Rating: PG-ish. Mildly fluffy.
Summary: Bella gives Severus the lowdown on her visit with You Know Who, Severus gathers enough courage to ask a question.
Bellatrix sat in the common room, legs crossed and a bored look on her face as digits scanned the floor for feet of Severus. She popped a piece of Drooble's Best Blowing Gum into her mouth, and popped it rather impatiently. Her eyes were growing heavy, but it didn't exactly matter at all to the brunette as she scowled. Eventually she sat up, looking alert.
Severus came down from the boy's dormitory, something resembling butterflies in his stomach as he saw Bellatrix sitting across from him. He started towards her and remembering Narcissa's words that he should smile more often, he gave her a quick smile. As he reached the chair she was sitting in, he sat down across from her. 'Hi, Bellatrix,' he said much more boldly than what he felt.
"Hello." She looked up rather quick; quicker than wanted. She scratched the back of her neck, a small grin playing upon her lips.
'How are you?' He managed, perhaps a little too quickly. He needed to get a grip he thought, telling himself for the hundredth time that learning how to hide how he was feeling about something would be a good idea.
"I guess I'm alright. And you?"
'I'm good,' he hesitated. 'I'm glad you're back,' he said.
"I am as well. I wasn't gone that long, though," she managed to say while drumming her fingers on the table.
'No, you weren't,' he said. 'How was it?' He asked, unable to keep the curiosity from the voice. 'What's he like?'
Bellatrix grinned, remembering the trip. "He's every bit as intimidating as he plays out. Wonderful, of course."
'Yeah,' Severus grinned slightly. 'So did he teach you anything new? What happened, Bella? I'm dying to know.
"That's for me to know, and you to lust to find out," she winked, a playful smirk tugging at the corners of her lips.
'You're awful, Bella,' he said, trying to hide how much he was disappointed at her not sharing the information with him. 'What can I do?' He asked, a slightly lighter tone in his voice, 'I bet I can do something to get it out of you?'
"Yeah, I'm awful." She rolled her eyes, a bit offended. "Alright, I'll tell you."
That easily? He thought, suddenly confused. 'Well. I mean, if you can't, or don't want to,' he said aloud.
"Don't be stubborn." She touched his arm, a dark look falling over her face as she rubbed her forearm, the shadowed look ebbing as her fingers traced her mark. She looked away reluctantly, biting her lip.
He watched her for a minute, feeling his skin burning where she had touched him. He reached over and slipped his fingers slowly through hers. 'Is something wrong, Bella?'
"There's nothing wrong," she said a bit taken aback, but nonetheless pleased. "I killed for him," Bella said in nothing more than a whisper.
Severus felt as if everything had frozen. He'd heard the rumours of course. He'd heard enough to realize that the Dark Lord wasn't above killing those whom he disagreed with. His Father said good ridance. There was enough filth in the world taking places of power and honor when they deserved neither. And Severus himself had killed more than his share of small animals-flies, rats in the alley behind his Father's shop which became his laboratory for practicing curses and hexes that his Father would point him to in various books. Still, he knew that wasn't what Bella was talking about. She was talking about a human being. Possibly a muggle? Probably. Or...
Frowning slightly, he tightened his grip around her hand slightly, saying in not much above a whisper. 'Did you use the killing curse?'
She looked down and nodded. "And before that, the Cruciatus." Her voiced remained a whisper This was a bit hard for her to say, even to Severus. She doubted he'd understand. If she wouldn't have agrred with Voldemort, punishment would've been horrid.
Severus nodded. 'Right,' he said. 'I'm certain he had his reasons though. I've tried both of them before, but not on,' he blanched slightly. 'Muggles. Or whatever. Did you have any problems with them?' Keeping it academic was safest.
"No problems at all," she choked out, looking away.
'Bella?' He asked trying to look after her, catch her eyes. 'You sure you're all right?'
She didn't know exactly why, but she stood up and embraced him. She had needed to do that for a long time to someone, to know they actually may give a damn about what goes on in her mind. Emotions weren't looked upon too well with the Blacks.
Severus blinked and wrapped his arms around her somewhat awkwardly. Trying to mask his surprise at a girl, one of the hottest girls in the school at that, embracing him. 'There,' he said quietly. 'Whatever is all right, Bella. You're going to be all right.' Even though he knew she was probably just upset, he couldn't help but notice the way she smelled or the softness of her skin and this was the first time a girl had ever touched him-one that wasn't his Mum and she had been dead now for six years.
"I know I'll be alright. It's just so wierd for me to pretend like I don't feel anything at all when everything is just changing so fast. I don't understand why things just can't stay the same. It'd make life a hell of a lot easier."
'I don't want things to stay the same,' he frowned suddenly. 'I hate my life. Things are going to be different for me someday. I'm going to actually be somebody instead of the person everyone picks on or orders about like a damn house elf. I'm going to do everything I can to make certain it happens. I'm going to be someone that you don't have to be ashamed of talking to.'
"I don't understand why anyone would be cruel to you, Severus. If they are, they simply aren't worthy of speaking your name. Don't worry about anyone. People come and go. Some stay. The ones that matter stay."
'I know, but you don't understand that Bella. You're beautiful, and you're rich, and you're popular, and nobody dares talk badly about you. And if they did, I'd hex them senseless,' he added rather rushed, before continuing. 'You've never had people look down on you for everything from your looks to your family, or expect you to ask how high when they say jump.' He sighs, frustrated. 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean to... you know. Just... dump on you here.'
She moved away from him, folding her arms. "I don't care about money, and my looks I could do without. What I really want is power, and you. I may be all the things you said, but don't judge by the basics. I'm not happy. I'm never happy. I understand that you get picked on, and I can't see why. All I'm asking is for you not to judge me."
'I don't judge you, Bella,' he said, baffled. 'I never have. I wouldn't. You're-' What she'd said hit him and he stopped, staring at her. 'Did you say you wanted me?'
She looked away, blushing slightly."I - yeah, I guess I did."
He smiled slightly, uncertain really what to say. 'You want me,' he repeated uncertainly. He couldn't remember the last time anyone had told him that. He reached over for her hand and slid his fingers through hers again. 'What exactly does 'wanting me' entail?' He asked, looking into her eyes.
"It requires nothing." She looked into his eyes, a bit puzzled as to why she had shared the fact the she fancied him.
'I'm not talking about requiring,' he said. 'I'm just... What does that mean? I mean. Does that mean we're... a couple now?'
"I'm not quite sure. If that's what you want," she muttered.
'Want?' he said. 'Bella... I've wanted you for... well much longer than I'm even going to say because it's embarrassing. Next Hogsmeade weekend,' he said, gaining a bit of confidence. 'Will you come with me?'
She smiled slightly, nodding. "It'd be my pleasure."