Bellatrix timidly stepped into Voldemort's chambers. Her once beautiful face was gaunt and pale, her hair tangled and lustreless. Years in Azkaban had aged her beyond her years.
"My Lord," she whispered, her voice choking with emotion, "It has been far too long." She fell to her knees before him, tears dripping down her face.
"Yes Bella, it has been too long. I hear you were sentenced to life?" His cold voice sent shivers down her spine.
"Yes my Lord, but for you, I would be rotting there now," Bella smiled, "Thank you my Lord."
"I believe in rewarding good behaviour," replied Voldemort, "You have always been a loyal servant of the Dark Lord, Bellatrix."
Bella's breath caught in her throat, a compliment from the person who mattered most in her world! She blushed and lowered her gaze.
"My Lord knows I serve no one but you!" she whispered.
Voldemort smiled, manipulating this woman was too easy.
"You would do anything for me?" He asked, a hint of laughter in his voice.
"Yes!" cried Bella, desperate to please, "Anything at all!"
"Would you kill your sister, Narcissa?" demanded Voldemort, "Remember, you can hide nothing from me. Advanced though you are in Occlumency, I was your teacher."
Bellatrix gasped, then fell silent. She considered her answer carefully. Then, she kissed the floor before the Dark Lord and quietly answered him,
"I stand corrected my Lord, I could not kill my sister."
"Is that so?" queried Lord Voldemort, laughing at her distress in his mind, "Shall I probe your thoughts for proof?"
Bellatrix, who had some secret thoughts running through her mind, winced,
"I would not lie to you my Lord," she said quietly.
Voldemort smiled silently, he raised his wand and hissed "Legilimens!"
Bellatrix shrank back from him, "Occlumens!" she thought forcibly.
Voldemort encountered the mental block and retreated,
"You are hiding something from me Bella?" he asked, his voice dangerously soft, "I did not expect that."
"My Lord knows I would never lie to you. There is nothing in my mind that you do not already know! Please my Lord, I beg you, leave my pitiful thoughts to my own mind!" Bella pleaded, fearful of what he would do if he saw what she was thinking of him.
"No Bella, I think I do need to see your thoughts. I would like you not to resist!"
Bella paused, worried,
"If...if you are offering me a choice, I would prefer that my thoughts remain private..." she said so softly that Voldemort could barely hear her.
"No Bella, I am not offering you an option!" Voldemort screamed, slashing his wand through the air, causing a thin line of blood to appear on Bellatrix's cheek, "You may say one thing before I see your thoughts, make it count!"
Bella fought the urge to press her hand to her wound, she stared Voldemort in his cruel, red eyes,
"So be it. My one statement to you is, you will not like what you find in my mind. I beg your forgiveness my Lord."
She pressed his hand to her lips and fell back, kneeling before him, head bowed, ready for the probe like a prisoner awaiting an executioner's axe.
Voldemort paused, considering what his servant had just said. Of course he knew she was faithful to him to her dying breath, it was obvious. But a thought that she did not want even him to see? No matter, he would see everything.
"Legilimens!" he cried, raising his wand.
Voldemort sifted through Bella's mind for a couple seconds before stumbling across what he knew she had been hiding from him. He retreated from her mind and stood, considering her thoughts for a few minutes. Finally, he spoke,
"Forgive me my Lord!" sobbed Bella, her tears running down her face and splashing on the cold stone floor.
"For shame Bella, who will tell Rodolphus?" said Voldemort,
Bella shrank from his mocking tone, her blushing face streaked with tears and blood,
"My Lord...may I leave now?" she whispered, she had never wished to be away from him before now.
"Yes Bella, I think you should leave now," laughed the Dark Lord cruelly.
Slowly, Bella stood, head bowed. She swept a low curtsy to Lord Voldemort, turned, and flew to the door, her feet barely touching the floor. As her hand touched the handle, Voldemort called her,
Bellatrix paused, she wanted to cut short her humiliation, but it would only make things worse if she denied him,
"Yes my Lord?"
Voldemort smiled, CRUCIO! He thought, pointing his wand at her.
Bella shrieked with agony and collapsed on the floor, her body shaking with spasms of pain.
"You may leave," smirked Voldemort, as he turned and swept out of the room.
Bellatrix opened the door and slipped outside. She crawled to her chambers and collapsed on the bed, sobbing to herself. After an hour, she stood and strode out to the balcony, proud anger giving her strength. It was nighttime, the sky was dark with no moon, she breathed in the cold air and smiled. She pointed her wand to the sky and screamed,
A jet of green light flew from her wand and the Dark Mark appeared in the sky. Bella watched it for a few seconds before turning to go inside, a single tear glistening on her cheek, right on top of her wound.
For you smart people on the Bellatrix Lestrange spot, what was Bella thinking that she didn't want Voldemort to know?