Pairing(s): Bellatrix and Narcissa/Cho
Word Count: 2 800
Warnings: Mentions of sex slavery. Incestuous undertones if you squint very hard.
Summary: Bellatrix was the one who took prisoners, not Narcissa.
Author's Notes: dexstarr, I really hope you like this. The focus ended up being more on the idea of imprisonment than on the relationship between a captor and a captive, so I hope you'll find it vaguely intellectually stimulating at least :) An additional thank you to the wonderful mods for running the fest ♥
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related characters and situations are the property of JK Rowling. I make no money from this work.
Narcissa had run out of places to hide from her sister a long time ago.
She did not begrudge housing the Dark Lord in her and her husband's manor, nor did she terribly mind providing beds for the Death Eaters with whom she was not well-acquainted, but having her sister there felt like something of an intrusion after fourteen years apart.
If Bellatrix was aware of her sister's unwillingness to see her, she didn't show it. She strayed into whatever room Narcissa had hidden herself in. Even her bedroom – now that Lucius was gone – was not safe.
It was, therefore, no surprise when Bellatrix slipped into Lucius's study one day when Narcissa was sitting at the window and gazing blindly over the gardens. What was something more of a surprise was that she was half-dragging and half-carrying a young woman with her.
"I brought a pet for you, Cissy," Bellatrix crooned, and she flicked her wand, sending the girl tumbling to her knees at Narcissa's feet. Narcissa glanced over with only mild interest. Bellatrix enjoyed this part of their success – a chance to establish the power she had over anyone who had made the mistake of siding with Dumbledore and Potter – but Narcissa found it boring at best and vaguely degrading at worst. Bellatrix was ever interested in the sexual aspects of their powerful position, no doubt as a result of too many years spent in Azkaban with nothing but her own twisted fantasies to keep her company. Narcissa, who had been able to express her desires quickly and easily instead of letting them fester, thought taking sex slaves was barely a step above being one herself.
"Keep her for yourself," Narcissa said. She turned away, crossed her legs and propped her chin on her hand, staring resolutely out the window so that she wouldn't have to look at her sister or the girl. "I daresay you'd have a good bit more fun with her."
"I have plenty of pets already," said Bellatrix dismissively. "And I'll be most offended if you don't take her, Cissy, dear. I brought her especially for you."
"You shouldn't have done that."
"Now see here, Cissy." Bellatrix's voice suddenly went very sharp and firm. "I shall not have you arguing about this. You've done enough moping up here. Your husband is in Azkaban, and we are ascending to greater power than we've had in fifteen long years... it is simply ridiculous of you not to take advantage of these marvellous opportunities." She grabbed Narcissa's shoulder and pulled her around, her sharp fingers digging into Narcissa's collarbone. "I won't have it. Take the girl. Do what you will with her. If you want to treat her all gently, you can, but I think it would do you good to use her." She put an over-meaningful emphasis on the word "use", and Narcissa blushed simply thinking about what her sister was proposing. She could see amusement and half-arousal flickering about Bellatrix's eyes and lips, and she had no doubt that her sister was picturing what she would do if she were to use the girl.
"I'm doing this for your sake, you know, Cissy, darling," Bellatrix said, her voice tinged with mockery. She stuck out her bottom lip in a pout. "I just want to help my little sister feel better while her husband isn't around to play with her." She patted Narcissa's cheek, though the pat was so firm that it was almost a smack. "Now, go on and have a good time playing with her, won't you? Promise me you will, whatever you do with her."
"I'll be fine. I'll have a lovely time, I'm sure." Narcissa spat out the word lovely. Her ideas of a lovely time were not like Bellatrix's.
"Promise me you will?" Bellatrix leaned even closer than she had already been, and her cheek brushed against Narcissa's. Narcissa could feel her sister's breath hot on her ear.
"Yes, yes." She pulled away, resisting the urge to wrinkle her nose. Even after all these months free from Azkaban, Bellatrix still had a smell of decay about her. Narcissa felt a pang, wishing for her husband, who always smelled so sweet.
"Good." Bellatrix straightened up and smoothed her dress, then gave the girl on the floor a little kick. "Go over and greet your new mistress."
The girl shuffled forward, her head down. She had long, smooth, dark hair and it fell in curtains over her face so Narcissa couldn't see her expression, but from her stance - hunched over, stiff, and hands balled into fists - she imagined the girl was scowling defiantly. Or perhaps just barely holding back tears.
"I'll give you some privacy," Bellatrix crooned, when the girl on the floor did not immediately answer, and she slipped out of the room and latched the door behind her.
There was a long silence. Narcissa looked down at the girl expectantly, and the girl did not move except to tremble very slightly.
"Well?" Narcissa asked at last. "What's your name?"
"Cho." The girl's voice was cold and sharp, but there was an edge of tearfulness around it.
Narcissa sighed, leaning back in her chair. She rested her fingers lightly on her forehead, idly stroking a lock of hair while she watched the girl - Cho Chang. "And where did my dear sister find you?"
"Hogsmeade." Cho's voice quivered a little, and she gulped audibly. "I was in the Hog's Head."
"Well." Narcissa let out a short, mirthless laugh. "It's your own fault for going into a place like that at your age. You can't be more than seventeen."
"Eighteen." Cho raised her head defiantly. "I'm eighteen, thank you very much, and I had every right to be there. I haven't done anything wrong, and both my parents are wizards, so I don't know what you want from me!"
"My sister isn't particularly interested in whose parents are and aren't wizards," Narcissa said dryly. "Not for… this sort of thing, at any rate. In fact, I doubt if she'd want a Mudblood for the sort of things she's given you to me for."
Cho's face drained of colour. She ran her tongue slowly around her lips, and then, quietly, asked, "W-what sort of things has she given me to you for?"
"Sex, I suppose." Narcissa waved her hand carelessly, waving away sex. "My sister has unusual proclivities, which she tends to assume that I share. I have very little use for the likes of you," she added, and wrinkled her nose slightly. "If I wanted a slave, I would have a house-elf, and if I wanted sex…" She trailed off, and after a moment, she finished sharply, "Well, I don't."
"Can I go free, then?" Cho's voice quavered and Narcissa could see her clenching her hands into fists, surely digging her nails hard enough into her palms that she would draw blood.
For a moment, Narcissa pondered it. She could let the girl go, explain to Bellatrix that she really had no interest in taking on a young woman as some sort of personal prostitute, and that if Bellatrix wanted to give her a gift, she could bring her Harry Potter's head on a plate and the end to a war that was doing more harm than good.
"Please," Cho whispered. Tears had begun to spill down her cheeks, silently rolling down until they dripped off her chin. "Please, I–"
"Stop that," Narcissa reprimanded, almost automatically. She loathed crying in young women – she herself had been taught from the age of six that tears were for the lower classes, not for ladies. Her parents had taught her by scolding and Bellatrix had taught her with smacks and jeers, and Narcissa could not remember crying since the age of ten. It irritated her that this girl on her knees was sobbing so openly.
Cho gulped and wiped her eyes, but her lip continued to tremble and tears began to fall not a moment later. Narcissa let out an impatient huff of breath and stood, pacing the room.
"It is not polite to turn away a gift," she said quietly, more to herself than to Cho. "My sister, misguided though she might have been, went to some trouble to fetch you for me." She turned back to look at her. "Stand up."
Cho struggled to her feet, clutching the windowsill for balance. She was slim and rather tall, but she hunched over and cowered away even from Narcissa's not-terribly-interested gaze, and kept dashing away her tears with the back of her hand. Narcissa could not tell whether the unpleasant tightening in her chest was sympathy or annoyance.
"Stop that," she repeated, but allowed herself to be a little gentler this time. "What good do you expect tears to do?"
Narcissa sighed. She drew a handkerchief out of her pocket and thrust it into Cho's hands. "There. Dry your eyes and compose yourself. Be grateful that my dear sister gave you to me rather than keeping you for herself. If she had kept you, believe me, you would have reason to cry."
Cho wiped her eyes shakily, and Narcissa waited with as much patience as she could muster until Cho finally stopped crying and set the handkerchief – now sopping – down upon the sill.
"Now, then." Narcissa spoke briskly. "Let's put you to proper use – oh, don't give me that look," she added impatiently when Cho's eyes widened with fear. "I think I've made it quite clear that I have no particular interest in you. I would need to be interested in you to be interested in hurting you."
"T-then what are you going to do to me?" Cho asked, and though her voice shook badly, she wasn't crying anymore.
Narcissa lifted one shoulder, a small, careless motion. "I don't intend to do anything to you. But I'm sure I can think of things that you can do for me. You might start by cleaning, for example – as a matter of fact, due to an unfortunate turn of events a few years back, my husband lost us our house-elf, and while we've found that we can get along without one, it would be rather pleasant to have someone doing the work again. Can you clean, girl?" she asked, and when Cho hesitated, she added, slightly dangerously, "Would you sooner clean than be given back to my sister? I could tell her that I want her to have you, and whatever you imagine slavery might entail while you are mine, it will be much worse if you were hers, I promise you."
"No!" Cho said immediately. No- I can clean, of course I can clean."
"Good." Narcissa cast around the room for a task to set her to work on. "There's silver to be polished," she said, indicating a row of antique goblets that resided upon a shelf on one side of the room. "I want to be able to see my reflection in them when you're done – and no magic," she added idly. That would keep the girl occupied for longer, and give Narcissa time to work out what to do with her.
"Yes, miss," Cho mumbled, and fetched one of the goblets, kneeling down in the corner and bowing her head while she began to scrub on it with the hem of her skirt in a vain attempt to lift the tarnish.
Perfect, Narcissa thought. It would be hours before even a hint of progress would be made, plenty of time for Narcissa to find something for her newly acquired servant to do.
She had never cared for their house-elf when they had him, nor had she enjoyed having house-elves as a girl, much as they waited on her and tried to make her life as comfortable as they knew how. She had disliked having them underfoot, disliked the sense that she was never completely alone. Privacy was not something often granted to a young girl from a family of the Blacks' stature, and it was in shorter supply still, now that the Dark Lord and a host of his Death Eaters had moved into their home. A servant – slave, prisoner, whatever name was attached to her – would only be more of an annoyance. And what had Bellatrix been thinking, bringing a stranger into the headquarters of the Death Eaters? Madness. It was not only irritating to have the young woman underfoot, it could be dangerous.
"Stay here," Narcissa told Cho, feeling as if she was giving orders to a dog, then she exited the room, slamming the door behind her from sheer frustration. What had Bellatrix been thinking?
"Bellatrix!" Narcissa called, and Bellatrix appeared immediately from behind a corner. She had an expectant smile on her face, which faded to a small frown when she saw Narcissa's expression.
"Aren't you enjoying your pet, Cissy?"
"No," Narcissa said firmly. "No, I most certainly am not. It's not safe to have a stranger in our home. I demand that you get rid of her."
Bellatrix tipped her head to the side and stuck her lower lip out in a broad mock-pout. "Don't be ungrateful, Cissy."
"I'm not being ungrateful. I never asked for a prisoner. I have no interest in a prisoner. Wipe her memory and put her back where you found her."
"I will not," Bellatrix said firmly, and Narcissa felt a welling of sharp frustration in her stomach. She would have smacked her sister, if she hadn't known that Bellatrix could hurt her a dozen times worse.
"And why not?" she managed through gritted teeth.
"I think it will do you good to have a pet." Bellatrix raised one shoulder in a small shrug. "She's harmless. Like a kitten. Wouldn't you like to have a little creature to take care of and occupy yourself with?"
"I don't believe for a minute that you intend me to take care of her," Narcissa said disparagingly. "If she was yours, you'd only fuck her raw."
"Ah, but she's not mine, is she?" Bellatrix leaned in close. Narcissa could feel her breath against her cheek. "She's yours now, Cissy, all yours. If you want to – as you so delicately put it – fuck her raw, then you can. But if you don't want to do that…" She trailed off with a small shrug. "It shan't be my place to tell you to."
Narcissa turned away, privately fuming. There was no use in arguing with her sister. Bellatrix took so little interest in Narcissa's wishes that one would think Narcissa was the prisoner, captive in her own home and unable to escape her sister, her jailer.
Bellatrix clicked her tongue and patted Narcissa lightly on her cheek. "Silly Cissy," she crooned. "Why are you so upset? You must know that I want what's best for you, and I think what's best for you is having someone to- ah, to take care of."
"You would think that," Narcissa told her, and she pushed her hand away. "Very well. I'll take her. If it's so important to you, I'll take her."
Bellatrix smiled sweetly. "That's a good girl. Now go back and introduce yourself properly to your new pet."
Narcissa swallowed back frustration and anger and turned away from her sister before Bellatrix could see the way her lip trembled in an effort to keep back tears.
What was the use of being one of the few Death Eaters who had achieved the feat of avoiding Azkaban and remaining in the public's good graces if she was to be browbeaten in her own home by her own sister?
Cho was still in the corner of the room when Narcissa returned, but her hands were still, resting idly on the goblet instead of polishing it. Her head was bent once more, and from the slight shaking in her shoulders, Narcissa could tell that she was crying.
A reprimand was almost at Narcissa's lips, but she couldn't quite bring herself to spit it out. Cho looked up at her quickly when she shut the door behind her, and made a move to start polishing again, but Narcissa shook her head.
What was the point?
"Don't bother," she said dully, and sank into her chair. Cho sat as still as a statue, watching Narcissa uneasily, and Narcissa wished more than anything that she could set the stupid girl free and let her go back to whatever life she had had before Bellatrix snatched her up and brought her here.
But that wasn't Narcissa's choice to make. It was Bellatrix's. Bellatrix had all the power, and that was how it had always been, wasn't it?
Perhaps it would have been easier to keep the girl captive if Narcissa were not a captive herself.