This story certainly deserves more reviews than it has received so far. It is very well-written, with no awkwardness in the phrasing or the flow, no questionable choice of words, or poor timing of the pace.
It shows us a a young Bellatrix, amoral and conscienceless but not yet criminal, focused but not yet obsessed, a bully but not yet a psychopath. I am left wondering whether Bella at this point in her life could still have been salvaged and rehabilitated, given an opportunity for that, which of course never occurred.
The glimpses of the characters of Dumbledore and Slughorn are right on -- Dumbledore who was unable to be manipulated and Slughorn who was unable to avoid being manipulated. The statement "Everybody knew the Slytherins were prejudiced, but nobody knew it went that far" exemplifies Slughorn's unfitness as Slytherin Head of House. He didn't know what was going on and could not have controlled it even if he did. His refusal to change Bella's dormitory assignment was not based on moral principles but on a fear of losing his job, a weak response.
Bella's keen interest in Rodolphus Lestrange is a bit harder to understand. Her relationship with him is the same as her relationship with other people -- manipulative and self-serving. But what does she need him for? What value does he have for her besides being handsome, smart, and pureblooded? Chapter 3 is all about her seduction of him, but to what end? Given her nature as depicted, she obviously has something up her sleeve, and love is most certainly not it. Perhaps she has some goals in life (other than eventually becoming Voldemort's most worshipful follower), something more than being the wife of a pureblood and the mother of his children. It will be interesting to find out what her plans are.
So good. Really gets that Bellatrix feeling across. Keep writing. :)
This was a wonderful first chapter. I think it convincingly portrayed Bella as she probably was as a youngster. How sad to be so insanely cruel when she was so young. Thankfully, she doesn't know quite how to cast the Cruciatus curse. I'm also writing a story about Bellatrix Black entitled Bella Rosa. If you have a chance it would be great if you can check it out.