Descent by Insanguinare
Summary: “She found herself flexing her fingers around her wand, willing herself to keep the promise she’d just made and trying to remember when she’d decided to break her most important one.” It takes Bellatrix eight years to go mad. Oneshot, 6,527 Words.
Why You Should Care: The backstory of Bellatrix intrigues me, quite frankly, and while my own personal canon will probably always include at its core the depth and twists of DeepDownSlytherin’s A Keen Observer, there is something here that delights me also. This Bellatrix has an inherent and unbridled lust for dark magic, much the same as Tom Riddle did when he was growing up. The two are not so much foils as parallels in this piece, and the interesting twist on the Cruciatus curse — while most probably not at all canon — makes for quite a lovely bit of final punctuation.
Why You Might Not Care: The ages of the Blacks have been muddled for those whose canon must include the ages on the Black Family Tree, but I tend not to care too much about that. The scene in which Sirius makes his grand exit is perhaps a touch too long; the focus begins to shift from Bellatrix to Sirius, and parts of what is supposed to be an intense conversation sounds a little too much like exposition. It is still quite strong overall, however.
Teacup and Saucer by FalseEeyelashes
Summary: She slips; he breathes. Drabble, 421 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is the only way to write Bellatrix. Crazy and half-minded and beautiful. I love it. Best line in a fic ever: “Azkaban tasted like mothballs – how trivial.”
Why You Might Not Care: No reason.
Remembered by Alyx Bradford
Summary: Narcissa tends to her dead after the war. Oneshot, 1,242 Words.
Why You Should Care: War is not kind to either side, and the followers of Voldemort have suffered losses, too. It is customary to forget that every fallen soldier — no matter whom they fought for — is survived by people who will mourn their passing, and Narcissa feels the death of her sister acutely. This fic is a small reminder that, in some ways, there are no right or wrong sides in war — only the winners who’s dead are heroes and martyrs, and the losers, who’s dead are villains and traitors. Narcissa knows that, if not for a few twists of fate — some of which she directly influenced — things might have turned out quite different.
Why You Might Not Care: Some people don’t like to remember the dark people are still people in the end, and it is easier to remember Bellatrix Lestrange as a murder and torturer than a sister. If you balk at feeling sympathy for the Black sisters that stayed the course, then Narcissa’s grief will seem very indecent indeed.
Need by CherryChalk
Summary: He hates it. He wants it. And maybe, deep down, he’s accepted that he needs her too. Drabble, 326 words.
Why You Should Care: Okay, I’m going to admit, this is an incest fic. But it’s a damned good incest fic which, within less than five hundred words, perfectly depicts the characters of Sirius and Bellatrix, as well as beautifully probing at the sin, the lust, the danger that incest is. It’s tense, it’s frightening — it’s intensely passionate, terrifyingly so. Trust me, this fic will turn your views on incest upside down.
Why You Might Not Care: If you don’t like incest. Basically. But read it anyway — everyone should. It’s fabulous.
A Keen Observer by DeepDownSlytherin
Summary: Andromeda says little, but she sees everything. Through their years at Hogwarts, she watches her sisters as one falls in love and one falls into madness, and doesn’t see as a Muggleborn boy breaks into her sheltered life. Novel Length, 145,600 Words, Complete.
Why You Should Care: A brilliantly told story of the Black sisters – and to some extent the Black brothers – from the summer before the first of them goes to Hogwarts until the very end of Andromeda’s seventh year. It is so difficult to trace these characters backward through time – most especially Bellatrix – but this is how it must have been. This fic just pulls you right in, and you quickly forget that nearly every major character in this piece turns into a villain. The growing respect and romance between Andromeda and Ted is paced perfectly, and never takes away from the main themes. This family is given real depth, and their journeys are compelling.
Why You Might Not Care: If you really don’t like stories that focus on the villains, or on the Black family in particular, this story isn’t for you. Also, this was written prior to the release of the Black Family Tree, so the ages of the girls are no longer canon. In my opinion (and I worship canon, remember) it’s worth over-looking. A warning that this fiction is long; over 145,000 words. It is, however, complete, so there is no fear of the potential that you might never get the payoff. Expect this one to take you at least several days – if you can put it down, that is.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Romance – Second Place.