Fanfic: “A Whiter Shade of Pale”
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: R/NC-17 (blackcest)
Archive: I'm not sure if anyone's gonna want this, but if by some chance you do, please ask first
Disclaimer: the Black sisters are the property of J.K. Rowling...(again, to whom I apologize for the blasphemy that lies within)
Spoiler: kinda sorta for "Deathly Hallows" I guess it's more AU than anything...
Author’s Note: I continue to blame Janine (-aka-Fembuck) for my obsession w/ these 2. but if you're gonna hit rock bottom, you couldn't ask for a more comfy spot than j's slice of the gutter...
Author’s Note 2: this is a sort of companion piece to "Going Supernova"
Author’s Note 3: unbeta’d…so ya know, mistakes are bound to be made…
It is the absolute last place I would have thought to look for her. Although Bellatrix is barking mad, she's still quite clever. As I drew closer to the house a top the hill, I'm overwhelmed by a feeling of foreboding. It's hard to tell whether it was due to the task at hand or the eeriness of the rickety, old manor. Nevertheless, I press on.
The manse is even more grotesque when standing up close. "Oh Bella, what in Merlin's name were you thinking." Now that I'm here, I'm not quite sure what to do next. No doubt she's casted a sealing charm of some sort to keep intruders out. The muggle repellent is a given, but what other nasty little surprise does Bellatrix have planned for unwanted guest?
Needless to say, I am rather surprised that Bella hadn't bothered to...
I suddenly hear in the distant darkness. "PROTEGO!" I shout simultaneously.
Sparks emblazon the small room with shades of gold and white..and then...nothing.
We stand there, staring each other down for what feels like eons and in an instant it seems like old times again, "A bit tatty for your taste is it not?" I remark, aghast, but also partly teasing. The Bellatrix I know wouldn't be caught dead in a dung heap like this.
"Well...well...well...If it isn't Mrs. Andromeda Blood Traitor as I live and breathe. And can I just say how very touched I am by your concern for my current surroundings, but rest assured it serves its purpose."
"Now tell me one good reason why I shouldn't strike you where you stand?" She asks this with her wand still pointing at me.
I let out a thunderous cackle. There's no humor in it, but the utterly ridiculous nature of the entire situation elicited the response.
"Really Bella, if that was your intent dear heart, I would already be a lifeless corpse laying at your feet...maybe. Now if you please, lower your wand." This time it is she who lets out a bone chilling cackle. How strange it was to hear such ugliness come from a face, despite the ravaging of years spent in Azkaban, so hauntingly beautiful.
"Come now Andromeda, my sweet, why in Merlin's name would I do such a thing when I've waited so long for this very moment?"
"Don't be such a cow Bella. I'm not here to quarrel. Besides, we both know that even at your best, you're still no match for me. Now do be a dear and...lower...your...wand." I stare directly into her eyes and say the words, though polite they may sound, their intent, very clear.
Bella's no fool and she slowly draws her wand-hand down to her side, our eyes still locked. Her cold, dark eyes pin mine. "Ever the bully aren't we, sister dear? Nice to see that muggle life hasn't completely softened you. Hm, I wonder just what that ghastly, mudblooded husband of yours would say if he only knew just how deeply Black blood coursed through those veins." Again the room is filled with wild laughter devoid of any mirth or amusement.
Her words are meant to needle me, but despite our many years apart, I'm still very well versed in the ways of Bella's machinations. So I wait several moments before I say anything.
"I never denied my blood-ties Bella. If I recall correctly, it was I who was disowned by the family and my daughter who was denied her birthright. And though painful it may have been, I feel no regret about any of the decisions I made in those days." There was a slight waver in her gaze at the mention of Nymphadora, slight though it may have been, it was there nevertheless and just as quickly as it appeared, it vanished.
Her eyes continue to hold mine and they still burn with the same fire and fury that they did when we were children, though. Back then I only saw the beautiful storminess of them. They stirred something inside of me. They stirred a curious, fluttering thing that nestled deeply within me. It made me feel shame, because I knew, even then, it was an abnormal feeling. But the shame never made it stop, nor did it stop me from wanting to be as close to her as I possibly could.
Bella was wild...bold. Mother would say she was spirited. Whatever it was, it was at the core of who she was, and I lost myself in it. Even now, I can't keep my eyes off of her and she knows it. Actually, she's always known. Just as I've always known that she felt the exact same way I did. We both were rather adept at hiding it. Now look at us. How did we arrive to this place? How did everything go so terribly wrong?
"Tsk, tsk Andromeda, lost in a memory are we?" She mocks.
"Whether you believe me or not Bella, I came because I wanted to see you. And I should think the considerable amount of difficulty it took in finding you should account for something." I confess to her.
"How exactly did you come to find me?" This was said with a noticeable wariness.
"Does it matter? I can see her mind working out the logistics for my presence here this night. Just as I can see her mind wanting my words to be the truth. And Although I see her relax just a bit, her body still coils with a considerable amount of tension. Bellatrix always was part cat and part hawk.
"No, I suppose it doesn't. However, that doesn't explain why you're here."
"I would think that obvious." I sigh impatiently as I continue to watch her watch me. "Can't you see, you and Cissy are all the family I have left now, Bella. This war is done, so let our feud be done as well." I say in earnest.
"The war maybe over Andromeda, but the reckoning has only just begun."
Her words are tinged with something I cannot identify...fear, maybe. I'm not entirely sure, but I do know that I have to convince her of my intentions if only to accomplish what I set out to do. I never had the chance to tell her all the things I've always wanted to say to her. Part of me knows it's far too late now, but the other part of me also knows that the very least I can do is tell her the truth. That in some way the truth will free us from the burden we've had to shoulder for over twenty years.
"Which is why now is a good time to air out all grievances and hopefully heal those old wounds." I suggest.
"Is that why you're here Andromeda, to assuage your guilty conscious or perhaps there is another reason?"
"What difference does it make why I'm here. I am here just the same, standing before you after all this time. Is that not all that truly matters?"
"Then say your piece and leave. But you should know that your empty words shall fall on deaf ears." She warns me.
"Then that is all I can ask of you. Now if you don't mind, could we go somewhere with some semblance of comfort. After all, I have traveled a long way."
She doesn't hide her suspicion or hesitance. For my part, I remain indifferent to each and merely wait for her to make up her mind. After ten long minutes, I am rewarded for my efforts. "Come this way." She finally says and I follow her up a set of dilapidated stairs.
She keeps her distance from me as a precaution I suppose and as insulting as it may have been, it is understandable. After many moments of silent staring she finally speaks again.
"I trust that you've recuperated from your arduous journey long enough to say what it is you have to say, so that you may be on your merry way."
"I shouldn't be this way Bella. It should have never come to this."
"Well it has pet. Maybe you should have thought about that before you left to become that mudblood's whore."
Again, she tries to bait me but I remain calm.
"You know, whether you believe me or not, it was not my intention to hurt you when I left."
"Bollocks! You ran the first chance you had, to run after that mudblooded bastard batted an eyelash in your direction!"
"Theodore had nothing to do with us Bella. Nothing at all." I tell her in the softens tone I can muster."You couldn't see yourself, mon chere..." I continue, but before I can say more, she crosses the room with such swiftness, and without conscious thought I draw my wand back up and direct it's tip to the middle of her forehead.
"Do it!" she screams frantically, suddenly grasping my wand hand with both of hers. "Do it! CURSE ME! It would be far less painful than to hear you call me that name again!" She pleads.
She drops to her knees, bringing our joint hands to her cheek. The flesh where she clutches me burns. She rubs my hand along her jawbone the way a kitten rubs against its master's leg when it wants attention...affection. And with that silent, desperate plea, I finally give in.
I drop down to my knees and with my free hand, I run my fingers through her wild, thick, dark hair. I run my fingers through it until they settle themselves on the back of her neck and I slowly draw her into me and place a kiss atop her head, then on her temple and along her perfectly formed cheek. "Faire calmer mon chere, il tout la fait maintenant." I coo into her ear. I feel her go limp into my body and her arms go about my waist. She nestles her head into my neck and inhales me.
It's been so long...
She kept murmuring jumbled words that sounded like, "...tried...to stop...didn't mean to..." She repeats the words as if they were the incantation to the most difficult of spells.
Her hold on me is like that of a python, constricting to the point of breathlessness.
"...mon amour, comment j'ai eu besoin de toi...comment j'ai eu de toi beaucoup," she cries into my the crook of my neck, as we rock to and fro. We keep this steady rhythm for a few moments until
she slowly pulls away from me, but only far enough so that she can look up into my eyes. Again she pins me with her gaze. Only this time, instead of the cold burning that they held only moments ago, they now burn with a star like intensity and in it, we both become completely undone.
Within seconds Bella's lips fasten themselves to mine and I try to devour every inch of tongue she dares to offer. Even though the years have come and gone, it feels like only yesterday since last we tasted each other like this...wantonly...recklessly...unabashedly. I feel her hands all about me, roaming, clutching, caressing and I cannot get out of my robes quick enough. I need to feel her heat again. I need to feel the touch of flesh that I have been denied for far too long. And within moments I'm back to a much happier place and time.
It was as if time hadn't moved, years hadn't passed and lines hadn't been so deeply drawn that there was no turning back. The misplaced shame and regret of that time, a distant memory in this moment of wanting...needing. It all seems so silly now. And I wonder what might have been had I not allowed that fear and shame rule me as it did then. Would she have changed for me? Would we have been able to live a life together as most lovers do? I convince myself that the impossible was possible and I pretended that the life we could have had is the one that we share together in the here and now, if only to postpone the inevitable.
Bellatrix wasn't gentle in her ministrations, opting to rip open my robes instead of casting a charm to remove them. And I welcome her savagery.
She pushes me harshly onto the makeshift bed and straddles me at the hip, insinuating her right knee betwixt my thighs. The contact has an immediate effect, sending countless ripples of lust through out me. I crave more contact and she knows it. Her mouth becomes predatory, the cat-bird sitting atop her perch just waiting to pounce. She wants me to beg and we seem to fall back into an old, familiar game. But I know a secret she's not privy, for I know just how to tame her beast. And when the time is right, it is I who will strike.
She stops her movements, hands firmly braced against my shoulders and she peers down at me. Raking me over with those vulturous eyes, a feral grin bearing plump and bruised lips. I meet her gaze with the same intensity...the same naked want and need. This is how it use to be with us, saying everything that needs to be said with unbidden words. Our rapport very much the same now as it had been so long ago.
Then something odd happens. Something I had not anticipated. The predator seems to disappear and is replaced by something new. Something...tender...loving...needing. She bends down and kisses me tenderly on the lips. For a moment all is right in the world. For a moment, I'm transported back to a place I have been longing for all this time. A place where nothing on the outside truly mattered.
There's a quick intake of breath...my breath. Bella gives a quick flick of her tongue across my right nipple, before she sinks her teeth into my flesh. I would be lying if I didn't say I was touched by the fact that she hadn't forgotten my particular sensitivities. It's a rare thing to find someone who knows how your body works and my sister was the only one who truly knew mine.
I tangle my fingers in her hair and pull her closer to me. I need to feel her closer to me. I need to know that this moment is real. She's being torturously slow in her ministrations, content to play with the fringe of my lower lips with her wand hand. How apropos.
She's waiting...waiting for me. I take the hand that had just previous teased me most egregiously and place the offending digits in my mouth and suck on them until they are properly moistened. I take particular care to keep my eyes trained on my lovely sister as I withdraw her fingers from my mouth and slowly make a trail down to the juncture between my thighs and insert them inside of me. My hips rock to create more contact and I build a steady rhythm with Bella's thrusts. While I'm lost in sensation, she takes the opportunity to slither down my torso, her tongue leaving a trail of wetness down my sternum. Her hair tickles my inner thighs as her tongue beings its assault in tandem with her three very capable fingers.
As she feverishly laves at the juices from my sex, I feel the beginning of my climax. I'm merely seconds away from my implosion.
"Jouis pour moi!. Look at me, I want to see your face Andie...je veux vous voir jouis pour moi!" She demands and I open my eyes just as my orgasm arrives at its crest and I see Bella looking back at me with the same look she gave me the very first time we made love. And then just like that, it was all over. Or at least it would have been had Bella not insisted that I return the favor and we make an unsaid vow to take whatever this night had to offer us.
We finally exhaust ourselves after a few hours and take a much need rest. Laying next to her like this brings back fond memories. There were the nights when either of us would sneak into the other's room and we would first talk as most congenial sister do, but then a touch here, a kiss there and soon we would be in the mist of intensely, passionate love making. Afterwards we would end up exactly as we are now, just languidly sprawled across each other, spent and basking in the euphoria of our efforts.
Over the years, I dared not allow myself to remember those moments when Bella would bring me to orgasm or the way she would repeat "mon amour," in hushed, breathy tones. I tried not to remember how she smelled or tasted. Because to remember all of that would also mean that I would have to remember leaving and the emptiness that it brought with it. I would have to remember the person Bella use to be before the Dark Lord's malignant influence. To remember would be, to be reminded of just what it was I had lost.
I feel her snuggle into me and she sighs in contentment. It's funny how even Bella's nature rebells against itself. Who ever heard of a bird of prey with feline tendencies? Then again everything about Bella seems to contradict itself and at one time, it was one of her most intoxicating qualities.
"Just what is it that ensnares your mind pet?" She asks lazily, running her hand over my naked breast. I try to resist the pleasure it induces and fail miserably.
"Did you ever feel ashamed...of us?" Why I ask this I do not know. I just needed something from her, something that I could not name but needed nonetheless.
"I've never felt shame in anything that brought joy to me Andie."
"I envy you that. Just so you know...I didn't choose Theodore over you Bella. I...I just did what was necessary to survive, that's all. You were headed down a path I just couldn't follow. The fact that he loved me, just made everything easier." I finally admit my weakness to her.
"I loved you too. Did that not matter." The hurt in her voice is more than I can bare.
"It wouldn't have worked. Witches don't couple Bella, particularly witches who are also sisters. I ask you, what kind of life could we have possibly had together?"
"Then, I suppose we've both made...choices." She says barely above a whisper.
"And we both live with the consequences of those choices. So you see mon chere, we were doomed from the very start." I say to her.
The momentary bliss we've just shared is gone and in its stead, the harshest of truths now burdens us. The weight of it burying us in silence.
"Why did you choose to leave?" She asks, disrupting the stillness of the darkened room.
"As I've said before, you could not see yourself and it injured me too much to see you slipping further and further away. You'd become a fanatic and no matter what my thoughts or feelings about all that pureblood business, I knew that no good could come of any of it. And I refused to stand by and watch you destroy yourself, nor could I allow you to destroy me in the process."
"I would have changed...for you...I would have tried." She protests.
"I wish I could believe you, but we both know that isn't true dear heart. Besides, even if you did change, what would have come of us? " I ask her.
"I don't know, but where did being torn apart lead us Andie? Were we any better off?" She counters.
Her words carry a bitterness to them, but her touch remains tender as she caresses my arm.
I look at her with unshed tears and reply, "We were torn apart long before Theodore came into my life and in the end, we wound up destroying each other anyway."
I turn away from her and lie on the other side of the bed. I feel her arms snake around my waist and she captures me in a warm embrace. I feel the beating of her heart at my back and in that moment I finally understand that we both carry a sadness filled with loss and...regret.
Old wounds never completely heal and the new ones are too raw not to feel. And to me there is no crueler fate than the one that has brought us here, in this very moment.
"It's rather dark in here, I think I shall go light some candles." I inform her, the awkward silence between us becoming too intolerable.
I disentangle myself from the bedding and Bella's embrace and head toward the stairs leading to the drawing room.The cool air hits my naked body with the force of a disarming spell and I already miss the warmth of a body that I shouldn't.
I cast a summoning charm for the candles and light them and watch as they float ahead of me. By the time I return to the bedchamber they where hovering in each of the four corners of the room. Though enchanted they may have been, their enchantment dulled in comparison to the sight that is now before me, Bellatrix's naked form in repose illuminated by the candle light. I marvel at the way the shadows dance across her body in rhythm with her breathing. How can something so beautiful be an instrument of such unspeakable evil?
I return to the space I occupied merely minutes ago. I envelop Bella into a gentle embrace and join her in slumber
I am floating on something white and puffy. I'm weightless and naked. I think the air...the air should feel cool to the touch against my bare skin, but instead, I feel a warmth. I feel safe. In the far off distance I can see a form of some kind and I feel myself drawn to it, so I follow it.
The closer I get, the darker it becomes and the air around me finally assaults my warm flesh with it's blistering cold. I want to to go back into the light, but the shapeless form beckons and I feel compelled to follow.
Just a little bit closer now...closer, I can almost see it...closer...almost there...closer...closer...
A soul shattering scream brings me back from the realm of dreams and then everything becomes all too clear.
"Wh-at...wh-what's happening to me? My innards are on fire!" She shouts in panic.
And so it begins.
"The candles. They're poisoned." I say by way of explanation.
I try not to look at her. Try not to see the fear, the pain...the disappointment.
Precious few moments pass and Bella slumps back down into the bedding. She has resigned herself to the painful truth.
"I see...," Comprehension paints her countenance, panic forgotten. "...and this..."
"This...this was for me just as much as it was for you. Surely you can see that."
"When it comes to you Andromeda, I've always seemed to be a bit short-sighted and always to be made the fool." She counters nearly breathless.
"Likewise Bella...likewise. But I'll have you know that what I have done this night is not out of revenge or malice, but out of mercy, a mercy that you, yourself, would not have spared anyone, including me."
"What you call mercy is just another betrayal to add to the list of your sins. But I should have known better, you were always far more deceitful than either Narcissa or myself."
"And what of your sins Bellatrix? She was my daughter Bella...my little girl!" I cry with anguish. "Do you blame me?" I ask with the utmost sincerity.
She opens her mouth as if to say something, but the words fail to come. But I see it in her eyes, I see the regret and the shame too. Unfortunately for the both of us, it has come all too late.
I hear her labored breathing, and know that the poison is finally working its way through her. "I suppose you already took the antidote before your arrival." She asks off-handedley.
I nod my head yes and for a split second, I see the corner of her mouth slightly turn up. "I wish I could say that I am surprised."
"I told you before, I've never denied my blood ties Bella. I am most definitely a Black." At this, the smile that was merely faint a second ago was now full blown.
"But unlike the rest of the family, I take no joy in this. You'll never know how much this pains me."
I look down into her eyes and without bidding them to do so, my fingers graze the side of her cheek and ease themselves into a caress. She flinches at the initial contact, but then she nestles her cheek into my palm. "Despite everything, I do not hate you Bella. As much as I want to, I could never hate you"
"Who you are and what you've become, I am in part responsible."
I can no longer keep the tears that welled up at bay and I finally allow them their freedom.
"So you're here to finish me off as your final bit of nasty business then, hm?" Her voice quivers with a multitude of emotions and the sound slashes me. Again, I cannot help but wonder how we've come to be so cursed. How did life go so horribly wrong for us?
"Bella, when you murdered my daughter, you killed the best part of me. Yet armed with that knowledge, I still wanted to see you one last time...I needed to just remember, one last time."
"And now what is left of me, will die along with you, mon chere...my one true..."
But I cannot complete my sentence, looking into her eyes, I see her fading away, taking all of the broken promises, past regrets and the last fragments of my heart along with her.
Again, my body moves of its own accord as I lean down and kiss the lips that I've kissed so many times before, for the last time. I pull away from her just enough to whisper into her ear, "Adieu mon amour foncé. I love you...always."
And with those last words, Bellatrix draws her final breath.