A Year And A Day - Chapter 1: Rules From Mother

 

A Year And A Day
Book 1 - Consequences
A Harry Potter Fanfiction Story
by:
ShadowedSin
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Be Careful What You Wish For...

It's one of the oldest lessons a witch or wizard can learn when it came to their wondrous magickal world. Few ever put much thought of, least of actually think it meant something. Bellatrix Black was raised by an abusive father and a mother who saw her only as a legacy. In a House long having lost its soul it was the young Heir's job to protect her sisters and do whatever she was told.

That all ended when she found the Dark Lord and became his right hand. For once she had power and everything she ever wanted. Fourteen years in Azkaban was the least of her worries when her Lord promised the world to her. That like every wish she had turned to ash when the Dark Lord was killed at the Battle Hogwarts.

What if Bella survived the Battle and with her young daughter in tow made one last wish? A wish to save her life, and her daughters most of all. But also a wish to finally have a life where she was truly happy.

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"Another head hangs lowly
Child is slowly taken
And the violence, caused such silence
Who are we mistaken?"


Zombie by the Cranberries

Chapter 1 - Rules From Mother

Britain in the 1960s

Bellatrix Black
"Beware, sweetling, beware what wishes you make," her mother told her before her sisters were born, and before her father began his tutelage in the dark arts. Well before he took the strap of his belt to her when she asked too many questions. And before her mother stopped caring about her. Always that one warning to never make a wish without thinking. There were other rules, of course, rules for everything one could think. Being the blood of the blessed twenty-eight only made the rules more complicated. Even as she grew older all she learned were new rules and more unpleasant punishments were applied.

Bella grew up into the perfect little doll for her parents, well, at least until after Cissy was born. First, she was a good girl at Hogwarts and even started preparing hard for her OWLs. Problem was, that was until she kissed Genie Fitzgerald in fifth year; then it all went to shit. That Umbridge bint hadn't tattled on her or the rest of the bloody Gryffindors turned on Genie quicker than a snitch. No, instead her parents were informed and so were the Fitzgeralds. The two families had once married amongst themselves back during the 18th and their alliance was ended. A 'pureborn' woman did not kiss or lust after other women, and when she was dragged home that Yule, a week early, all she knew was pain.

It wasn't just the beatings, it was the severe depression created by the utter contempt her mother held for her. If not for Andromeda she would have likely hung herself finally after she gave in to those little whispers who told her to end it. Narcissa was the one who took away her knives to prevent her from slitting her wrists. Without her little sisters, Bella wouldn't have survived Yule. let alone Summer. After she was outed at school she was cast aside with the likes of Grindlewald as another 'dark witch' who was tainted by the shadow. By the end of it, Genie was forbidden from being left in a room alone with her and half the purebloods in school treated her like a leper.

At least she had her sisters, and by Morgana, they were stuck at her side. After fifth year ended, Summer was as miserable as predicted. The eldest black sister experienced all of her records burned before her eyes. Bella's room was rendered down to nothing but a single armoire, her girliest clothes, and her bed. Oh, sure she has the illusion of luxury created by the pureblood life. Monkee, her beloved House-Elf Governess, still brought her blackberry scones with clotted cream (her favorite) when she could steal it from the kitchen. During the day her father trained her in dueling and during the night her mother schooled her on proper etiquette till midnight. Whenever she was let out of the house it was always under the eyes of a relative.

School was the only time she could be herself, but it was always under the worry that one of her "friends" would send word to her parents. She knew that toady Umbridge was against her, and she didn't trust Louis Malfoy. Another year at Hand her seventeenth birthday came and went. For more than a year she'd viewed both parents speaking to other important heads of household. The worst was Alphonse LeStrange, the head of the infamous family with its Grindlewald sympathies. Dark wizards of the highest order, but had fallen on hard times since the defeat by her least favorite teacher decades before.

"Bella!" her mother barked at her one evening when she was doing needlepoint in the parlor. The young ravenhead looked up from the order and shook her head. Cobwebs parted from her vision and she returned to focus. After years of faking to do needlepoint and embroidery, Bella was very apt at repeating the same action over and over again.

"Yes....mother?" she asked.

Druella Rosier Black let out a demonstrative sigh at her daughter's reticence. Once Bellatrix had been the apple of her eye, and now she was the literal Black sheep of the family. The tall woman's frame dwarfed her elfin daughter, of the three sisters, she was the shortest. Green eyes bore into her daughter's as the girl did her best not to flinch in her mother's presence.

"Get up you have," her mother rubbed her jaw, "-you have a guest to meet."

Bella's eyes flicked from her mother to the door. The grand parlor of Black House was resplendent in nineteenth-century fashion. A grand fireplace sat at one end, its redbrick disappeared under velvet-covered walls. Above it on the mantle sat the five pictures of her beloved family. Her parents each standing before the grand family tree of their family each standing quite grim and proper. The Black daughters were then featured in each of their rooms, either sitting or appearing to be doing a particular hobby. She liked to use little details around her to hide her dislike of conversation and desire by others to force her into it.

Smoothing out her skirts the young girl rose to her feet and followed as her mother beckoned her. The drab hallways of the house were just more placeholders for over glorious paintings depicting the triumphs of the House of Black. Her black mary janes thudded on the ground as she tried her best to reman the appropriate distance from her mother. Druella swept her out into the large foyer of the family home, with its grand chairs, Egyptian divan, and massive classical Edwardian couch. The family colors appeared in minute details with black being the primary accent of various pieces of furniture.

What she met in the foyer was one Rodulphus Aleister Lestrange, a tall pale lightly tan youth with the pallor of someone who spent too much time over a potion cauldron. His fine robes were finely kept and his hair fell in a medium length above his head. Pale blues met hers and she felt overcome with worry. What is he doing here? The thought swirled as she felt the worry growing with each step, her mind unable to focus or remotely slow down.

"Mother?" she forced herself to say, "who is this?"

"Dearest, you -know- Rodulphus," Druella stated.

"Yes...but why is he here?" she snapped causing her mother to frown.

"Oh well Bellatrix, he is here as your father, and his father finally agreed to your match." The words caused her entire world to freeze and the thudding of her heart to grow with each beat. Thuddening consumed her hearing as all of her own internal worries rushed to the forefront.

"Bellatrix?" Rodulphus spoke and stared at the girl. Her eyes were distant, her lips slightly parted, and her breathing slowly gaining in speed.

"Merlin," Druelle cursed before snaking her hand into her daughter's thick curls and yanking hard. "Listen here dearest, you are to be married, and you will do as your father says."

Bella instantly snapped out of her decision-riddled panic. Her mind slowed back to that instant as she realized that not only was she being cast aside, she was being married off to end any scandal attached to her name.

"Ye-yes mother," she spoke before turning her gaze back to Rodulphus.

"We are to be married a year and a day after you complete Hogwarts," he replied.

"A year and a day?" she asked curiously attempting to keep her mind from speeding up again.

"Yes, it has a significance in the Old Ways," he replied.

"Ah - interesting," she replied.

All she was now was a piece of property to be sold? To be given away?! By the Old Gods and the Old Magick she wished there was something better.

I just want to love who I wish to - on my own.

But her face showed nothing of her internal turmoil, only the obedient teenager her parents' hands trained her to be.

"Good, now you must return for NEWT preparation in your room," her mother snapped. And she was taken away back to her room. Back to the place where she would await a marriage, she didn't want, and her destiny to disappear into obscurity.

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Night, May 2nd, 1998 - Greengrass Estate

Bellatrix Black
"Beware of deals made where the roads meet."
-Gaelic Witch Proverb

It was a night consumed in the horror of loss and the pain of the unknowable. In a single instant, a once glorious day was rendered in an instant to be ash in her hands. Her lord was dead, killed by the very boy who now stood as Master of Death. Oh how had she fallen, and how quickly she fled. Craven, she was a coward and fled in the face of the end of the Death Eater cause. Sure, there were likely others who could rise to power and claim it in the name of their Dark Lord. But no one was the Dark Wizard Tom Riddle was, nor would anyone ever claim his mantle ever again. No, all she could do was hold her little girl to her chest, and do her best to find a way to keep her away from the grimey hands of Shacklebolt's ministry!

Above her the storm clouds thundered and threatened rain. She streaked through the air on her broom as a cold wind bit her flesh and tried to kiss her daughter’s face. Delphini was only a toddler, two years maybe, just old enough to remember the barest hints of her mother's warm embrace. The rain finally started and as her black dress became sodden with the freezing rain she finally sighted her destination, Greengrass House. Home of her once love, Genevieve Fitzgerald Greengrass, and perhaps the last hope for her daughter.

By now the cold wind was shearing at her face, and her lips and nose were numb. The woman's ears hurt from the cold and as she came in to land her booted feet skipped over the top of a hedge lining the House's driveway. With her broom in one hand and her daughter in the other, she leaned against the door for a breather. The wind appeared to be still as she reached the House's perimeter. Perhaps award of some sort to redirect the weather's fury? Genie was always a good weather witch. The memory gave her a little respite in the face of what she would ask.

I could have gone to Cissy...but no...she can't know where I'm going.

It was the death of her Dark Lord that gave Bellatrix Black the clarity of mind that her actions were going to finally come crashing down around her. Consequences waiting in the wings for years were about to seize her. The aging witch knew she had her daughter to think about, but her sisters as well. Even her middling sister Andromeda mattered to her after years of silence from both stubborn sisters.

Taking a moment to compose herself and a Drying Charm to clean off her form she knocked thrice on the aging oak door. The massive iron knocker thundered as a loud crack sounded out beside her. There stood a small House Elf dressed in a piece of sown tapestry with the sigil of the House on it in a mockery of the old liveried servants of England.

"What does Misses LeStrange need?" the Elf asked. The words caused Bella to recoil in rage, but as she did she could feel eyes on her as if she were surrounded. Dammit, Genie must have hired someone to guard the House. Stupid Irish Hitwizards.

Her mind returned to calm as much as it could, and whatever eyes watching her removed themselves.

"I need to speak with Mistress Greengrass, now, if possible, for the safety of my daughter!" she said, pitching her voice as an adult as she could get. Her markedly childish voice was useless now.

"Mistress Fitzgerald Greengrass will see you then in the parlor," the elf disapparated with a crack. A loud groan came from beside her as the door opened inward and a rush of warm air greeted her gaze. Unlike the interior of Black House, Greengrass House was filtered with pleasant bright cold colors. Greens of the family's generally Slytherin heritage bled through from what Bella could make out from the threshold. Delphini started to move in her arms as she held the little girl closer and the words "mumah" came out as a whisper.

"Sshh, sweetling, mum has you," she said and took a step into the foyer. A massive crested shield stood over the opposite doorway of the foyer. Beside her sat a rack to doff one's hat and cloak, and the elf from earlier waited just inside. The sigil of the Greengrass Dynasty was the Or Laurel over a Vert Field. "Honor and Prestige" read in elegant calligraphy below it. Unlike many of the old Norman families that made up the golden twenty-eight, the Greengrasses claimed descent from the older Anglo-Saxon and Norse families from the Danelaw. Even now as she strolled forward the Elf watched her with large liquid brown eyes. The foyer was smaller than that of Black House, but as she made her way down the hall she could feel the words of the family in the back of her mind.

In the wake of staying neutral during the war, the Greengrass family's home was stoic in its design. The usual pictures of previous family heads raced across the walls as she came to a stop in front of the grand parlor before her. Immediately she noticed how both Greengrass and Black House shared designers in some fashion. At the end of the parlor was a large fire with a massive family tree painted elegantly upon its brick chimney line. Not a single name was blasted off of it giving the idea of family unity, a strength compared to the fallen status of her own.

A circle of chairs sat nestled beside the fireplace and as soon as she entered the Elf snapped their fingers to make a large red fire appear in it. More Gryffindor colors appeared on the furniture in the form of red pillows with red accents. A twisted snake of Slytherin rested on the right of the mantle and a roaring lion's head on the opposite side.

"Mistress will be here soon, please take a seat," the Elf stated in the same headstrong tone as before.

Swishing in her skirts she settled down near the fire to warm her body and Delphini's leaving her utterly alone in the massive room. Strange among all the things excluding the usual tapestries of ancestry and grand victories was a massive upright silver mirror standing near the fireplace. The mirror was large enough to fill an entire doorway which made Bella wonder what it was doing there for. For a moment she ignored it and leaned back in the chair. Her mind was already racing far too much for her liking that day. Just after the battle she fled the Hogwarts ground and broke into her daughter's hiding place. Now there they were alone, hoping for help from an old flame from her schooling days.

A loud thump awoke her from her reverie, and then the creaking sound of a floorboard. Her eyes snapped up to the hallway facing to her right, and she noted a lean-robed figure standing there. As the clouds shifted outside a bit of moonlight bled in from a window opposite the doorway revealing pale wan skin, and dark silvery hair. Robes fitted over some sort of tactical armor similar to what she glimpsed muggle peace officers wearing, and then a long tall staff rested in the woman's hands. Bella felt her blood run cold as she glimpsed the staff and noted the scrolling knotwork carved into it. What made her blood cold though wasn't the fact it was a staff, no it was a fucking spear.

The woman's eyes were one singular color, blacker than night, and her lips were painted silver like her hair. Her hair was plaited into two long braids falling over both shoulders. A thick Mjolnir hammer necklace hung from around her neck.

"Ah yes, the craven one is here," the woman spoke in a light singsong voice.

"What did you just-" Bella started to say when a thud of the woman's spear quieted her. Stepping in closer, Bella noted the sharp features of the blonde, and the muscle rippling underneath the armor.

"She comes," the woman said while canting her head right.

"Okay, where the bloody hell IS SHE?" Bella demanded.

"I said - she -comes-, you twat," the blonde giggled.

The glass of the mirror was starting to frost over by the time she noticed the blonde jab her spear at it. A loud clink was heard as a series of Futhark runes started to appear glowing an eerie ghostly green. As the runes sorted themselves into an oval outlining the edge of the mirror the frosting effect came to an end. A single hand hit the mirror hard face down. Then the finger began to draw a swirl as the mirror's surface rippled like a pond struck by a stone. Slowly, the hand pushed through the mirror until the full body of Genie Greengrass was present. She stepped aside and out came two men including her husband, Trystan Arctos Greengrass. The other man she barely remembered.

Three pairs of eyes spied their visitor and Genie immediately scoffed before turning around to face the blonde. The two spoke in a hush of whispers while the two men simply waited. Bella noted that much like school Genie was wearing her long brown hair up in a simple bun held in place by a black emerald band. She was dressed in long sodden robes with similar combat armor underneath as the blonde. Both men however were a bit less dramatic in appearance. Trystan had a mop of short-cropped brown curly hair and a pair of curious hazel eyes. Even after losing Genie to him, Bella respected the man as he removed a cigarette from behind his ear and handed it to her.

"Really muggle cancer sticks?" she asked not to remotely protest the action.

"He's dead Bella, its time for a fag," he chuckled.

This left the remaining man, a broad shoulder man dressed not in robes, but a pair of dark pine green fatigues. A beret sat atop his head, and a balaclava hung from around his face revealing sun-tanned skin and a pair of cold green eyes. Unlike Trystan, the man didn't have a wand holster or even a wand, instead of making do with long blackthorn carved walking stick. Even if it was a ridiculous Irish tradition, the walking stick echoed with power as she felt the magic in the room begin to sizzle from the three of them.

Bella set Delphini down gently so her head lay against a pillow before she stepped forward and used her wand to light her gift. A smooth inhale of smoke gave her the nicotine rush she needed and helped to break the ice.

"Bellatrix," Genieve addressed her after speaking with the blonde, "-why- in Merlin's chode are you doing here?"

"Really...chode?" she coughed out some smoke.

"Yes Bella, the wars fucking over, HOW BY WINTER are you alive?" she growled.

"I apparated just before that Weasley bint could kill me.." She adjusted the cigarette. "I didn't want my daughter to be an orphan like the Dark Lord."

"Well wonderful," Genie exclaimed, "why are you in MY MANOR and not at Cissy's or hell, your fucking mudblood loving sister?"

The words caught her on edge and a loud feral snarl erupted from her mouth. Even if Andromeda married a mudblood only a member of her family could disparage her for it.

"Oi, hold yerself dere LeStrange," the Irishman spoke.

"Shut up Rori, no one gives three fucks about your opinion," Bella sighed.

"Well aincha finally showing some balls after you chose that noseless fucker over us," he chuckled.

"Do not call him that!" Bella snapped and reached for her wand. Immediately she found the bladed edge of the blonde's spear against her throat, and a bronze-plated walking stick hovering near the opposite side of her skull.

"Careful Bella, we might hav' loved each other once, but I will not hesitate to end you if you hurt my kin,' ' Genie stated.

"Fine."

Bella holstered her wand and held her hands aloft in peace. Even as her mind raced and she tried to think of a way to fight out she reached into her head and clawed all of the thoughts together. It wasn't the time for this bollocks

"I can't involve Cissy....I've already ruined her life," she stated truthfully, and felt her heartbreak as she did. Even as the Dark Lord lived in Malfoy Manor she did her best to keep her sister and nephew safe. Lucius could burn Tartarus all she cared about.

"Smart....but why me?" Genie asked while the men remained silent.

"Because even if I could flee to Europe they'll find me before I can cross the Urals," she replied.

"You want to hide in Ireland, don't you." Genie said flatly.

"Yes....," Bellatrix croaked.

"You are damn insane Black, you really think I can somehow convince a Taoiseach to let you live on their land?" she replied.

"No...I want you to teach me how to summon a faerie so I can make a deal."

Everyone in the room went silent, except for the blond. Her eyes widened slightly as she grasped carefully manicured fingers around the Mjolnir of her necklace. A few words of Norse spilled from her lips as she appeared to be in prayer.

"Now, I know you're daft," Genie exclaimed, "you're gonna summon the Crone, aren't you? Dammit, Bella!"

"I -have- no choice," she bit out.

"There is always a choice. Surrender, go back to Azkaban, Cissy can care for your daughter," Trystan spoke up.

"She's the Lord's daughter, they'll never let her survive, and I will never return to that hell on earth," her shrieked.

"Dammit Bella, even after all these years you always have to be so fucking dramatic," Genevieve sighed and waved at the other woman to follow her out of the room.



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