset and too scared to move. Her sister had never struck her like that. Sure, they had fought before, but this was different. This time, she had hit her like their mother used to hit them; commanding obedience and fear. It frightened Narcissa, even though overall it did not surprise her.

When Bellatrix opened the door to Narcissa's bedroom, she found her sister curled in her bed, back facing her. Narcissa immediately stiffened as she heard the door close behind Bellatrix and held tighter to the comforter that was wrapped in her hands. She didn't want to turn to look at her, afraid of what expression she'd find on her sister's face. So she stayed still, quiet, until Bellatrix crossed the room.

"Look at me," she demanded.

Narcissa automatically rolled over to look at her, apprehension etched into the lines of her face. She didn't particularly want to look at her, but was afraid of what Bellatrix would do if she didn't. Her sister did not look happy, though her face showed one tiny flicker of remorse once she took notice of the angry bruise on Narcissa's cheek. But the guilt was gone as soon as it came. Bellatrix's jaw tightened, her eyes looked almost black from her pupils dilating in anger, and she was clenching and unclenching her fist, as if trying to control herself.

"In what deluded part of your mind did you think it was okay to come here when I told you not to?" Bellatrix asked, her voice dangerously calm.

Narcissa didn't say anything. Obviously, that didn't sit well with Bellatrix.

"Answer me!" she shouted, making Narcissa jump from the force of her voice. She sat up, trying to give herself a bit of an illusion of strength, not wanting to be completely towered over. Her voice shook when she answered.

"I-I… I thought it was a party. You said—"

"I don't give a fuck what I said," Bellatrix snapped, cutting her off mid-sentence. "You're under my roof, Cissy; which means you go where I tell you to go and you do whatever the hell I want you to do without any questions. I am under no obligation to explain anything to you!"

"I'm not your child, Bellatrix!" Narcissa exclaimed, offended that she was treating her like she was insignificant. Her sister may frighten her, but she wasn't about to be treated like an insect either. She was a person, she had a voice. "If you didn't want me to come you should have explained why instead of lying to me! I wouldn't have come here if I had known what was going on!"

"I asked you to stay away, whatever the reason shouldn't matter!"

"Of course it matters!" Narcissa shouted, slamming her hands down on the bed in frustration. "Did you really think I wouldn't be pissed that you promised me I didn't have to see Lucius, then threw him at me against my will?"

"That doesn't have to do with anyth—"

"That has to do with everything! That was why I came – to make you angry. You failed to respect me and what I want, so in what deluded part of your mind," Narcissa mocked Bellatrix's earlier words, "did you think I wouldn't retaliate?"

Bellatrix's eyes flashed. "Don't test me, Cissy. You have no idea what you've just done!" She pointed out the door angrily, indicating Voldemort who was there previously. "You have no goddamn clue how completely and utterly fucked you just made everything! He's seen you, Cissy. He knows your fucking lineage. He's going to want you now, you stupid fucking girl! He's going to think you're another me!"

Bellatrix cried out in frustration, running her fingers through her hair. "Fuck," she swore under her breath, sliding her hands down from her head to cover her face. She was pacing back and forth, her anger quickly turning into hysteria. Narcissa couldn't be sure, but with how ragged her breathing had become she sounded as if she was trying desperately not to cry tears of frustration.

Narcissa swallowed hard, watching her sister fall apart in front of her. She knew what had happened tonight; she knew the consequences of her actions and had been scared out of her mind over it for hours. But somehow, when seeing her sister completely frightened by the same prospect, it only stood to terrify her even more. "Bella…" she whispered softly, sounding distressed. "How do we fix this?"

"I don't know," Bellatrix mumbled beneath her hands before she threw them from her face in a rage. Her eyes were beginning to redden. "Fuck, I don't know…" She collapsed on the bed, putting her head in her hands, her elbows resting on her knees. Narcissa sniffed lightly before crawling over to her, burying her head in her sister's neck. It took a moment, but Bellatrix wrapped her arms around her, holding her tightly.

"I didn't want this for you. I didn't fucking want any of this for you."

"I know," Narcissa whispered. She didn't want this for herself either. The two girls held onto each other in silence for a while, neither knowing what to say or do. Finally Narcissa asked, "Where's Lucius?"

"I sent him home with a face full of boils. He's lucky that's all he got."

For once, Narcissa didn't protest. She didn't have the effort to. She knew it wasn't Lucius' fault that they came, but Bellatrix wouldn't listen to reason. She was always so set on blaming Lucius for everything.

"I'll fix this," Bellatrix promised her softly, stroking Narcissa's hair as if she was made of glass. She was staring at the far wall, almost as if she was trying to see through it. "I don't know how, but I promise you I'll fix this."

Narcissa nodded, not trusting her voice. Voldemort recruited children when they were fifteen, it seemed. Though her birthday wasn't that far off, Narcissa prayed her sister could at least stall him until the summer. She didn't want to have to worry about it right now. She had her OWLs this year, and from what Bellatrix and Lucius had told her, they were going to require most of her concentration. Considering Narcissa wasn't a brilliant student, she would have to work hard just to scrape by with minimal marks.

Bellatrix sighed and let go of Narcissa for a moment to look at her. Bellatrix's face was strangely void of all emotion as her eyes took in the angry purple bruise that covered nearly a quarter of Narcissa's face. Her fingers lightly traced the mark, as if memorizing it; remembering every curve of its shape, every splotch of its color. Even the slightest of touch hurt and Narcissa winced.

"Do you want me to heal that?" Bellatrix asked her softly, still sounding very neutral about the matter. Narcissa shook her head.


The pain wouldn't hurt any less if it were gone. The physical presence bore a harsh reminder though; one she would probably do well remember.

"Why?" Bellatrix asked curiously. "Because you enjoy the pain?"

It probably was a valid question; Narcissa did tend to lean towards a rather masochistic lifestyle when it came to her sister. "No," she answered. "It's because I need to remember that you enjoy causing it. When I glorify you, I forget."

Bellatrix raised an eyebrow at that. "Since when do you glorify me, Cissy?"

"Considering I tend to believe you're the best thing that's ever happened to me even when things turn bad, I'd say since forever," Narcissa replied softly. Bellatrix furrowed her eyebrows and Narcissa shrugged self-consciously. "But I guess it doesn't matter. You've made it perfectly clear what you want."

Bellatrix sighed softly, pursing her lips. She ran her fingers through Narcissa's hair, then down to cup her face with her palm. "It isn't safe for us anymore, love. But it isn't what I want. You're all I think about every day, you should know that."

"Yet it makes no difference."

"No," Bellatrix affirmed, her thumb lightly tracing Narcissa's cheek. "Fucking wish it did though." Her fingers went back to her hair then, idly fiddling with it as her eyes went to the bruise adorning Narcissa's cheek once more.

Narcissa had to know. "Do you regret it?" she asked softly.

"Hitting you?" Narcissa nodded. "No," Bellatrix told her simply. "I wanted to hit you, so I did. I've spent too much of my life regretting the things I do. I can't keep living in the past; it's dangerous. If I don't stand by my actions, then what's the point?"

Narcissa didn't know how to feel about that. It enraged her, obviously; yet it seemed she had lost most of the fight within her. She didn't want to yell, she didn't want to cry. So she told her calmly, "You're a cunt."

Bellatrix, despite the seriousness behind her sister's words, smirked. "Do you think you'll regret saying that to me?"

"No," Narcissa told her. There was no anger, nor malice in her voice; just truth. "Because you are."

"I know," Bellatrix whispered softly. She brushed the hair from Narcissa's forehead before she leaned in, pressing her lips against her skin. Narcissa's eyes fluttered closed at the gesture, but only for a moment. When Bellatrix pulled back, Narcissa leaned up to connect their lips. It was only brief, but it bore a reminder of why she loved her sister. Yes, she was a cunt. But Narcissa was also irreparably, hopelessly, in love with her. She couldn't help it.

"Shit," Bellatrix muttered under her breath, a swear meant only for herself to berate her complete lack of self-control. She didn't hesitate when she pressed her lips against Narcissa's again, this time with a little more force. Narcissa whimpered softly, parting her lips to allow Bellatrix's tongue in for a taste. When her sister kissed her, she didn't request, she demanded. She drank up everything that she knew was hers and strove to take so much more. It left Narcissa breathless and wanting when they broke again, the blonde flat on her back as Bellatrix hovered above her. Narcissa couldn't remember moving, but she supposed it didn't matter.

"We can't do this," Bellatrix told her, her own breath seemingly stolen for her. Her eyes were blackening in lust as she stared down at Narcissa's heaving bosom. She wanted to rip her dress off but was containing it.

"Then why are we?"

"I don't know." Her sister's voice held a sense of honesty and confusion that mirrored Narcissa's. "I think I'm just fucking terrified I'm gonna lose you again."

Narcissa's stomach dropped to the floor. "I thought you said you could fix it. You promised." Maybe she should know better than to take Bellatrix on her word. It had been worth shit lately anyway. Bellatrix didn't respond though, instead she just leaned down and kissed Narcissa fiercely, desperately trying to change the subject. That in and of itself was enough of an answer for the younger Black: Bellatrix had no sodding clue if she could fix it.

And that terrified Narcissa.


*Chapter 33*: Chapter Thirty Three

A/N: Apologies in advance to those of you allergic to het scenes lol

A/N #2: And I swear to god I'm about to smack 's FF's bitch up if it keeps changing "OWLs" (with the actual periods between the letters) to just "O." Wtf? That makes no sense. I keep forgetting it does that, so sorry if you got wicked confused before I changed it xD


It was odd, being at King's Cross Station without her mother. Druella Black would always make a big show of fixing Narcissa's hair, straightening her robes, all whilst lecturing her about how she mustn't come back home with a few extra pounds because she'd surely disgrace the family if she ended up fat. This time though, her sister escorted her. They stood on Platform 9 ¾ while they waited for the train to pull into the station, the chilly autumn breeze causing Narcissa to hold tighter to her cloak.

The platform was bustling with activity. Students excited for the return to school were chatting happily amongst each other. Some mothers whose little ones were just starting their first year were busying themselves giving last-minute reminders to their children, whilst others cried unashamedly. Narcissa understood it must be hard to see your children grow up so fast, but proper women did not cry in public and the sight of it disgusted her.

It was odd, seeing all the students run around as they greeted their friends. There once was a time when Narcissa would do that, but that time was long past. Now, she wanted to spend the last few moments she had with her sister–no one else.

Bellatrix stood behind her, her hands lying on Narcissa's forearms protectively as they both took in the scene before them. "I'll pick you up here during your Christmas leave," Bellatrix told her softly as they watched the Hogwarts Express pull into the station. "Abraxas Malfoy sent an owl – we'll be having your engagement party at his manor on Christmas Eve."

"You won't be picking me up for my birthday?" Narcissa asked, trying not to sound disappointed.

"I don't want to take you away from your studies. I know how much you struggle and it's imperative you get good marks on your OWLs"

Narcissa scoffed. "Why? You don't have to be smart to become a housewife."

"Maybe not, but no man is going to want to marry a dunce either – it's a sign of bad breeding." Narcissa stayed silent, knowing her sister had a point. "Besides," Bellatrix went on, sliding her hand up her arm to play lightly with the ends of Narcissa's hair, "I wish you had more ambition."

"I don't want anything from my life besides children, Bella," Narcissa answered, to which Bellatrix scowled.


"To you, maybe."

The conductor of the Hogwarts Express was talking adamantly with the trolley woman down the far end of the platform. Students were gathered around the train, waiting impatiently for them to be let on. However, it was standard procedure for the workers to make sure all the correct spells and enchantments were working so that the train would carry on to its destination properly; they had at least another five to ten minutes until it was time to board.

Narcissa turned to face her sister, a worried look crossing over her face as she noticed she was wincing slightly. She knew what it was from–the potions. They were giving her headaches again, bad ones. Though Bellatrix had learned to hide her distress better, Narcissa could always tell when they bothered her. No matter how much good they did, Narcissa feared they were doing far worse. Last night her sister had been throwing up uncontrollably, and though she told Narcissa she was just ill, the younger Black knew better.

Which was why all of Bellatrix's potions were now hidden away in her luggage.

She knew Bellatrix would be furious when she found out she took them, but Narcissa didn't care–it was obvious they were making her sick. Until a better medicine came about for her condition, Narcissa thought it safer if she just abstained from taking them. Of course Bellatrix would never agree to it, which was why she went behind her back.

"Will you miss me?" Narcissa asked, a hint of her girlish vulnerability sneaking out despite her best efforts.

Bellatrix smiled at her softly, smoothing her hand out over Narcissa's long blonde locks. "Every moment of every day."

Narcissa wished she could kiss her for that statement; she wasn't expecting something so sweet. Instead she merely smiled back, a slight blush adorning her cheeks.

"You're not angry still?"

"Of course I'm still angry, Cissy. There's just nothing I can do to change what happened; what's done is done," Bellatrix answered. Narcissa's eyes fell downcast and she said nothing. "But that doesn't mean I won't miss you."

Things were still off between the two of them. Though they found themselves entangled in one another once more right after it had all happened, since then they had been relatively distant. It was a weakness during a moment's fear, nothing more. Narcissa herself felt torn about what she wanted. On one hand she wanted to find herself in her sister's arms every night, but on the other, what had happened with Lucius did stand to make her paranoid–especially now that they had somewhat reconciled.

Narcissa sighed softly, turning once more so she could look at the train as she leaned back against her sister's chest. "For what it's worth, I miss you already," she whispered. Bellatrix said nothing but put a hand on her arm comfortingly.

Lucius approached them then, noticing them standing in the far corner. He eyed Bellatrix warily but nodded politely in greeting. "Bellatrix."

"Lucius," Bellatrix responded, polite though obviously less than pleased.

Lucius turned to Narcissa then, holding out his hand to her. "Come on; they'll be boarding soon. We wouldn't want to straggle behind and be left with the carriage that smells like hippogriff dung." There was always this one carriage in the Slytherin compartment that smelled awful. No one knew why and even the cleaners couldn't get the smell out year after year. Narcissa turned up her nose; she definitely didn't want to sit there. She took Lucius' hand.

"Hey," Bellatrix said, stopping them both for a moment. She brought Narcissa to her in a side hug, kissing the top of her head. "Study, I mean it. If you listen to nothing else I say, listen to that; I don't want you to fuck up, alright?" Narcissa nodded, giving her a small smile. Bellatrix then turned to Lucius. "As always, take care of her or I'll be wearing your bollocks as earrings. And for fuck's sake, help her with her studying – she'll need it."

Lucius had seemed to grow used to Bellatrix's threats, because he merely nodded. "Of course." He tugged on Narcissa's hand a little. "Come on," he encouraged. Narcissa followed, but turned back to give her sister one last longing look. Bellatrix smiled at her softly, momentarily, before she suddenly disapparated and all Narcissa was left looking at was the brick wall.

"What happened to your eye?" Lucius asked, voice hushed as they began walking towards the train. Narcissa lightly touched her face, having forgotten. Though the bruise was now gone, her right eye still looked bloodshot and angry.

"It's merely irritated," Narcissa answered, not wanting to talk about it. She was sure Lucius didn't believe her, but he didn't push the matter further.

Lucius led her through the crowd, pushing his way through the students. Only a few people complained, but after getting equal looks of disgust from both Lucius and Narcissa, they merely scowled silently. The train was beginning to board and though Narcissa felt a sense of longing to be back in the Lestrange manner, she knew she also needed this time away from her sister. It seemed when they were constantly together things felt tenser than usual. Time apart would do them well, hopefully.

While they were making their way down the Slytherin carriage, suddenly Narcissa stopped short. Lucius turned, confused as to why she would grind to a halt in the middle of the corridor. "Narcissa?"

Narcissa barely heard him. Her eyes were locked onto her sister's, who was staring at her from the other end of the carriage. She didn't expect Andromeda to show up; she had run away, after all. To see her standing there, looking healthy and unscathed, infuriated Narcissa. She pushed past Lucius, heading right towards her.


She ignored him. She shoved a second year out of her way and he cried out as he banged his head on the glass door of a compartment. Murmurs erupted through the carriage, taking note of Narcissa practically manhandling everyone who was in her path. Andromeda stood, frozen on the spot, as she watched her. She didn't look frightened per say, but she did look rather worried that Narcissa was going to attack her in the middle of the train.

When Narcissa got to her however, she merely shoved her into a compartment. "Sit down," the blonde ordered before she followed in after her, slamming the door shut so as to not be overheard. She was glad for the noise-reducing charms placed on the compartments right now because she knew she was about to scream.

"Lovely to see you too, Narcissa," Andromeda replied sardonically as she brushed herself off and sat upright. "Care to sit down?"

"You… you fucking left!" Narcissa screamed, towering over her sister. It took all of her willpower not to beat the other girl within an inch of her life, but she knew she would surely get expelled if she did something like that while on the train to school. "You're such a stupid, selfish cunt, aren't you? Do you have any idea what you subjected me to? Do you even care?"

Andromeda tightened her jaw for a moment, staring up at her. "Do you really think you deserve my care, when you stood idly by and watched Bellatrix torture me?" she countered. "I care nothing for what happens to you, Narcissa; just as you cared nothing for me."

"That's not true!" Narcissa shouted, slamming her hand against the glass of the window. It shook, but did not break. She was sure they were unbreakable anyway. "I tried to stop her!"

"Not very hard!" Andromeda yelled, anger etched over every inch of her features. Her jaw trembled for a moment, but she suppressed the urge to cry as she stared at her younger sister across from her. "Never in my life have I experienced pain like that," she hissed, looking like it was painful to admit. "Never in my fucking life would I have expected it to come from my own sister. You don't know how that felt." Her eyes took in Narcissa's face, though most notably her bloodshot eye before she continued, "But I suspect you'll learn soon enough."

"Bella loves me," Narcissa protested, though it sounded like just another excuse even to her own ears. Bellatrix did give her this mark, after all. But she deserved it. Bellatrix wouldn't hit her unless she needed to be hit.

"Yes," Andromeda confirmed, a disgusted look crossing over her face. "And I wish every day that I didn't know just how much."

Narcissa flushed in anger and embarrassment, finally moving to sit down on the seat opposite of her. "What Bellatrix and I do is none of your concern," she told her in a heated whisper. "I'm sorry for what she did to you; truly, I am. Part of me will always hate her for that. But I tried to stop her. You know just as well as I do though that once Bella has her mind set on something, it's hard to stop her."

"You're so full of crap," Andromeda spat. "Bellatrix would do anything for you; that much was painfully clear even when we were children."

"Regardless, that still doesn't give you the right to just leave me to be tortured by Mum!" Narcissa screamed, sick of this back and forth. "You have no idea what she did to me after you left!"

"Why should I care?" Andromeda exclaimed, pointing at her angrily. "You never came to my aid when Mum beat me; you only ran to Bellatrix. You never gave a sod when she used to make my life a living hell; you only sought to save Bellatrix. You never cared about me, so why do you expect that I should care about you?"

"I did care!" Narcissa protested. "I did!"

Andromeda shook her head angrily, turning to look out the window as the train started to make its way out of King's Cross station. Narcissa stared at her, jaw trembling as she fought back the urge to either cry or lash out. They were silent for a moment, each trying to collect themselves. They refused to be weak in front of the other.

"Where did you go?" Narcissa asked finally, needing to know.

Andromeda didn't look at her as she answered, "I'm living with my boyfriend."

"And who the bloody hell is that?"

Andromeda turned to face her, face stone cold. "His name is Ted Tonks. He's a wonderful man; treats me well. Something, I expect, you've never had, no matter who claims they love you. His parents took me in without a second thought; they're decent people."

Narcissa wracked her brain, trying to figure out who he was. She didn't remember a Ted Tonks in Slytherin. Then it hit her. "The Hufflepuff?" she shrieked, disgusted. "He's a mudblood, Andy!"

Andromeda shot her a scathing look. "Don't you dare berate me about my choice in partners when you spread your legs for our fucking sister! At least I'm not sleeping with someone I'm related to, you sick harlot!"

Narcissa's eyes flashed and her hand shot out of its own accord, connecting with her sister's cheek. "I am not a harlot!" she exclaimed, offended. "Unlike you, I've kept my chastity intact!"

Andromeda laughed bitterly, rubbing the side of her face that was just assaulted. "Just because you refrain from sexual intercourse with Lucius doesn't mean your chastity is intact. Bellatrix may be a woman, but its sex regardless." She looked her over, nose turning up in disgust. "God, I don't know how you can stand to let her touch you like that. You're fucking sick, Narcissa."

"I am nothing of the sort! I love Bella; she may be my sister but she's the only one who's ever stood by me. Loyalty like that… it doesn't matter if she's my kin or not! You say that I didn't care when Mum beat you? You didn't care when she beat me either. Bellatrix was the one who tried to save me from that, not you. And you know what? At least I sleep with purebloods. You… ugh, you're an abomination to our race."

"And you're an abomination to human nature," Andromeda replied shortly, shooting daggers in her direction. "Does he know?" she asked suddenly. "Lucius? Does he know you like to be bedded by your own flesh and blood?"

"Don't you dare."

If Andromeda told him what was going on, their engagement would surely be over. Andromeda smirked, knowing for once she had the upper hand. It seemed to make her unnervingly happy all of a sudden.

"How much is my silence worth to you?" Andromeda asked, leaning back against her seat and crossing her arms in front of her chest. Narcissa wanted to slap that cocky look off of her face, but instead clenched her fist.

"The second I tell Bella you're trying to blackmail me, she'll kill you." If Andromeda was going to throw around threats, then so would she.

"You'd let her?" Andromeda countered. Narcissa just stared at her, trying to look intimidating but apparently failing miserably at it. Andromeda smirked. "No, you couldn't," she answered for her. "You wouldn't be able to bear it; having my blood on your hands. So let's not pretend you'll even speak a word of this to Bellatrix, shall we?"

Narcissa just glared at her. She was right. She fucking hated that, but she was right. It was so messed up, their relationship coming to this. Andromeda felt so betrayed, so scorned by the two of them, that she didn't care anymore. She no longer cared about their well-being and it frustrated Narcissa that no matter how angry she got, she still cared about hers.

"What do you want?" she asked flatly.

"I was cut out of the family fortune," Andromeda told her. "Surely you must have known that I wouldn't get my inheritance. I have nothing, Narcissa."

Narcissa stared at her. "So you heard about Mother and Father then." She wasn't sure she knew they were dead.

"I read the papers," Andromeda answered casually. "Handiwork of Bellatrix, I assume; coming to your rescue once again. Not that it matters. I want what's mine; I assume after I was written out my part was distributed evenly between the both of you. Whether you want to take it from just your account or hers, I don't care, but I will not be left with nothing. I paid blood for that." She paused, then finished a little softer, "We all did."

"And your trust fund?" Narcissa asked evenly, knowing that was coming. After all, they did have two large sums of money coming to them after their parents died.

Andromeda waved it off. "I have no use for it. Unlike you, I don't need to live in wealth. I just need to get by. I'd rather not have any amount of blood money in my possession, but right now it's my only option. I will not be left in poverty."

"How do you expect me to get your half from Bella?" Narcissa asked, knowing it was a slim chance that Bellatrix would let her in her vault. She couldn't exactly think of a good excuse to, and she couldn't tell her sister what was going on.

"Like I said, I don't care where it comes from, so long as I have it," Andromeda answered. "After Christmas break, I expect you to bring it to me."

"And then?" Narcissa asked, jaw clenched. She hated feeling backed into all of this. Is this what her life was going to be like now? It seemed she and Bellatrix spent more time taking the necessary precautions to hide their relationship rather than actually having one recently.

"And then I keep my mouth shut. Afterward, you and I will go our separate ways, never to speak to each other again."

"Never?" Narcissa asked, wishing she didn't sound so damn upset about that. Sure, maybe things were bad between them now, but Andromeda was her sister. She was her blood. She didn't want… damnit, she didn't want any of this. But she supposed it was too late now. They had each made their bed.


Narcissa clenched her jaw and rose from her seat. "Fine," she replied shortly. "You'll have your money. Afterward, I expect you to keep your word, lest you wish Bellatrix hunting you down." Narcissa shot her a scathing look before she turned, exiting the compartment. She felt like crying, but held it in. Proper women did not cry in public.

Then again, with all of the indiscretions in her life, she very much doubted she'd ever be a proper woman.

School, despite teachers breathing down their necks about OWLs, went by pretty quickly. Narcissa barely had any free time due to all of the studying she was meant to do, but then again, neither did anyone else in her year. It was like being jailed almost, with how strict everything was now. If you were found out and about in the corridors and were spotted by a teacher, you'd be subjecting yourself to a droning lecture about how important your studies are, followed by them shooing you back to either your common room or the library, whichever was closer.

The homework itself was practically unbearable and the added stress was not helping Narcissa remember to eat. Whenever things got too hectic, it was like her brain was trained to shut off hunger. Of course Lucius took notice of this immediately and it quickly became irritating when he wouldn't let Narcissa get up from the Slytherin table unless she had consumed something. He was discreet about it, of course, but it didn't make it less annoying. She couldn't complain about it openly lest they were overheard, so she was basically stuck with having to do what she was told. Which, of course, didn't sit well with Narcissa; she didn't exactly like being expected to obey.

She was grateful for Lucius' help with her studies though. Without him, she knew she would have failed quite a lot of her subjects. She just didn't have the concentration needed to do well in school. It worried her at first that he would think badly of her, finally knowing how stupid she was, but it didn't seem to bother him. Narcissa actually believed he may like teaching her; it had always given him a bit of an ego, to be better than someone else at something.

It also didn't help her stress that Bellatrix was currently furious with her. A howler came a week after school had started; she was furious that Narcissa had taken her potions and the letter contained some pretty colorful language and a promise, or maybe even a threat, that they would have a 'conversation' when she came back for Christmas vacation.

Narcissa was not looking forward to that at all.

It was a mid-afternoon in early December when Lucius found Narcissa lounging in the Slytherin Common Room, looking less than pleased as she continuously flicked her wand at the fireplace, making the flames jump from the logs every now and again.

"Why aren't you in class?" Lucius asked, astounded to see her sitting there.

"I don't feel like it," Narcissa answered shortly, refusing to look at him as she continued to toy with the flames in the fireplace. This seemed to make Lucius rather uneasy.

"I wish you wouldn't do that," he told her, coming over to sit on the chair across from her. "You look cross and you may accidentally set the common room on fire. Your emotions can cause—"

"Just leave me alone, Lucius." She was not in the mood to speak to anyone, especially him. He had forgotten, just like everyone else did. Though she supposed that was to be expected. No one gave a toss about her.

Lucius looked at her for a moment, as if trying to decipher her expression. He couldn't seem to though. "Look, I have a free period since Professor Binns is… well, ruddy boring and I didn't feel like going, so if you'd like to go over your Charms studies…"

"Piss off."

Lucius looked at her indignantly. "Is it your time of the month?" he asked, quite rudely. Narcissa turned to look at him, offense plastered on her expression.

"Excuse me?" Men didn't ask about that sort of thing; it was completely improper!

"Well you're cross with me for no reason," Lucius explained, looking a bit flustered for bringing up something so…personal. "I was only trying to help you, but if you wish to get 'Troll' plastered across all your OWLs…"

"I am not a 'Troll'! I'm at least a… 'Poor', if anything," Narcissa replied, feeling incredibly offended. "I'm not a daft as you make me out to be, you know."

"I didn't mean… ugh," Lucius tried, though apparently gave up halfway through. He rubbed his temples and took a breath. "Please, just let me help you. You can come up to the sixth year boy's dormitory with me, it'll be empty and we'll have some privacy. Please."

Narcissa stared at him for a moment, debating on cursing him out, but she didn't feel like ruining their relationship any more. Besides, she was kind of rubbish at Charms and if she continued to tell him to fuck off then there was a large chance that he would stop helping her completely, and she would be doomed in regards to her studies. Narcissa sighed in annoyance and got up.


Lucius didn't look entirely thrilled by her attitude, but got up as well to lead her up the stairs. Narcissa trudged behind him, still bitter he forgot something that was actually fucking important…at least that was until she saw the dormitories. She stopped short once they got through the door, mouth agape.

"Holy shit," she breathed.

What could only be assumed as Lucius' bed was piled high with presents. He had a few candles lit around the exterior of the bed, which in the dim light gave it a very romantic-like glow. Narcissa immediately felt her anger disappear and she turned to him, astounded. "I thought you forgot."

"I'm not that much of an arse that I forgot your birthday, Narcissa," Lucius replied, chuckling lightly. "Though you did make it difficult to surprise you."

"Well I had thought you'd forgotten!" Narcissa protested. "I was… angry."

"Obviously. But I couldn't very well tell you I'd remembered, otherwise it wouldn't be a surprise." He put his hand on the small of her back, encouraging her forward. "Go on, see what you got."

Narcissa bit her bottom lip in excitement as she smiled. She didn't waste a second before she took off running towards the bed; Lucius laughed when she jumped on the mattress, grabbing the first present she saw and tearing into it. Lucius closed the dormitory door behind them before he walked over to the bed to join her.

"Oh my god!" she squealed as she opened one of the boxes, finding a gorgeous emerald necklace inside. "Lucius, this is beautiful." She looked up at him, smiling so wide that her cheeks began to ache. But she didn't care; she was just glad her birthday was turning out all right. She had yet to even get a letter from her sister, which kind of devastated her. Even if Bellatrix was still angry, she should at least send well wishes.

"I had hoped you'd wear it to our engagement party," Lucius mentioned, sitting beside her on the bed. Narcissa bit her bottom lip in glee, looking down at it. She nodded excitedly.

"Does this mean I can finally wear my ring?" she asked, looking back up at him.

"You're fifteen now; I don't see why not. I think it's about time we were official, don't you?" Narcissa merely grinned in response, still nodding like a fool.

She looked over the amount of presents and the candlelight before inquiring, "How did you get the whole dorm to agree to let us have some privacy?" She was sure the whole girls' dorm would laugh in her face if she ever requested something like that.

"I bribed them," Lucius said simply, smirking. "I wanted it to just be the two of us."

Narcissa smirked. "Is this another, you give me pretty things and make me happy, you possibly find your cock getting attention, kind of thing?" She was only teasing him, but the way his cheeks turned a little rosy, it was clear that he might have been hoping for that sort of thing.

"I would never assume anything like that," he protested. "I just… wanted to give you something nice for your birthday, perhaps move past all the… unpleasantness we found ourselves in recently."

Narcissa probably should have been thinking something along the lines of how she wanted to move past that as well, however the only thought that actually came into her mind was, It'd be nice to have sex with someone for my birthday. Usually it was her sister doting upon her, but this time the woman couldn't even be bothered to send an owl. Narcissa looked up at Lucius beneath her lashes, chewing on her bottom lip as she contemplated the idea of sex with him. Well, not sex sex with him; they probably shouldn't be doing that until they're married, but perhaps… oral sex could be an acceptable compromise. It would be nice to be pleasured by someone she loved today; it was a special day after all, or at least it was supposed to be.


Narcissa realized she had been staring at him for a long time in silence and immediately flushed in embarrassment. "Sorry I… was only thinking." Lucius cocked an eyebrow, smirking at her clear embarrassment.

"About?" he prodded. She had a feeling he already knew.

"About… opening the rest of these presents," Narcissa avoided, a little hesitant about being forthright about it; she didn't want to seem sleazy. Lucius looked a little disappointed but didn't say anything as Narcissa grabbed for the next neatly wrapped box.

However, sometime after Narcissa unwrapped a ridiculously expensive dress, the rest of the presents found themselves pushed off the bed, forgotten about. She was sure it was she who moved first, but eventually she found herself underneath Lucius in nothing but her knickers, gasping softly and grabbing at his back as he made quick work of doting upon her nipples. Maybe it did make her a bit of a slag; practically jumping on him just because he bought her an array of pretty things, but part of her just wanted to have a good birthday for once. Her last birthday was anything but. Besides, she was desperate for things to be better between them and perhaps being sexually intimate with each other would help with that.

She tore at his school robes, wanting to see all of him for once. For how long they had been dating, she had never once seen his cock. He complied quickly, ridding the material from his body. When Lucius slipped his hand beneath Narcissa's knickers she gasped, pulling on his own undergarments roughly. She wanted them off of him and when he looked down at her, a questioning look in his eye as if asking 'are you sure?', she merely surged upwards to connect their lips as she continued to help him out of his underwear. She didn't want this to become awkward with questions and pauses.

Perhaps it was a bad idea, the both of them being naked in bed with one another. Temptation with something like that could prove to be too great, but at the moment, Narcissa didn't care. She just wanted to feel. She wanted to be consumed. She wanted to be loved, completely.

She kicked off her own panties and spread her legs, allowing him to get in between them. His hardened member rubbed up against her clit and she groaned, tangling her fingers in his hair as she began to kiss him hungrily, desperately. Lucius' breathing was ragged against her lips, his firm hands grabbing at her hips in a manner so possessive it had her dripping. Her submissive nature was probably mostly due to her sister, but Narcissa found out quickly that it extended to Lucius too. She liked being beneath him; she liked being owned by him, controlled by him. Perhaps not outside of the bedroom, but right now she loved the way he was taking control.

A moan escaped her lips when his teeth sunk into her neck. It wasn't hard, but it was hard enough. One of her hands tangled in his hair while the other made its way down his back, grabbing his arse before sliding it downwards, encouraging him to lift his hips a little. He complied and without thought her hand wrapped around his cock. Narcissa wasn't quite sure what the hell she was doing, as she had never done this before outside of that little tryst with her first boyfriend, but she seemed to be doing something right by the groan that left Lucius' lips, the low sound right next to her ear sending a shiver down her spine.

With each stroke, the tip of his penis and her hand would bump into her clit, sending sparks of pleasure right to her core. Their lips met again; a mess of tongue and desperation as he pushed his hips into her. Narcissa had a brief moment to be thankful she was so turned on, because if she had a moment to think she probably wouldn't be able to do this without an incredible amount of nervousness. However, thinking didn't exactly seem to be on the menu for Lucius either, because he quickly reached down, pushing Narcissa's hand away for a moment. Narcissa didn't even have a second to wonder why, until suddenly Lucius positioned himself at her entrance… and pushed into her. Not exactly carefully either.

"Fuck!" Narcissa screamed, pain ripping through her nether region. Tears sprung to the back of her eyes and she nearly sobbed outright, her entire lower body feeling like it was getting ripped to shreds whilst on the worst period of her life. The sharp pain was at her entrance, but the pain in her abdomen felt like that of menstrual cramps from hell.

"Oh shit!" Lucius exclaimed, suddenly realizing what he just did. "Oh fuck, I am so sorry Narcissa, I wasn't thinking…! Shit, shit, shit." He moved to pull out, but that only stood to aggravate her entrance even more and she shrieked, slapping her hands against his shoulders.

"Stop, stop! Don't move!"

Lucius stilled himself immediately, a guilty look plastered on his face as he looked down at his fiancée. She put her arm over her eyes, biting her lower lip hard as she tried not to cry. It wasn't just the pain, it was everything. What if now that he could take what he wanted, he would call off the engagement? Nothing was set in stone until they were married and she didn't… she couldn't be someone else's trash!

A sob escaped her lips.

"No, Narcissa, don't cry…" Lucius tried, sounding remorseful. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do it. I wanted to but I didn't… I didn't think and—"

She wasn't listening though. "Oh god, you're going to leave me now, aren't you?" Narcissa interrupted, sounding horribly distressed. She was trying to stop crying, but it wasn't exactly working. Her mind was plagued with fear.

"What?" Lucius asked, sounding terribly confused. "No, of course not. Why would you think…?"

Narcissa ripped her arm away from her eyes, slamming it down on the bed. "You said you wanted me chaste for our wedding night. Now I'm…fuck, now I'm…" she couldn't even bring herself to say it. She didn't even want to think it.

"No, Narcissa, that's not—I mean for fuck's sake, we're engaged; that's practically the same thing anyway," he amended quickly. He looked down at her, worried by how upset she appeared. He touched her face gently, trying to reassure her. "I swear to you, I won't leave. You're to be my wife. Besides," he went on, giving her a little half smile, "I know there's tradition, but… perhaps we don't have to follow the rules exactly. I mean, times change."

"I know most of our traditions are bollocks, Lucius, but they're still traditions, and while most people these days don't seem obliged to uphold them, I at least—"

Lucius cut off her ramble with a searing kiss. When they broke, he looked down at her and whispered, "I want to make love to you, Narcissa."

Narcissa's heart skipped a beat.

"I promise I won't leave, nor think less of you," Lucius told her. He sounded a little like he was begging, but Narcissa supposed any man would when they had their dick inside someone and then was told to stop in the middle. "I just want to show you how much I love you," Lucius finished, which… all right, won him a couple points. It may have just been a line, but it did work.

It hurt though… fuck it hurt; even still, when they weren't moving. But Narcissa already knew she was bleeding. If he didn't break her hymen completely, he at least tore part of it. Narcissa wasn't sure what that meant for her virginity. Even if she didn't let him, would it be gone? Would this be the moment that she forever remembered, only for it never to have been a moment at all?

She didn't want that. She… she needed it to be done right, if it was to be done at all. And, well, it seemed they had already started. Narcissa looked up at him, chewing on her bottom lip. She prayed silently that Lucius would be good on his word and that this wouldn't backfire on her, before she finally, slowly, nodded in compliance. "Okay," she whispered. "Just… go slow. Please? Everything… everything hurts…"

"I won't hurt you," Lucius promised softly before he leaned in, connecting their lips again. While their kisses before were rushed, desperate… this time it was slow, romantic. Lucius continued to kiss her for a bit, trying to get her back in the mood before he pushed forward, both literally and metaphorically. But the pain was forever present in her nether regions and finally Narcissa broke the kiss, begging him.

"Just do it."

She was sure, like her and her sister's experiment with anal sex, that it would stop hurting after a bit if they would only get on with it. And she was right, however the pain before getting there was practically unbearable. Her nails dug into the flesh of his back and she gritted her teeth, eyes shut tightly as he pushed past the last, flimsy barrier of her hymen… or what was left of it. She tried not to cry out, but she whimpered pathetically beneath him as he moved within her, praying the pain would dull soon.

It felt like forever until it did.

It didn't cease completely, but after a while the pleasure overrode the pain. It wasn't exactly as she had always imagined it to be; fireworks and all that, but it did feel good. It was such an intimate feeling; having another person inside of you, filling you completely. It was sexy, different, exciting. But although it was pleasurable, it felt like it wasn't enough. While Lucius began to pick up his pace, pounding into her a little harder now that she could stand it, her hand flew down to put pressure on her clit. The combined feeling made her cry out Lucius' name and she tossed her head to the side, her lips just slightly parted as she began to whimper in need beneath him.

His hot, ragged breath was on her neck and his hand had enveloped Narcissa's breast, squeezing it in a way that would probably border on painful, if all her nerve endings weren't already being stimulated to the point of complete ecstasy in her nether regions. That seemed to be about the only thing she could concentrate on. He pushed in deeper, a husky whisper of, "God, you're so fucking sexy," falling from his lips and Narcissa cried out, pressing her fingers against her clit harder as she realized very suddenly that, holy shit, she was about to come.

She had come for him once before, but it wasn't like this. It wasn't this intimate, it wasn't this special. All of her life, Narcissa saved the special moments just for her sister; everything, all of it, was hers and no one else's. Now, for the first time in her life, she was giving something to someone else before Bellatrix. It was exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

"Fuck… Lucius… oh, fuck…" she panted, feeling the pleasure start to overwhelm her. Her other hand tangled in his hair, gripping it tightly as she buried her head in his neck, her hips frantically bucking against his. Her back arched and her toes curled as she cried out, her screams muffled by his skin. She was sure her nails were tearing into his scalp, but he either didn't feel it or didn't care. The second her inner walls started contracting, he groaned loudly, his fingers digging into Narcissa's hip. And then… and then she felt it.

During her own orgasmic haze, she barely even registered what was happening until it was already over. Perhaps if they were both in a better frame of mind, or perhaps if they thought about the consequences of what they were doing, one of them would have remembered. But as it stood, it seemed neither of them realized what they had just done until it was too late. Narcissa felt him fill her up inside and she thought of nothing else other than how strange it felt until Lucius had collapsed on top of her and they both had a moment to breathe, to think. Then it came to her, like a slap in the face.

He wasn't wearing a condom.


*Chapter 34*: Chapter Thirty Four


Lucius tried to convince her that the possibility for pregnancy was really slim, that she may not even be ovulating right now, but it didn't really make Narcissa feel any better. They weren't due to marry until after her seventeenth birthday, which was two years from now. A child out of wedlock would be extremely shameful and would put an irreparable blemish on both of their reputations. It didn't matter in pureblooded families if the couple was engaged, some things were just expected. Tradition may be ridiculous, but it was put in place for a reason. They were better than everyone else, and thus they were expected to act as such.

Narcissa knew that there were many women that tried for months, even years to get pregnant; but she also knew there were women who accidentally became pregnant after their first time. It could go either way, so no matter how much Lucius tried to convince her that it was unlikely that anything would come of it, she was still scared. She was fifteen – she was too young to have a child. She was practically still a child herself.

Christmas vacation came too quickly. The weeks felt like days and when Narcissa found herself stepping off the Hogwarts Express, her nerves bubbled up to the surface when she saw her sister standing on the platform. She did not look pleased. With everything already going on- the pressure about her OWLs and her possible pregnancy scare- Narcissa didn't want to deal with her either. To make matters worse, she also had to find a way to get Andromeda's money, which she still did not know how she was going to do.

Really, in all, this week did not look to be a good one.

Narcissa grabbed her trunk and trudged over to Bellatrix, eyes downcast. She took her sister's hand when it was offered to her, but Bellatrix didn't say a word before she turned on the spot, apparating them both back to the manor. When their feet landed on solid flooring Narcissa pitched forward, feeling really ill. She would never get used to that, that was for sure. She groaned, rubbing her stomach so as to not find herself vomiting all over the Lestrange's expensive mahogany flooring.

"Don't be a pussy," Bellatrix said as she took notice of her sister's ill features. "It's about time you handled the sensations; you'll be learning how to apparate soon enough."

"It's not my fault that spinning out of control makes me ill," Narcissa snapped, closing her eyes for a moment to help shake off the last of her nausea. While apparating was a lot cleaner than floo powder, Narcissa found she liked the latter a whole lot more.

Suddenly, vomit hit the floor. But it wasn't from Narcissa.

"Now who's a pussy," Narcissa responded dryly as she watched her sister spit the remnants of it in disgust.

"Shut up, Cissy. I'm fucking sick."

She called for the house elf, who came in and cleaned it post-haste. Bellatrix flopped onto the couch groaning as she closed her eyes, cradling her stomach. Narcissa stared at her, the situation clicking in her head rather quickly. Her eyes flashed dangerously.

"You're still taking them, aren't you?"

"It's none of your sodding business."

"How can you say it's not my business, Bella? You are my business," Narcissa exclaimed. She threw her hands out at her. "Look at you! Your headaches are getting so bad that you're vomiting now. How can you think that's okay?"

Bellatrix's eyes snapped open, fire in her gaze as she stared her down. "How can I think that's okay?" she asked rhetorically, voice deadly calm. "It's my choice, Cissy; that's why it's okay. You, on the other hand, stole from me, when you had no right to! Not that you care, but those fucking things are expensive!"

"I did it to help you!"

"Check your facts, Princess; lately I haven't been the one in need of help."

Narcissa raised an eyebrow, not buying that in the slightest. Sure, she might have a lot going on right now, but Bellatrix didn't even know the half of it. The only thing she needed help with lately was Lucius, and Bellatrix fell apart when that happened too. And okay, fine she did have that little… eating disorder issue, but in retrospect, Bellatrix had always been far more in need of help than she was.

"That's hilarious," Narcissa responded dryly. "You're always going to be fucked, Bella, and I'm always going to be the one forced to pick up the pieces." It was harsh, but it was true. It was probably time they started being honest with one another anyway.

"Who do you think picks up the pieces of your life?" Bellatrix countered, angry. "Maybe once I was the only one who was screwed up, but you're completely fucked now, love; whether you want to be or not. Maybe not in the same way, but I have to fix your life just as much as you fix mine. So don't you dare take the high road with me."

Narcissa wasn't exactly sure she had a retort for that, so she responded by crossing her arms over her chest and looking at her indignantly. "Thanks, by the way, for that amazing birthday greeting you sent me."

"I didn't send you shit."

"Yeah," Narcissa replied flatly. "That was my point." She stared at Bellatrix, jaw locked, until her sister looked up to meet her eyes.

"You stole from me," Bellatrix told her evenly. "I'm not about to condone that. You're supposed to be my sister, I'm supposed to be able to trust you, and instead you fuck me in the arse? You and your sodding birthday can go screw yourself."

Narcissa's mouth dropped open in offense.

"Take your trunk up to your room," Bellatrix ordered her, leaning her elbow on the edge of the couch while her hand massaged her throbbing temples. "Get out of my face."

Narcissa's jaw clenched and her eyes narrowed as she grabbed her trunk angrily. She was about to storm out, but instead, the urge to have the last word arose in her and she turned to her angrily, shouting, "You're such an insufferable cunt, aren't you? God forbid I try to help you, right? Christ, I swear you think you're bloody invincible sometimes! But no one is invincible, Bella; least of all you."

"You know, I am sick of the way you think you can speak to me—!"

"I can speak to you any way I please! Just because you're older doesn't make you better than me, Bellatrix!"

"Ladies!" Their argument was interrupted by Rodolphus, who was descending the stairs, not looking pleased at all. "Shut your sodding mouths before the neighbors hear you. Do either of you have any sense of self-respect? You both are quarreling like bratty children; settle your differences like proper women."

"Piss off Rodolphus, this doesn't concern you," Bellatrix answered in a bored tone.

"Considering you're under my roof, I'd say it's my business," Rodolphus answered, coming down the last of the stairs. Bellatrix scoffed as she stood up.

"You know what? Neither of you are worth my fucking breath," she dismissed, rubbing the side of her head like her headache was increasing. She stormed off, leaving them both with the parting gift of her middle finger before she brushed past Rodolphus, climbing the stairs to her bedroom.

"You need to do something about her!" Narcissa accused, pointing angrily up the stairs at his wife.

"Excuse me?"

"I know you two hold no love for each other, but are you that cruel that you wish her suffering?" Narcissa exclaimed, angry at him now. He was here every damn day and did nothing to stop her sister's pain.

"What the bloody hell are you talking about?"

"The sodding potions, Rodolphus! Are you that thick?"

A look of offense crossed over her brother-in-law's face, but unlike Bellatrix and herself, he continued to keep his composure. Rodolphus stood up straighter, a look of indignation on his face as he answered, "I was under the impression they were helping her. And I wish you would stop screaming at me like an irritating child and start speaking to me like an adult; you're not that far off, you know. Best you start acting like one."

"I care nothing for what you think of me," Narcissa snapped. "And if you actually gave a sod about anyone other than yourself, you'd see that those potions she insists on taking are making her ill! Her headaches are growing worse now that she's constantly vomiting, or haven't you noticed?"

By the surprised look on Rodolphus' face, Narcissa gathered that he didn't even notice. Bloody useless.

"I don't know what they're doing to her, but it's not good. Her symptoms are growing worse; God only knows what will be next. So lest you wish her an early demise, I suggest you start acting like a proper husband and take care of her, 'cause she won't sodding listen to me."

It was many hours later when Narcissa heard the consequences of her conversation with Rodolphus. They were screaming at each other downstairs, Bellatrix in a fury that her husband was siding with her sister. Narcissa was crouched at the top of the stairs, wincing every time she heard something break. It seemed Bellatrix had taken to throwing their china to better make her point.

"You do not dictate my life! This is my problem and this is my solution; you can sod the fuck off if you don't like it!"

"I'm not going to let you kill yourself, you stupid woman! If I see one more of those bloody potions in this house, so help me God I will put you out on your arse!"

"I'll fucking kill you before you get the chance! I won't be dishonored; I'm Bellatrix Black, you spineless bastard!"

This wasn't exactly what Narcissa had wanted. But then again, was anything with her sister ever easy? If you pushed, she would come back and push you back even harder. Narcissa sighed, leaning her head against the banister of the stairs. This argument was going to last all night, it seemed. She wished that for once, just once, Bellatrix would stop being so stubborn. The problem was Narcissa had a feeling Bellatrix knew the potions were killing her, and she simply didn't care.

Perhaps she even thought she'd be better off dead.

Not that Bellatrix would ever admit to that. Bellatrix sought to make herself appear stronger than she really was; even in front of Narcissa, who knew the truth that lay beneath it all. Bellatrix was angry. If there was one word to describe her sister it was just that: angry. If she couldn't take her anger out on someone else, she took it out on herself. At the end of the day, she just wanted someone to pay; she wanted to see blood, and it didn't matter who it came from.

The screaming and the crashing downstairs grew louder. Narcissa wanted to intervene, but this wasn't about her anymore. For once, Rodolphus needed to step up and take care of his wife, instead of expecting Narcissa to do it. And, to be quite honest, Narcissa was glad that she wasn't the one being screamed at.

Narcissa didn't know how long she sat up there, nor how long it lasted. It seemed like hours. Finally, Narcissa heard something that made her stand up quickly and rush down the stairs: a blood-curdling scream.

When she rounded the corner, the sight that greeted her was awful. It looked like Bellatrix had nearly destroyed the whole dining room in her rage. The table was snapped in half, broken dishes littered the floor. The chairs were upturned and some of the glass in the cabinets had been shattered. Rodolphus and Bellatrix stood in the middle of all of it, Bellatrix's eyes black as coal as she held her wand to her husband's throat. She had a sick smile adorning her features.

"Bella, don't!" Narcissa tried, her stomach in knots.

"Ickle Cissy decided to join the fun and games, did she?"

Bellatrix cocked her head, peering at Rodolphus with an inquisitive look on her face. "Interesting, that she would come to your defense," she addressed him, an accusatory tone in her voice. She seemed to come to some irrational conclusion though and fire burned in her eyes as she pressed the wand so hard up against his jugular that he choked. "Do you fuck her, is that why?" The tip of the wand burned red and Rodolphus cried out in pain. "You dare... you fucking dare to touch my property?" Bellatrix shrieked, furious.

"Bella, stop it!" Narcissa shouted, running over to her and grabbing her arm, pulling it away from Rodolphus. "He's not fucking me, I swear it! Please, just—" But she was cut off by Bellatrix lashing out, her hand connecting with her face. Narcissa fell to the ground, groaning in pain.

"Now look what you made me do!"

As Bellatrix knelt down to tend to Narcissa, Rodolphus coughed uncomfortably before he brought his own wand up to his throat, healing the skin that Bellatrix had marred. He looked furious. "Now what?" he shouted at Narcissa. "Now what do we fucking do? You don't want her to take them, but look what she turns into if she doesn't!"

Narcissa slapped Bellatrix's hand away that was delicately stroking her cheek, actually looking remorseful for having accidentally hit her in her fury. "Oh, for fuck's sake," she grumbled. She always had to fucking do everything, didn't she? "Order a prostitute," she ordered him, still trying to keep Bellatrix's hands off of her. Bellatrix, however, seemed to think that it had become some sort of game and was cackling madly at Narcissa's protests.

"A what?"

"Sex; sex gets rid of it," Narcissa explained in a rush before she turned to Bellatrix and shouted, "Hands off, Bella! Now!" She pushed Bellatrix off of her in a huff, hoisting herself to her feet before brushing her dress off. Normally she would have just taken her upstairs, done it herself, but she didn't want to touch her right now; she was too angry. She wasn't exactly thrilled with Bellatrix being touched by another woman, but right now it was her only option.

"Do you know how bloody much I'm going to have to pay the whore to deal with that?" Rodolphus exclaimed, throwing his hands out to indicate Bellatrix.

"Well unless you want to do it," Narcissa snapped, before pushing Bellatrix off of her again, who was trying to play with her hair. "Stop. I mean it."

"Let me kill him, Cissy," she begged childishly, completely ignoring her husband in the room. "I want to feel his blood on my hands. I want to eat his heart. I hate him. I want to destroy him; he makes things so much less fun."

"You shouldn't hate him, he's the one advocating for you to stay," Narcissa told her, looking her dead in the eyes. She played the game of sane vs. insane, because right now it worked to her advantage. "She's trying to kill you, you know; keep you locked in a box until you ultimately die out. We're trying to save you, so do yourself a favor and stop being such a sodding bitch and sit down."

Bellatrix's eyes flashed, but she did as she was told. She wandered into the living room, destroying anything in her path until she flopped down on the couch. She was actually pouting.

"Why does she listen to you when she's like that?" Rodolphus asked, surprised Bellatrix did what was asked of her.

"Because she loves me, idiot. It doesn't matter what state she's in; she needs me. I'm the only one that ever bloody takes care of her," Narcissa snapped, clearly not in any mood to be nice about anything. She was sick of all the weight falling on her shoulders. "Look, just owl the whore, okay? You're going to need to learn how to deal with this when I'm away at school. I can't always be here to pick up the pieces."

"And where do you expect me to find a male prostitute? It isn't like I've ever ordered one for myself!"

Narcissa stared at him. Oh, shit. He didn't know. She thought by now he would at least have some idea, but it seemed he knew nothing at all. Bellatrix must be keeping her secret better than Narcissa thought. The problem now though was that she couldn't tell him to get a male one, as it wouldn't work. Narcissa was sure the change was instilled during orgasm and she very much doubted her sister would have one with a man.

"Don't… have a fit or anything," Narcissa started calmly, knowing this was probably about to blow up in her face regardless. "But Bella likes…" The last word came out barely above a whisper, "women."

Rodolphus stared at her, his expression unreadable.

"Please, don't tell her I told you," Narcissa begged. "But a man isn't going to help and unless you wish her to constantly be like this, you need to adhere to her preference. It won't work otherwise. If she asks just… I don't know, say you bloody guessed or something, anything! I just can't deal with her jumping down my throat right now; I have enough problems as it is without the added weight of her fury."

"My wife…" Rodolphus started slowly, "is a bloody dyke?"

"Don't call her that!" Narcissa raged, hating that word. "And it's not like it should come as any surprise; she had no interest in bedding you after all. And you know, it's not like you're perfect either–screwing the next-door neighbor! Who, that I also hear, is married." Rodolphus looked halfway between surprised that she knew, and angry that she would pass judgment. "I live in this house, Rodolphus," Narcissa explained angrily. "I know everything. So lest you wish me to pay a visit to your slag's husband, I suggest you do as I say and stop passing judgment on your own wife. You took the vows; for better or for worse. Now stick to them."

"This is… disgusting," Rodolphus replied, shaking his head. But it didn't matter; what he thought didn't sodding matter. Rodolphus' eyes burned into hers then, angry that she would blackmail him. But in the end, it seemed to be the thing to do between purebloods recently, didn't it? "I'll do as you ask; I don't wish to mar our family's reputation any more than it is, but don't think that I haven't put two and two together either; you're too young to order a prostitute, Narcissa."

His eyes indicated an accusation and Narcissa flushed in anger. "I don't know what you're insinuating, but stop wasting time and do as you're told. I'm tired of having to be the adult around here." She turned away from him and stormed off, out of the dining room, past Bellatrix in the living room who called out to come and play with her, and up the stairs to her room.

Narcissa lay on her bed for the better half of the last couple hours. She could hear them, down the hall; Bellatrix and that whore. Her sister apparently didn't care enough, or didn't even think while in that state, to use the Muffliato spell. Narcissa's stomach burned in jealousy, but it didn't matter; she had asked for this. After everything that had gone on, she didn't want to be the one to fix it all. She had done that too much in her life already.

It made her sick though; listening to it. Bellatrix, or rather, crazy Bellatrix, didn't exactly play nice with the slag. Narcissa couldn't even imagine how much Rodolphus would have to pay her to deal with that sort of thing. Bellatrix liked to hurt her while she was fucking her; Narcissa could hear the screams. Maybe it was a testament to how professional the girl was, or maybe just proof that she was a masochist, but she didn't leave. She took it. All of it. And by the end of it, Narcissa was sure she ended up a whole lot richer.

It was at least a half an hour after it ended before Bellatrix came to her room. She stood in the doorway, looking at Narcissa who was lying on her side, clutching her stomach as she stared at the wall. She knew she was there, but she didn't want to talk to her.

"You told him."

Narcissa took a shuddered inhale of breath. "I don't know what you're talking about," she responded softly, still refusing to look at her.


"Please, Bella, not now. I'm not feeling well, okay?" Narcissa begged, curling her knees up to her chest a little more. Bellatrix cocked her head to the side, as if assessing her.

"Sick with jealousy, or sick with guilt?" she asked scathingly. Narcissa responded by giving her the finger. Bellatrix chuckled under her breath angrily. She took a few more steps inside Narcissa's bedroom before closing the door behind her, apparently not keen on having this conversation overheard.

Narcissa sighed. She knew she wasn't going to leave.

"I did what I had to do to keep you safe," Narcissa told her. "I know you hate changing, but the alternative was killing you."

"That's not what I was talking about, but we could fucking start there, if you'd like," Bellatrix snapped. "You had no right—"

"I had every fucking right!" Narcissa screamed, pissed off that this conversation was happening when she wasn't feeling well. Leave it to Bellatrix to not care in the slightest; she was so goddamn selfish all the time. "I was not going to sit by and watch your health deteriorate because you're too damn stubborn and too damn suicidal to care otherwise! When it comes to your wishes versus your health, then I'm sorry, but I'm always going to choose the latter. Nothing you do or say is going to make me change that." Her eyes bore into hers before she finished, "Conversation over." She rolled around, putting her back to her. She wasn't going to indulge in these stupid arguments anymore.

"You told my fucking husband I was a lesbian," Bellatrix responded dangerously, either not having an argument for what Narcissa just said, or not caring about it in comparison.

Narcissa said nothing. She wasn't going to fuel the fire. So she lay still, ignoring her.

"Answer me!"


Narcissa let out a startled scream as suddenly her sister jumped on the bed, grabbing her arm forcefully to roll her over. Bellatrix wanted her to face her. Narcissa emitted a sound of protest as Bellatrix pinned her arms to the bed, her grip tightening painfully.

"Stop! Bella, you're hurting me!"

"Do you think I care? You told him I was gay! What the fuck is wrong with you, Cissy? Do you have any idea what you've just done?"

Bellatrix was shaking her so hard that her stomach gurgled uncomfortably. Narcissa probably had a good thirty seconds before she realized that she was going to vomit and she cried, "Stop! I'm gonna—" before she didn't even bother finishing the rest of her sentence. She kicked her instead, causing Bellatrix to at least lessen her grip enough that she could scramble out from under her. Her feet hit the floor and she ran towards the connecting bathroom, falling to her knees at the toilet just in time for her to vomit into it.

Narcissa coughed, spitting a little as she groaned, slumping her head on the side of the toilet bowl. Why the hell did this have to happen now? Like she didn't have enough going on that she had to be ill on top of it. Now that she had thrown up though, she did feel a little better, thankfully. She closed her eyes, trying to breathe a little slower.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" came Bellatrix's voice from the entrance of the bathroom. She still sounded angry, but she at least sounded concerned too.

"Nothing, I think it was just something I ate," Narcissa mumbled as she climbed to her feet, flushing the toilet. She made her way over to the sink.

"You eat now?"

Narcissa shot her a scathing look. "Yes, Bella. I eat now." Maybe not a feast, but she was up to eating one full meal a day. She turned on the faucet in the sink and began to wash her mouth out. Vomiting was never pleasant.

Bellatrix peered at her intently, as if trying to find any sign of a lie. Finally she said, "I'm proud of you." That made Narcissa pause, turning to look at her in surprise. She wasn't expecting that, especially after nearly getting manhandled.

"Um… thanks."

Narcissa stood up straight and grabbed a towel, drying her mouth. When she put it back on the rack she let out a breath, staring at her sister. She didn't exactly want to lie, but she also didn't want to get into another fight. "I swear I didn't tell him," she started softly. "He just… he just knew. I wouldn't betray your trust like that; you have to believe me."

It kind of killed her inside to say those things, but she needed to think of her own well-being over her sister's for once.

"How the fuck did he just know?" Bellatrix exclaimed, looking halfway between angry and perplexed.

"I don't know! I just… I told him to order a prostitute and he… he got you a woman. But I mean, if he had gotten you a man, it wouldn't have even worked, so why are you angry? He obviously isn't going to leave you because of it."

"Because I don't need everyone and their fucking mother knowing my business!" Bellatrix shouted. "Why didn't you just—?"

"What? Fuck you?" Narcissa answered for her. She shot her an indignant look and put her hands on her hips. "Contrary to your belief, I don't count the days until I can sleep with you again. And after telling me that I'm 'not worth your breath' and screaming at me all day, call me crazy, but I wasn't exactly in the mood."

Bellatrix stared at her, apparently not having a good retort for that. She slumped against the threshold of the door instead, kicking her leg out to lie flat against the other side, successfully trapping Narcissa in the bathroom. The blonde raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.

"Look… I'm sorry I said that stuff, okay? I've been… really fucking agitated lately; not just with you, but with everything. Too much stuff is going on and I'm having issues handling it. Obviously."

Narcissa's eyebrows rose. Well, she wasn't exactly expecting to be trapped in here for an apology. Not that the apology was a great one; Bellatrix didn't look at her when she said it and it came out more like a mumble than anything else, but it was something at least.

"Thank you," Narcissa replied softly. Her fingers drummed softly on the sink for a moment before she finished, "But we can't have sex anymore."

Bellatrix's foot slid down from the threshold so fast it squeaked, hitting the ground with a bang. She turned to look at her.

"What? Where the hell did that come from?"

"Well what do you expect?" Narcissa answered, throwing up her hands helplessly. "I swear to God, Bella, we spend more time trying to hide our relationship than actually having one lately."

"We can have a relationship!" Bellatrix protested. Narcissa outright laughed at that.

"Please. I don't think you even know how to have one; at least not a healthy one. Besides, you did everything you could to push me away over the summer when I actually, for once in my goddamn life, really needed you. I needed you to be there for me, to love me, to take care of me. You didn't."

"We had to lay low for a while, Cissy! Lucius—"

"Is not our only goddamn problem," Narcissa interrupted. "No matter what we do, no matter how 'low' we lay, it's never going to stop. People are always going to suspect, and the people that know are always going to blackmail us."

"If it's never going to stop, then why not make it worth it?"

Narcissa stared at her. She didn't exactly have an answer for that.

"Narcissa… I love you." It was said so softly, so sadly.

Narcissa's heart lurched and she looked down at the floor, chewing hard on her bottom lip. She wanted to believe her, but everything was always such shit all the time that Narcissa was beginning to wonder if Bellatrix even knew the meaning of the word. Things were changing though. There once was a time when Narcissa would tell her everything that had happened in her life, yet now she found herself keeping more secrets than ever before. She just… she didn't really trust her anymore. Perhaps that was part of growing up.

Bellatrix looked at her for a long while, waiting for an answer. When she realized she wasn't going to receive one though, she walked over to her slowly, dropping to her knees in front of her. Narcissa's eyebrows got lost in her hairline.

"Bella…" she tried to protest, but it got caught in her throat as her sister raked her nails up her thigh, hiking up her dress.

"If you don't believe me, then let me show you," she whispered, her pupils dilating slightly once she took notice of Narcissa's white, lace panties. She licked her bottom lip, before she leaned in, kissing Narcissa's thigh gently, like she was worth her weight in gold.

"With sex." It wasn't a question; more of a disappointed statement. Bellatrix looked up at her, identical brown eyes boring into one another.

"It's the only way I know how," she admitted quietly. Narcissa bit her lip, upset, but she knew it was the truth. She couldn't fault her for the truth, but she couldn't help being upset over it.

"I know…" she whispered softly.

Narcissa meant to push her away then, to tell her no, sex wasn't enough even though it was all Bellatrix knew how to give, but when her sister's hand slid her panties to the side and her tongue got lost in her folds, Narcissa forgot how to breathe. Her eyes fluttered closed automatically and her hand raked through Bellatrix's curls, whimpering softly in encouragement.

Sometimes she didn't know why she bothered pretending that they would never have sex again. It seemed every time one of them said that, they ended up doing it shortly afterward. Maybe they just needed to say it out loud; confirm that they knew what they were doing was wrong, but it didn't change anything.

And honestly, Narcissa wasn't sure it ever would. Even though she didn't feel like what Bellatrix could give her was enough, she also didn't think she'd ever be able to give up what little she got either.


*Chapter 35*: Chapter Thirty Five

A/N: I have a tumblr now! ;D "obsessionisthenewblack" – follow me. /shameless attempt to gain minions


"Suck it in!"

"Bella, I can't; I think I'm going to be—" But Narcissa didn't get to finish her sentence. The overwhelming urge to vomit made itself presentable and she shoved her sister away from her before making a beeline into the bathroom.

It was Christmas Eve, the day of the engagement party. Bellatrix was trying to help Narcissa pick out a suitable dress, but it was proving to be rather difficult. She found she was too bloated to fit into most of her things, so Bellatrix decided using a corset would have to suffice; that way she could easily be slimmed down to fit into anything. However, tightening the strings seemed to upset Narcissa's stomach in some way and, well, now she was becoming intimately familiar with the porcelain bowl. Again.

As she got up and headed over to the sink, groaning about her predicament, Bellatrix looked at her in worry. "Are you alright? You've been sick off and on for days."

Narcissa washed her mouth out before she answered in a shaky voice, "I'm fine, I'm just… I'm nervous, I think. I've never really had a big party in my honor before." She tried to brush it off, but the truth was, she was worried as well. She was praying she was bloated right now because she was about to start her period, but the truth was, it was over a week late already. That terrified her.

Narcissa dried her mouth with a towel while her sister continued to stare at her. "It's more than that, Cissy. Come here; let me feel your head."

"I'm fine," Narcissa tried to protest, but Bellatrix walked up to her and pressed her palm to her forehead. A confused look washed over her face before she put her hand back down.

"You feel alright."

"I told you. I think it's just nerves, don't worry about it," Narcissa dismissed, giving her a small smile like her worrying was adorable. It kind of was, in a way. There were times, few and far between, that Bellatrix pried her head out of her own arse and saw something in front of her that wasn't about herself.

"No, something's wrong. No one throws up like that, especially not over the course of a few days, without there being something wrong," Bellatrix told her sternly. She pressed the back of her hand to Narcissa's head, then her cheek as she looked at her with concern. "Hold on, I'll be back."


But it was of no use. Bellatrix left the bathroom and went down the hall, leaving Narcissa leaning against the sink. "Shit," she swore under her breath. She really didn't want to tell Bellatrix what was going on; she'd probably try to castrate Lucius, if not something far worse.

Narcissa was just as scared to tell her sister she had lost her virginity, as she was to tell her that there was the possibility she could be pregnant. Maybe it was stupid, but it felt like a betrayal to her in a way. Even though Bellatrix always said she didn't want to be the one to take her chastity, Narcissa spent most of her life believing she would be the one who would. It was just strange; Lucius having a part of her that Bellatrix could never touch. It wasn't something that she was used to and it made her feel a little… torn.

Narcissa made her way back into her bedroom, tearing off the half-undone corset and throwing it to the ground in a huff. She had no idea how she was to manage wearing anything nice when nothing would fit. It probably also didn't help that since she had started eating relatively normally again that she was gaining weight. She knew when she stopped in Diagon Alley yesterday to get her sister's money that she should have bought a new dress, but somehow being tens of thousands of galleons lighter kind of ruined her shopping mood.

Narcissa didn't want to risk Bellatrix finding out about Andromeda blackmailing her, so she took it all from her account. Granted, in light of marrying Lucius, who also came from a wealthy family, it wouldn't hurt her to lose it. However, it did make her a tad more paranoid when it came to spending her money, which apparently was an awful decision seeing as now she had nothing to wear.

Bellatrix came back in the room with a potion in her hands, but stopped dead when she saw Narcissa sitting on her bed with nothing but her panties on. "Christ, Cissy, the door is open! What if Rodolphus walked by!" She shot her a glare as she quickly closed the door behind her, practically flattening herself against it.

"I thought he wasn't home," Narcissa replied apologetically. "He's been going out of his way to avoid us lately."

"Yeah, well, he's a fucking prat," Bellatrix replied, pushing herself off the door to cross the room. "Yesterday he actually had the nerve to lecture me about being homosexual; telling me it's a sin, like I didn't know that already, or actually cared. I told him that last I checked, adultery was too, so he dropped it pretty quickly. It's still bloody irritating though." She sighed, sitting on the bed next to Narcissa. Her fingers idly played with the cork in the potion bottle.

Narcissa looked down, feeling guilty for having upset their marriage. Not that it was a great one to begin with, but they used to get along relatively well. "I'm sorry… about everything."

"Why? It's not your fault."

Narcissa said nothing, since she didn't want Bellatrix to find out that it actually was her fault. Instead she changed the subject. "What's that?" she asked, looking at the potion in her sister's hand.

"This," Bellatrix started, pausing for dramatic effect, "is something one of the nurses at St. Mungo's gave me. Apparently it can tell you exactly what you're sick with about seventy-five percent of the time. She gave it to me before I was diagnosed. She thought that when I came in all crazed that I had perhaps acquired some kind of foreign disease on my honeymoon that caused me to go… well, bat shit nuts. However, this only diagnoses physical illness, not mental illness, hence why it didn't work for me."

"Is that why it's only seventy-five percent correct?" Narcissa asked, looking at it wearily. She didn't know if pregnancy fell under physical illness; it wasn't exactly an illness, after all.

"I don't know, honesty; she said it was still in testing and can be temperamental. But it's worth a shot; if it works your hands will glow a certain color, I guess. Here," she said, holding it out to her. "All you need is a sip."

"I don't know…" Narcissa looked at it warily, not exactly up for playing the odds. "It could be dangerous."

"Of for fuck's sake, Cissy; the Healers wouldn't have given it to me if it were dangerous."

"They gave you those potions for your condition before and they ended up being dangerous!" Narcissa countered. Bellatrix stumbled over her answer.

"Well… well, the potion wasn't perfected yet; I knew that before I took it."

"And you said this potion was also in testing, did you not?"

Bellatrix just stared at her, clearly not having a good argument for that. She huffed in aggravation. "Come on, what's the worst that could happen? Really, either it works or it doesn't, and we need to figure out what's wrong with you so I can get you some proper medicine and then maybe we could squeeze you into your corset without you vomiting all over the place." She shoved the potion in Narcissa's face. "Now come on, you're wasting time and we have to be at the Malfoy's in two hours."

"I don't think—"

"Don't make me force it down your throat."

Narcissa glared at her, not exactly thrilled with being threatened into it, but she also knew her sister; she would very well force it down her throat if it came to it. So she hesitantly took the potion in her hand, uncorked it, and prayed to anyone who was listening that she wasn't pregnant. She didn't know if they were listening, but Bellatrix was staring at her intently so she finally tipped it up to her lips, taking a hesitant sip.

Nothing happened and she handed the potion back to Bellatrix.

"See, I told you, it was just nerves—" But she was cut off as all of a sudden her hands started glowing this eerie light blue color. Narcissa gave a start, finding it incredibly disconcerting. "Oh god, this doesn't last long, does it?" she asked. She couldn't go to the Malfoy's with blue hands!

"I think only a couple minutes, hold on," Bellatrix replied, taking a piece of parchment out of her robe. She unfolded it and began to scan its contents.

"What's that?"

"The guide, Cissy," Bellatrix answered, like she was being thick. "You didn't think I'd have to guess what the color meant, did you?"

Narcissa nervously drummed her fingers on her leg, her heart thumping in her chest the longer it took her sister to go over the very long list. She was nervous, terrified, and impatient. "I swear, it's probably just going to say it's due to nerves, or perhaps even just gas bubbles, and you're going to look so stupid…"

"Shut up. You—" But Bellatrix stopped mid-sentence, looking from the paper to her with a look of absolute astonishment. Before Narcissa could ask, an angry look fell over Bellatrix's expression and she threw the piece of paper at her violently before getting up and striding from the room. The door slammed behind her and the walls shook, causing Narcissa to jump.

"Shit," Narcissa swore, grabbing the list frantically. She knew in her gut what it was before her eyes even scanned over the list. But there it was, in black and white:

Light Blue – Pregnant.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck!" Narcissa screamed, throwing the parchment to the ground as she started to break down. She was shaking, tears were welling up in her eyes, and all she wanted to do was curl into a ball and just die. This couldn't be happening, it just couldn't!

Lucius was going to kill her. Her sister was going to kill her. The entirety of the pureblooded elitists were going to look down at her, laugh at her, think her nothing but a harlot. She was going to be ruined. She couldn't have a baby; she hadn't even finished her schooling yet!

Narcissa didn't know how long she had been in a ball on her bed, curled up as she shook and cried, but finally her door flew open, being kicked in by Bellatrix. Narcissa jumped and whimpered, knowing she wasn't in the frame of mind to deal with this right now. She buried her face in her pillow, clutching the sheets in her hand, and sobbed.

"How could you not tell me?" Bellatrix shrieked. "And are you that bloody thick that you didn't think to use protection? You're such a fucking idiot, aren't you?"

Narcissa buried her head further in her pillow, wishing she could just disappear. She was shaking from head to toe and her sister wasn't helping. Her fingers gripped the sheets so hard that they hurt and she tried, unsuccessfully, to make herself smaller by curling herself up even tighter.

The door slammed again, making Narcissa wonder if Bellatrix had decided to just let her be. But then she heard the unmistakable sound of deep breaths and Narcissa attempted to quiet herself a little, trying to hear better. Was her sister trying to calm herself down? She never did that. She rolled over, sniffling slightly. She was surprised to see her sister standing there with her eyes closed, breathing deeply as her fingers continued to extend and contract, like she was debating on strangling her but trying to suppress the urge. Narcissa continued to lie there silently, wrapping her arms around herself to try to at least seem a little more put together than she was.

It took a while, but finally Bellatrix opened her eyes and looked at her. "Okay," she started, clearly forcing herself to be calm. "I am trying, really fucking hard here, not to kill you. So I'm going to stand over here for a moment and try to make sense of the fact that you knew you could be pregnant, yet decided not to bloody share that with me for whatever God-forsaken reason."

"I was scared," Narcissa whispered, looking at her sister warily. A tear slipped down her cheek. "It… it just happened. We weren't thinking—"

"Clearly," Bellatrix interrupted, voice dangerously low. Narcissa swallowed hard. "When the hell did this happen?"

"About… about three weeks ago…"

"Great," Bellatrix responded dryly. "Just fucking…great. My little sister is pregnant at fifteen. Do you even realize what could happen if people found out? Do you even fucking get it?"

"Why the hell do you think I'm crying?" Narcissa exclaimed, sniffling as she wiped violently at her tears. "I didn't want this, I didn't think… I had hoped that because it was only once…"

"It only takes once!" Bellatrix shouted, making Narcissa choke back a sob and hold herself tighter. "It is Lucius', right? 'Cause if it's not—"

"Of course it is!" Narcissa exclaimed, offended that her sister thought she was that much of a harlot that she'd sleep with the first willing man. She really should know better. She was supposed to wait until she was married. Then again, she was supposed to do a lot of things in her life, like not sleep with her bloody sister, that she didn't uphold.

She was an awful human being.

Bellatrix took a step towards her and Narcissa shrank back, a little afraid. Bellatrix halted for a moment, taking note of her reaction. "Relax, I'm not going to hurt you. I want to, but I won't. You said you wanted all the shit to stop with us, so I'm sodding trying, even though I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to destroy the goddamn living room later just to feel better." Her right hand twitched, her wand hand, which didn't exactly fill Narcissa with rainbows and butterflies. "...I can't believe you fucking did this."

Narcissa looked away in shame.

Bellatrix crossed the remaining distance between them, ushering Narcissa to move over with her hands. Narcissa complied, though wearily. When Bellatrix lay down next to her and took her into her arms, Narcissa began to sob uncontrollably; both at the gesture, and because of the situation.

"Shh, love…" Bellatrix hushed, holding her tight. She kissed the top of her head before burying her face in her hair. "It'll be alright, I promise."

There were some things Narcissa had come to expect from her sister and kindness was not among them. She expected for a revelation like this to tear them apart, but apparently Bellatrix took what she said to heart. She was trying to make their relationship better. Narcissa didn't know why, perhaps her sister knew she couldn't live without her, but it didn't matter. Right now, this was what she needed; Narcissa needed the woman she loved to tell her it was going to be all right, even if it was a lie.

"Do you… hate… me…?" Narcissa asked through her sobs, her voice muffled from being buried in Bellatrix's bosom. Her hands held tightly to Bellatrix's robes, fearful of her answer.

"No," Bellatrix told her softly. "I'm just really, really pissed off." She let Narcissa cry on her, stroking her hair gently. The two sisters were silent for a little while until Bellatrix promised her, "Tomorrow I'll purchase a potion that will get rid of it; no one will have to know."

Narcissa stiffened in her arms, looking up at her. The look on her face seemed to give Bellatrix some kind of silent response.

"What? You didn't think you would be able to keep it, did you? You can't have a child out of wedlock, Cissy; you'll be ruined."

"I… no, I know, I just… it's…"still her baby, though. Narcissa knew she couldn't keep it, but that didn't change the fact that her child was growing inside of her right now. Her child. Something she was supposed to love, something she was supposed to take care of… not kill. The thought of destroying something so pure, so innocent, tore her to shreds inside and she buried her head in Bellatrix's breasts again, sobbing.

Bellatrix sighed softly, brushing the hair away from Narcissa's forehead. "You'll have another," she promised, "when it's time. Okay? But you can't… you can't have this one. It wouldn't be worth it, believe me."

Narcissa knew that, but it didn't make her feel any better.

It took a while for Bellatrix to calm Narcissa down to a state where she could breathe without any trouble, but once she did she made quick work of dressing her; making her presentable for the party. She warned Narcissa to act as if nothing was wrong, because if she spoke with Lucius about what happened and someone overheard, it could be the end of both of them, even if they did get rid of the pregnancy.

The corset was uncomfortable and made it difficult for her to sit down without looking incredibly awkward, but seeing as nothing fit without it, it was necessary. She just wished they made it easier to breathe in these things, because as it stood, she was already nervous. If anything strenuous happened, she would probably pass out.

That would be terribly embarrassing.

They chose not to apparate due to Narcissa's temperamental stomach and Rodolphus complained when he realized they were going to go there by broom, since apparently he was not only frugal, but impatient as well. Bellatrix told him to "shut his fucking mouth" and "think of someone other than himself for once," which prompted them to bicker nearly the whole way there. Really, in all, it was not a fun trip.

They stopped their quarreling when they landed though, slipping into their façade so quickly it was like second nature. They were poised and tightlipped; arms linked together as Narcissa nervously pushed the doorbell. The house elf answered it, squeaking excitedly when he was met by Narcissa. "Lady Black has arrived!" it announced, scurrying away once Abraxas Malfoy came to the door to greet her.

Abraxas Malfoy had always been a frightening man, but he seemed even more so at the moment. He stood nearly six and a half feet tall, long blonde hair flowing down his back. He wore dress robes far past his time, yet instead of appearing silly it made him look far, far more intimidating than usual. His cane, though used primarily for walking due to the limp in his right leg, looked like it could double as a weapon and Narcissa gulped. He peered down at her, looking like he was judging her every move, every thought, every breath.

"Master Malfoy," she greeted, her voice shaking slightly as she curtseyed in front of him politely. She blushed foolishly, hoping her shame didn't show through.

"Narcissa," he greeted with a gruff tone. He barely gave her a second glance before his eyes swept behind her, taking in Bellatrix and Rodolphus. "Master and Madame Lestrange, it's… so good to see you." It sounded forced and judgmental, but then again, such was the air in most elitist conversations. "Come in," he offered, stepping aside to let them pass.

Narcissa practically scurried in, not wanting to be in his presence any longer than needed. When she entered the ballroom, she spotted Lucius immediately and made her way over to him. When he took sight of her he smiled wide, which made her heart beat nervously in her chest. She forced a smile in return after he had kissed her on the cheek. "You look lovely," he told her. His eyes landed on the emerald necklace he had given her, brushing his hand across it, then over her shoulder. "Did I not say that would be beautiful on you?"

"It's gorgeous, yes," Narcissa replied, hoping she wasn't fidgeting in nervousness as much as she thought she was. "Thank you, again. You're very kind to me." It was odd, being so forcefully formal to one another. It was also hard. Even the mere mention of Lucius' kindness made Narcissa choke up slightly, feeling awful that she couldn't tell him about their baby; feeling awful that she was going to have to kill it before even consulting with him.

Lucius seemed to take notice of her distress. "Are you alright?" he asked in a hushed whisper, taking Narcissa's elbow lightly in his hand to guide her away from the other guests.

"Yes, of course," she stuttered, forcing a smile. "I'm just… overwhelmed, is all." She nervously fiddled with the engagement ring on her finger, twisting it back and forth to try to distract herself. She looked around, so she didn't have to look at him. "There are so many people here…"

"Narcissa," he prodded gently, knowing she was avoiding. "What is it?"

"There's the husband-to-be!"

Both Lucius and Narcissa turned to see Bellatrix come up to them, arms outstretched like she was actually going to… Good lord, she actually did hug him. It was forced and awkward, but there it was in front of her eyes: her sister and her fiancé embracing. Rodolphus straggled along behind, looking quite amused at Bellatrix's forced display of familial bonding.

"As Narcissa's legal guardian, there are some things I'd like to discuss with you before the big day. Will you…?" Her tone didn't exactly leave much choice in the matter and Lucius shot Narcissa a helpless look before he was led away into the hall by Bellatrix.

Narcissa moved to go after them, but was halted by Rodolphus. "I wouldn't, if I were you," he murmured, careful not to be overheard.

Narcissa shot him a scathing look. "You don't understand—"

"I do, actually," he responded, his eyes landing on her stomach. His lip turned up in distaste and Narcissa flushed in angry embarrassment.

"She told you?" she asked in a heated whisper, astounded.

"You know my secrets," Rodolphus answered shortly. "I find it only fair that I know yours. Besides, it's impossible to bury our family's indiscretions unless we know about them. Be thankful I'm helping you."

"Helping me?" Narcissa hissed, furious. "How? By humiliating me while my sister is off removing my fiancé's bollocks?"

"Keep your voice down, you foolish girl," Rodolphus whispered, looking around to make sure they hadn't caught the attention of any guests. When he found they hadn't, he turned back to her. "If you must know, Abraxas Malfoy has already asked what I think about you. He doesn't waste any time, that man. He wanted to know if I thought you would make a good wife."

Narcissa stared at him. "And you said…?"

"That you would make a wonderful wife, of course." He turned away from her then and smirked, voice low, "But I do think that's a load of rubbish. You'll be as good as Bellatrix is; all façade on the outside, while behind closed doors you'll be just as much of a filthy sinner."

Narcissa wanted to punch him. She refrained, but only with intense difficulty. Rodolphus had always been so polite to her up until the night he found out Bellatrix's sexual preference, but that had nothing to do with her! Well, nothing that he knew of, anyway. Besides, Narcissa did nothing but try to help him figure out a way to deal with his wife when she couldn't be around. She didn't understand why he was being such a complete and utter arse now.

"Best not call the kettle black, Rodolphus," Narcissa replied shortly, making sure to keep her voice low. "You may just end up looking like an ignorant bastard." She gave him a sidelong glance. "If you don't already."

Rodolphus merely chuckled at her insult, it did not faze him in the slightest. "There are different degrees of sin, Narcissa."

"Look," Narcissa started, getting fed up by his attitude. She leaned in closer, keeping her voice down. "Contrary to what you may believe, I am not my sister. I don't know what you think I've done, but I can assure you it's not enough to warrant this kind of attitude. I was trying to help you, Rodolphus."

"I'm sure."

"You know what? I don't have time for this," Narcissa whispered heatedly before she gave him a curt smile, turning around to find out where her sister and her fiancé went. She rounded the corner, making her way down the hall and checking in every room along the way. She stopped mid-stride however when she noticed her sister exiting the bathroom, a dangerous look in her eye.

"Bella…?" Narcissa asked, fearful of what she did to Lucius.

"He's in one piece," she answered flatly before she brushed past her, not even sparing her another glance before she rejoined the guests in the ballroom. Narcissa blinked as she hesitated, not expecting that much of a dismissal. But she quickly kicked herself into gear and rushed into the bathroom, looking for her fiancé.

"Lucius?" He was rubbing his throat, looking a little pained. "Oh God, what did she do? Are you alright?"

"What the hell is going on, Narcissa?" Lucius asked accusingly. But he paused, moving for a moment to close the door behind them so they weren't overheard. He rounded on her. "Your sister practically attacked me, spewing all sorts of threats like I had done something horrible to you. What the bloody hell happened?"

"I… it's nothing, she's just… like that," Narcissa replied weakly. "I'm so sorry, let me look at that…" But Lucius pushed her hands away, not welcoming her care.

"You're lying to me."

Narcissa withdrew her hand, hurt that he would dismiss her. She looked down at the ground. "I swear, it's nothing—"

"Swear on your sister's life it's nothing."

Narcissa bit her bottom lip hard, looking away from him. She struggled to keep her emotions under control, which also meant she replied to him with nothing but silence.

"I knew you couldn't do that," Lucius replied, staring her down. "For the love of God, Narcissa, just tell me!"

"I-It's nothing to worry about; the problem will cease to exist by tomorrow anyway, I swear. Just don't… we can't talk about it here, okay?" Narcissa begged softly. "But I'm taking care of it. You don't need to be involved." She wouldn't look at him the entire time she spoke; apparently that in and of itself spoke volumes to Lucius.

He stared at her like… like she was something new; something different.

"Is it…?" he asked, trailing off like he wasn't sure if he should voice it out loud. Narcissa was thankful he didn't. "Your sister told me to cover my cock, but I didn't… I didn't think that…" He took a step towards her, placing his hands on her arms delicately. "Narcissa?" he prodded gently.

"I can't… I can't say anything. If someone were to…" but she couldn't finish her sentence. She got choked up and looked down at her shoes, trying desperately not to cry so as not to ruin her makeup. Lucius looked down at her sympathetically, putting his knuckle under her chin to encourage her to look up at him.

"Hey," he prodded softly. "In a way this is a good thing, don't you think? It proves we're able to have… well, you know." He didn't say it either, knowing that even though there was a small chance of them being overhead inside this tiny bathroom, it was still a chance. "I know how much you've always wanted them. You should be happy."

"Happy I'm about to destroy it?" Narcissa whispered, distress written all over her face. "I'll never be happy about that, Lucius. I don't know how I'm going to stand it…"

"Shh," he whispered, cupping her cheek in his hand. He leaned in and kissed her on the forehead. "I know it'll be difficult, but it's for the best. You know that." Narcissa did know that, but shook her head violently anyway. She choked back a sob and Lucius wrapped her up in his arms, quietly shushing her. "Come on, you have to calm down. We have guests to entertain. Please, for a couple hours, try to push it out of your mind."

It was so easy for him to say: Push it out of your mind. He wasn't the one that would have to look upon the remnants of their dead child come tomorrow. He wasn't the one that had to deal with the emotional impact this would have on her. She was forever going to mourn the loss of this child and yet Lucius could stand there and talk about it like it was… like it was a bloody test run; like it's life was of no importance in the long haul. But wasn't every life important?

It was hard, it was so hard, putting on a brave face and making it through the rest of the evening. But Narcissa did as she was expected; she chatted up the other socialites, making sure to drop the hint to the right people that Lucius was interested in a Ministry position once he graduated. She laughed at the jokes that fell flat, gossiped with the women, and flattered the men. It was surprisingly less difficult than she originally anticipated. It was all so fake that it was like rehearsing lines from a script.

Narcissa upheld her dignity and honor, like a proper woman should, and then she cried herself to sleep, hoping that the events of tomorrow wouldn't damage her forever.


*Chapter 36*: Chapter Thirty Six

A/N: Again, thank you to everyone who's been reviewing! Also thank you to the people who came and said hi to me on tumblr; I heart you ;D I think you guys know by now I'm shit when it comes to answering reviews (unless it's a question), but for some reason I don't have that issue with my ask box? Idk why xD But anyway, it's been nice to be able to talk to you guys :) /end stupid ramble lol


"I don't think I can do this."

Narcissa was staring at the potion Bellatrix got her. It was sitting on her bedside table, looking entirely less threatening than it really was. Her sister was behind her, legs spread on either side of Narcissa's body, with her arms wrapped around her torso as she leaned her chin on her shoulder, looking at the potion as well.

"It'll just be like having your period," Bellatrix told her softly.

"I very much doubt that."

Bellatrix took a breath, leaning back a little so one of her hands could come up and stroke her hair. "It won't be as horrible as you're imagining, Cissy. If you go by your last period, your baby is only five weeks along; if anything, you may pass a tiny clot, that's it. This potion works like a sped-up version of a miscarriage though, so there will probably be a fair amount of cramping involved, but it's not like you'll see a dead baby fall out of you."

"Even if it's just blood, it'll still be my baby," Narcissa responded softly. "It doesn't matter what it looks like; I'll still know what it is." She sighed miserably, shaking her head. "Why do we have to do this on Christmas?"

"Because the sooner we take care of it, the better," Bellatrix replied. "Besides, you'll be going back to Hogwarts in a couple days; I don't know how long the pain is going to last but we should be sure to give it enough time so you don't have to deal with it there."

"But if it's sped up, wouldn't it only last a day?" Narcissa turned her head to look at her older sister, who shrugged.

"I don't know; it's not like I've ever done this."

Bellatrix received no answer from Narcissa so she sighed softly, slipping out from behind her. She grabbed the potion from off the bedside table, handing it to her. "Come on then, the longer you put it off the harder it's going to be."

Narcissa took the potion in her hands, taking a shaky breath. "You'll stay with me?" she asked in a small voice, looking up at her vulnerably. She didn't want to be alone.

"Of course."

Narcissa fiddled with the cork on the bottle, chewing on her bottom lip. Once she took this, it was over. But could she live with the guilt? That was the question. Sure, she would probably have more children down the line, but what about this child? What would this child have turned out to be? It was hard, thinking of the 'what if's.' But the problem was, she knew none of it mattered. She had to do this, whether she wanted to or not. If she didn't, she'd lose Lucius. She'd lose her status. She'd lose the life she had grown accustomed to.

"Why are you being so nice to me?" she asked softly, looking up her sister. "I thought you'd hate me forever, after you found out what I did. But you're being… supportive. I don't understand."

Bellatrix played with the hem of her robes self-consciously. She shrugged, as if to not make a big deal out of it, yet explained, "You're engaged now; properly. If you wanted, you could live with Lucius without anyone batting an eyelash."

"And you don't want me to go," Narcissa finished for her quietly.

"No," Bellatrix confirmed. "I don't. We have two years left together; I want to make the most of it. I don't… I don't want you to leave just because I couldn't stop taking my anger out on you."

"You've always done that."

"Yeah." Bellatrix looked up at her, giving her a half-smile as she let her hand slide through Narcissa's long blonde locks. Her expression quickly turned sad. "I think sometimes it's the only thing I know how to do. You're an easy target… because you love me."

"You know that's horrible, right? That's not what love is about, Bella," Narcissa told her, wishing her heart didn't constrict so hard at the painful truth. She raised her hand up, taking Bellatrix's that was in her hair and bringing it back down to her lap. She squeezed tightly. "Love isn't about pain."

"Everything is about pain," Bellatrix told her honestly. She shook herself out of her dark mood, allowing her voice to grow stronger, yet more neutral as she looked into her eyes. "Besides, there once was a time where you would let me do whatever I wanted; you were extremely submissive. But you're growing up, growing stronger. I've realized you have a limit and I don't really want to reach that."

"I'm still a masochist though," Narcissa replied softly, knowing that much to be true. Bellatrix chuckled lightly.

"Yeah, you are, love. But even masochists have a point where they can't take any more pain."

Narcissa looked up at her curiously. "Do sadists have a point where they can't cause any more pain?" If the other side of the spectrum had a limit, it only stood to reason that people like her would too. She often wondered if there was a line even Bellatrix wouldn't cross.

"I don't know," Bellatrix answered honestly. "But I don't think that point exists with me."

"Yet you're trying to stop."

"For you; out of fear of being alone," Bellatrix replied, brushing her thumb along the back of Narcissa's hand. "I don't think I can survive without you. I wouldn't know how." She smiled at her, albeit a little sadly. "It's always been you, Narcissa. No one else sodding matters but you. The world could burn around us and I would care for no one's screams but yours. I would walk through the fires of Hell to save you from distress."

Narcissa blinked back tears, returning her smile before she leaned in, kissing her softly on the lips. This was the sister that she loved. Even with all the pain, Narcissa knew this side of Bellatrix existed beneath the surface. That was why she couldn't leave her. Not just because they were bound to one another, but because no one else thought of her as their whole world. It was nice to be needed; to be loved, unconditionally.

"I love you, Bella," she whispered as they parted, her fingers brushing a stray curl away from her sister's eyes. She was so beautiful. She let her hand fall back down, allowing her sister to take it in hers once again.

"I love you too."

They were silent for a while, each looking into the other's eyes while their hands lay clasped between them. But the moment couldn't last forever. Bellatrix nodded to the potion. "Take it," she prodded. "Afterwards I'll make you some warm butterbeer and we'll open presents, okay?"

Narcissa exhaled sharply, looking at the tiny bottle in her hand. "I'm scared," she admitted in a whisper.

"I'm right here," Bellatrix told her, moving so she could place her hand on the small on Narcissa's back, rubbing it comfortingly. "I won't let anything bad happen to you. I swear it."

Narcissa knew that, but it was still scary nonetheless. She bit her bottom lip as she popped the cork off the bottle, looking at the dark red potion. It already reminded her of blood and made her a bit queasy, but she gripped Bellatrix's hand tighter, gathering up her courage, before bringing the potion up to her lips. She swallowed the whole thing in one gulp.

She cried out in shock from the sharp pain to her abdomen, dropping the bottle to the floor in order to hold her stomach. She didn't expect it to work instantly. Apparently, neither did Bellatrix.

"Shit! Come on," she encouraged, getting up as she attempted to pull Narcissa to her feet. "We have to get you into the bathroom."

But instead of allowing Bellatrix to help her, another surge of pain seemed to rip through her uterus and she whimpered, using both hands to cradle her abdomen now, desperately trying to stop the pain. "Bella… it hurts…!" she gasped, closing her eyes tightly and groaning as she pitched forward. It felt as if her entire uterus was trying to fall out of her body.

"I know, come on; get up!" Bellatrix exclaimed, seeing a trickle of blood making its way down her sister's leg already. But Narcissa couldn't move due to the pain and Bellatrix had to wrap her arms around her, hoisting her to her feet herself. Narcissa cried out in pain again as the vertigo seemed to only aggravate the pain. "Cissy, you need to walk," Bellatrix encouraged.

"I… can't…"

"Fuck," Bellatrix breathed. She knew she wasn't going to get anywhere this way. So she gathered up her strength and bent down, one arm wrapping around Narcissa's legs while the other was around her waist. She hoisted her into her arms and Narcissa whimpered, hiding her face in her sister's hair as Bellatrix rushed into the bathroom.

Narcissa was placed on the toilet immediately and Bellatrix knelt down, hiking up Narcissa's robes to get to her knickers. She pulled them down and Narcissa could feel the wet material sliding all the way down her legs. When Bellatrix took them from her body they were already covered in blood. She tossed them in the trash before she looked up at her, watching Narcissa continue to hold her stomach in pain and rock back and forth slightly.

"You said it'd be like my period," Narcissa gasped through her pain. "You lied. This is so much worse."

Bellatrix shook her head, "I didn't lie; a miscarriage is like having your period, especially when you're not that far along. But it can last for days… this potion is meant to make everything go much faster. That's why there's more blood; why there's more pain. It's condensed." She looked at her sympathetically. "It'll be over soon, I promise."

Suddenly the sharp pain turned into what could only be described as the menstrual cramps from hell and Narcissa groaned loudly, leaning back and trying to extend her torso for some small hope of relief. But it was rare that there was any position during menstruation that would give relief for more than thirty seconds. This is what drove women crazy; the constant pain. It was so bad now that it felt as if it were spreading down her thighs and she was sure her muscles were about to seize they were throbbing so badly. Narcissa would gladly take back the sharp pains than have this; at least those came in intervals with some pause for minor relief in between. This offered no such comfort.

Narcissa looked down at her legs, curling up her lip in distaste as she realized how gross they were. "God, I'm covered in blood," she groaned.

"It's not that bad," Bellatrix told her, clearly thinking she was being dramatic. She had her hand on her leg, actually touching some of it like it didn't even matter to her. Narcissa didn't know how she could do that without being completely grossed out. "But I'll clean it for you, okay? Just try to… distract yourself from the pain."

Narcissa kind of wanted to punch her for that statement. Distract herself from the pain? How? If she knew how this felt, she'd know it was impossible.

She whimpered again as her sister rose, going over to the sink. She wet a washcloth, washing her soiled hand in the process, before coming back over her. She knelt down before her and began to wipe the blood from Narcissa's thighs.

"I wanted it to be a girl," Narcissa whispered, eyes still closed as she rocked slightly, gripping her abdomen tighter.

"Don't talk about stuff like that," Bellatrix warned, knowing this could be venturing into very damaging territory.

Narcissa ignored her, needing to say this out loud. "I would have named her Aquila…" a small sob escaped her lips, followed by another whimper of pain as what no doubt was a tiny contraction ripped through her body.

"After the constellation?" Bellatrix asked softly as she continued to wipe down Narcissa's thighs. She knew Narcissa wasn't going to stop even though it only stood to make this so much worse. So she indulged her quietly.

"Yeah," Narcissa whispered sadly. "It's the eagle."

"You could still name your next child that, if it turns out to be a girl," Bellatrix offered. Her hand stilled for a moment, before she slid it down creamy skin to wipe away the last bit of blood. "Have you thought of what you wanted to name your boy, should you have one?"

"Draco," Narcissa told her, trying to let the conversation distract her from the pain. "The dragon." She sniffed, opening her eyes to look at her sister. "My girl, she would be untouchable. Far up in the sky where no one can reach; where no one could drag her down. My boy… he would be strong, fierce; a force of nature. Beautiful, yet utterly frightening. Like you."

"The warrior," Bellatrix replied, moving back a little to put the washcloth back in the sink.

"Yes. I want my children to be named from the sky, like you and…" but she paused, not wanting to say their other sister's name. "I like the stars," Narcissa explained instead, gritting her teeth a little to endure another wave of pain. She could feel the blood trickling out of her. "They're forever; immortal."

"You think me immortal, do you?" Bellatrix asked, chuckling a little as she sat cross-legged at Narcissa's feet once more. She found that Narcissa cried out less when she was talking; the distraction was working, no matter how damaging it may prove to be in the long run.

"As opposed to me, yes," Narcissa replied softly, closing her eyes again tightly to try to withstand another small contraction. "I'm doomed to starve to death, enamored by my own reflection."

"They're just names, Narcissa. Besides, I hardly think you'll fall so deeply in love with your own reflection that you forget to eat and die."

"You forget I see my reflection through the eyes of an anorexic," Narcissa replied, pausing a moment to whimper slightly as she rocked forward. "When I look in the mirror I don't see who I am, but what I desire."

"And what do you desire, love?"

Narcissa opened her eyes to look at her before she whispered, "You."

Bellatrix raised her eyebrows, sliding her hands across her thighs comfortingly as she watched her sister cry out in pain again, breathing heavily to try to diminish it in any way she could. "You don't want to become me, Cissy. That's probably the worst thing you could ever do."

"You misunderstand," Narcissa gasped, lurching forward again as she grabbed for her sister's hand, holding it tightly. "I see you as a mirror image of myself; dark, where I am light. Sadist, where I am masochist. Strong, where I am weak—"

"You're not weak."

"—The mirror doesn't have to be literal, Bella. It doesn't have to be a reflection of myself, but merely different sides of the coin. It's the same in its entirety; but looked at from a different point of view, something else completely."

"I don't understand."

Narcissa didn't want her to, so she didn't explain. Names might just be names, but Narcissa felt they held a certain power. Bellatrix was a warrior, in every sense of the word. And Narcissa would fall in love with her own reflection, with what she saw in her mirror: Bellatrix, the other side of her coin, and in the end it would kill her. She had no doubt of that. It was only when and how that was in question. But there was something comforting in knowing what would kill you, as it was the question itself that most people feared.

"Ow, ow! Bella!" she exclaimed suddenly as another sharp pain ripped thro