A/N: 200-word drabble for Writing Challenge #15, "Request Challenge." My prompt was "fragile, crystal, chandelier." This takes place shortly after the Azkaban breakout and before the Department of Mysteries fiasco, in case that's not clear. I'm assuming that Bellatrix and Rodolphus stayed with the Malfoys after they escaped Azkaban.


Fragile

Fourteen years. Fourteen years she's been locked away, caged, twelve paces by twelve paces, she's counted hundreds of times, every day almost, telling herself the walls are not closing in on her, they're not, they're not.

Malfoy Manor is almost disgusting in its grandeur. Marble fireplaces, white peacocks, crystal chandeliers. Narcissa has done well for herself, these fourteen years.

Bellatrix stares at the chandelier and wills it to fall, to crush this clean pure perfection that belongs to Narcissa. It's too quiet here, after fourteen years of screaming.

One day, sick of Lucius's stoicism and Narcissa's grace, sick of Rodolphus's silence, she does it. The chandelier falls and shatters, fragments of glass burying themselves in lush carpets, scratching gilt mirrors, pricking Bella's skin.

They come running, come to look, to gape at Bella standing at the foot of the stairs, ruined crystal all around her. She's laughing now, she realizes, though she doesn't know why or when or how to stop.

She stops, somehow.

Lucius Stunned her, Narcissa says later, her voice soothing, quiet, worried. And Bella is angry then, angrier than she was before, because Narcissa is still the youngest, the baby, but Narcissa isn't the fragile one anymore.


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