Summary: Bellatrix searches for Narcissa.
Characters/Pairings: Narcissa Black-Malfoy, Bellatrix Black-Lestrange, Lucius Malfoy
Rating/Warnings: R; Violence, Blood
Word Count: 3.161
She had left. Her sister had left, weeks ago, months ago, and she was the only one who was still in touch with her. She received a letter, once or twice a month, telling her everything was okay. Telling here there was no need to worry.
But she did worry. Of course she worried about her little sister, like she had always worried about her. She seemed so soft, so fragile to her, with her long, blonde hair, her skin as light as porcelain, so graceful in speech and movement, like a queen of fairies. Fairy Queen. Bellatrix had always called her Fairy Queen in their childhood, and she still did sometimes, knowing it would always make her smile.
But now she was gone. And everything had changed. Her hands were trembling when she started to write the letter on the backside of the parchment her sister had sent her just a few minutes ago, saying no more than that she was fine.
I miss you, Cissy, Bellatrix wrote like she always did in her letters to Narcissa, knowing that she would receive no answer. Where are you?
Of course she had searched for her. Had searched for her everywhere, to no avail. She would never be able to find her, if Narcissa did not want to be found. Narcissa, who had vanished, all of a sudden, in the middle of the night, leaving her sister behind with nothing more than just a note. A note that had still been wet with tears when Bellatrix received it, a note, her sister had written in such a hurry, to finally be able to leave, as if it caused her unbearable pain to stay here, in the house she had once loved so much, for just a few minutes longer. As if her greatest fear was to be seen.
I am no longer able to bear what happened. Promise me you won't search for me and promise me you won't worry. It will be better for us all if I leave. I'm sorry.
Bellatrix knew why Narcissa had left, of course. She knew what had happened between her and her husband, but she did not dare to even think of it. It would hurt too much remember.
“You wrote her, didn't you?“ suddenly a voice said behind her back. Her heart almost stopped beating when she recognized that it was Lucius speaking, looking over her shoulder. Bellatrix did not know how long he had been standing there. “Who?“ she asked, without turning around. Not wanting to look into his eyes.
“You know who I am talking about“, Lucius said coldly. “Don't try to fool me, Bellatrix, I am not stupid. You are still in contact with Narcissa, and who knows? Maybe you are even aware of her location.“
“I certainly do not know where my sister is, Lucius, neither am I still in touch with her. And, even if I did, how dare you think I'd tell you...“
“Enough“, her brother in law interrupted her protest. “I will soon find out whether you tell the truth or not, Bella. Beware.“
He left the room, as quietly as he had entered it, not realizing he had lost something. A small, crumpled piece of parchment had fallen out of his cloak, and was now lying on the floor, next to the drawer. Bellatrix rose, unfolded the paper, carefully, in order not to destroy it. It seemed to be a note, maybe something like a diary entry. She recognized Lucius’ small, curved handwriting on it, when she started to read.
In 1717 the three curses Imperius, Cruciatus and Avada Kedavra were classified as ‚unforgivable’. Casting one or more of these spells will be punished with lifelong imprisonment throughout the world.
As for myself, I used to cast these curses once or more a day, without getting caught by the Ministry, not caring about the consequences, not caring about Azkaban, not caring about my victims. I never considered these deeds to be ‚unforgivable’, did not even spare a thought on the meaning of the word ‚unforgivable’.
Until now. Now, that I am writing this letter, now, so long after the worst of all things has happened, and now that you are gone, I have understood the meaning of the word ‚unforgivable’.
I will never be able to forgive myself for what I have done, and I do not ask you to do so either. I am on my knees, slowly dying, feeling what it means to have done something unforgivable, and I beg you, even though we both know that it is too late to plead, I submit this plea to you as a broken man. Please, come back. Return home, so I can at least forget what I have done to you. Forget. But never forgive.
Bellatrix knew what had happened between them. She knew what Lucius had done to her sister, she even knew why he had done it. But she had never told her.
Tears were streaming down her face while she read the letter, over and over again, making a quiet decision.
She would go. Go and search for her sister again, not giving up until she found her, and had shown her Lucius’ letter, although she was aware that it had never been intended to be sent.
When Bellatrix left her room, quietly, supposing her brother-in-law had gone to sleep after his visit, she could not resist in opening the door to Lucius' and formerly Narcissa’s bedroom, for just a glimpse.
She could hear his slow, deep breaths, could see him, lying on his side of the bed, his left hand gently touching Narcissa’s pillow.
Bellatrix almost gasped for breath when she entered the room, like she had fallen into a trance, when she saw the look on his face. Tears were streaming down his cheeks. Lucius was crying in his sleep.
“I’ll find her“, she whispered, hardly audible, almost lovingly, not thinking of how he had threatened her, just a few hours ago. “I will find her... I promise.“
She was grateful that he was asleep, and couldn't hear her, he would have been too proud to show her his true feelings if awake.
Bellatrix had never desired more to help him than she did now, had never felt so connected to him before.
But she also felt so selfish... She should have told her. Should have told her everything. But Narcissa would have been too hurt to listen.
To see her sister like this, to realize, what had happened to her, had almost killed Bellatrix. She knew what had happened to her... Knew what prompted her to go, what was wrong with her when she left. Her Fairy Queen was broken.
She needed almost three attempts to disapparate. Bellatrix did not even know why she had chosen to apparate, since she had no idea where to go. Where to start the search for Narcissa, who had maybe even left the country. Success in finding her seemed impossible after all these failed attempts that had consumed months. “Where are you, Cissy...“, she whispered to herself, completely wrapped up in her thoughts. “I need you... Please... Show me where you are.“
Bellatrix had never dreamt very often in her sleep, but the number of nights when she did increased now that Narcissa was gone. She had never been able to remember of what she had dreamt, and, to be honest, she was grateful she didn't.
This time, however, she did remember. She remembered Narcissa’s face, remembered her screams, when she had begged for help... She had not been able to help her. She'd seen her vanish, as fast as she had appeared. But she still heard her cry. Heard her scream. Even now, after she'd awakened.
Weeks had passed. Weeks had passed and Narcissa was still missing.
Bellatrix had travelled through the entirety of the United Kingdom, had visited every single place in the country. Except one. She was in Scotland now, in a small village near Loch Ness, and she would stay for at least a day, and search for her sister, even though she had already given up hope.
She was looking for a place to sleep when she crossed her path, hardly realizing what was going on. She raised her head, and looked directly in the big, clear blue eyes that were staring at her like she was a ghost, eyes that were wide open with fear. The blonde woman started to twist, to turn around to escape her sister, praying silently that it was just a dream, praying this was not real, that she was safe...
But when she arrived at the place she had apparated to, she found Bellatrix standing by her side.
Bellatrix, who had been as shocked as Narcissa, who was now flinging her arms around her neck, quickly, in order not to lose her again, for an embrace she wanted to last forever. It was Narcissa, who then strengthened her grip, crying like her sister, to prevent her from falling. To just hold her. “I missed you so much, Bella“, she eventually whispered into her ear, still not able to release her, even though by then so much time had passed while they remained still, embracing. “But... You... you should not have come.“
Hours had passed. Hours had passed and they were sitting side by side in a small, hardly illuminated bedroom, looking at each other, still holding hands, as if they would lose each other again if they dared ease their grip. Both Narcissa and Bellatrix were trembling. They had not talked much, but then they had never done so before.
“I know why you are here, Bella“, Narcissa said eventually. “But... I will not come back.“
Bellatrix closed her eyes, for no longer than just a second. She had been aware that it would not be easy to convince her sister to return, but hearing her speak the words, the words she had feared most in the last months, almost broke her heart. “Cissy...“, she whispered, but Narcissa just shook her head. “Bella... Bella, look at me.“
Their gazes crossed, but Bellatrix was not able to take her sister’s blue eyes, looking into hers, and looked away.
“I wish it were possible for me to... to just come back“, Narcissa continued. “But... but it is not... I wish I could return, but... I can’t. I just can’t...“
“Why?“ Bellatrix asked, hardly audible, although she knew the answer. Knew why it was almost impossible for her sister to come back...
She did not reply. Just stared at the wall, motionless, without saying a word. The silence seemed to crush them both, but neither dared speak. “Do you remember the first night when he... he came to me?“, Narcissa asked eventually, but this time it was Bellatrix who did not answer her question.
“Bella... do you remember?“
Of course she remembered, remembered every detail of the night Narcissa was talking about. How could she forget what had happened... The pictures were burnt in her brain forever, how could she forget what he had done to her...
“Cissy?“, she asked while she was opening the door to the Entrance Hall, slowly going up the stairs to the first floor. She had returned home later than had been her intention, and now it was quite late, after midnight. “Cissy?“, Bellatrix asked again when her sister did not reply. She was sure that Narcissa was still awake, since she usually did not go to bed before one or two o’clock. She headed for Narcissa’s and Lucius’ bedroom to look for her sister, when she suddenly heard a noise, a quiet wail that seemed to come from her own room. Bellatrix felt like her blood was freezing in her veins, she started to run, and threw open the door. And she found her, found her lying in a corner, blood streaming from her body, trembling with fear and pain. Narcissa seemed almost unconscious, but when Bellatrix kneeled down next to her, she opened her eyes.
Bellatrix had needed all her focus not to lose her self control, not to start crying. Narcissa’s condition turned out to be much worse than it seemed, she was studded with deep cuts and bruises, every touch made her wince with pain.
“I’ll... I’ll help you, Cissy... I’ll help you...“, Bellatrix whispered, carefully removing a strand of hair that was sticking to her face. She rose and quickly looked around in her room, before heading for the drawer next to her bed. It took her only a few minutes to find the little vial filled with a brown, disgusting looking liquid. “This is going to hurt now, Cissy“, she said gently. “Be brave, okay? It will be over soon. I promise...“
Tears were streaming down Narcissa’s face when Bellatrix applied the dittany, a powerful medical plant extract, but she remained quiet. She was even too weak to scream...
Bellatrix helped her get up slowly, carefully, with a firm hold on her to prevent her from collapsing. “It’s just a few steps, Cissy“, she whispered into her ear.
Bellatrix asked, after she helped her sister to bed, realizing just now how much blood she had lost. “Who did that to you?“, she asked quietly, and promised silently that she would kill the person who had hurt her that badly.
“L...Lucius...“, Narcissa whispered, hardy audible, not able to speak more than just a word. She had closed her eyes again. Bellatrix sighed, trying to stay calm, trying not to seem as shocked and angry as she was after Narcissa had breathed her husband’s name, and sat down on a chair beside the bed. “Sleep a little, Cissy“, she said, gently stroking her cheek. “You’ll feel much better tomorrow. I promise.“
Narcissa had borne Lucius’ attacks for over half a year. His attacks that had gotten worse every time her and Bellatrix thought they could not get worse, thinking that they had finally reached the maximum inhumanity possible...
Bellatrix knew why he had done it to her, and why he hardly ever remembered what he had done to his wife the day after. But it had already been too late when she found out the reason for his deeds. “Cissy...“, she whispered, still not able to look at her sister. “I.... I know what he did to you... I never felt your pain, I didn't get hurt, but I do know what he did to you, and I know how terrible those incidents were. But... you need to forgive him...“
“Forgive him?“ Narcissa laughed, a cold, angry laugh. “You are right, Bella, you never felt my pain. But I did, and I bore everything. Everything! I bore his blows, his attacks of so many different objects--weapons--and I even beared the Sectumsempra curse, becase I loved him! I loved him, I still loved him every single second he did that to me, and believe me, I do love him even now, but do you know what he did to me? Do you know what he did to me the night before I left?“
Bellatrix shook her head. Silently. Unable to speak.
“He came to me. Came to me, in the middle of the night, like he always did when he was about to hurt me. He came to me, tried to rape me. Tortured me with my own wand when I tried to resist. Tortured me until I gave him what he wanted! Do... do you still ask me to forgive him, Bella? Do you?“
“He was under the Imperius Curse“, Bellatrix said quietly. Tears were streaming down her face. Narcissa sighed. “I don’t care whether he...“ Silence. “What did you just say?“
“Cissy, he... He was under the Imperius Curse, that’s why he did all that to you! I... I found out too late, but please, please, you need to believe me... He would never have hurt you on purpose...“
Her hands were trembling when she searched for the letter she had kept in her cloak. “He remembers everything he did to you. Everything. He cries in his sleep, Cissy, he could not feel more guilty... And he... He even wrote you a letter... He crumpled the parchment, but I found it.“
Her thoughts were her own, unknowable even to her sister while she read the letter. “I... I am coming with you“, she eventually said, hardly audible. “But... Who...“
“That doesn’t matter“, Bellatrix replied, knowing what Narcissa had wanted to ask. “That person is dead. He will never harm you again...“
They both hesitated when they reached Malfoy Manor. Especially Narcissa, who was still fearing the first encounter with Lucius. “I am so scared, Bella“, she whispered after they had finally entered the house. They stepped up the stairs quietly, headed for Lucius’ workroom. It was Bellatrix who opened the door, and she immediately felt like she had travelled through time, to that night, the dreadful night she had found her sister in her room...
“What’s going on?“, Narcissa asked, who seemed to be even more nervous than before. “Is something wrong with him?“
Bellatrix did not turn around, she seemed to be paralyzed by the sight. “I am so sorry, Cissy“, she whispered.
Narcissa did not have to ask again. She had entered the room and screamed, and continued screaming as loud as she could when she saw him. Lying on the floor in his own blood, holding a small knife in his hands...
It felt to Bellatrix like her heart had broken, broken forever, when she watched her sister kneeling down on the floor, covered in his blood. She was holding his liefeless body in her arms, unwilling to release him ever again, gently stroking his hands, his face, while tears were streaming down her face. “I am here now, Lucius...“, she whispered into his ears, knowing he would not be able to understand them. “Eveything will be alright... I am here now... And I’ll never leave you again... Never...“
Bellatrix turned away, she didn't want to look at him anymore. She suddenly felt angry, incredibly angry. He had done it again. Had hurt her once again, had broken her, had broken her Fairy Queen irreparably. She could hear Narcissa cry, could still hear her whisper things into his ear. “Cissy...“, she said, quietly, turned around again, kneeling down next to her sister. “Cissy, we need to go...“
She just shook her head, silently, remained silent until she found the note, lying on the floor. She was hardly able to read the words written hastily on the parchment, that had been there for too long, was now blood-soaked. The ink was blurred.
Forget. But never forgive.
Narcissa did not realize that Lucius had opened his eyes. She was still holding him, but didn't realize that he was looking at her, that he was breathing, listening to every word she said. That he was alive. “I did forgive you, Lucius“, she whispered.