harry potter. sirius black; sirius/bellatrix. r. 1500 words. as a child, bella was afraid of fire; this is one of those things you take great care not to forget.
The fire blazes through the houses like the sun going up in the morning.
Bellatrix throws her head back and laughs. The flames dance along the inside of her mouth.
You don’t hear her scream that one time, in your bed with her legs up around your waist and your thumb fitting into the space between her ribs and there is no piercing cry when you push down the tips of them into her flesh and her throat is a hollow vessel as she tips it back because there is no sound –
You don’t hear it.
(Except you do.)
“Sirius, darling,” she purrs.
She is barefoot in the garden with her dress hiked higher on one white leg, fabric bunched in the tiny twisting fist of her hand. The flowers of her crown are dead. It is fitting, you think and that thought is followed by one wishing you hadn’t come. Black family weddings are always the same; formal and long. Bella rips at the edges of her corseted dress like she’s a rebel, too but you know she’s not. There’s only room for one of those in the family – you’ve had it since the cradle.
“Bella,” you growl.
(it occurs to you then the nature of this animosity that you have bred, where she is sharp and
you are rough and it is animal, it is old, it is canine versus feline and it is natural. You shudder, again and you square your shoulders under the thick smoking jacket to hide it.)
“Not in the mood to play today, cousin?”
Her voice is heavy when it brushes against your collar (she leans in as she says it) like a pack of cigarettes swallowed whole or a pint of firewhiskey down the wrong pipe and you stop thinking when she kisses you (she does kiss you first, always) because if you were thinking, you’d push her away from you not up against a tree between your body and the bark and you’d spit out the taste of her tongue instead of opening your mouth to let her in.
If you were thinking, you wouldn’t kiss her back.
You are almost entirely certain of this.
As child, Bella was afraid of fire.
This is one of those things you take great care not to forget.
You become a different man after school, which is just another way of saying that you wait for the war and the family spits you out. You don’t see her anymore, which ought to go without saying. Not even when you’re getting kicked out on the streets without a galleon to your name and she’d look down on you, you think, she’d see your greased back hair and your leather and she was not made for the cold sneers that the rest of the family shoots you with. She would throw back her black hair and she would laugh. You are bad blood, you see, you are unclean and you know that so you take it out of their dusty parlors with the white lace dollies fraying at the edges and the china blood cups and you take your dirty ass into the streets. You shack up for a while with James and his pretty wife which is good while it lasts in the day time, lying in the grass and the sun and skeeving off work (what works?) as if it were classes and Lilly towering over the two of you with her arms akimbo and a painted on harshness on her face and it is even better in the nights, when there is too much alcohol in all of your veins and you are talking her out of her dress, her husband on his knees in front of you and the house smells of sex and sin and something else that you don’t want to name because it is a fragile thing and it hangs.
It is good until it isn’t and until Lilly’s belly goes round and James’ mouth goes tight and you pack your bags then or you would if you had anything to pack in them.
The bike howls between your legs the same way that she used to.
You tell yourself this not why you keep it.
This thing with you and Bella (Lestrange you’d call her now, if you saw her – but you don’t see her – you’d like to do is let it slide between your lips with smugness coating the breaks in your voice where she expects to see jealousy and you’d let her know that you don’t think of her and that she can’t win.)
You’re not sure what it is that she can’t win, whether you mean the war or the way your dick feels heavy in your hands late at night when her mouth flashes in your mind (you lied when you said you never think of her.) but she can’t – she cannot win. You will not let her.
But you digress now, don’t you?
This is not what you meant to say, this is just another pretty circle that she is leading you in and what you meant to say was that this thing started when you were fifteen and you hadn’t been inside a woman before and she taught you how.
It was over Christmas.
There was snow smeared against the windows and you’d just gotten home from school, still in your uniform and she was waiting on the bed wearing a thick fur coat and thick eyeliner around her wild raw eyes and she opened the coat and there was nothing on underneath.
“I heard you got a beating, little cousin.”
The words sailed stormy through her throat.
“I think I’d like to see the scars.”
Her fingers found your tie.
By the time, the irons are around your wrists, you don’t care. You don’t give a flying fuck who ratted James out or who the hell should be in these chains instead.
You know whose sins you are in for.
You can hear her call, wild across the cages.
The bars rattle at night.
The boy light up like his parents did but you’re too old for this, too old for this war and you know where your hell lies, part of you always has.
It lies beneath her feet.
Her white snow feet.
(You don’t see in him what everyone else does, you don’t see salvation, you see something you value more.
You see youth. Pure, unbridled foolish youth.)
“So, you screw snakes now?”
You say it conversationally, like there’s no death in her eyes, no death pointed from her fingers to your heart. Like people aren’t falling to the ground all around you.
“It’s not your place to – “
“How does it feel to be the mistress of a reptile?”
“Jealous?” her wrist turns darkly.
“Absolutely. I’m the one who wants to suck his scaly – “
“You’re filthy,” she hisses and that’s funny, you think, so you laugh.
“But you liked me that way, pet.”
You’re laughing when you go through.
She ought to remember that.
Once, after fucking you, she sat on the edge of your bed, doing up the laces on the back of her dress.
She never asked you to help her. She knew you liked to watch the pale expanse of her skin disappearing behind the cloth. She could be kind sometimes, Bella, except never.
“Did I deflower you?” she whispered, over her shoulder.
You made a sound, non committal. You didn’t like letting her win.
“Not this time, Bell.”
“Oh, my funny lover.” Her fingers stopped working. “Think we’ll go to hell, darling?”
“Not for this, Bell,” you say and she laughed.
The tips of her fingers skim your mouth. She spread into your veins like ink.
You knew you’d never get rid of her.