Characters: Rodolphus Lestrange/Bellatrix Black
Prompt: All Hallow's Eve
Word Count: 715
Summary: It’s always the quiet ones.
Author's Notes: This takes place during Rodolphus and Bella's sixth year at Hogwarts. Written for my prompt table at rarepair_shorts.
"He speaks," she said dryly, though Bella did not acknowledge her potions partner otherwise. To any observer she presented as thoroughly disinterested in him, or anything he might have to say.
Outside of being assigned together for this particular class, she'd never had cause to notice Rodolphus Lestrange beyond his excellence at potions and his combat acumen; he was the only member of the dueling club she'd yet to beat. Rodolphus rarely spoke, however, and Bella was mildly interested despite herself. He didn't strike her as the type to speak without purpose.
The silence between them became a long one as she continued to steadily stir clockwise, though, and Bella's brows pulled together in a delicate frown as irritation began to simmer in her chest when he did not elucidate his statement. She may not have asked for him to expound, or indicated she was in any way interested, but he should know better than to initiate dialogue with her only to leave off rather rudely with such an enigmatic remark. She had punished others for less.
When he noticed irritation manifesting in the crinkle of her brow and the faint pink tint spreading across her high cheekbones, Rodolphus' lips shifted into the faintest of smirks. "It's fitting you were born on the day when the filament between worlds is most thin, and the souls of the dead hunt."
Rodolphus was pleased when dark blue eyes flicked up to his. The color could be mistaken for black if you didn't look closely. Rodolphus looked closely, saw things others didn't, especially when it came to Bellatrix Black.
"It is said our ancestors practiced human sacrifice to ward them away," he added as a seeming afterthought. Such intention was belied by the intensity of his gaze on hers.
"How very morbid an association to make." Bella ignored the new insistent pounding of her pulse and raised a brow at her year mate. "If you are making an attempt at flirtation, or wooing, you are going about it wrong."
"Perhaps," he acknowledged. "Many would find such attempts disquieting. Mildly interesting at best." He paused then, and his eyes sparked with the same intention given away by the tiniest curl of his lips. "You, however, Bella Black, are unlike all others. Different things make your eyes light with pleasure."
She did not stop the steady clockwise rotation, but her attention was far from the potion at hand. The intensity of his gaze was notable, particularly because she had never observed Rodolphus to have the fire she could now so clearly see in the depths of his eyes. It was the precision of his words, however, that had sharpened her own attention to him, and only him.
Bellatrix knew he watched her, but then, she was aware of many eyes that followed her incessantly for many a reason: fear, caution, curiosity, desire. She was quite used to being the center of attention. But watching and seeing were two very different things. Rodolphus Lestrange's eyes could see things others could not.
It's always the quiet ones, she mused, thoughts meandering to her sister as she watched Rodolphus watch her. Narcissa was seen as nothing more than a lovely doll, a useful perception given her sister's guile and ruthlessness, even at such a young age.
Her blank expression told him little. Even so, he had her attention. "Spend All Hallow's Eve with me."
It wasn't a question, and the insistence was delivered with a presumption he had certainly not earned. No one told Bellatrix anything. She was asked, and she was given the opportunity to extinguish all hope.
She sniffed at him and broke eye contact. "No."
He smirked again. "You've just finished the ninety-eighth rotation. You'll want to stop momentarily."
Bella pursed her lips in irritation, but stopped stirring two rotations later. "Collect the test tube," she said, voice now tight with anger.
"Of course," he said as he rose from the stool. Rodolphus paused just behind her, however, and inhaled the spiced scent of her hair. He resisted the urge to feel if it was as silky as it looked. He was patient. He had been thus far. "Soon," he murmured before moving away.
Bellatrix glared at his back. He was lucky she could not pull her wand on him.