Chapter 4

Narcissa stepped out of the small bathroom and hid the Pensieve under a heap of musty old fur cloaks. The cellar was deserted apart from Draco, who lay twitching in his sleep under a thick velvet cloak. Sleeping was one of the easiest ways to pass the time in the hidden room.

Lucius had, contrary to his wife’s pleas to stay, Disapparated to somewhere she didn’t know for reasons he wouldn’t divulge in the presence of her sister. This infuriated Narcissa. Tempers were short anyway because of their situation and it took little provocation to set one of them off. These regular arguments ensued in a sulking silence for the rest of the day. He had no doubt gone to get more food for them all. Lucius seemed to want to give Bellatrix the impression he was doing something important that didn’t concern her to make her - what? Jealous? She didn’t know, but what she did know was that they never could be civil or see eye-to-eye. Both of them seemed to do try their hardest to make life as difficult as they could. Bellatrix had disappeared while she had been in the bathroom despite being constantly watched and forbidden to leave the cellar. It was no use trying to find her.

Narcissa combed her matted hair with her fingers. The rations of shampoo and soap meant they couldn’t wash as often as they would like but they had all grown used to the smell in the cellar by now. Her hair tangled into curls when it wasn’t washed and changed her, from looking like a snobbish yet beautiful queen to a street urchin. She longed for her life to be the way it once had been, four years ago when the Malfoys were a highly respected rich family in the society of the wizard world. Thanks to Harry Potter their reputations and their lives had fallen apart…yet to her it hadn’t really been Potter’s fault. That’s why she had let him live - he was just a boy. The real cause of everything was Voldemort…if it wasn’t for him Lucius would never have gotten involved and maybe things would have turned out differently. Narcissa sighed as she brooded darkly on past events. Bellatrix Apparated into the cellar almost on top of Narcissa’s toes. In the current mood she was in this did not fare well.

“Watch it Cissy, you‘re always getting underfoot!” Bellatrix cackled as she tucked her wand down her corset. She was taken by surprise by Narcissa turned on her and hissed through her teeth.

“Do not try to insult me, Bella. It is thanks to you and your precious Dark Lord that we are now in this situation. And what do you think you’re doing? Where have you been? You’ve been told not to leave the cellar!”

Bellatrix’s face had darkened and her eyes were poisonous. “What do you know of it, Cissy? You were never loyal to anyone. You never had a purpose. And I haven’t been out in over a year! Your precious husband can go wherever he likes, yet you’d begrudge your own sister a breath of fresh air!”

“Lucius -” Narcissa breathed in sharply and cut herself off. She bit her tongue and turned her back on her sister. Such arguments were pointless and did nothing to improve their circumstances.

She could feel Bella sneering at her back as she set up the old-fashioned Muggle oven in the corner of the dungeon-like cellar-room. As much as they detested them, the Muggle appliances were all they had for food. They were down to the last few tins and packets of food that had been stolen by Lucius from Muggle supermarkets when he went out. Bella had no doubt fathomed this for herself. Narcissa didn’t want to indulge her and ask where she had been. She knew Bellatrix would tell her anyway. Her sister was never modest and was incapable of not bragging.

“Voldemort might be dead, you know, Cissy,” Bella said from right behind her. She stiffened slightly but continued to stir the thick tomato soup in a pot on the stove. Bellatrix had wept and screamed like a banshee for days when she discovered her Lord was dead - the news seemed to bother her much more than the news that her husband had also disappeared. Then she refused to believe it and tuned into every wizard radio broadcast for news until it was confirmed. Then she was angry, and had to be refrained from going after Molly Weasley and Harry Potter. Surprisingly Bella had not left the cellar at all when told not to, until now. Narcissa was curious as to what she had been doing and where she had gone but she was not about to admit it.

“But I am still living. I am the next in line - I am the remaining most faithful of his followers. Rodolphus has gone. Therefore I should step in and fill his throne.”

Narcissa almost laughed at this statement. Bella thought of herself as a queen?

“And I will. I will continue his work. I will rid the world of the scum - the Muggles and Mudbloods and any traitors. The lot of them!”

There was relish in Bellatrix’s voice as she envisioned the world that she would reign in the future. Narcissa could imagine it as well and the thought of a world ruled by her sister froze her blood. Bellatrix was capable of being the next Voldemort. No doubt she would instil twice as much fear as the Dark Lord ever had. It was now the new era - time for a Dark Queen to take over. And Bellatrix fit the mould perfectly…

“Bella…” she said hesitantly. “Are you…”

“I’ve already started recruiting.” Bella had moved into Narcissa’s line of sight and had pulled up her left sleeve, gazing at the almost invisible mark on her forearm. “They all thought I was dead…” she murmured thoughtfully. “They won’t expect this. Bellatrix is back…”

“I’ll see you very soon, Cissy. It’s time to make my re-appearance.”

She laughed softly and Disapparated.

The End

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