Angst, depravity, torture and mercy. *Reformatted*
Dawn Pennywhite was at the end of her rope, her parents had kicked her out of their home when she became pregnant and forced her onto the street. She had been able to make ends meet selling herself until her swollen belly became too pronounced. Social services could only offer her a bed and paltry meals at the local shelter. She had found a purse in a public loo that someone had forgotten in a stall.
Dawn quickly pocketed the cash and credit cards and gleefully headed up the high street to have her first decent meal in months. She used the credit cards to buy a new dress - a real maternity dress this time and comfortable shoes. She went to a spa and salon and allowed her benefactor, Sally Rand, to pamper her. Fresh wardrobe, fresh face, nicely done hair; things were finally looking up. She placed her hand on her distended belly and cooed "it's gonna be all right, all right."
She never saw the black hooded figures in the alley, never felt the stunning beam from the glowing tip of the wand. Just blackness before she woke naked in Hell.
It had been two weeks since her last encounter with Harry and Bellatrix was walking on eggshells. To say she was scared to death was a gross understatement; if she failed the Dark Lord in this her only hope would be that death would come quickly. She was due for her courses within a day or two and she felt as she often did just before her normal cycle. She didn't know what she feared more, being pregnant or not being pregnant.
The other disturbing fact was that she just wasn't able to get into the proper spirit of the cruel depravity all around her. Normally the screams of a muggle woman or child would bring her running - to partake in the giving of pain and the taking of blood but now the sounds disturbed her and haunted her sleep.
Sleep. That was when she could revisit those three fateful evenings with him; especially the last night when he was able to respond to her in kind. Kind. He was, no, he IS kind. Kind and gentle and generous of spirit and why am I thinking these things? I am Bellatrix Lestrange, the right hand of the Dark Lord.
"Bellatrix" her husband called, then quailed at the deadly glare he received back. "The Dark Lord requires your presence."
She nodded then swept past him her black silk robes flowing like ebony gossamer. Finding Voldemort in the main chamber of the cavern on his throne of human bones she knelt before him; her head bowed.
"What news Bellatrix?"
"Nothing to report m'lord it's still too early to say for sure."
"Have you cast a revealing charm?"
"Yes m'lord, the results were inconclusive. We will know for sure if we were unsuccessful by the end of the week."
"Let us hope that does not come to pass."
Saying that two death eaters removed the cover from their latest discovery; a medieval implement of torture roughly based on the crucifix. Two heavy beams, two meters in length were notched and fastened together forming a giant "X" which was hung from a frame so that the victim - a young naked muggle woman could be bound to the cruel instrument by wires at the ankles and wrists. The "X" tilted forward so that the woman was only supported by the cruel bonds at her extremities. This forced her back to bow in an unnatural "U" shape. Breathing was labored and excruciating. Her abdomen was forced forward by gravity making her pregnant belly hideously, unnaturally huge.
"Is she. . ."
"Yes, Bellatrix, she at least can conceive. Perhaps I should have spared her so that she and Potter could give me what I need most."
". . .my ba. .by. . ."
Bellatrix was struck to her core, what was she saying?
". . .my bay. . .bay. . .bay"
"Silence her" Voldemort ordered.
"M'lord, please let me."
Bellatrix took a long curved knife from the table and walked purposefully to the crucified woman. She grabbed a handful of hair and pulled the woman's face up - then put her cheek next to the woman's and whispered.
"For you there is no hope, but I will save the life of your child. You must be strong for the sake of your baby."
Bellatrix pulled the woman's head as far back as she could then sliced across her throat severing both jugular veins. Blood spurted over all who were assembled watching in morbid fascination. They all cringed back as they were spattered with the muggle's mud-blood.
The chamber cleared as the pureblood bigots went to clean their spattered robes; Voldemort went to his inner chambers chuckling.
As the light dimmed in Dawn Pennywhite's eyes she felt her pain ebb, she saw the concern and the tears in the eyes of her deliverer and her last thought was one of immense gratitude. Bellatrix performed the emergency c-section on what had been an expectant mother and pulled the newborn from the lifeless womb. She'd used the same curved blade to cut the umbilical cord. With a wave of her wand she transfigured the corpse into a crystal chalice.
She held the newborn, a boy, upside-down and jarred his lungs into action - the sound of the baby's cries were drowned out by the noise of the reductor curse that destroyed the apparatus that had made Dawn's last day on Earth a living agony. Bellatrix apparated away to London's Ludgate Hill; walked into St. Paul's Cathedral and left the naked, bloody newborn on the altar. Next to the alter she placed the beautiful goblet.
Gazing up at the mute icons on stained glass she said "take care of him," then disappeared with a loud crack.