Despite all the times she's been in Malfoy Manor, Bellatrix Lestrange looked at the painting that hung atop the fireplace with disgust. Narcissa had a forced smile as she stood uncomfortably next to her husband Lucius, whose arrogance doesn't match his abilities anywhere in his life. He's an absolute liability, especially when needed in the most critical of times, and it's another reason added to her already growing list of regrets. The only thing he could have arrogance for was his leeching off not only his family name but the Black family name. It pissed her off to no end. Narcissa deserved better than this.
Her eyes on the painting went down, and her lips pulled into a sneer at the spawn they created.
Initially, she hoped that maybe Draco would be like his mother and be cold, calculating, and cunning. The perfect Slytherin that Narcissa showed in her early years. When she heard all the stories with the limited visits that she had with Narcissa, she lost all hope of that idea. All he became was a replica of his father. All bark, no bite, which makes his smartass attitude all the more grating. He matched his father entirely. Above-average arrogance, average everywhere else; if she had Draco watching her back, she would rather be dead. Maybe if they had a girl, perhaps she would have ended up like Narcissa. The girl would have been worth a hundred times the value of Draco. The only reason she barely tolerates the boy is that for some bizarre reason, Narcissa loved him. She liked to think it's because Narcissa believes she can point him in the right direction and develop into a true Slytherin, but she's not confident in that idea. In time she must talk to Narcissa about Draco.
Speaking of plans, it's the reason she was there at Malfoy Manor. With the return of Lord Voldemort, Malfoy Manor has become the base of operations to strategize his plan to take over Britain, and then the world. They were there to plan out an attack on the Ministry to locate the prophecy between the Dark Lord and Harry Potter.
When the Death Eaters broke her out of prison, she left the hellhole cackling like crazy. Having the time to clean off the filth on her body and regain her power, physically, mentally, and magically felt euphoric. She endlessly thought of having mudbloods being tortured endlessly with their screams proclaiming their filth, blood-traitors being punished for their weakness and betrayal of the pureblood community. As much as she wanted to live out those fantasies, she needed to keep her emotions in check. She needed to focus and find the right opportunity to start her plan.
When she arrived at the meeting, she took her spot next to Voldemort's seat, as she always did. The room slowly filled as they gathered around the long, vertical table. Most of the Death Eaters that came into contact with Bellatrix received glares and stunning spells as some attempted to stare down into her cleavage. She would have loved to use the Cruciatus curse on them; Voldemort wouldn't have been pleased to lose members of his group when they were just re-grouping. Shortly after she sat down, Rodolphus approached her and took a seat to her right.
She saw his movements in the corner of her eye as he slowly inched his hand closer to her thigh. She wordlessly sent an Impedimenta charm at his side. His hand immediately went the opposite direction as he let out a quick yelp of surprise.
The Death Eaters around to hear the pathetic cry started to laugh, and some began to mock him. This caused her ruby-red lips to turn into a smirk.
"Bitch" he muttered to himself.
It took all the willpower not to blast her useless excuse for a husband out of existence. She tightened her fists momentarily as her brain fought for what she should do before finally easing up.
She knew early in adolescence that her parents would force her into an arranged marriage. Bellatrix Black had the beauty that only a lady of Black could have had. Long, black hair fell in perfect curls down to her back, which contrasted beautifully with her smooth, white complexion. High regal cheekbones with plump lips and topped with intense dark brown eyes. Those features were enough to garner a lot of attention from Hogwarts' male population, but she rejected all advances. Some less painful than others.
Her body was both a gift and a curse, but mostly a curse. She developed quickly during her time at Hogwarts. She had a shapely body that most, if not, all men leered at—hourglass shape with the hips flaring out for plump, muscular thighs. However, the main feature that got people's attention was her large, perky breasts developed by her fifth-year that during the fall and winter seasons wasn't a problem. However, during the spring seasons, they became one of the main topics for the Slytherin common room's hormonal teenage boys.
Personally, she would remind them of the consequences that would befall them if any of them had the gall to get too grabby with her.
They all laughed at her threats, but she was all too happy to give them a sneak preview of what awaits them. A few curses later, with a fourth-year boy on the ground, writhing on the floor in pain, they got the message she was more than a body to leer at, but a threat to not mess with lightly. Rodolphus was not one of them, unfortunately.
Rodolphus Lestrange was a pig of a man, inside and out. He proudly held the number two spot on her list of regrets. Her parents forced her to meet him during study sessions as they attempted to narrow down the search for a suitor, and when she first saw that disgusting smile on his face, she immediately knew she would dislike him. Anytime she was working on schoolwork, he would attempt to "help," but really "help" meant "waste her time." When his feeble attempts to help failed, he would go to his next priority of leering at her breasts. It only took one session to decide that he was a worthless human being that she wanted no part of. When the words "marriage" and "Rodolphus" came out of her parent's mouth, she internally screamed in insanity for days. That she had the possibility of being with this idiot of a man for the rest of her life. There must be some other pureblood that would've grabbed their attention better than that oaf, but her prayers went unanswered. However, she was thankful that they never had sex or any sexual interactions with each other throughout their "marriage."
Sex was the first thing on Rodolphus' mind after they got married, but she made it clear that she would not have sex with him, and he was not going to touch her at all. She only allowed him to hold her hand when they needed to as to keep up appearances. Being the stubborn man that he was, he didn't take too kindly being told what to do, especially from a woman. The first act of defiance brought a crazed look to her eyes as she delivered an unexpected Cruciatus curse upon her husband. After that, she was less worried about her husband making any sexual advances, but instead losing brain cells from hearing her husband say anything moronic. He learned quickly not to mess with now Bellatrix, but that didn't stop him from trying, now and again, to see if she warmed up to him. One intense look from Bellatrix would immediately send the message to him. He wasn't happy about it, but the last thing he needed was to remember when he got his ass kicked by his wife.
When Lord Voldemort entered the room, everyone immediately stopped all their conversations and sat upright.
When she first met Lord Voldemort, he was an ambitious rising force in Britain. She saw the potential and the power he held within him, and she wanted inclusion in his plan to take over Britain. However, little Harry Potter foiled all of it. She heard about James Potter and his mudblood of a wife dying by the hands of the Dark Lord, but dying to a baby? How was that possible?
There must have been more to the prophecy than initially reported.
That was the main motive of this meeting. Lord Voldemort wanted the prophecy in his hands to move onto the next step, kill Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter. With Harry and Albus defeated, everything will fall apart, including their little Order of the Phoenix. If only he knew what she had in mind instead.
Slowly moving right beside Lord Voldemort was Peter Pettigrew. Bellatrix looked at him with disgust.
Pettigrew was a coward and a pushover. Everyone knew that. Bellatrix does her best to torment the little wretch like the rodent he animgates to. It entertained her to watch him scream for it to stop. It's one of the few things that brought a smile to her face.
Voldemort took his place at the head of the table. Pettigrew stood to the left of Voldemort. Pettigrew looked at the Dark Lord for a moment before he looked down and started to shake uncontrollably. He was expecting another Cruciatus curse, and Bellatrix would be happy to provide it for him. Voldemort looked around the table to scan at all the faces. Most who met his stare tensed up and sat up straight. Voldemort then turned to look at Bellatrix. She looked back without fear and felt his Legilimency that prodded at her mind. In an instant, she pulled up her shield and blocked it. Voldemort looked at her in the faintest look of surprise, then slowly returned to face the middle of the room. He looked at the wards placed in the room to make sure they were secured. At last, he spoke.
"I hope everyone is paying attention to what I will detail. I will say it only once. Failure is not an option for the upcoming task. You do not want to fail me."
He let the words sit for everyone to digest before continuing.
"As you know, the Department of Mysteries holds something vital in our mission to conquer Britain. We will infiltrate the Ministry of Magic on the 18th and enter the Department of Mysteries. We will secure the prophecy and leave. It's expected that we will run into the Order of the Phoenix or…"
His face contorted in anger,
"Potter. I will prepare us to fight any opposition in our way. However, our main priority is to collect the prophecy safely and leave. We want to stay hidden from the public; once we secure the prophecy, we'll launch our last plan and ambush Britain."
Bellatrix listened to the plan detailed by the Dark Lord. Her exterior held no emotion, but on the inside, her mind was racing. The inevitable battle at the Department of Mysteries would be the perfect time to start her plan. She didn't expect it so soon after she escaped from Azkaban, but she was an opportunist. This might be the one chance she has to push forth her plan into action without raising suspicion.
Over the years, she wallowed in the hell that was Azkaban, her thoughts of Voldemort started to change. How could such a supposedly all-powerful wizard lose to a fucking baby? If he was so powerful, how could he not change his prophecy when he knew about the result? It became clear to Bellatrix that Voldemort was a sham. She wanted the power, and Voldemort would not give it to her.
So, she'll take it for herself.
Voldemort gave orders on the positions that each Death Eater will take when they arrive at the Department of Mysteries. She knew already she's going upfront, unfortunately along with Lucius with Rodolphus and Rabastan being in the back with all the other Death Eaters in the middle. Next, the Death Eaters in the middle will split, and some will follow Rodolphus and Rabastan, who will go upfront for their pack, and the rest will follow Bellatrix and Lucius.
"Are there questions?"
The room stayed silent.
"Good. We shall be ready for the 18th. Be prepared, and do not fail me."
Voldemort then turned to Peter Pettigrew, who looked up at the Dark Lord with terrified eyes.
"Because we all know what the punishment for failure is. Right Wormtail?"
Before Pettigrew could respond, Voldemort used Crucio on him. Pettigrew immediately fell to the floor and writhed and contorted in pain. His scream deafened the room as the Dark Lord put more pressure into the spell. Bellatrix looked on in enjoyment as she watched the weak little rat in pain. Bellatrix then took a moment to look at the other reactions to the curse. Most were enjoying it as much as she was, but two people stood out who didn't look as comfortable. Lucius and Narcissa. When she looked at her sister's bright blue eyes, immediately, her smile left her face, and for a moment, Narcissa saw Bellatrix Black, not Bellatrix Lestrange.
'Don't worry, Cissy, soon everything will be right. You'll be right there with me, without your pathetic excuse for a husband. I'll make you happy again.'
Just as sudden as the screams started, it stopped as Voldemort released the spell. Pettigrew stayed on the floor as he whimpered in pain.
Wormtail gave an unintelligible response before Voldemort used the spell again.
"We can't hear you, Wormtail. Let's try it again. Right Wormtail?"
"Y-Y-YES MY LORD!" He squeaked out.
Voldemort rereleased the spell. Wormtail lay on the ground unconscious, with only the slight motion of his stomach that showed he was still alive. Blood trickled out from his nose and mixed with the dark colors of the pristine floor.
"Someone tends to Wormtail. Everyone else is dismissed."
With a swift motion, he turned to exit the room. He looked at Bellatrix one last time, and she stared back. This time he doesn't use Legilimency but instead attempted to read her face. With nothing to find, he then turned and exited the room.
With his exit, Bellatrix got up and headed to the main foyer.
"Hey, where the hell are you going?" Rodolphus asked.
Bellatrix didn't bother to give him a reply before she headed down to the foyer. She stared at the painting hanging above the well-maintained fireplace before she headed to the Malfoy library.
As much as she hated Lucius Malfoy and his entire existence. She had to admit they had a beautiful library. Books, regular and dark alike, were there for her reading pleasure, but only one book was that she looked for. She turned to the entrance to the Malfoy library and locked it. Bellatrix carefully put a ward in place to tell her of anyone who was near the library. She must make sure no one can find what she has planned.
"Accio Soul Book,"
She heard a book fly within the depths of the library. At last, she saw the book speed towards her and grabbed it out of the air. She looked at the title of the book. Hogwarts, A History by Bathilda Bagshot . Bellatrix took another look at the entrance of the library to make sure the ward was still up.
With excitement, she took off the glamour of the book and revealed the actual book title.
Puterea sufletului: cum să schimbi mintea slabă de Dragoslav Tismaneanu
(The Power of the Soul: How to Change the Mind of the Weak by Dragoslav Tismaneanu)
She knew the Malfoy library didn't have the book, but the Black library did. It was one of the few things that the Black family kept good records of. Within the first month of her escape, she stole the book from the Black Library in the dead of night. She replaced the tome with another obscure book within the confines of the library to not arouse suspicion. The book was a golden color peeling from age, showing little of the glory it once had.
Bellatrix turned to the bookmarked page in the book. Bellatrix's crazed smile returned to her features as she whispered the name of the spell,
"(Changing the Soul)"
Her smile grew wider as she read the description of the spell,
De la corp la minte la suflet, propria ta copie se va manifesta în corpul altuia.
(From body to mind to soul, your copy will manifest within the body of another.)
"You won't be a mudblood for long, muddy."