This first chapter is just a teaser, but, if you knew me, and her, you know it's gonna get a bit darker. So... be forewarned. Although this chapter is very Tame. With a capital T.
Hugs and happy birthday, love!
Thanks to Ava for betaing!
Forbidden Fruit-Chapter 1
Tomorrow, she was leaving for Hogwarts, the first of Cygnus and Druella’s daughters to attend the school founded almost a thousand years ago by a distant ancestor. Like any dutiful Pureblood, she could recite her lineage back to the Founding and beyond, although like an eleven year old, it took her some time to remember all the names in the correct order and she needed the occasional prompting.
But tonight, tonight was a party, and she was the center of attention.
She was aware, distantly, that she had been a disappointment to her father. He had wanted a son, not a daughter, for his oldest child. But even wizards as powerful as Cygnus Black couldn’t control the whims of Nature. Almost as if to spite him, She had given him three daughters and nary a son, the Black family name and fortune to pass to a collateral line; Cygnus’s own holdings would pass to his daughters and the children they produced for other Pureblooded wizards.
Bella knew that the party was for her, knew that it was to celebrate her being of an age to go off to Hogwarts, to celebrate her growing up.
Cygnus had told her as much.
This party, then, was all that Cygnus claimed.
But... Cygnus had not claimed it for all that it was.
Her parents had invited every witch and wizard of importance to the Ball in her honor, and they were all in their best gowns and robes, the rustle of heavy silks and velvets whispering from all corners of the room, jewels and gold thread glinting at throat and cuff and hem.
Including Bella’s. Never before had she worn such a gown. She felt all grown up. For the first time in her life, she felt beautiful. Usually, that was her sister Narcissa’s role. Narcissa was the beautiful one, Andromeda was the brilliant one, and she... well... she was the dutiful one.
The sapphire silk of her gown clung to her still budding breasts, the waist dipping to enhance her maturing hips. Her long hair was up, styled that way by a patient house-elf and held in place by the diamond combs that had been passed down to the women of her Line since the Founding.
Usually a tomboy, tonight she was turning heads, and it was a heady draught for the child on the threshold of womanhood.
Cygnus hadn’t told her, though if she were older she would have known on her own, that this part was not only to celebrate her leaving for school, but also to market her to potential suitors.
Indeed, her dance card was full for the entire evening, and she moved as though in a dream, swept along on the dance floor, stopping for the occasional glass of champagne, a beverage she’d never drunk in such quantities, the bubbles going straight to her head, a flush spreading over her pale cheeks.
It was then that he entered. As soon as he was announced, a hush fell over the room, conversations breaking off as people looked, then nodded differentially.
Bella couldn’t help but notice that even her aristocratic father nodded his head in subservience to this man. Who was he? For all that wizards didn’t use titles like the Muggle trash, he had one. Lord Voldemort. It was a name that inspired awe in Bella.
As he moved through the crowd, Bella’s father at his side, people moved away from him, clearing his path, as though they shared Bella’s awe but in his contemporaries the awe was tempered with fear.
She wanted that. Wanted that for herself.
“Bella,” her father said, his voice a warning not to embarrass him, “I would like to present you to our most esteemed guest. My lord, my oldest daughter, Bellatrix.”
Up close, Bella was entranced with his face. He was beautiful, sleek black hair and pale skin, but his eyes... his eyes burned with Power, red like blood.
Taking her cue from her father, she dropped into a formal curtsey. “My Lord,” she whispered, although on her lips the simple title took on a ritual subservience.
“Bella,” he said, his finger going under her chin and tilting her head up so that he could look at her face.
Before his sanguine gaze she felt naked, and she shivered slightly.
Seeing her reaction, he chuckled, though his mirth failed to soften his eyes. They remained cold and fixed on the shivering maiden before him.
Bella knew she should be afraid. Terrified even, like a mouse caught in the deadly gaze of a cobra.
But instead, she was fascinated.
She tried not to think that so was the mouse when facing the cobra.
Her skin burned where he touched her and she could feel the blush spreading, creeping from her cheeks to her neck, her bosom.
Without a further word, his finger slid from her chin, his nail sharp on her flesh, then he turned and made his way back amongst the crowd, leaving her there, bent at the waist, watching him walk away as her heart pounded in her chest.
After his interest, the calculating looks of fathers and sons became more direct. Perhaps a marriage with the eldest daughter of the House of Black would be a highly beneficial political move....
Oblivious to everything but this man, Bella went about the party as though in a dream.
For her, it had begun.