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She Always Was The Brightest Witch Of Her Age

By Those_Interrupted

Romance / Horror

Chapter 1

Full Summary: Much as Bellatrix despises Mudbloods, she has to admit that little smart mouth Granger's caught her attention. When the girl winds up wandering into her territory with her little friends, Bellatrix can't help but relish in the destruction that she wrecks on the girl's mind, and when the time comes, she's not eager to let her new obsession go. Hermione finds herself the toy of a madwoman, and as her will is slowly destroyed, she finds that she no longer minds it as much as she should.

Dubious Consent Bellamione. Psychopath!Bellatrix. Stockholm Syndrome!Hermione

XXXXX

Bellatrix's predatory smile can mean nothing good. Hermione has survived dragons and dementors, werewolves and Basilisks, resurrected Dark Lords and homicidal lockets, but it's having that smile focused on her that makes her wish for the first time that she had never received an invitation to Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As if sensing this, Bellatrix's smile grows wider.

"I'm going to have a conversation with this one… girl to girl!"

And just like that, Hermione is alone with Bellatrix. At first, she can't help but struggle. The dark witch has a vice's grip on her wrist, and images of being dragged away to be tortured until she forgets her parents as thoroughly as they have forgotten her makes Hermione want to sob with fear. However, somewhere far below, a dungeon door clangs shut, and she regains her senses. For Harry's sake, she can't die here. Fighting Bellatrix would surely be suicide; there's nothing that she can do but wait the mad witch's fury out. The older witch's smile suggests that she knows this, and Hermione almost loses all hope of surviving with her sanity intact right then and there. It's just a sword. Why does it mean so much Bellatrix?

Her distraction betrays her. Bellatrix shoves her roughly into a far corner of the room though, with Narcissa and Lucius's absence, there's no one left to witness whatever damage she might cause next. Perhaps the effect is simply meant to make Hermione feel isolated. If that's the aim, it's met. Bellatrix leans in closely to her young prey, and Hermione freezes, no longer brave enough to attempt to escape. Bellatrix smiles grimly, but her eyes shine with a strange light.

"Tell me, Mudblood. How did you get into my safe?"

"Your safe?" Hermione repeats dumbly. Then she feels the dark witch's wand against her neck, and she feels the flesh it's resting on begin to burn. Unable to bite down her scream, she channels it into the only answer she knows: "We… we didn't! We didn't!"

"Liar!" Bellatrix shrieks, and there's an undertone to her voice that Hermione can't place but isn't exactly pleased to hear.

"We didn't, I swear!" Hermione shuts her eyes tightly, trying to control her panic. Perhaps Bellatrix takes this as a sign that she's hiding the truth. Suddenly, her hand connects with Hermione's face, and Hermione stumbles to her knees. Distantly, it dawns on her that she should be thankful that her nose isn't broken. She hadn't been prepared for the blow to carry so much force.

Bellatrix snorts, probably at Hermione's weak tolerance for physical violence. With a sudden surge of self loathing, Hermione decides that she agrees with the sentiment. Why hadn't she listened to her father's advice and learned a martial art? A witch without a wand is nothing more than a dead weight, it appears. How could she ever have thought that she could do anything without a magical ability to fall back on? Her parents had known better, had begged her not to forget her origins. She'll have to listen to them better in the future. It can't be too late for her to learn. She can restore her parents' memories, and they can be a family again…

"Dear lord, are you crying?" Bellatrix mutters so lowly that Hermione almost doesn't hear it. Somehow, the disgust in the woman's tone is still palpable, and Hermione flinches.

"And I'm supposed to believe that scum like you managed to break past Gringotts, hm?"

"We didn't break into anything!" Hermione insists wildly, fighting to clear her mind and calm herself. If she's going to die here, it should be with as much dignity as possible.

The older witch seems to disagree that she has any dignity left to lose. "We'll see about that."

Suddenly, Bellatrix lashes out, and Hermione is forced back to the ground. Before she can regain her bearings, Bellatrix is on top of her, straddling her, hands around her neck and squeezing. Hermione gasps for breath, but Bellatrix simply waits, face calmer than Hermione has ever seen it before. It's not until Hermione's vision becomes blurred at the edges that Bellatrix loosens her grip. For a few moments, she allows Hermione to gasp desperately for air. Then, she calmly states, "This is the last time that I'll ask. What all did you take from my vault?"

Hermione couldn't speak if she wanted to. She just shakes her head wordlessly, hoping against hope that she'll be believed.

To her surprise, Bellatrix sits up straighter, looking at her almost curiously. Whatever question she might have had, she seems to answer it, and a small smile ghosts her lips.

"I see. How, then, did you come across this sword?"

Caught off guard by the sudden mood whiplash and already more exhausted than she can handle, Hermione decides that it can't hurt to just tell the truth. "Dumbledore said—" Then she begins to cough, lungs spasming painfully. Bellatrix waits for her to recover and then prods her to continue. Somehow, Hermione manages to choke out, "Dumbledore said that the sword would come to aid anyone who needed it. Harry found it at the bottom of a lake, he said. He was half asleep when he went down there, but…"

Bellatrix reaches out and sweeps a strand of hair behind Hermione's ear, hand lingering against the girl's cheek. Her eyes seek out Hermione's and pierce through them. "And?"

Already dizzy but unable to look away, Hermione hears herself saying as if from a distance, "He dived down to retrieve it. He almost drowned, but Ron returned then… he had left us before because living in hiding was wearing on him, I suppose—it was wearing on all of us, really… but he came back, and he helped Harry bring the sword back to camp."

"I see," Bellatrix says thoughtfully, bringing her hand downward slightly, stroking the side of Hermione's neck with her thumb. "And for what did he need this sword, then? What would compel it to come to his aid?"

Words bubble up in Hermione's lips, but she bites them back and forces herself to clear her mind. No, Bellatrix can't be allowed to know this. She'll withstand torture if she has to, but she won't betray her friends.

But Bellatrix doesn't look angry, simply amused. "Come now, darling, you can tell me" she teases, voice surprisingly light and friendly. "It will be our little secret."

Hermione stares up at the witch above her, suspecting a trick but unsure of the new direction that it's approaching from. In response, Bellatrix chuckles, and her hand drifts lower, now rubbing circles at the end of Hermione's collar bone. The younger witch shivers, surprised by the many feelings arising within her. There's relief, of course, and hints of fear still keep her body alert and tense. But there's something more, now, something darker and more compelling coursing through the skin that Bellatrix touches. With a flash, its meaning hits Hermione, and horror shoots through her. Oh, no. Oh, no no no! She is not lusting over a Death Eater, let alone the woman who killed Harry's godfather!

Again, Bellatrix seems to disagree. She'd been carefully watching as the younger witch's attention turned inward, and now she seems more than a little pleased about the conclusion reached. She brings the girl out of her reverie with a kiss. She seems pleased by Hermione's startled gasp—no, this was not what the girl expected. Doubtless, even if some part of the girl had wondered what it would feel like to kiss Bellatrix, she would never have imagined that such a kiss could be gentle, slow, sensuous. As Bellatrix trails downward, pausing to suck hard at the pulse on Hermione's neck, Hermione moans. Her body thrusts upward against Bellatrix's, and the woman smiles against her skin.

"Now," she purrs, pulling herself up to lick at the cusp of Hermione's ear, "what was this about Potter requiring the sword?"

Hermione shivers hard, eyes drifting shut. She's surprised by her sudden desire to answer and please the murderess above her. Of course, outweighing this desire is a growing horror. With a sudden burst of strength, she bucks against the older witch, trying to shove her off.

"Get away from me!" She means the words to be snarled, harsh and intimidating, and she hates herself for how breathy they come out.

"Oooh, feisty!" Bellatrix teases. "Goodness, you're fun to play with. It's a shame that you have such filthy, tainted blood."

"Get off!" Hermione shrieks, beginning her struggle anew. "Leave me alone!"

Bellatrix ignores her, easily pinning down her swinging arms. She leans over and kisses the side of Hermione's mouth, then, and when Hermione tries to bite her, she just laughs. Her mouth moves to Hermione's shoulder, and when she bites, she draws blood. She doesn't hesitate to lick it up, sucking at the wound as if to draw up more of supposedly tainted blood.

"Filthy little Mudblood whore," Bellatrix laughs, and, despite herself, Hermione hears another low moan slip past her lips. Bellatrix's eyes meet hers, then, and they're absolutely shining with delight.

"Oh, good girl," she whispers, and even prepared, Hermione can't stop the moan from escaping her. Nor can she stop herself from squirming as Bellatrix lightly strokes back her hair. Some part of her is still burning with shame, pleading to anyone who could listen to save her, but Hermione is finding it easier and easier to allow these new feelings to blot out that small voice. Oh, she's felt desire before. She's sure that she'll remember Victor Krum when she's old and grey, and she has to admit that even Ron has caught her attention, lately. But this is something entirely new to her, and she can't help but like it.

"Enjoying this, are you? Goodness. You are pathetic, getting off on your own debasement. You're trapped under a Death Eater, my dear. Your friends would wish to murder you if they saw this."

A hand works its way under the top of Hermione's pants, fingers lightly dancing across the top of her thighs. Hermione gives up on trying to fight the feelings this provokes when one of the fingers dips momentarily to lightly stroke across her panties. Bellatrix smirks.

"I suppose I can understand. Do you over work that massive brain of yours? Brightest witch of your age, are you? Mm, I suppose you're enjoying the chance to rest a bit? Stop thinking, stop planning, stop worrying, and just feel for once? Those friends of yours, my dear… do they use you as the brain of the Golden Trio? The little know-it-all come to save them from their own stupidity again and again? You need better acknowledgement than that, my dear. You need to be around people who can really appreciate your… talents."

Bellatrix hand dips down again and circles the new but growing damp spot on Hermione's underwear, and her words enter Hermione's mind through a thickening haze.

"Would you like me to steal you away from those filthy friends of yours, sweetie? I promise that I'd find a much better use for you than forcing you to trail after me all the time, always third rate, never appreciated or… admired—as you should be. From what I've seen, you really are quite brilliant. Very talented, as well, simply wonderful. If I had you, I wouldn't give you up for the world."

Bellatrix pauses for a moment, and Hermione bites back a whine. The older woman smiles slightly, using her other hand to gently tip up Hermione's chin so that their eyes are again locked.

"There is one thing in the way still, however. Sweetie, I need you to tell me why Potter was allowed to find the sword."

"We had to destroy…" Hermione says before her mind can catch up with her mouth. She does catch herself, though, and she really is trying so very hard to censor herself.

"Please—" Bellatrix breathes, pauses, and smirks—"Hermione."

"The locket," Hermione blurts. Her breath catches in her throat, then, as Bellatrix rewards her with another kiss and a more substantial pressure with her slow, consistent circling.

"The locket, hm?" Bellatrix murmurs when she finally pulls back slightly. "And why would destroying such an inconsequential object be so important?"

"I can't tell you… please…"

"That's alright, Hermione. You don't have to tell me anything.

"You can show me, instead."

And who could blame Hermione for losing control of her thoughts?

Under Bellatrix's guidance, images flash to the front of Hermione's mind, and Bellatrix searches through them carefully. It's a strange sensation, Hermione finds, having Bellatrix roaming her thoughts. At times, it feels like the memories that she drags up to the front are distinctly not war related. Hermione almost thinks that she can catch glimpses, here and there, of her childhood, of times with her friends, of fantasies and lonely nights that she herself had locked away and refused to look at again… but it's so hard to know for sure, after all, when Bellatrix is touching her like that. It's so much easier to just lay there, wide eyed and mentally open, not thinking and simply feeling. Isn't that, after all, why she's doing this? A break, that's all. She just needs a break.

Bellatrix might laugh, but she doesn't hear it.

She's falling, drowning in a sea of sensation, refusing to fight for air when she's so already so tired of trying to swim against the current…

And then she's abruptly forced back to her senses as Bellatrix rolls off of her and jumps lightly to her feet. Mind climbing back to its usual break need speed as she forces herself to a sitting position, Hermione notices that the other Malfoys have reentered the room, picks up on their postures, registers the presence of a goblin. Bellatrix interacts with the goblin, demanding to have the sword checked for authenticity and then calling said goblin a liar when he proclaims it to be a fraud, but she seems preoccupied. A moment later, Hermione discovers why. Harry and Ron are back from the dungeons, it seems.

Reality hitting her like a freight train, Hermione scrambles to her feet to rejoin her friends. Bellatrix shoots a calculating look her way before quickly turning her attention back to the male portion of the Golden Trio in time to stop them from taking her wand. A battle erupts after Harry gets a hold of Draco's wand instead. Hermione is looking for a way to help her friends when suddenly Bellatrix is holding her from behind, pressing a knife into her neck.

"I thought about using my wand for this," Bellatrix whispers, "but I thought you might appreciate this a bit more." Then, more loudly, she calls, "Stop! Drop your wands!"

The fighting stops, and Bellatrix smiles into Hermione's neck. Hermione hasn't the strength left to shudder. Her head is beginning to pound, the night's activities finally catching up to her now that the adrenaline of before is wearing off. Bellatrix is almost completely supporting her so that she doesn't collapse, and Hermione wonders what this looks like to Harry and Ron. Like she's been tortured to the point of exhaustion, most likely, and she can't find the energy to communicate otherwise. Besides, what exactly could she communicate? Nor is now the time for such communications, not with Bellatrix's next order still reverberating around the room like the cruelest of curses.

"Summon the Dark Lord."

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