Devil's Delight
By: Rynne

Before he strikes, one may deny that the Devil walks. But after he has thrown off his cloak of night and revealed himself before you in all his dark glory, denial is one luxury that you are no longer able to afford.

Bellatrix has her own glory. She has her own darkness, reflected in her hair and her eyes and her voice. She lets her hair shimmer and absorb the light, lets her eyes absorb othersí secrets, and lets her voice, low and husky, convince them to do what otherwise they would not. And Bellatrix glories in it, in her power and devotion and fear and respect.

The Devil walks at night under the cover of his own darkness, that no one knows he is there. He walks past the doorways of shuttered houses, and the shadows seem to recoil from him even as they yearn to stretch out and embrace their Master.

The shadows may have learned to recoil, but not Bellatrix. She holds her head high and proud as she gazes into the eyes of the only one sheíll allow to command her. Sheíll gaze into the eyes of the Devil, this incarnation with shades of green and flickers of fire, and he will let her, because it amuses him to do so. He does not need another reason.

And still the Devil walks, his feet clicking against the cobblestones. He is alone, because no one will walk with him. He does not need anyone with him, for he has the cool of the night and the stone against his feet, the scream of a child in the midst of night terrors, and the song of a mouse squeaking its death throes after being caught by a cat. The Devil delights in such things.

And Bellatrix will do anything to bring him his delight. But with her, a child will not scream in terror of nightmares, but in pain and agony of torture as its parents are forced to watch and sob. Bellatrix has a smile on her face as she waits for praise in return for pain, and thinks nothing of what she caused beyond her Masterís pleasure. But then, to her, there is nothing beyond her Masterís pleasure.

The Devil walks to find his victims, and nothing will stop him. Wards and locked doors do not stay his approach, and neither do cries and pleadings. The Devil walks the path of pain, and has since his decision many years ago to let the darkness inside him bloom and grow until it drowns out any trace of his former light. He cannot bear to see the light, and walks under darknessís cloak to find new screams, which are as music to his ears.

Bellatrix has become particularly adept at singing him his song of choice, and offers him a chorus for whenever he might like. He is the only one worthy of her service, she knows, and so she offers it to him freely and without reservation, to do whatever he would with it. But he has asked nothing from her that she would not do, and gladly. There is something, Bellatrix has found, in the wails of utter agony and anguish from the Mudbloods and the filthy Muggles, that excites her. It is perhaps the heady power that comes of training her wand on those not fit to lick her boots, but it is there, and it gives both her and her Master pleasure, so it must be right to do it.

The Devil walks and does his will, and none can dare to stop him. He has much more than his opponents know, and what they donít know will hurt them. They are young and foolish, and he is old and canny, and can no more be stopped than can the tides or the moonís nightly journey. His power will turn them against themselves, because he knows that fear can inspire what respect does not, and takes advantage of that knowledge where they will hesitate to do so. That will be their undoing.

Bellatrix offers him both fear and respect, and knows that it is right to do so. Both assure her continued obedience better than one might alone, and Bellatrix delights in giving one so fearful her respect. He allows her to be what she is like none have ever done before, not even the family that supports her in all her endeavors, because they have firm ideas of where she is placed, and it is beside her family, and not before her Master. They would not offer her the fear that she craves, and her Master gives her opportunities to attain it, and so he has her devotion.

The Devil walks to kill a child, and rests secure that his reign will no longer be challenged. The childís parents shall join their son in his eternal slumber, and so a warning will be served to those of light who foolishly believe that they might prevail before the night. But the Devil walks, and does not know what awaits him beyond the darkened door, and does not realize that a force beyond even the powers of darkness will sweep him away. After all, the Devil does not feel love.

Bellatrix feels the mark of the Devilís favor burn with Devilís fire, and now she truly feels the agony of serving her Master. And she knows what has happened to him; the pain makes that quite clear. She does not understand how it could have happened, but right now she does not care. If he is truly gone, then so too is her fear and respect and devotion for him, and she does not know what she can do without them. They have been a part of her for so long, and she feels empty not to have the solace of them any longer. She knows she must get them back to truly be herself again, and knows too how to find them. She must find him again, because he is her Master and he cannot be dead.

But the Devil walks no longer where Bellatrix may follow. But he waits, even as he may not walk, and knows that Bellatrix will bring him more screams for his delight, that patience will bring every reward, and that despite this setback, nothing truly can stop the Devil.