Blood Ties and Betrayal

BY : burynr08
Category: HP Canon Characters paired with Original Characters > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 4945
Disclaimer: I do not own JK Rowling's world of Harry Potter or make a profit from this story.

Prologue - 1974

It was a cool night in June, and screams could be heard for what seemed like miles outside of the Lestrange estate. The air was still, the moisture saturating it promising the onslaught of precipitation to appear soon, the dark clouds that obstructed any view of the stars threatening to spill their contents from the heavens like tears. Any bystander that may have been there at the time would have sworn the impending storm was an omen, a prediction of the events that would soon follow.

More agonized screeching cut through the otherwise quiet atmosphere, and when the voice hit its crescendo, the first arrow of lightning tore through the sky like a blade cutting soft flesh. Thunder clapped quickly behind it, a sound so deafening that it nearly drowned out the next round of screams, this one coming soon after its predecessor.

Rain started to fall from the sky, the storm now closer in proximity to the gothic mansion, and winds started to disturb the carefully groomed trees and shrubs of the pristine grounds. Another scream, but this time, a voice from within the house was speaking at the same time.

"Close the window, would you? I don't want Bella getting wet," Narcissa commanded quietly to another witch that stood by her side in the large, intricately decorated bedroom. The brunette witch obeyed promptly, gracefully lifting the wand in her hand and flicking it. The stained glass window banged shut, not an easy feat against the winds that were now howling, the rain pelting against the house.

Narcissa's gaze never left her older sister, who was lying in a large bronze four-poster bed, her dark hair sticking against the sweat that had accumulated against her forehead. No longer screaming, Bellatrix was now taking the few precious moments between contractions to attempt to catch her breath. She locked eyes with her sister, looking as though she was about to say something when another cry escaped her throat.

"Now really, Narcissa. Tell me again why she refused to take any potions to help with the pain?" the brown-haired Death Eater said dully, watching Bellatrix writhe in agony as the next contraction overtook her. The blonde Black sister was about to answer when Bellatrix's cracking voice filled the room.

"Because," she seethed through clenched teeth, "There is no greater honor than feeling every moment of this. Now get out, Calista."

The brunette opened her mouth to protest, but Bellatrix already had her mind made up. "OUT!" she yelled, and Narcissa quickly opened the door to show the other woman out. Calista stepped across the threshold, looking bewildered as she joined the others who were waiting outside the room.

"Bella, that's the third person you've kicked out of this room tonight," Narcissa said gently, going to place a hand on top of her sister's shaking one.

"Not one of them deserves to bear witness to this," Bellatrix replied shortly, and her sister went to push back a strand of hair that had fallen across her face.

"Yes, of course," Narcissa said, knowing that it was always better to agree with Bellatrix, especially when she was in distress. "But making sure that you and the child are safe is of utmost importance - "

"I would never let anything happen to something this precious - " Bellatrix began to snarl, but was cut off by another intense contraction.

"I know, Bella, I know," Narcissa soothed. Her attention was drawn to the bedroom door as it opened once again, and this time a wizard with black hair and beard poked his head through, not daring to enter the room without direct permission from the laboring witch.

"Forgive me," he said swiftly, clearing his throat as his dark eyes surveyed the room with worry. "But the Dark Lord wanted me to make sure everything is going all right in here."

Bellatrix's demeanor changed in an instant, and she managed a strained smile as her chest heaved. "Rodolphus," she croaked, "Tell My Lord that everything is going smoothly. I just required more privacy at this point."

"But Bella, don't you think we should have more help in here? It can't be long before the babe is born, I expect," Bellatrix's husband responded, obviously feeling uncomfortable being in the room as his wife prepared to give birth, but more concerned that he would displease the Dark Lord by not offering enough help to the two witches.

"Fine, fine, send Sofia back in," Narcissa said impatiently, gesturing for Rodolphus to leave as another contraction was starting to take hold. She knew Bellatrix wouldn't approve of deciding for her, but Sofia Dolohov had already had two children of her own and would serve the most useful of all the female Death Eaters present.

Just as the master of the Lestrange household had predicted, it wasn't long before the expected baby made its debut to the world. It arrived with a high-pitched wail, its voice so loud that there didn't need to be an announcement to the waiting wizards that were just outside the bedroom. Bellatrix was pleased with the sound of the baby's cries that filled the room, knowing that she had just done what she needed to do to please her master. She took a few minutes to lie on her back and catch her breath, and when she sat up to survey the child she had just pushed out, she saw that her sister was wrapping it up in a black blanket.

"What is it?" she asked, peering down at the squished, red face that was peaking out from the ebony swaddle.

"It's a girl, Bella," Narcissa said with a warm smile. She lifted the bundle into her arms, and instinctively pulled her niece close to her chest.

"Well, give her to me," Bellatrix commanded, extending her arms out, but her sister shook her head quickly.

"No, Bella. He wanted to see the baby right away," Narcissa responded, looking concerned as she locked eyes with her older sister.

Bellatrix bit her bottom lip, then waved her hand towards the door. "Yes, of course, I'd nearly forgotten. Go, take her to him." Narcissa obeyed without another word, leaving the bedroom with the prized possession that Bellatrix had fussed over for nine months.

"You did well, Madam Lestrange," Sofia said, going to place her hand on the new mother's shoulder, but Bellatrix shrugged it off. She was normally cold to anyone's physical affections except for her sister's, and especially now, she was feeling apprehensive that the Dark Lord would be displeased with her somehow. Had she had her wand on her, she may have cursed the insolent witch for daring to touch her, but lucky for Sofia, her wand lay forgotten on the dresser across the room. So she waited in silence as Sofia started to clean up the rags and wash bins, hoping that she would soon hear the praise that she had been longing for her entire pregnancy.

She wanted to demand that someone inform her of what was going on outside the room, but she kept her composure. Only when the door opened again and her sister was coming back to her with the baby did she start to breathe normally again.

"Give her to me," Bellatrix repeated, and this time Narcissa complied, handing the bundle to her with a smile. Bellatrix nestled the baby into the crook of her arm, pulling back the blanket slightly to peer closer at her wrinkled face.

"Was he pleased?" Bellatrix asked quietly, her dark eyes cast down towards her child, not daring to look up at her sister as she was afraid to hear that she had failed.

"Yes, he is very pleased, Bella," Narcissa replied, and Bellatrix squealed in delight like a teenager at the revelation, startling the newborn that she was holding.

"Now, you must put her to your breast, so she can feed," Sofia interjected, and Bellatrix allowed her to help her place the baby where she needed to be. The child latched without issue and started to suckle, a sensation that made Bellatrix feel a bit like pulling the child off and handing her off to her sister again. But she willed herself to keep the baby there, knowing it was up to her and only her to nourish the Dark Lord's offspring. It was the highest honor she could ever dream to achieve, short of giving birth to his child in the first place.

Lord Voldemort did not enter the room to give Bellatrix Lestrange any sort of praise that night. Rather, he had taken her husband, brother-in-law, and the other wizards who had been present for the birth into London, to terrorize and murder a handful of Muggles. It was considered an exceedingly special night, having his heir enter the world, and a special night called for a special celebration; he allowed his followers to torture and kill without direction or reason. When Bellatrix heard about their activities the next day, she grew jealous that she had had to miss it.

Bellatrix was granted permission to name the baby girl, and at first, the task made her wary, as she wondered if it was some sort of test. Over the next few days as she rested, she mulled it over again and again, wracking her brain trying to remember if there was some name the Dark Lord had mentioned, or a family name of his that she was failing to recall. Only when she finally spoke with him face to face five days after their daughter's birth did she finally have the chance to ask him for his input, and she learned that there were no female family members of his that he wished to honor. Eventually, she chose Cassiopeia, a family name in the House of Black.

"That is a beautiful name, my loyal servant," Lord Voldemort said when Bellatrix told him, and she beamed with pride at his praise.

"I am completely, utterly humbled, My Lord," Bellatrix replied, lowering her head as best she could as she laid in bed. Earlier that day, he had scolded her lightly when she nearly jumped out of bed to bow when he had entered the room, nearly knocking over the occupied bassinet that was next to her. "But I must inquire again regarding the child's name."

"What seems to be the issue, Bella?" he asked, and Bellatrix's heart fluttered in her chest like it did every time he called her by her nickname, one that only family and close friends used with her.

"We've settled on a first name, My Lord, but I still wonder what would be an appropriate surname for her. We could use Lestrange, but as she is not Rodolphus' child, I don't find it to be very fitting. Unless, of course, my lord wishes to keep her parentage quiet to keep her safe - "

"I have no intention to keep her existence a secret. My followers and the rest of the world shall know that Lord Voldemort has an heir, and they shall tremble to think that one day she will help me to rule over them all." Bellatrix flushed with pleasure as he spoke these words, a renewed sense of pride flowing through her as she delighted in the fact that she had made this all possible, that she had been chosen to carry his child, that he was now alone with her once again in the master bedroom. "As I have no surname, then Black would be the most fitting. It's a name that one associates with prestige, with blood-purity and loyalty to my cause."

Bellatrix did not protest his decision, even though she felt a small pang of regret that she would not share a surname with the Dark Lord's daughter, even if she had given birth to her. For a fleeting moment, she considered divorcing Rodolphus just so she could share that association, but quickly decided against it; her desire to leave her husband of only a few years had already been refuted by her master even before they discussed producing an heir. It had been a day in which Bellatrix had been feeling particularly brave, and had expressed her desire to enter a romantic with the Dark Lord. She was not sure whether he chose to ignore her advances or did not understand them, but he had explained that what was most important was that the Black and Lestrange families keep their strong ties to one another. Whatever his thoughts were on her proposal, Bellatrix had been left feeling utterly humiliated, but still devoted to him as she ever was.

And so the baby was known as Cassiopeia Elladora Black, and it quickly became common knowledge among Lord Voldemort's followers that he had conceived her with Bellatrix Lestrange. Rodolphus, ever the devout Death Eater, freely boasted the honor of his wife being chosen to anyone who would listen. It wasn't long before the news reached the rest of the magical population.

The notion that Lord Voldemort had reproduced struck fear into the hearts of many; disagreements began to develop in the Ministry as to whether or not effort should be put into destroying the child. Anticipating this reaction from the ever skittish magical government, the child spent her first years between her mother's household and Malfoy Manor, always under the protection of a group of Death Eaters. When she reached the age of three, her father began to insist that she be present for some of his 'interrogations' to learn, an activity that would fuel her nightmares well into her teenage years.

Bellatrix, meanwhile, was as obsessed with the father of her child as ever, and her infatuation with him only grew as the years went on. She had affection for her child, no doubt, but her priority at all times was her master's cause; she only thought to dote on her daughter when Lord Voldemort himself expressed satisfaction with Cassiopeia. With her attention nearly always pulled elsewhere, the young witch received the majority of her parental love from Narcissa.

Under her father's guidance, she began to train in the magical arts at a very young age. He was elated that she was able to master a few charms using Bellatrix's wand by the age of four, and began teaching her more complicated spells soon after. Only when she refused to use magic to torture a small field mouse, did Lord Voldemort lose patience with her for the first time. From then on, he would view any hesitation or opposition to follow his commands as insubordination. His punishments were just as cruel as one would expect from the Dark Lord.

To the surprise of those that met her and knew what her parents were like, Cassiopeia remained a kind, empathetic child. The older she grew, the more she got used to her parents being away on missions and raids, and she grew closer to the Death Eaters that cared for her in their absence. Narcissa loved spending time with her niece outside of Bellatrix's influence, and when she found out she was pregnant, she was more than thrilled to have an older cousin for her unborn child. Cassiopeia, who was six years old when her cousin Draco was born, had never been around other children. She loved to stroke the newborn's platinum blond hair and sing him little songs she had made up, but jealousy started to take shape when she had less of her aunt's attention. More than once, she had to be removed from his nursery when objects nearby started to tremble and shatter, something that she rarely did on purpose.

Months after Draco's arrival, whispers traveled throughout the magical community that the bastard daughter of the Dark Lord was displaying monumental magical prowess, and rumors began to circulate that she had been able to perform absurd spells, such as force a dormant volcano to erupt, or disarm seven wizards at once in a duel. The fear-mongering of the magical folk prompted action, and the Ministry organized and attempted to take her from the Death Eaters' clutches. One night when they knew that Voldemort was off killing Muggles with his most trusted inner circle, Minister Eugenia Jenkins sent the bulk of her Aurors to the Lestrange residence to retrieve her. For many intense minutes, it looked as though the surprised handful of Death Eaters was going to succumb to their attack. But a message had been promptly sent to the Dark Lord, and he had Apparated back to protect his offspring, just in time to kill most of the Aurors before any of them knew what had happened.

From then on, it was decided that she would always be under his or Bellatrix's protection, with no exceptions. For nearly a year, Cassiopeia was forced to witness many tortures, kidnappings, and murders, as her parents were not about to slow down their activities and lose momentum in the war. Lucius, who now was starting to look at the world differently since having his son, once suggested to Bellatrix that seeing these violent things might not be good for a six-year-old. It was the first time that his master used an Unforgivable curse on him.

Cassiopeia's saving grace, as it was for the rest of the magical community and Muggles alike, was Lord Voldemort's downfall. She was no longer subjected to seeing people being maimed and killed, and her mother barely spared a few minutes of her time to comfort her before taking off with Rodolphus and Rabastan to try to find their master. It wasn't long after, that the Longbottoms were tortured to the point of insanity for information, and Cassiopeia lost her mother to a lifelong sentence to Azkaban as well.

It was not the ideal upbringing in which a morally sound, level-headed witch could arise. But the love that she shared with her aunt gave her a fighting chance, and the Malfoys were set to raise her now that her parents were gone. And as luck would have it, a former inner-circle Death Eater known as Severus Snape was given the task to look after her as best he could, as he already had an amicable relationship with the Malfoys. He had dire warnings from Albus Dumbledore that no matter what happened in the next several years, the daughter of Lord Voldemort needed to receive her education at Hogwarts, or other dark influences surrounding her might bring destruction to them all.

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