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Title: Pride's First Fall
Author: iulia_linnea
Pairing: Severus/Bellatrix, implied Severus/Narcissa
Rating: NC-17
Warnings (highlight to view): For adult/teen chan and implied teen/teen chan.
Word Count: 2860
Summary: At fifteen, Severus knows something about Dark Magic, but he would prefer to know a certain dark-haired witch.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Written for mieronna as part of hp_lovelettersValentine's Day fic and art exchange. Thank you, calmingshoggoth, eaivalefay, and hawkeyecat, for beta'ing.

Severus found her in the Blacks' back garden, an over-grown, moss-covered expanse of earth that held an ancient air, though imparted nothing of her family's nobility. She was weeping, but he could barely hear her for all the chatter of the company filtering through the open windows above them. He was uncertain if he should approach her, for he knew that she was promised to another—one who would not approve of his attentions to his intended.

But she's crying, and she's a girl. I can't just leave her like this, the fifteen-year-old thought, smoothing down his formal robes nervously.

"No one comes out here," Bellatrix accused more than said then, turning to stare at him.

"You did."

"So did you. Why?"

Severus looked at Bellatrix, wondering at how her hair was so dark that it disappeared in the blackness of the night, and then shook his head at how stupidly sentimental he was being. She's not for you. Don't even dream.

"I asked you a question, Snape. Why'd you come out here?"

Severus drew himself up in an approximation of his father's arrogant stance and said archly, "The celebration wearies me," as if he had been to many such gatherings.

"Does it?" Bellatrix asked, as if she genuinely cared about his answer but knew that she should not. "Those are important people in there."

"Not so important that you stayed," he replied, taking a few studiously casual steps closer to the fountain by which Bellatrix sat.

"The Lestranges have money."

"So they do. The Blacks—"

"Have more," Bellatrix interrupted, her voice strangling in her throat. "That isn't why."

"Why then?" Severus asked, bravely sitting down on the stone edge of the fountain next to her. "Why'd they . . . promise you to him?"

"No chance of babies that would breathe fire, I expect."

"Ah."

"There hasn't been a Black-Lestrange union in over three generations."

"I knew what you meant," Severus said, testily. "And it's a myth, anyway."

"What is?"

"Babies that breathe fire. You'd more likely have a Squib child, inter-marrying too closely."

Bellatrix gave a bark of laughter and scrubbed at her eyes. "You think you know everything, don't you, Snape?"

"I know that you were crying," he asserted, feeling a bit more at ease because she had not told him to go away.

Pretty girls usually did.

"Tell anyone that, and I'll—"

"Tell me why you were crying, and I won't say a word."

Bellatrix stared hard at him, for a moment, considering. "Fine. I'd rather tell Andromeda,
but she's . . . . Oh, fine. I think that Margaret French is trying to steal my magic."

Severus, who had felt all of his awkwardness return at the mention of Bellatrix's blood-traitor of a sister, could barely conceal his surprise at the revelation that Bellatrix thought that French could steal anything so strong as a Black's magic. "That's ridiculous. She's a Hufflepuff!"

"She wants Rodolphus for herself. She's been telling me all term she'd make me worse than a Squib if I accepted him."

"And you listened to her? Really, Bella—"

"Don't you call me that!"

"I apologize," Severus said quickly, knowing that he had been far too familiar. But the girl's eyes—they seemed to absorb all the ambient light and shine with such a compelling glow that he could barely help but think of her as beautiful. Stop it. Stop it, you git! She's not yours.

"What do you know about that sort of thing, magic-stealing?" Bellatrix pressed. "I know you're always at your books. I know Lucius thinks you know things. Is it true?"

Lucius thinks I know things? Severus thought, inordinately pleased. "Yes," he affirmed proudly. "I know lots of things. I even know how to keep French from stealing your magic."

This was not strictly true, but Severus knew that the magic-stealing business was as much of a myth as fire-breathing babies.

And if I "help" her, perhaps she'll let me steal a kiss as payment.

His cock twitched in approval at the idea.

"How then? What would I have to do? Is blood involved?" Bellatrix demanded, her eyes glittering almost feverishly at the thought.

Severus took it for fear.

"Well, no. But we'll need salt."

"Salt?"

"To set a circle. Is there somewhere . . . more private we could go?"

Bellatrix raised a suspicious eyebrow as Severus held his breath, but then jerked a nod at him and rose. "Follow me."

Exhaling, Severus did so, watching in admiration as Bellatrix raised one hand to lazily catch the jar of salt that was levitating from a lower window toward her. She can do wordless magic, too! He doubted very much that her younger sister, who was inside even now being fawned over by Lucius, could do that. I don't know what Lucius sees in that pale thing.

Bellatrix led him to a shed by the fence at the back of the property, which was situated under the drooping branches of a tree as if to hide it.

"This is our playhouse," she explained, leading Severus into the dark little room and then spelling the door locked. "Lumos!" she cast, before setting her wand to hover above them like a tiny torch. "Well? What do we do?"

Severus looked about himself and saw three rickety wooden chairs, a stained wooden table, and a musty smelling armchair which was missing most of its padding. There was a disturbing scent of old copper in the air, old copper and dust and something sickly sweet that he could not identify.

"What kinds of games do you get up to in here, anyway?"

"Snape," Bellatrix huffed, "do you know how to help me or not?"

Perhaps I don't want to know, at that. "Of course I do. Give me the salt and scourgify that table," he ordered, trying to recapture his air of authority.

Bellatrix obeyed him, and he could not have been more pleased.

"Now, take the salt and form a ring of it on the table, being careful not to break it—and do it clockwise!"

"I'm not such a fool that I don't know not to do it widdershins," Bellatrix snapped, surreptitiously altering the direction of her pouring as she followed Severus' instructions. "There. Now what?"

"Now we sit," Severus told her, desperately trying to think of how to proceed. "Clear your mind." A poem? No. A riddle? No! She wants protection. To do that I've got to— "Black, tell me exactly what French said to you. Has she touched you? Has she taken anything of yours?"

"Of course she hasn't!"

"I had to ask. The spell demands specificity. Have you," he said, pausing to remember the exact line in Darke Artes for the Ages, "'felt the tug of darke magicks coursing through your veynes'?"

"No. French just threatened me, Snape. If she'd touched me, I'd've—"

"Right then. Now we join hands," he interrupted, shucking off his robes and laying them on the back of his chair before reaching over the salt circle to Bellatrix. "Well? Don't tell me you're afraid," he mocked.

Bellatrix removed her robes, as well, and then held out her hands to grasp Severus'. "What's next?"

So warm, he thought, abruptly sitting down. "Charging the circle. You know how to do that, don't you?"

"You sound like you've a frog in your throat," Bellatrix chided, looking doubtful. "Fine then. I don't know. How do I charge the circle?"

"R—rub my hands," Severus said, nervously.

It was probably all he was going to get, and he wanted to make the most of touching her.

Bellatrix glared at him, but she did as she was told. "Like that?"

For a moment, Severus was unable to answer her. "Y—yes. Good."

"Charged enough, yet?" Bellatrix asked a moment later, clearly smirking at Severus in the gloom.

"Are you? I mean, do you feel . . . charged?"

"I feel ridiculous," she replied, making to pull her hands out of his.

"No!" Severus yelled, startling Bellatrix.

She froze. "What? What did I—"

"Black, don't be an idiot! You can't just break a charging circle of power," Severus told her, his face purposefully full of shock at the witch's supposed ignorance. "Do you want to flood the room with undirected magical energy?"

"How was I supposed to know? I don't even know what we're doing."

"Keep rubbing—and close your eyes—and tell me what, exactly, it is you want to do here."

"I don't want French to steal—"

"No. Tell me what you want," Severus hissed, enjoying the feeling of power tricking Bellatrix was giving him.

"I want to protect my magic," she replied, her lower lip trembling.

It made Severus feel slightly dizzy to see it. "I—I'd say the circle is charged now."

"So what do we do?"

"I'm going to tell you a spell. It's simple. You'll repeat it after I've said it, and then . . . and then I'll give you further instruction as to how to break the circle safely."

"All right."

His trousers uncomfortably tight, Severus pulled from memory a nursery charm he had once read in a book of magical myths. "Craft the spell in the fire. Craft it well, weave it higher. Weave it now of shining flame: None shall come to harm or maim. None shall pass this fiery wall. None shall pass, no none at all."

"That's long," Bellatrix protested.

Severus groaned. "You're wasting the circle, Black. Perhaps we should just forget—"

"No! All right. I'll do it, but . . . ."

"But?"

"Would you repeat it again?"

"Oh, very well," Severus said, acquiescing.

Bellatrix repeated the charm, waited a bit, and then asked, "What next? And there isn't any fire, so—"

"Do I have to tell you everything?" Severus asked in feigned irritation. "You're supposed to envision a protective flame around yourself—your aura, you know—and then incorporate the spell into your metaphysical being. Can you do that, Bellatrix?" he demanded, hoping she would not comment on his use of her given name.

He liked the way it sounded rolling off of his tongue.

"I don't think you're a very good teacher."

"Of course you don't. You can't even do a simple protection charm on your own."

"Bastard," Bellatrix muttered, pressing hard Severus' fingers. "Craft the spell in the fire," she began, squeezing her eyes even more tightly closed until she had completed the chant.

Severus called upon his own wordless magic to send a chill washing over the witch. She's got to think it's working, after all. He was pleased to see her shiver.

"I . . . I think it worked. I can see the wall. I'm inside of the wall!"

"That's good, very good. Now we've just to break the circle, and you'll have a spell to call upon when you feel threatened. It will keep working if you recharge it every month."

"How?"

"You just have to chant the charm to yourself. Can you remember it?"

"Of course I can remember it, Snape. Can we get on with it? My arms are tired."

"This part is tricky," he said, his voice uncertain. She won't do it. I know she won't do it.

"How tricky?"

"Open your eyes."

Bellatrix did so, and Severus' breath caught in his throat. He wanted to get things over with too, so that he could take himself off and deal with the annoying problem touching Bellatrix had caused him.

"We used metaphysical fire to set the spell, so we have to invoke . . . something wet to close it."

Bellatrix smirked. "There's no water here."

"I . . . I know."

"My tongue's . . . wet," she told him, leaning forward. "Should we kiss?"

"That's . . . that's the way I always break my circles of power," he managed to choke out.

"Don't you dare close your eyes," Bellatrix told Severus, leaning closer still, causing them both to raise their arms, until she had pressed her mouth against his and was pushing her tongue between his lips.

Oh . . . .

Kissing Bellatrix was as good as he had imagined it would be, but it caused too intense a sensation to do so while gazing into her eyes, and his prick's relentless throbbing made him lose his balance then. He let go of her hands, dropping his own to the table for purchase, and broke the salt circle.

Suddenly, the silken heat of Bellatrix's tongue was gone.

"Took you long enough," she said, her expression amused and haughty, as she wiped her mouth.

"For what? To break the circle?"

"No, you git. To kiss me."

"But, I thought—"

"Oh, I know exactly what you were thinking, you under-sexed pillock. That's why I brought you here."

Severus felt like a fool. It was all for larks. She was just—

"Don't look so crestfallen. You got your kiss."

Severus grabbed his robes and turned to the door, saying, "Bitch," while a hundred dark curses ran through his mind.

"Don't go," Bellatrix ordered.

It was hardly necessary, for she had warded the door. When Severus went to turn the knob, it did not move.

"Let me out!"

"I'm not done with you, you prat."

"You've had your fun. Now let me out!"

"No. I said that I wasn't done with you. Turn around, Severus."

Stunned by Bellatrix's use of his first name, begrudgingly, he did so.

"You do know about dark magic. I know you do, and I do want your help."

"With what?" he asked, his curiosity getting the better of himself.

"You know about binding magics, do you? The kind they use at weddings?"

Severus thought quickly. Even now, Narcissa Black's engagement to Lucius Malfoy was being celebrated inside the house, and his year mate had not looked particularly happy about it.

"Yes. I know all about that sort of thing. Why?"

"I don't want my little sister being enthralled by some parvenu. I can't think what my parents mean by engaging her to Malfoy, but if I can protect Narcissa, I will."

"Binding magics are powerful," Severus said, forgetting his embarrassment as the new problem began to unfold in his mind. "Once bound, there's nothing—"

"Exactly. 'Once bound', but I want you to do something to prevent Narcissa's binding. Can you do that? For me?" Bellatrix asked, batting her eyelashes sarcastically at Severus.

"Stop that."

"Oh, fine. Don't be tiresome, Snape. Can you help me, or can't you?"

"After that stunt you just pulled, you've got some nerve even asking!"

"Is Sevvie angwy? Aww."

"Shut up!"

Bellatrix moved around the table to stand between Severus and the door, pressing herself against him. His breath caught, again.

"You're nothing but a tease. I won't—"

"I'm not always a tease, you know," Bellatrix said, before kissing him again.

Severus' cock, which clearly knew nothing of pride, was as hard as it had ever been as Bellatrix rubbed it with one thigh.

"I'll do anything you like, Snape, anything at all—if you'll help my sister."

"B—before," he insisted. "Before, or I'm not doing anything for you."

"As you wish," the witch said, licking Severus' lips before sinking to the floor in front of him and ripping the buttons of his trousers off so that she could free his weeping prick. "Will this do?" she asked, taking the swollen flesh into her mouth.

"Yes!" he yelled, walking backwards in astonishment and reaching out behind himself to grasp the lip of the table for support.

Bellatrix laughed, and the vibration of the hot channel of her mouth as it rubbed and sucked his prick drove all thought from Severus' mind. Up, down, in, out—the friction of her bobbing head, of her vise-like mouth, was amazing, and it did not take long for the wizard—who was stuttering out a string of nonsensical words—to come.

Afterwards, Bellatrix, breathing deeply, surprised Severus by tucking up his quiescent cock back into his small clothes. She even charmed his buttons back onto his trousers and did them up.

"Will you help me?"

Severus looked at Bellatrix's disheveled clothing and disordered hair and thought, Not so beautiful after all. "A deal's a deal," he said, his mouth dry. "But the kind of help I'm to provide Narcissa comes with . . . a cost."

Bellatrix laughed. "No doubt the coin is blood—virgin blood?"

Severus thought then of Narcissa's flawless skin, of her pure blue eyes, of the way those eyes had widened in confusion when the announcement had been made. So innocent, so frightened, so naïve—that one would never try to trick me. She wouldn't see that I was invited to a party and then ignore me, either, he thought, thinking of Lucius, who had not even bothered to tell him that he was becoming engaged.

"Well?" Bellatrix pressed.

"No doubt," he replied, offering Bellatrix his arm. "Is that a problem?"

"Only if Lucius finds out."

A knock at the shed's door startled both of them.

"Bella? Are you in there?" a tentative voice called.

"Presumptuous, aren't you?"

"Don't be angry," Bellatrix told him. "I just wanted to be sure that you were a gentleman," she continued, gesturing for the door to open after casting a grooming charm on them both.

"I am that," he said, turning to look at how sweet Narcissa Black appeared when silhouetted by moonlight. "Good evening, Miss Black."

"Se—I mean—Mr. Snape," the girl said, walking into the gloom. "Bella says that you can
help me . . . ."