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Deslea R. Judd
Pairing: Bellatrix Lestrange/Voldemort
Summary: When he thinks he has her under the Imperio, it doesn't affect her, but it affects him.
Word Count: 1200
More Fic: On AO3 or my fic site.
Feedback: Love the stuff. On AO3 or at deslea at deslea dot com.
Notes: Inspired by the artwork His Favourite Doll by Neverlandforever. The artist mentions that it is a scene from a fic of hers, but I haven't read it, because it's a seemingly-abandoned WIP. So I hope I haven't unwittingly gone too close to the original work.
It is only in the Imperio that they are free.
Bella thinks this when the Dark Lord whispers it gently into her ear as she is on the cusp of sleep. When he rolls her over onto her back and kneels between her thighs, a meditative look settling onto his features.
It doesn't affect her a bit.
Partly, it's because she's mad. Nowhere near as mad as they think - about ninety percent of it is her unfathomable-to-them love for him and her own defiance of gender norms - but still mad, yes. She's a bloody Black; it was practically written in the stars. And the mad have always been difficult to control.
Partly, it's because he's been doing this to her for so many years. Once, she felt the tug of his control, though it was never unstoppable. But over time even this small amount of power over her has faded. He has power over her, yes, but not this power.
Mostly, though, it is because he has never needed the Imperio to get what he wants from her at all. There is nothing he could command her that she wouldn't do of her own free will, just because he asked.
It may not affect her, but it affects him.
He doesn't scan her mind, for one thing. Doesn't try to calculate and evaluate her thoughts. He believes the will of her is sleeping, and he allows himself to rest.
For another, he gives her things, and asks for things, that he would never give or ask if he knew that she could remember. And this she finds unutterably precious.
Some days, she longs to tell him that she knows. Longs to bring this part of him, of them together, out into the open. But good sense prevails, impresses on her that it would only drive that part of him away. So she settles for these moments just as they are, an oubliette, a forgotten place where he believes he is alone.
"Bella," he murmurs. He says it reverently, as he never speaks it outside. "My Bella."
"Master," she says, though she knows it is not what he wants to hear. She must await his command for that.
A shadow passes over his features, a kind of grief. "Say my name."
"Tom," she whispers, infusing it with as much love as she can without giving herself away. Longs to reach out to him, but this too must wait.
"You love me, Bella?" he says diffidently. It is a question, not a command.
Her heart shatters, every time, that he has to ask. It finds its way back together again at the realisation that he wouldn't ask if he didn't already know the answer.
"I love you, Tom." Merlin, but I love you.
He holds out a hand to her, and when she twines her fingers around his, he doesn't pull away. "Show me," he rasps. "Show me how much."
Set free from her restraint, she sits bolt upright and grasps his face hard between her hands. Kisses him, hard and deep, a claiming, and he allows himself to be claimed. The joy of it makes her melt, makes her heart sing, makes her insides ache with need, makes her thighs tremble and the flesh between them swell and part. Nothing is better than this, not the power of magic, not the heat of battle. Nothing.
"Tom," she begs, flinging back her head, baring her neck, her curls tumbling down her back. His mouth is beneath her jaw, sucking, hungry yet tender enough to surprise her, even now. His hands are on her breasts, touching her through the flimsy underthings he likes her to wear, things that stop them from being naked to each other. He slides silk restlessly over her flesh, then drags it off her, bowing his head to suck on one nipple, then the other. Lets her push his robe back off his shoulders and kiss him down the length of his chest.
She slides her way down his body, bends and takes him into her mouth. Worships him there, tracing her way lovingly around every curve and angle and ridge, sighing as he tangles his hands into her hair, as his fingers trace blazing trails of fire over her back. She looks up at him, his head bent, studying her, and slides her free hand up his body to cradle his cheek. He turns his face into it and kisses her palm, eyes closed, and oh God, he feels for her, she can see it and feel it like a life force rushing through her. Everything in her shatters all at once, and she abandons her worship of him to slide up him again, and he meets her halfway, bending to kiss her more delicately, more thoroughly than he's ever kissed her.
Every time, he lets her in further. Every time, she falls deeper in love with him than she thought she could. Than she thought she had in her at all.
She tugs him down, back, down on top of her. Needs him close, skin to skin. He sinks onto her, sinks into her, and bows his head to her shoulder, surrendering to her completely. Rocks with her, evenly, slowly but thoroughly, trying to stay with her as long as he can.
"I love you," she whispers, and she wishes to Merlin he could let her say it outside.
Love, he breathes, and she doesn't hear it - will never hear it - but she feels it, breath moving against the skin on her neck.
It's enough. For all his flaws, for all that holds him in and holds him back, he's always, always been enough.
They stay that way, moving slowly for a long, long time. He is reluctant, she thinks, to let the moment go. To let her go. But finally, he speeds up, bringing her through one crashing wave of release after another. Overwhelming her, overpowering her, as completely as he believes he's done all along. She feels the pulse of him inside her and she seizes around him, not wanting to let him go.
He kisses her, slowly, temple and cheek and ear and mouth and jaw, bringing her down. Drawing her gently against him, moulding to her, his torso heavy and comforting against her back. Holds her hard, one arm around her shoulders, the other beneath her breasts, inhaling the scent of her hair and burying his face against her neck.
Presently, her camisole reappears on her body, and his arms around her are clad in silk robe. She swallows hard, grieving as always for the precious thing she is about to lose. By sheer force of will, she manages not to clutch at his hands as they gently withdraw.
He presses his lips to her shoulder, and whispers, "Finite."
She stays there on her side as he rolls out onto his back. Cool air washes over her back, replacing the warmth of him, and she feels terrible, terrible loss.
"Good night, Bella," he says tersely after a while.
"Good night, Master," she says, and she retreats to her dreams where he will always be Tom.