Chapter 10

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Bella was tired and covered in blood, mud, and snow. She hated Siberia. She was stuck here for almost 3 weeks. Moody and Tonks weren't in much better shape, but constant fighting and arranging new alliances do that to a person.

The three of them were talking to different creatures and some of them were already on the side of the Dark Lord and, of course, they attacked them. It was 3 a.m. and they were under a tent in the middle of forest. Normally, they would be happy but they couldn't use magic because of their weakened state and the fact that there are only 3 of them and 20 enemies currently roaming nearby. They were afraid their magic would be picked up and traced back to their camp.

''I don't feel my right leg.'' said Tonks. Her hair had been white since they arrived.

''I can't either.'' said Moody with shocked face and Bella chuckled.

''You find it funny? Wait till you're covered in scars like me. I've seen those on your shoulder already.'' Moody commented.

''Why haven't you healed them?'' Tonks asked.

''I want to remember.'' Bella said hugging blanket closer.

''I can't wait to go home to a warm bed and mom's cooking.'' Tonks said wrapping her arms around herself.

''Yes and where it isn't -40°C'' added Moody.

''I agree.'' Bella said.

''Only two more days.'' Tonks said.

A wolf's cry broke the silence outside.

''Crap. It's my turn.'' Moody said pulling on a thick cloak and heading out.

''Bella, how is your mission going?''

''It's going fine really. I got close to Hermione and I know what boys are doing through her. Sometimes I sit nearby while they're in forbidden forest or at Hagrid's place. Just to make sure they're fine.'' Bella answered.

''I don't think you got close to Hermione to get close to the boys.''


''It was obvious in our conversations. When we talked about them, you always got that look in your eyes when I'd mentioned Hermione.''

''I don't know what you're talking. She's sweet plaything and that's all.'' Bella said and looked away.

''I don't believe that.''

''Well that's your problem then.''

''It's not really bad to love you know.'' Tonks said.

''There is nothing to love in me. I was brought here to help you kill...me, and I'll probably end up dead along the way.''

''Don't say things like that Bella.''

''I'm just stating the truth. I can't let her love me, she'll be in love with the murderer and Death Eater.''

''You're not Death Eater.''

''I'm quasi Auror and I have the same job description as a death eater. I kill and fight, just for a different side. You can't deny it. We aren't torturing and being that inhumane, but we are killing people. Why would she ever want someone like me?'' Bella said.

''So you do love her.'' Tonks said. ''Whatever you do, let her decide. If she loves you, let it be. She'll love you regardless and you'll have the power to make her happy or sad. But you'll never be able to erase her feelings towards you. Not even the most ancient magic can do that.'' Tonks told her.

''I hate those wolves. We should be fine now. I threw the meat on other side of the lake.'' Moody said walking back in the tent. ''C'mon, get to bed we have a lot of things to do tomorrow.''

''Minerva, do you think I should send Miss Granger on some tasks away from school?'' Albus asked lying in bed reading some muggle romance novel.

''Why on Earth would you send her on a task in the middle of the school year?'' Minerva asked. Alarmed that her husband was thinking of sending her top student to Merlin knows where.

''Relax dear, I mean to send her with Hagrid when he meets with the centaurs. There is no harm for them there and if you haven't noticed she's been little on edge lately.''

''Well of course she's edgy. Her roommate is gone and she thinks Bella is out training dragons! Hermione is worried and I must add that you should have let me scold Bella for telling Hermione such rubbish. She thinks that some dragon will kill her friend. Bella should have known better than telling her she's in that kind of danger every time she disappears.''

''Minerva, she's in much danger then that. How else would she explain all the cuts and bruises she'd get on her missions?''

''Yes, you have a point there, but Bella has a beautifully developed imagination and I'm sure she could have said something else. Now to your first idea...''

''I'll send her to help Hagrid on Monday. Some fresh air will do her good.'' Albus said returning to his novel.

Harry and Ron were scared to death of Hermione this past week. Her patience was running low after 7 days of Bella's absence and in the last 7 days she would kill you just for looking at her wrong. Draco had experienced it first-hand. Two days ago he called her Mudblood and she cursed him without blinking, he spent the rest of Wednesday throwing up snails in the hospital wing. After that Hermione decided not to come out except for classes.

''I don't know why her panties in a twist? And for 2 weeks already!'' Ron complained.

''Because Bella's gone.'' Ginny said.

''So what? What difference does that make to Hermione?'' Harry asked.

'Boys can be so stupid.' ''Bella is her friend and she's off somewhere training dragons. That's not really safe job.'' said Ginny.

Only Hermione, Harry, Ron and Ginny knew where Bella was. Well, they thought they knew where Bella was.

''Do you think she's gonna calm down at all? I mean its Saturday and she's only been talking to you lately.'' Ron said.

''Ron, she's angry and scared for someone she cares about, and unlike when you two are in trouble, she can't go and help Bella.''

''Yeah well, I can understand that.'' said Harry.

''It's late and I'm sure you'll talk with her so tell her that we miss her, and don't forget to tell her about the mystery Auror.'' Ron said as he and Harry got up and went to their dorm.

''I'll tell her. Good night, I'll see you two tomorrow.''

10 minutes later Hermione walked in common room.

''Hey Gin.''

''Hey Mione. You better or do you still wanna kill everything that moves?'' Ginny asked smiling.

''Still want to kill.'' Hermione smiled back. ''So what's going on?''

''Nothing much, since it was lousy weather outside we were just sitting here and talking. We got letter from Bill.''

''Yeah, what did he say?'' Hermione asked.

''Ron had been nagging him to tell us what's up with the Order. He said that on one of the missions a Death Eater almost killed him, but an Auror came out of nowhere and saved him. He said she was clad in black with mask on her face, and she fought like a lion. She must have been a Gryffindor." Ginny said grinning.

''When did this happen?'' asked Hermione.

''Few weeks ago.'' answered Ginny.

Sunday morning brought trouble for Moody, Bella, and Tonks. They were surrounded with wolves and some crazy looking wizards.

''You go to the left, Tonks on the right and I'll take the middle.'' Moody commanded.

Bella had never felt such a pain. The crucio was strong and she was too weak to fight it off, but she clenched her wand harder. Wolves came next and the wizard had to stop the torture to fight them off. Bella put weak protective spell as she was getting up. It was nothing for the wizard but enough for the wolves. After she regained her footing she returned the crucio. She wanted nothing more than tortured him, but then it hit her. She looked at what she'd done and froze. There were only four wizards; Moody had killed one and was fighting another, Tonks ran after the only witch and Bella was left unsupervised. 'Thank Merlin for that.' She couldn't really think about it anymore, the wizard was getting up. He got his wand and lifted his hand, but not before Bella raised her wand and yelled.

''Avada Kedavra!'' The man crumbled to the ground. Bella had killed for first time.

Sunday morning was much better for Golden Trio than it was for Bella. Bill came to visit them and even though parent visits and Hogsmead were next weekend, Minerva allowed Hermione, Harry, Ron and Ginny to go to Hogsmead with him. They were forbidden to say anything to anyone, and nobody wants to suffer the wrath of Minerva McGonagall, so they kept their mouths shut.

''Hey Bill!'' Ron greeted his brother as four figure came to Bill's table.

''Hey little bro, little sis.'' he said hugging Ron and Ginny. ''Hermione, Harry'' he said nodding over to them.

''Hello Bill.'' Hermione said and Harry smiled and nodded back.

''So tell us, what's going on out there?'' asked Ron.

''Well we're very busy. We're trying to form as many alliances as we can with different creatures. We have to evaluate who in Ministry would stand on our side and who is on You-know-who's side, and of course there are various missions that Dumbledore sends us on, but sometimes we really don't know why we do it.''

'You want to know about mysterious Auror.'

'I don't want to know about her. Why would I?'

'Because you know you'll find out something you shouldn't. Exciting, isn't it?'

'Not really. Leave me alone.'

''That sounds like Dumbledore alright. So, what about that mystery Auror?'' Ron asked and Hermione's ears instantly perked up.

''Oh yeah, she saved my life you know. Well it seems that she works with Moody and Tonks, but nobody would tell me who she is or why she was wearing a mask. At first I thought that it was Fleur, but I should have known better since Fleur almost killed me for even mentioning leather pants to her.'' Bill said.

''Wait, Fleur is in Order?'' Ron asked with grinned on his face.

''Yeah, didn't I tell you?'' Bill asked.

Ginny rolled her eyes at Ron and asked ''What does Fleur have against leather pants?''

"Nothing usually, I blame pregnancy hormones.'' Bill said smiling. ''You know a veela's temper is 10 times worse than women while they're pregnant.''

''She's pregnant? I didn't know she got married.'' Ginny said.

''Yeah, this winter she married Helena.''

''Oh my...I'd pay to see that.'' Ron said and that earned him disapproving looks from Harry, Hermione and Bill and smack over head from Ginny.

''So where are Moody and Tonks?'' asked Hermione.

''They're on a mission for Order.'' Bill said.

'Ask him for how long.'

I'm not going to listen to you.

'You know I'm right. There is something else here. I know it and you must find out too. You know you want to know.'

''Oh, when are they coming back?'' Hermione asked.

''Tomorrow I think. They've been gone for 3 weeks.'' Bill told her.

''Yeah, well, then it's really time for them to come home.'' Harry said.

''Miss Granger.'' Albus said.

''Headmaster'' Hermione greeted him.

''Miss Granger I'd like to ask you a favor.''

''Of course, Sir.''

''I'd like you to help out Hagrid today. He's going on some business for the Order.'' Albus said.

''Very well, sir.'' Hermione nodded.

''Thank you Hermione and I do hope you know to keep it for yourself.'' said Albus giving her the look that meant she couldn't mention this to Harry or Ron.

''I understand.''

''Sweet Merlin, what happened?'' Yelled Andromeda after seeing her sister and daughter in backyard.

''We had little trouble on our mission.'' said Bella.

''Come on, both of you inside! We need to get you cleaned and healed.''

After a long shower Bella started to examine herself. She had cuts on her arms and legs, bruises on her back, ribs and hips. She had nasty cut on her neck and the left side of her stomach. Andromeda let herself in the bathroom and saw Bella's injuries.

''Oh my...you're hurt more than 'Dora. C'mon let's fix you up.'' She said.

''Alright, thank you. Can you leave this cut here'' she pointed to left side of stomach, ''and this one on the neck.''


''I need to remember.'' Andromeda just nodded with an understanding look.

Andromeda watched over both women who slept from Sunday night through most of the day on Monday. When they finished with her meal Bella said she needed to go back to Hogwarts and Tonks and Andromeda told her to come next weekend for lunch. She promised she would.

The day with Hagrid was great for Hermione. They went to the centaurs little village and Hermione spent whole day talking about centaur history and The War.

''Thank you Hagrid, I hadn't relaxed like this in weeks.'' Hermione smiled as they walked back through the forest.

''Yes, well you were great help today. I'll tell Dumbledore that you're very good at negotiations.'' Hagrid said beaming down at Hermione.

''Can you go back on your own?'' Hagrid asked as they exited the forest ''I have to feed... ''

''I'll be fine, don't worry. Good night Hagrid.'' Hermione cut him off before he could offer to walk her to Gryffindor tower.

'' Okay. Good night Hermione.''

Just before she reached the castle she found herself in trouble. Draco and his two idiots were standing few feet in front of her.

''Well, well, well if it isn't the Mudblood.'' Draco said. ''What are you doing here all alone?''

''Sod off Draco.'' Hermione said squeezing her wand in her pocket.

''Well that's not nice of you Mudblood. I guess we need to teach you to respect your superiors.'' Draco said raising his want and his morons did the same. Hermione drew hers but she was obviously outnumbered. Just then a black panther jumped on Draco. It came out of nowhere and the two idiots ran away as the wild black cat mashed its' deadly white teeth at Draco. After a minute or two the panther jumped off Draco and he ran away. The panther looked at Hermione and ran pass her into the woods.

Hermione watched it disappear in the trees before going back to the castle. She went to her room while everybody was eating dinner in the Great Hall. She left a message to Harry and Ron that she wasn't feeling good and why she wasn't in class today.

After shower she fixed herself dinner. She was in process of washing dishes when the door of the apartment opened and Bella walked in.

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