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Le Torturé

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The darkness of night had given rise to a new day. Sunlight streamed through the windows of the grand ballroom - a ballroom never used any longer for its intended purpose - of Lestrange Manor. Bellatrix paced the perimeter of the room, her chest heaving as she drew in deep heavy breaths. Alice Longbottom lay near motionless in a crumpled heap in the middle of the room.

“She has to know.” It was whispered under the raven haired witch’s breath. “She has to. They did something. They did something to him.” She carried on in the same fashion for another several minutes, talking to herself. She hadn’t slept more than an hour or two since the Dark Lord had disappeared.

Alice whimpered, drawing Bellatrix’s attention back to her. Bella watched as Alice moved, rolling over to her back before becoming still again, the only sign of life being the rise and fall of her chest. A scowl came over her face and she stalked towards the younger witch, coming to a stop a handful of centimeters from Alice and staring down at her.

“Now, Alice… You’ve chosen the hard way, would you like to do this the easy way?” She paused for a moment, looking down at the woman. “If you did not do anything, what did the Aurors do with the Dark Lord?”

When Alice did not answer her, Bellatrix screeched in anger. In an instant she was atop the woman, dagger pulled from somewhere within her skirts. “Tell me!” She bellowed, nose to nose with Alice, dagger digging into the flesh of her cheek. Alice still did not speak, closing her eyes and letting out the smallest of whimpers. All the lack of response did was to further enrage the deranged witch causing her to press the dagger into the woman’s flesh harder, drawing the blade down to watch a thin red line blossom against the otherwise pale cheek, laughing as the whimper became a cry.

“Such a pity.” Bella seethed in little more than a whisper. “Such pretty pure blood put to such traitorous waste!” The dagger was dropped beside Alice’s head, Bella’s index finger moving to wipe through the blood as it pooled and spilled down Alice’s cheek.

Bella pushed off of the woman, standing back to her feet, her dagger left forgotten as she paced back across the room. Where was he? How did Frank and Alice not know? They had to know something. Apparently they didn’t call their lives, yes that must be it. They just didn’t care about their lives. Or they cared too much for their stupid cause, a pitiful and sad cause. For there was no greater cause than that of purifying the Wizarding race.

She returned to Alice’s side a moment later. “Get up.” She demanded, waiting for a fraction of a second before moving to grab the woman by her hair. She yanked the woman up, dragging her body into a kneeling position, caring not for the hair that came away in her hands. “I said get up!” She screeched, loosing the woman’s hair and stepped away from her.

The raven haired witch watched as the woman swayed, but somehow managed to stay upright. “Last chance…” Bellatrix muttered, bringing her wand to rest in long fingers. “Tell me what you know?!”

The truth was, Bellatrix knew the woman didn’t know anything. Invading her mind hours before, before she’d become little more than a heap of skin and bones like her husband. She didn’t want to admit it though. There could only be one answer for the fleeting promises of not knowing going through the woman’s mind when Bellatrix delved deep into the all too innocent mind and that answer was that she just had to be lying, even to herself. Alice Longbottom knew something and she was working hard to make sure Bellatrix didn’t find out.

“Fine!” Bellatrix snapped. “Incisura.” She muttered the jinx, watching as a fresh line of vibrant red spear across Alice’s face. “Incisura!” She slashed down with her wand, relishing in the scream it elicited as a cut dragged down Alice’s arm, spilling blood in its wake. The woman crumpled against the floor again and Bella screeched. “CRUCIO!” If the woman couldn’t stay upright, then the Cruciatus Curse it was. The curse dragged on, Bellatrix’s concentration and hatred raised high and pointed solely at Alice Longbottom. The curse dragged on even as the woman became still and she stopped making any noise, her mouth stretched as far as it would allow in a silent scream.

Rodolphus burst into the room, having left his wife be the entirety of the night. ’Bella, Aurors are here. We have to go.’ But Bellatrix refused to let her concentration waver. Bella, c’mon.’ He demanded, grabbing her by her arm and tugging at her.

She lost concentration and turned her hateful eyes on her husband. ”Then let them take me. My Lord will come for me and he will praise my efforts!” She proclaimed, for what did she have if not her Lord? In her mind, nothing.