Chapter XVII: Villain Revealed

Chapter XVII: Villain Revealed

A Chapter by Ashleigh

Tonks argues with Bella before her parents' funeral. Voldemort figures out the truth about Harry and Bellatrix and forms a plan.


                Tonks knocked on Harry's door a few days after the news of her parents' deaths had hit her. Her mousy brown hair hung lank and flat to her shoulders and covered her pale, sullen face. She had lost quite a bit of weight for only three days and looked quite depressed and sickly. She wasn't wearing her usual punk attire, rather long black robes with a matching cloak and black heels. She hoped this visit wouldn't take too long. She didn't want to be late for the funeral. Harry opened the door and silently let her in the mansion. Sitting down in the living area, Harry was the first to speak. "Isn't the funeral today?" he asked her. Tonks nodded solemnly.

                "Yes. I came in case you and Bellatrix wanted to give me something to put on their graves. How is she?" Tonks asked in a monotonous voice, obviously referring to her aunt. Harry sighed and ran his fingers through his hair nervously.

                "A wreck, actually," he admitted. "She hasn't stopped crying since she found out and hasn't left the bedroom. I've had to force her to eat," he said. His voice held a note of worry and Tonks knew he was worried about the health of their baby as well as Bella. Looking down at the ground for a moment, Tonks bit her lip to stem a sudden upsurge of tears and swallowed hard. Clearing her throat, she looked up again and nodded.

                "I can talk to her if you want," she offered. Looking down at her watch, she added "I've still got about an hour." Harry had to admire her courage. Her parents were dead and she was still thinking of everyone else around her and offering comfort to others. With a faint smile, Harry nodded and led her upstairs to his and Bella's room. He knocked gently on the door.

                "Bella? Tonks is here. She wants to talk to you," he said tentatively. A faint sniffling could be heard and Dobby opened the door. Bowing deeply to both Harry and Tonks, he squeaked in his high-pitch voice.

                "Ms. Black would like to see both Mr. Potter and Ms. Tonks," he announced, allowing them both into the bed chamber. Bella was seated in the armchair in the corner of the vast room, her large belly covered in a quilt. Her hair hung in front of her face as well, and her eyes had pink rims around them from crying. She looked up at them and gave a watery smile.

                "Tonks," she said quietly. "I'd hoped you'd come. I wanted you to bring these to the funeral for me." Bella slowly got up with a bit of assistance from Harry and walked to the nightstand where a bouquet of flowers lay tied at the stems. Picking them up and breathing in the scent of the wild flowers, Bella handed them to Tonks who accepted them gingerly, as if afraid of ruining them. Tonks smiled faintly when she saw the daffodils placed among the assortment.

                "Daffodils... Mum's favourite," she whispered, clearing her throat once again to avoid tearing up. Nodding gratefully, Tonks waved her wand and the bouquet disappeared, ready to be re-summoned once she arrived there. Bella had gone back to the armchair and was wiping her eyes with a handkerchief Dobby had handed to her. Harry gave Tonks a pointed look and she nodded as Harry walked out of the room. He knew Bella wouldn't listen to Tonks if he was hovering nearby and he had already tried lifting her spirits himself with no success. Sighing, Harry flopped down on the couch in the sitting area and buried his head in his hands. Voldemort was gaining more power every day, Dumbledore was going crazy, Bella and his child were in danger, Tonks' parents were dead. The entire wizarding world was falling apart and Harry had no idea how to put it back together.

                Upstairs, Tonks hesitantly sat on the bed across from Bella in the armchair. She gave her aunt an exasperated look, and Bellatrix raised her eyebrows. "What?" she asked. Tonks sighed and allowed another strand of mousy hair to fall into her eyes.

                "Harry," Tonks said simply. Bellatrix looked completely nonplussed and continued to give Tonks a blank stare.

                "What about him?" she asked. Tonks sighed and threw her hands up in the air in her frustration. How could she be so dumb sometimes?

                "Can't you see how worried he is? He told me that you haven't eaten a proper meal in three days. Need I remind you that you're pregnant?" she asked, losing her patience. Bellatrix's eyes narrowed and she stood up as abruptly as she could with the extra weight in the front. Her eyes flashed dangerously and she put her hands on her hips. For a moment, Tonks was reminded of Bellatrix Lestrange, wanted Death Eater, but the memory quickly passed. Bellatrix's voice shook with anger when she next spoke.

                "Harry sent you up here to try and talk to me, is that it? My sister is dead!" she screamed. Tonks stood up as her eyes involuntarily popped from their normal colour to red to purple to black and back again.

                "BOTH MY PARENTS ARE DEAD!" Tonks shrieked even louder. "You know what? Fine, starve your baby for all I care! I don't know why the hell I give a damn!" she shouted, her cloak whipping around behind her as she stalked out, storming down the stairs. Harry looked up hopefully but one look at Tonks' furious face told him things had not gone well. He opened his mouth to try and say something, but she just glowered and he fell silent again. "Goodbye Harry!" she snapped, bolting out of the living area, but collided with Remus Lupin, who had just been allowed entry into the mansion by Dobby. Tonks sighed and ruffled her lank, brown hair stressfully. "Sorry, Remus," she mumbled. Remus just waved off the apology with a simple hand gesture.

                "It's quite alright," he assured her kindly. "I take it you didn't get my owl this morning saying I'd meet you here, then," he told her. Tonks sighed and shook her head.

                "No, I left early. I must have missed it," she admitted. Looking down at her watch, she frowned. "D****t! If we don't get a move on now, we'll be late," she said, grabbing Remus' arm and practically dragging him out of the mansion. She bolted out the door with Remus trailing behind, looking slightly puzzled. As they reached the end of the drive and prepared to apparate, Remus grabbed Tonks' arm to hold her back for a few moments.

                "Your eyes are popping different colours. You're angry," he observed. Tonks pulled out of his grasp and glared. Why was it that every time she was upset, he always wanted her to open up? It was aggravating. She could handle herself just fine without turning into a pile of sappy jell-o.

                "I'm perfectly alright, given the circumstances, Remus. Can we please get a move on?" she snapped. For a moment, Remus looked as if he were about to argue, but seemed to have thought better of it and closed his mouth with a silent nod. "Thank you," she told him irritably as both of them apparated to the funeral service.

*   *   *

                Harry gingerly sat down on the bed beside Bella, who had collapsed there crying after Tonks had left in her storm of anger. He felt quite helpless and a little guilty for not being able to at least make Bella feel better. He squeezed her hand and sighed. "You know, I just thought that if she talked to you instead, it would work out better since you're both grieving, that's all," he said to her for the eighth time. After Tonks had left, Bella had rounded on Harry for sending Tonks to talk to her. Sitting up, Bella gave a very dry laugh, which wasn’t really a laugh at all.

                "Really? Well, I guess you didn't think that she'd tell me to starve our baby for all she cared, did you?" she snapped bitterly. Harry's jaw dropped. Tonks wouldn't say something like that, would she?

                "She said that?" he asked her. Another sob escaped her as she nodded, and Harry frowned. "Well, I'm sure she didn't mean it. You know, she's stressed and all..." he tried to defend her, but he still made a mental note to make it very clear to Tonks that he would destroy her if she ever said something like that about his son or daughter again. Bella wiped her eyes with the corner of the comforter and sighed.

                "Maybe," she whispered weakly. "I miss Angie so much. All those years we never spoke because I was a Death Eater and now she's gone and I can never make up for it," she wept bitterly. Harry's heart ached for her. He had to do something to make her smile, if only for a little while. Quickly forming a plan, Harry kissed her forehead and stood up.

                "I'll be right back," he told her. Dashing down the staircase, Harry began rummaging in the baby supplies from Diagon Alley that Dobby and Kreacher had stored in one of the spare rooms. "Come on, where is it... I know I bought one..." he mumbled to himself, ripping through the box of children's books. He had nearly gotten to the bottom of the box when he found what he was looking for and pulled out the book with a satisfied smile. Dashing back up the staircase to his and Bella's bedroom, the book tucked under his arm, he sat down on the bed beaming, ignoring Bella's questions. He handed the book to her and she scanned the cover.

                "1001 Baby Names for Newborn Witches and Wizards..." she mumbled to herself. A very faint smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, and Harry inwardly congratulated himself on achieving his objective. Talking about the baby never failed to lift Bella's spirits and make her smile. She opened the book and scanned through some of the names. "For a boy... what about Winston?" she asked hopefully. Harry raised his eyebrows and laughed.

                "No. It sounds like an old, sour-faced politician," he told her. Bella rolled her eyes impatiently as Harry took the book from her. Looking down the list of A's, he stopped on one. "For a girl... Angelica?" he proposed. Bella wrinkled her nose in disgust and shook her head.

                "That's a horrid name!" she argued. The bickering continued like this for quite some time until Bella suddenly looked around the large, dark room and sighed sadly, gently rubbing her belly. Harry's eyebrows knit in concern.

                "What is it?" he asked gently, grabbing her hand. Bella gave him a very forlorn look and swallowed a wave of tears, shaking her head ever so slightly.

                "It's just... this house has so many bad memories within its walls, and I was forced to grow up here as a child," she told him. "I don't want our baby to have the same childhood I did and I certainly don't want him or her to grow up to be like me," she sighed. Harry had never realized how unhappy living in this mansion had made her. Indeed, it was never Harry's intention to stay here as long as he did. He had originally chosen to take up residence here because it was so close to Ron, but Ron was nothing more than a stranger to him now; a distant memory of who he had been as a young boy. Harry had opened a new chapter in his life now and Ron or Hermione did not fit into that chapter. He had stayed at the Black family mansion because he had thought Bellatrix wanted it that way, but now he knew otherwise.

                "Why didn't you ever tell me?" he asked her. "I didn't know you hated it here... you never said anything," he told her, feeling a little bewildered. Had she really thought that he would be angry or argue with her? What normal human being in their right mind would ever want to live in a gloomy, depressing place like this, let alone raise a family here? Bellatrix raised her eyebrows in surprise.

                "I thought you liked it here. You built Sirius' memoriam here and you worked so hard to decorate this place for Christmas. It almost looked cheerful for the first time I can remember of this house." She smiled wistfully at the memory. Harry smiled too, remembering how wonderful and happy that Christmas and New Year's had been. He nodded in agreement.

                "Yeah," he agreed. Well, he would have to fix this situation. This was one problem that he actually knew how to solve and it was a relief to focus on something other than war or death. "Bella, we have other properties; other houses. We can live anywhere we want. We don't have to stay here if you don't want to. I don't like it here either, to be honest," he admitted. Bella laughed for the first time in three days and Harry's heart leapt. He had missed hearing her laugh so much. Squeezing her hand, he continued. "I can go and look at all our properties and find a home that we'll actually be happy in. What do you think?" he asked her, feeling his mood lift considerably. Maybe being in a brighter, happier home would be good for them. Harry had begun to feel like a mole, being holed up in such a dark place for the longest time. Bella nodded, smiling.

                "Thank you, Harry," she told him. "I'll be glad to be rid of this festering grime-pit," she sighed, eyeing her old childhood home with disdain.

*   *   *

                The gloomy light of torches along dark stone walls cast an eerie glow upon the underground room. Moisture dampened the walls and floors, creating a musty smell as rats squeaked and jabbered at each other from the room's crevices and corners. A large, slithering snake sat coiled snugly on a rickety table as her master was perched on an antique chair behind the table. One long pale finger reached out from the darkness to lovingly stroke the snake's head and the snake hissed in pleasure, enjoying the affection from her master. "Any moment now, Nagini," a high cold voice whispered softly, confident that his servant would return within the hour. If not... well, that would be quite unfortunate for his servant.

                The frantic squeaking of another rat rang through the room and soon a very thin, tiny body missing patches of fur and missing a toe scrambled up the table, its eyes practically popping out of its head. Nagini hissed menacingly and started to open her jaws to gulp down the frightened rat, but it gave another terrified squeak and dived off the table, landing with a thud on the damp stone floor.
                "Wormtail! What news have you brought?" the cold voice of Lord Voldemort demanded.

                "M-my Lord. Very exciting news, I have. V-very exciting!" Wormtail gasped. He was no longer the ugly rat that scarpered off the table, but a very ugly man with beady black eyes. The foot that had the missing toe as a rat was now a gleaming silver hand, all five fingers intact. Wormtail bent his head in respect for his master and rattled off all that he had found out. "M-My Lord... Harry Potter has been sighted in Diagon Alley, buying baby supplies," he rattled off, taking deep gulping breaths to keep himself from stuttering in his mingled awe and fear. "Some muggles living nearby claim that they may have seen a dark-haired woman in the distance, walking around Harry Potter's property but they are unsure and no one in the wizarding world seems to believe them," he finished, shuddering slightly as Nagini repositioned herself on the rough, uneven table. Voldemort stroked his chin thoughtfully.

                "This is quite disturbing, Wormtail," he revealed softly, his narrow, red eyes unfocused on a particular object as he thought to himself. "My most loyal Death Eater goes missing for over a year and evades all of my attempts to locate her. My nemisis is seen purchasing children's products and filthy muggles are claiming to see a woman who strangely resembles my Death Eater walking around Harry Potter's property. Wormtail, do you know what is happening here?" he asked coldly, his recently unfocused eyes now sharply attentive to the quivering, pathetic man bowing in front of him. Wormtail whimpered, terrified of answering the question incorrectly, but even more terrified of refusing to answer Voldemort's question.

                "My L-Lord," he gasped, rubbing his silver hand nervously. "You don't think... Bellatrix and Potter..." he began, but Voldemort held up a sickly white hand to silence him and Wormtail obliged, shaking from head to foot. Voldemort laughed cruelly and resumed stroking his beloved snake.

                "Oh I do not think that they are together Wormatail," he chuckled in a soft tone that made Wormtail's blood run cold. "I know they are. Thank you Wormtail, you have proven to be helpful for once," he snapped spitefully. "It seems I have a new objective," he announced. Wormtail hesitantly looked up, but quickly snapped his head down again, too terrified of looking his master in the eye.

                "W-what is that, my Lord?" he asked in a very feeble voice. Voldemort stood up and loomed over Wormtail, his evil red eyes boring through his skull as if someone had put a magnifying glass over his head on a hot summer's day.

                "To destroy Potter and Bellatrix... and any unworthy little brats that may come from them!" he hissed. Wormtail nodded and dared to ask one last question.

                "Do we carry your plans out right away, My Lord?" he asked. Voldemort sat back down and folded his hands in his lap.

                "No, Wormtail. Not just yet," he replied. "Let them enjoy the safety of their cozy mansion and the birth of their child. Then we shall strike and greatly enjoy seeing the looks on their faces as they witness their child die at the hands of Lord Voldemort," he chuckled sinisterly. "I shall wipe out any trace of Harry Potter on this earth, mark my words," he said in a low, angry voice.

© 2008 Ashleigh

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Added on December 16, 2008



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