if she didn't walk the way she do,
and she do
She opened strange doors
that we'd never close again
Thursday, April 5 • Night
Bellatrix had struck right after the funeral.
The old woman's death had been much remarked in the loathsome mouthpieces of mediocrity that were the Wizarding world's press. Augusta Longbottom had quite an assemblage at her internment; some mourners moved by sorrow, true, but the less charitable might say the majority of them feared a reproof from the witch even in death.
But there was nothing to fear, Bellatrix knew this — which is why when Neville returned to his flat in mid-afternoon, he'd found her sitting quite openly in his prized leather wingback chair.
Now, two days later, Bellatrix bent carefully over what was left of the youngest Longbottom and brushed a vine away from his face to croon at him: "Sweet kitten. It will all be over soon."
"Soon." Such a relative term, that was. If one had days, if one had perhaps beguiled one's victim with the Imperious Curse to write to his place of work with the news that deep mourning required some few day's of compassionate leave, and if any friends were similarly informed that due to grief he was dealing with family issues and would not be available ... soon could well stretch into a third day.
The greenhouse attached to the kitten's flat had proved to be a perfect spot for play; no need to retire to the more private dungeon back at Malfoy Mansion.
Bellatrix had coaxed Neville's plants to begin to become one with their master, sinking a network of tendrils into his skin to feed. The formerly bright green leaves were now a darker, more sinister hue — more Slytherin. More fitting.
Oh, kitten had appreciated that. How he had purred.
When that was finished, she'd begun telling stories, well salted with the Cruciatus Curse when it seemed kitten's attention was wandering. Bellatrix told him about his parents, of what she'd manipulated Frank into doing to prevent Rabastan from toying with Alice and how that had not worked, of the Aurors and Order members who'd then died thanks to information they'd harvested from the Longbottoms. Bellatrix described their screams, and the taste of their tears, and demonstrated with a chilled hand on kitten's flesh how useless it had been for any of them to resist her and her colleagues.
She did admit, she did miss working in conjunction with Rodolphus and the others. They had been as one, in so many ways, a Fist of Fire striking down at the Dark Lord's word.
But this encounter, so long in coming, was also enjoyable in its own way. One on one. Intimate.
Bellatrix dropped to her knees and bent closer, until her lips were millimeters away from Neville's ear. Her breath stirred his hair.
"Say 'thank you,' Kitten. Express your gratitude for what I'm showing you. Make me believe, and it can all be over."
Some hours later, Bellatrix took one last look around the flat and selected a ceramic vase from a curio table. It was antique, delicate.
The perfect gift for a pair of newlyweds; something beautiful to commemorate this passage of one phase of life to the next.