lunation (lunation) wrote,

unfinished fic: "the house of black" [sirius&bellatrix, 1971]

She's fascinating in the way that predators are. The power of his older cousin captivates and corrupts as she sweeps past the adults, sneering and swishing about. Bellatrix is at least two heads higher than him, and made of wiry muscle contrasted by curves that make him strangely nervous. Her smile is sharp and blindingly white - she flashes it like a dagger at the questionable Malfoy cousins before moving dangerously close to the tables of refreshments where he is hiding.

It is best to get a hidden vantage point at these family get-togethers, he has learned. At eleven, Sirius is no fool, but curiosity keeps him planted beneath the claw-footed table, watching the strange goings-on of distant relatives. He can spot his cousin's spikey-heeled shoes from a great distance away, but the younger cousin instead watches - through the almost sheer material of the silk - an aunt cackle at a Lestrange man's coarse joke.

The Lestrange is far enough away that the young wizard can't make out the probably vulgar words that spill from his mouth, but he is kept entertained, momentarily, by the way that the witch throws her head back to laugh.

A woman to the right of Aunt Corvine resembles the pictures of the Augery he has seen in the old nature books that were a gift from Christmases past. The boy can't help but think of the party guests as some vicious herd of something-or-others. Only, instead of the weaker or younger ones being picked off by Bellatrix, it's the ones with the most money and influence - those unfortunate males far enough from her branch of the family tree to be considered marriage-material. Not that the Black family tree actually branches, he thinks.

Sirius is so morbidly absorbed by his relatives that he realizes, all too late, that he's lost his cautionary view of his cousin.

Placing both hands on the cold hardwood, the pre-teen cocks his head as a dog would to try and hear the voice of his female tormentor, and possibly the male one of someone she pretends to fawn over, but to no avail.

Exhaling, he is about to re-position himself closer to the wall, when familiar shoes reappear in his sights. The cruel heels clink close to the very fabric of the tablecloth that conceals him, and his breath hitches.

He knows as well as Bella does that his poor hands have no hope, but moves to withdraw them when she stomps his left one, at the knuckle, with the flat point of her stiletto's toe, and lets out a shrill laugh.

Replying with a shriek, Sirius scrambles as she, leaning, unlady-like, reaches in with delicate fingers to drag him out by the hand she just maimed. The younger cousin doesn't fight but instead stares, livid, through her long legs at his relatives that go on with their dancing and talking.

It is best, he knows, not to make eye contact.

"Why, I thought Uncle Orion would cleaned out the vermin from under the tables before the ball began" she snipped, her awful voice ringing in his reddening ears.

He would not look at her. Not even if she ran him through with the fork used to serve the fillet mignon, he decided. Bella needed attention at all times - had to have it - especially when she was doing something dreadful.

"Bugger off," he growls weakly, scrambling to sit up on his knees instead of lying on his belly.

[To be continued.]
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