Back on the rack
Sunday, July 23 .::. Evening
A flick of the wand, and the dungeon walls revealed their secrets.
Shameful it was, to have to conceal one's work in one's adopted home, but elves were treacherous and sister's choice of friends was at times ... unfortunate. And so Bellatrix worked her webs in secrecy, parceling out the strands to associates with great care.
Luckily there were enough of them that dinner conversation with Narcissa was never difficult — or too revealing.
The Croaker incident, for example. The details of their history were not for sister's ears. Bellatrix was not, of course, in the least ashamed of anything she had done. No. She was only sorry that it had ended so quickly — had not Miss Greengrass been waiting, the piece of filth would be paying still, slowly burning to expiate his crimes. Vengeance doled out patiently, then let to rot.
The broken horror in the man's single eye as the final moments came, the dull rattle his throat managed — sweet memories.
Not enough, in truth. But the world was imperfect, and was ever so.
Now Bellatrix stood and looked over the papers on the walls. Names. Schedules. Bits of routines, carefully observed and confirmed.
A few photographs, with innocent homes on quiet streets. One or two depicted children, who might have been laughing when the image was captured, but now they hid in corners, trying not to see any more of what happened in the room they were in, trying not to look at the woman there with them.
Time was not yet ripe. She was not ready. But Bellatrix did not forget.
Deciding how to go forth with the project would take even longer — the order of payment. The length of time between strikes, carefully random so not to draw undue attention.
Narcissa had exacted a promise — stay out of the public's gaze; stay out of Azkaban.
It still rankled a bit, in truth. What should be done, should be done, and shadows though necessary were not her friends.
However, Bellatrix was learning. Working in concert with her fellow Death Eaters was different from working alone. It was more difficult to see the greater good ... but on the other hand, there was more freedom ...
Do not forget what you are. The cause before all. All else is selfishness.
She pulled back the sleeve of her robe and looked at the faded skull still etched in her flesh. No match for a true Morsmordre. One day it would return. One day. Until then, she was forced to make do with a second-rate imitation. Unsupportable — but necessary.
A chair answered her Summons and Bellatrix sat to begin the night's work. A map of the Hogsmeade Auror station unfurled on the table. Old friend. I do not forget you, either.
And then to the so-very-interesting letter from the herbologist.
So much to do.