Bellatrix is quiet, never a good sign around Grimmauld Place. It was high on her list of 'Most Hated Places', and since the only other places on the aforementioned list had descriptions like "the Potters' mansion" or "Gryffindor House", it was a strange place for such a house to be. For the house at 12 Grimmauld Place belonged to her closest cousins' family: the London Blacks, Sirius, Regulus, Aunt Catalina (an Avery Black, descended of the same ancestor, Antoin Black, who married Beatrix, rumored to be a distant ancestor of the Malfoys, beginning their line. Avery Blacks were generally looked down upon, as a rule, but Catalina's exceptional beauty allowed her to marry in closer to the Heirs than her line usually could.), and Uncle Augustus. Grimmauld Place, however, was dusty and kept in horrible condition, as Sirius's current hobby was torturing house-elves and Uncle Augustus found it simply adorable. Catalina, for all her beauty and supposed intelligence (Bellatrix often found this quality a bit too lacking ), was completely incapable of performing any household duties, especially those that involved either cleaning or money. Well, she could spend money, but that was about it. So Grimmauld Place was nearly falling apart, and even Augustus's loyalty to his birth place was wearing thin, which made summer holidays when her parents vacationed in Italy very boring. Bellatrix hopes her cousins moved to their home a few miles outside of London soon, for her hatred of this neighborhood was nearly equal to her intense hatred of James Potter, the stupid son of the Potters, a family much more divided than most.
"So are you excited?" Regulus asks curiously. He won't be going for another few years yet, and is eager to know what Hogwarts is like.
"I am, but I'm sure The Black is blase on the subject, as usual." Sirius interjects, black eyes sparkling with mischief and a bit of bitterness, though easily concealed.
"I suppose you could say that my current state would be akin to excitement, yes." Bellatrix admits grudgingly, smirking a bit as Regulus runs over to her.
"So what d'you think it will be like, Bella?" Regulus is the only one who calls her Bella. He says it's because she's the prettiest of the three. Bellatrix knows, though, that to say that would be to lie, as her own contrasting looks are nothing in comparison to the ethereality of her sister Narcissa's. She is always flattered at the nickname, however, no matter how undeserved. A Black never rejects a compliment, as it is their right to be the complimented. (It is a mere privilege for others.)
"Do you, Regulus, and I think it will be... interesting, at least."
"Your grammar's no better." Sirius smiles contentedly, leaning back in his chair. "As Confucius would say, 'Improve the self and if everyone improves themselves society will be bettered.'"
"And what would that momentary attempt at intelligence mean?"
"That you should watch yourself before you correct others. You're not even that much older than he is, and only two months older than I am. Shouldn't you know Confucius then?"
"Philosophy is for those who cannot fight. Contractions are for those who cannot speak."
"And bitchiness is for those who cannot succeed. Give it up, Trix."
"Not that blasted nickname, again. You know how much I hate it."
"Shut up, Confucius." Bellatrix glares at him and stalks off, effectively ending the conversation for the moment.
"Your loss." Sirius shrugs, takes out a book entitled Philosophy's Effects on Ancient and Modern Wizardry, and begins reading aloud to Regulus. "The doctrine of Confucius influenced the individuality inherent within spells. He encouraged self-improvement which caused the group of witches Froid Noir to..."
Bellatrix searches out her younger sister, Narcissa. Narcissa is often enough on Bellatrix's side, or perhaps it is merely that she is rarely against Bellatrix; and whatever the actual case, Bellatrix wants sympathy.
"Narcissa, La Belle Fleur, I do not come to you in search of meaningless condolences; but for a wisdom beyond your years, an understanding of my mind, and a desire to offer your services."
"Trix, you're such a fool. A Shakespearean fool at heart, at that. How do you stomach it? I cannot bear reading him, much less speaking in that dialect. I'll assume that you and Sirius had a fight...?"
Bellatrix scowls. Narcissa can always cut to the root of the problem; she has still her brutal honesty, yet undimmed by the necessities of daily subtleties. She will lose it in time though; you lose all innocence in time, Blacks simply quicker. "He was mocking me and holding his knowledge of philosophy above me and oh, you know how I hate Asia."
"I do, indeed. You are quite alone in that regard, however, because I have always found Asia fascinating. Remember India? The magic and Mohenjo-Daro and cobras!"
Bellatrix frowns. She hates India. Mohenjo-Daro was simply the beginning of parents' plans and children's duties to follow out. It was perfectly planned out, much like her life and the life of her sisters and cousins. Narcissa, however, learns quickly how to adapt plans to her liking and so has little difficulty being given them. Bellatrix cannot follow plans and neither can she bend them to her will. She can be no flavor of follower now.
"I hated it, Fleur. You know how I hated it. Grids and plans and oh, I do not wish to think of it presently. I am already having a horrible day."
"Trix, you brought this on yourself. At least, I'm going to assume you did. I don't exactly find Sirius randomly showing signs of intelligence, so obviously you--or someone else--provoked him. That isn't exactly difficult, though." Narcissa sighs, tucking a strand of pale blonde hair behind her ear since it has fallen from the sky blue bow tying half her hair back.
Bellatrix frowns, becoming quiet once more. Narcissa half-smiles, looking amused; then walks off into the house, leaving Bellatrix in the garden.