Shades of Evil


Story Summary:
Oneshots of certain Death Eaters as seen by an associate. Starting with Bellatrix Lestrange, then probably Lucius, Narcissa, Draco, Regulus Black, and a few others, but not in that order.

Chapter 01 - Bellatrix

Chapter Summary:
An encounter between Severus Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange, and the enlightening conversation that they have.

"Bellatrix, why don't you just find a way out of it?" Snape demanded, a rare expression of concern on his face. He hesitated, for even Voldemort's closest followers did not speak lightly of the Dark Lord's pastimes, and then continued, his lip curled in distaste. "I'm sure there's...something...that you can do for him to atone for your mistake."

"Mistake?" The voice of the woman staring out the window was bitter. Ignoring the instinct to berate him to his face, she continued coldly, mocking his words. "A mistake is forgetting to wipe my mouth before kissing his robe. A mistake is approaching too close when speaking, or looking at his face and not showing proper humility." Her normally sinuous voice was taut with resentment, making him wonder what would happen if the tight rein on it were to snap.

The dark woman spun around to look him in the eye. She continued, her tone full of resentment. Though it was not aimed at him, he could still feel the heat of the bitterness in her words. "Severus, you of all people should know what our Master considers to be a mistake." Stepping closer, she stopped, her face inches away from his, unconsciously evidencing the dark circles under her hooded eyes, and the lines ingrained by stress and worry.

Her voice deadly quiet, she whispered, "Letting the Potter boy escape will not endear me to him any more than Lucius' failure with the diary made him the Dark Lord's favourite servant."

A mirthless smirk curved her full lips as she stepped back, giving him space. When she spoke again, her voice was hard. "I know what you believe me to be, Severus--I won't deny that I am. But the choice was not mine then, nor will it ever be. I obey his commands," she maintained, then let her breath out in a rush as she finished, "although I wish I could refuse."

Snape looked at her, a question on his face. Reading it, she straightened resolutely, once again a Slytherin lady of purest blood. "Yes, I could have declined graciously, stating some motive that would never satisfy him. I could have flawlessly played my part as the devoted wife and respectable Pureblood lady--if I were ready to join Regulus in whatever hell was prepared for those who do the things that we've done." She quirked an eyebrow. "The Dark Lord's trust in me is not so unfailing that he would accept my condolences with a nod and a smile."

She turned away, seemingly examining the room's Victorian d├ęcor. "I could refuse him, even now," she murmured, glancing up at him, and for a moment he thought she appeared older, and he saw weariness in her face. "But I have not your countless wiles, Severus." She bit her lip, reluctant to speak freely even with one she had long called friend. "And I am not yet willing to die."

Composing herself, she lifted her gaze and gave him a brittle smile. He shuddered, haunted by ghosts of a too-distant past. That smile was a corruption of the vitality that Bellatrix had possessed as a child and, later, as a young woman. The indomitable girl he had known was hiding inside, he believed; however, he was unsure if she could ever escape.

"Be grateful, Severus, and pray that the Dark Lord's tastes never change." She paused deliberately, brushing his cheek with her well-manicured hand, and the sensual feel of her intentionally careless touch repulsed him. "For your sake, if nothing else." The corner of her mouth twitched in inward amusement. "As for me, I hope he decides that women disgust him."

This will eventually be a set of one-shots, but at the moment I only have three completed, under 5,000 words in all.

Your profile said that you are only accepting one-shots at the moment. If you would be willing, I could send each oneshot whenever you have time to work with it. They are short, and my spelling and grammar are better than most, so you could focus on the problems with the actual writing. (Believe me about the spelling and grammar. I am a beta, also.)

I would not ask this, but my last beta quit betaing because of RL problems, and I prefer to stick with one beta who can handle the different things that I write. Only two betas fit the description that I entered of my work in general, and you fit it best.