Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns everything. Damn….
Many thanks to my lovely beta reader Lia (Jacalyn Hyde) and to Sarah (xoxlewrahxox ), Elo (Victory87), Az (Inkfire), Em (cressey ) , Hannah (Xx starlight-moon xX) and all the other people off Sarah's forum who have provided me with much encouragement and laughs. I love you all. Also Taylor (Bellastrange51), for you baby.
See my profile for a link to the cross stitch picture.
Constructive critism welcome, please
1972. Lestrange Manor.
Sighing, Bellatrix lay down on her bed. She had just taken a shower and shaved her legs and she was wearing the black lacy nightdress that her husband Rodolphus had given her (along with many other expensive gifts, she would hasten to add) for their second wedding anniversary, which had coincided with her twenty-first birthday. She sat up and sighed again. It was ten PM and her husband was out. He had been out for quite a while now and the enjoyment of having some time to herself was beginning to wear off.
It was as if she was realising that her life was actually a life for the first time. Through her teenage years, it had been one party or ball after another and the only real stress in her life was making sure she didn't wear the same dress twice. She had been brought up believing that the only job she should be doing when she was older was bringing up pureblood children, so why should her exam results matter?Looking back, she did wished she had tried harder at her exams. Whilst at school, she knew that top-grades were not what was going to make her parents proud of her. If she was male, she knew she would be expected to do well, but being female meant only one thing in the pureblood world. Whilst at Hogwarts, the balls and other social events, and pleasing her family were her top priorities. Now, she feeling the faintest twinge of regret, as she had no job or school work to fill her day. She knew that even if she got top grades she'd never be allowed to work – it was a sign of extreme wealth to be able to not work and still afford all the designer clothing abroad and the multiple houses with extended grounds doted around the globe.
After she became engaged to Rodolphus when they were both sixteen, there had been countless dinners with both their families getting to know each other. They had married at nineteen, a relatively old age for marriage compared to their parents. Bellatrix was completely horrified to learn that her parents had married at seventeen. She didn't really know why, but the thought of her parents being married so young, horrified her. Probably, she thought to herself, it was a near miss that she hadn't been conceived in the Slytherin dormitories; by about a month, actually. She had to admit to herself, it would be fitting if that had actually happened though.
Bellatrix and Rodolphus' honeymoon had been particularly long thanks to the wealth of both their families. But, after two years of marriage and four years out of school, the freedom of being without Hogwarts' strict timetable was getting less enjoyable; Bellatrix was bored and beginning to wish she had more excitement in her life.
Her little sister Narcissa was in her last year at Hogwarts, with all the benefits of having endless balls held both at school and in the pureblood society outside of it. With the blood traitor trash of her other sis – no! Bellatrix couldn't think that word anymore, she couldn't admit she was related to her.
Bellatrix had heard along the grapevine that the blood traitor had completed its first year of healer training, though apparently it had to take a year out before staring the second year of the three year course, due to the fact it was expecting a half-blood thing shortly after its twentieth birthday. It or blood-traitor was how Bellatrix had reduced herself to thinking of Andromeda, her once so beloved sister.
Bellatrix, being so lost in her thoughts, hadn't realised that the front door had swung open. She only noticed that her husband was now home when the door slammed shut. She could tell Rodolphus was in a bad mood and assumed that it was from losing the poker game he and his colleagues from the Ministry (who he hadn't introduced Bellatrix to yet) had been having down at the bar. Rodolphus swung out at something, punching the first thing that came in contact with his fist. The glass of the picture frame shattered easily, shards of glass falling everywhere.
Bellatrix startled at the smashing noise, jumped, clambered off the bed, and rushed down the stairs, to where her husband stood. In his temper, he couldn't even remember walking from the front door to the living room. He turned around to find himself nose-to-nose with his equally bad-tempered wife.
"What the bloody hell happened here?" Shrieked Bellatrix, pointing to the smashed frame that was now on the floor. She knew perfectly well what happened, but wanted to make sure her husband understood the consequences of his actions. Not to do so, would just be bad parenting, after all.
Rodolphus took a step backwards. Having his tiny wife scream at him was proving better at sobering him up than punching the picture frame had been. (He had actually been aiming at the wall anyway).
"I don't care how many fucking galleons you lost whilst at the bar, that doesn't give you any excuse to trash my picture". Bellatrix's voice had gone deadly quiet and low. Rodolphus barely blinked before he saw Bellatrix on her hands and knees trying to pick up all the shards of broken glass, which was proving difficult, as some of the tinier pieces could barely be seen. "Bloody hell Lestrange, you should be so glad that I actually want a baby! Because if I didn't I'd be eating your…" she gave an obviously fake cough before continuing "Family heirlooms for breakfast."
She brushed her hair out of her eyes before continuing to pick up pieces of glass. "Don't just stand there!" Commanded Bellatrix. "Help me pick up pieces, seeing as you fucking broke it!"
Rodolphus dared to question, "Why?"
"Because," Bella scowled, as if explaining this to a little child. "The Repairo charm won't work if all the pieces of glass aren't here… and because you broke it," she added as an after thought.
"Then why don't you just get a new photo frame?" Rodolphus barely heard the response. He was thinking about how his wife, with the Victorian gothic dress sense, feisty and, quite frankly, scary personality could ever want a baby or the cross-stitch picture of cartoon elephants the shattered frame had held.
Noticing the look on her husband's face, which clearly stated that he wasn't paying attention, Bellatrix started poking Rodolphus in the chest. Rather painfully, Rodolphus might add. "Well, obviously, if you don't even listen to my explanation, you can pick up all the pieces by yourself."
Spilt seconds after Rodolphus smugly thought to use the summoning charm, Bellatrix reached over and took his wand from the inside pocket of his pinstriped blazer. She then went to sit on the red cushioned sofa, which has a black frame and arms. She crossed her legs and settled down to enjoy the show of her husband rooting on the floor trying to find the pieces.
Finally, after about fifteen minutes, Rodolphus had managed to manually find all the pieces of glass. He placed them on the picture so Bellatrix could fix it.
"Repairo!" The picture frame fixed itself. Rodolphus only dared to sit next to his wife after the frame was repaired. If the picture frame hadn't been able to be fixed due to one tiny piece of glass not being found, he knew Bellatrix would have no hesitation in carrying out her earlier threat, regardless of her wanting children. She probably would do it and then blame him for not being able to reproduce.
Bellatrix snuggled up to her husband and put her head on his chest, with the picture still resting on her knees. Rodolphus kissed her forehead before asking, "It's only a picture. Why all the fuss? I would have bought you a new frame."
"I know you would have," replied Bellatrix. "… Because I would of made you," she continued. "But this picture, include the frame, is really, really special to me." Nope, not even after being made to pick up all the shards of glass manually, could Rodolphus believe that these words were coming from his wife's mouth. He knew Bellatrix had a temper, in fact, at Hogwarts whenever someone threw a hissy fit, instead of saying, 'oh Person A threw a hissy fit,' it was, 'oh Person A threw a Bellatrix'. But Rodolphus could never have imagined that he'd be at the end of this temper just because he broke the glass in a picture frame of a cross-stitch picture of cute, dinky little elephants. He couldn't bear to imagine the temper tantrum she would throw if she ever found out that the 'colleagues from the job at the Ministry' that he had been meeting at the bar were actually Death Eaters.
"So," he inquired, stroking her hair and kissing her forehead again. "Are you actually going to tell me why this is so important?"
"Because," Bellatrix sighed. "My mother made this for me."
"If I correctly recall, my love, she did a lot of other ones for you too," put in Rodolphus.
Bellatrix brought the picture up so that they could both see it properly. "She did," she replied, surprised Rodolphus (or Roddy as she liked to call him – just to wind him up sometimes) had actually remembered. "But this is the only one that all three of us got."
"And?" Rodolphus was now confused – Bellatrix had now gone from really angry to sentimental and he didn't know which mood he preferred. He thought that girls were supposed to grow out of mood-swings when the left their teenage years.
"And ... I don't know, okay? As much as I hate my life sometimes: Andromeda running away, the big upheaval that caused, not doing as well as I wanted on the exams, marriage- you know how much I hate to feel that I'm dependent on you for things, and now Sirius being sorted into Gryffindor, I'm scared he'll do another Andromeda." Whilst saying all this, Bellatrix had moved away from Rodolphus and was now playing with one of her curls.
Rodolphus thought back to the time when Andromeda had first ran off to be with Ted Tonks. Bellatrix swore she would never call her sister by name again, because that would make her seem weak, but he decided he would be a lot safer if he didn't point this out.