Bellatrix (Black) Lestrange
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Portrayed By Helena Bonham Carter
House Slytherin
Year Graduated
Position Death Eater
Sex Female
Race Pureblood
Age 44
Place of Birth London, England
Date of Birth 01 August, 1951
Mother Druella (Rosier) Black
Father Cygnus Black
Siblings (Andromeda), Narcissa
Marital Status Married, Rodolphus Lestrange
Children None
First Appearance Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Character History:

Born 1 August 1951 to her parents Cygnus and Druella, Bellatrix Black did not pass a single day without being told of the legacy of her ancestors and the pride of one of the most prestigious wizarding families. She, along with her younger sisters, was raised to believe the Black family was special, superior to all others in the wizarding world. "Tojours Pur" was more than the family's motto to her - it meant the world should be remade, with those of the purest blood at the pinnacle. In her coming years, it would mean a legacy of upheaval and pain.

As eldest sister to Andromeda and Narcissa, Bellatrix was held to be the shining model for her family. An ancient and wealthy family, she was obscenely spoiled by her parents, coming to view gifts and favors as a birthright for her family. Her position over her sisters and the influence she saw her family as supposedly having gave her a view as a little queen compared with other witches and wizards. To be a Black is a mark of distinction and authority; to be anyone else is a sorry state of affairs.

Much of Bellatrix's time prior to Hogwarts was learning from her parents and other relatives of the Black family's legacy. By the time of her acceptance letter, she had simply assumed there would be an owl delivering her letter. Her parents took her to Diagon Alley for school supplies, her sisters accompanying them on the outing. Acquiring her books and other items, her parents also purchased her own owl, a handsome eagle owl she named Orion. Above all, though, her walnut wand with the dragon heartstring core was her treasured possession, for it meant she would be studying at Hogwarts within weeks.

There was no fear as she rode the Hogwarts Express north to the school; on the contrary, she felt a powerful expectation that she was fulfilling her family pride. Traveling with the other first-years across the lake, she stepped into the Great Hall for the Sorting. Corralled onto the stool with the Hat very early in the ceremony, it seemed the Hat was on her head for only a moment. "Great things you long for," it said to her, "such a passion for your family. Ambition, cunning, you'll give anything to succeed in this world. That must mean…" A ringing shout of "Slytherin!" filled the Hall as she rose from the stool, flinging the Hat down onto the seat and joining her new House.

Her first year quickly passed by, as did the following ones. A model student, Bellatrix kept appearances up for her teachers and the other students, ingratiating herself into their social circles. She excelled at Defense Against the Dark Arts and Charms, although there was much the classes didn't teach that she still sought. Her behavior and example for other students lead to being chosen as a prefect in her fifth year, shepherding her sisters through Hogwarts as both Andromeda and Narcissa were eventually Sorted. But what was originally a normal wizarding life was soon to change.

For years there were rumors floating that someone was standing up for the rights of pureblood witches and wizards, rallying them against the Mud-lovers in the then-Ministry. In the summer before her final year at Hogwarts, Bellatrix discovered information on what she found were the Death Eaters. Enchanted by the idea that there would be an organization naturally for her benefit, she sought all she could learn. Correspondence with others continued once the school term had started, and it would be until home for the Christmas holiday that anything happened. Invited to a meeting with a Death Eater, she met him. From that moment on, she knew she belonged to him, and reveled in the knowledge. Her return to school at the finish of the holiday was with a newfound sense of inclusion, that she had much to look forward to once she finished with Hogwarts. Her arm burned all that remaining year as she looked at the other students with a renewed air of superiority.

Once graduated from Hogwarts in 1969, Bellatrix took a job with a shop in Knockturn Alley, waiting for the right time. Meetings with other Death Eaters continued over the next years, with their leader saying reassuringly that soon would be the time to strike, where they would no longer have to skulk through the shadows. She treasured these moments, especially watching Voldemort preach and speak. She was enthralled, and wished to be his and his alone. But he would not return the feeling. She was useful and so devoted to him, but that was all.

As the Death Eaters rose to power in the 1970s, she left behind the shop in Knockturn Alley, choosing to remain close to Voldemort at all times. An enforcer for his will, she was set to make a particularly gruesome response to someone defying his offers or orders. She delighted in the terror and pain she caused on his behalf, knowing it would make it easier for the next ones to succumb, after hearing what she did to those previous. In time she kept an eye on Hogwarts as well, watching her cousins progress through its halls. Sirius was given a disdain, but much attention was showered on Regulus. She told her cousin of the Death Eaters, sharing philosophy with him, passing choice stories she knew he'd appreciate. She waited for the day when his induction would be complete.

Near the close of the decade, the Black family put pressure on Bellatrix to wed and carry on more of the family line. She claimed she was much too devoted to an important cause with Voldemort, but her parents would not let her duck the issue. Frustratingly, she chose to marry a recent graduate of Hogwarts, Rodolphus Lestrange, based on his purity. Married for appearances and to make her parents happy, there was no love in the union. She tolerated Rodolphus' company, after he too was joined to the Death Eaters, but no caring or affection existed. Her heart was only for Voldemort, even if he would not return the affection.

With what seemed Voldemort's height of power, the unthinkable happened. His Death Eaters (and the rest of the wizarding world) soon knew the tale. Attempting to kill the Potters, his curse rebounded, seemingly destroying him. Celebrations ensued, with several Death Eaters feigning control by the Imperius Curse and coming back to society, while others melted away into hiding. Disgusted by what she saw was cowardice, Bellatrix and her husband, her brother-in-law Rabastan and Barty Crouch, Jr decided to track down information on the Dark Lord's whereabouts. They figured Aurors would have the best chance to know where Voldemort went, being his chief enemies. An attack was planned on the weakest links in the chain.

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By Christmas 1981, Bellatrix and the others had found their marks. They broke into the Longbottom house, intending to interrogate the pair of Aurors belonging to the Order. When Frank and Alice admitted they knew nothing of where Voldemort was, Bellatrix became enraged. It was hours that she kept the Cruciatus Curse on both of them, even when the three companions with her wanted to turn tails and run. Even when other Aurors from the Ministry arrived, Bellatrix made no move to escape. Finally convinced the Longbottoms knew nothing of the Dark Lord, she laughed unrepentantly as she was lead away, her girlish tones echoing through the halls of the house as she continued to stare at Frank's and Alice's still-twitching, drooling bodies. She knew she left a message for the Ministry; content to be lead away, she would not leave without making her mark for the Dark Lord.

The trial in front of the Wizengamot was swift and brutal. Just weeks after her capture, Bellatrix and the other three were sentenced to life in Azkaban. Locked under the dementors' ministrations, she kept herself with the thought that the Dark Lord would return, and he would reward her for her faith and suffering. Few others, she told herself, would suffer as she did, waiting for the day of freedom to continue his will. Days in her cell turned to weeks; weeks turned to months; the months to years without feeling remorse. Her only regret in all that time was not being able to slice and maim others who had stood against Voldemort's ascension and downfall.

Thirteen long, dark years passed between the start of Bellatrix's incarceration and recent events. Many of the years passed with no remarkable events, save visitors from the Ministry looking to see what made her support the Dark Lord, to see if she was repentant for her crimes. In the summer of 1994 she received a curious visit from her wayward niece, asking of dear cousin Sirius. Rebuffing Tonks, she saw matters were quiet for some months afterward - and then everything changed.

The details were sketchy for Bellatrix, but she reveled in a newfound freedom when Azkaban was broken into, and she and other Death Eaters were permitted to escape. Now free once more to bring her fanatical loyalty back to the Dark Lord, she intends to see Voldemort rise to power again. An attack on Hogsmeade followed by one in Cardiff shows she means business. Voldemort will be ascendant again, and she will be next to his side when he does.

Personality

Pureblood, and proud. Bellatrix is descended from the esteemed and noble (in their view) House of Black, with an air of superiority to complement her upbringing. She's got a wicked temper she seems to share with her cousin, especially concerning matters of blood purity or defending the Dark Lord. She's always been a bit… dodgy, made worse with thirteen years of the dementors' tender ministrations.

Bellatrix is a sadist. Unrepentant, unyielding, enjoying every last moment of causing pain in any manner she can find. Whether emotional hurt with a quick wit, or much more classically with the Unforgivable Curse she's made her own, it's a rush to see someone that she pushes to the brink.

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