A/N: Regulus gets a visitor. cousincest - Bella/Regulus.

Submission for:

Pairing the Character - Drabble Competition: WEEK 6: Regulus Black - Bellatrix Black

Regulus sits on his bed within the Dark Lord's most recent hide-out, watching the flame of the candle dancing before him, staring without truly seeing. His mind is elsewhere, stuck in a moment a few hours earlier, seeing the Dark Lord's cloak glide over the stones from his position on the floor. For some reason, he is still alive, and though at the time, he was simply grateful, now he wonders. Why did the Dark Lord not kill him where he knelt? Is it only a matter of time before his door burst open and a bright green light greets him on the other side?

The door doesn't burst open, but its creaking startles him all the same. He raises his hands, his wand momentarily forgotten on the wooden table by his bed, and closes his eyes in anticipation.

"I'm starting to have second-thoughts," his visitor says coyly.

He opens his eyes at the familiar voice, though he is still cautious. He has always been scared of his older cousin, something he was sure she knew. She wasn't like the girls his mother often tried to pair with at her socials, nor was she like her sisters. His oldest cousin was wilder, coarser, and much more deadly.

"Why- Why are you here?" he asks, his mouth dry and his hand slowly inching towards his wand.

But his cousin notices, her dark eyes watching him. "You think I'm going to hurt you?" Bellatrix asks. "If it weren't for me, you'd be dead right now."

His hand pauses, but he feels more confusion than guilt. "What do you mean?" he asks.

His cousin laughs, a bit too long and a bit too loud. "It's because of me you were even considered to join the Dark Lord's ranks. And after that... fiasco in Derry, I had to step in so the Dark Lord would give you a second chance."

Regulus looks away from his cousin and into the flickering flame. He didn't want to believe her, Bellatrix was always known to be a liar, but it made sense. Besides his name, he wasn't any great wizard - Sirius was always better, even when he didn't try - and the Dark Lord already had a Black in his ranks, the same young woman standing across from him.

He turns to back to his cousin with a hard look, finally understanding why she's here. "So what do you want?" he asks and he gets a wide knowing grin in response. Bella's help always come with a price. Even though she was high in the Dark Lord's favour, it was still a lot to put herself out there for his sake.

She closes the door behind her and with one hand, pushes him onto his back, her other halting his second attempt for his wand. "You will be my personal toy to do with as I please," she whispers. "And you'll do this for as long as I want, or I'll kill you myself."

He begins twisting beneath her, struggling to get from her grasps but her madness has made her surprisingly strong. She leans down into his ear and adds, "You won't survive out there without me, Reggie. If you just submit, I'll protect you from the others."

He freezes, the truth in her words piercing him like a knife. After Derry, he knows there's no way he can do this. The others will eat him alive and there will be no more chances with the Dark Lord. Bellatrix is his guardian, his protector, his saviour from the monsters. She knows them for she is a monster too, but it's better to have a monster on your side. He relaxes as he lets his cousin begin unbuttoning his shirt.