Hourglass

Chapter 20

Okay, here is new chapter :) I'm very glad that you are still reading the story and I want to thank you for all your reviews :* Big thanks to Asher Henry, my new beta :DD

Hermione was sitting in the grass holding Iris' hands while the baby sat on her knees. She hadn't noticed Andromeda and Bella who were watching from the porch.

''That's one big grin you got there.'' joked Andromeda.

''Yes, it is.'' smiled Bellatrix, ''When are Dumbledore and Minerva arriving?''

''They should be here any minute now. You're leaving for school in a week so it's crucial that you're given these instructions. I mean you will need to do something and Iris can't be by herself, she's only 3 months old.''

''I know that she can't be on her own, you forget that I basically raised you and Narcissa.'' commented Bella.

''That you did.'' Andromeda nodded. ''Did you see Narcissa after she approached Hermione 2 weeks ago?''

''No, and she hasn't tried to come close to them again. I'm not sure what she wants or how she knows. Older me knows about Iris, but she hadn't tried anything yet. I'm wondering if she's planning something.'' sighed Bellatrix.

''You should join your family, I'll go and make some tea for when Albus and Minerva arrive.'' said Andromeda.

''I wish that everyday could be this beautiful.'' said Hermione looking at now soundly sleeping Iris in her arms.

''It could be, after the war ends.'' said Bella hopefully.

''Yeah, it could be- if we survive the war that is.''

''Hermione, I was thinking and I think I should train you. Just so your dual skills become little better...''

''Yes'' Hermione interrupted her, ''I think it's for the best. I need to be able to protect Iris.'' Tears threated to fall down.

''Oh honey,'' Bella said hugging Hermione, ''there is no reason for tears. We'll be okay, we'll protect her- I promise. I give you my word that I'll do anything to protect her. We'll survive this Hermione.''

Sirius, Minerva, Albus, Andromeda, Hermione and Bellatrix sat around the table.

''We came up with the plan. While you're attending classes Pomfrey, Minerva or I will take care of Iris." Dumbledore started to explain. "Bellatrix, you'll be presented to the students as new professor in training. Of course you won't be sitting in on every class that Minerva will teach, so I'm sure you'll spend more than enough time with Iris.''

''What about her missions?'' Hermione asked.

''I'm afraid that Bellatrix will continue to go on missions just as she had before. I know it's very difficult, but please understand Miss Granger that she's one of the best Aurors we got.''

''I understand sir.'' said Hermione.

''Hermione, are you going to the Burrow this week?'' asked Minerva.

''I was thinking about it, but I don't want to leave Iris for the whole week.'' Hermione admitted.

''Yeah, I wouldn't want to leave her with Bellatrix either.'' Sirius grinned.

''Accio book.'' Bellatrix said and a large book hit Sirius in the head.

''Mature as always.'' Andromeda commented dryly while Hermione just rolled her eyes. ''It doesn't matter how old you two are, you will always be the most immature, silliest people I have ever met.''

''I don't see a problem in that.'' said Sirius rubbing the spot where book hit him.

''Hermione, you haven't seen Harry and Ron whole summer, I'm sure you want to see them. And besides, Bella can go to Hogwarts and get everything ready for new school year. How does that sound?'' Andromeda asked.

''Alright, Iris is safe with Bella and I do miss my friends.'' admitted Hermione.

''Hermione!'' exclaimed Ginny as she saw Hermione entering the house.

''Hello Ginny.'' She greeted, hugging her friend.

''Hermione,'' Harry said as he walked into the living room and hugged his friend, ''how are you?''

''I'm great actually.'' smiled Hermione.

''Hermione, dear it's so nice to have you back.'' greeted Molly. ''Merlin's beard, Hermione you're glowing! I don't know what happened to you this summer, but it sure made you happy.'' Hermione felt little bad for not telling them about her daughter and Bella, but as Dumbledore said- 'it'll be safer for them not to know.'

''Yes, well a lot of things have happened that made me this happy.'' Hermione confirmed.

''I'm glad.'' Molly smiled.

''C'mon Hermione, we're going to play Quidditch.'' Ginny dragged Hermione to the back yard.

''Funny little creature.'' smiled Bella at the baby lying in the crib kicking a toy with her little legs. Iris smiled and cooed up at her mom.

''Well, tonight I'm going to tell you a story about...'' Bella looked at fairytale marked in the book, ''Cinderella?'' a confused Bella said. ''I'm going to talk to your mom about this, this story is weird." Bella said putting the book away. ''The story tonight will be one of mine. How about I tell you the story of my grandfather and how he came to get his watch. You see my grandfather bought this watch in Romania, crazy land that Romania is...''

Dumbledore made his way out of Hogwarts grounds to the black cloaked figure that stood in the same spot Dumbledore saw from out his window. He stopped a few feet away and greeted the intruder.

''Good evening Bellatrix, how can I help you?'' asked Dumbledore.

''You know why I'm here Dumbledore.'' Bellatrix said removing her hood. ''There is a younger version of me walking around and I don't like It.'' she huffed.

''Well, why haven't you done something about it then? Or even better-why haven't you told Voldemort about the situation?'' he questioned.

''Because whether I like it or not I now have a child. And I don't want to see the only Black heir be killed for being a half-blood.'' She replied coldly.

''Well, if you don't want to kill me, Bella or Hermione, why are you here Bellatrix? I don't think your Master will be pleased if he finds out you've been sneaking out in the middle of the night.''

''Don't threaten me Dumbledore!'' Bellatrix yelled.

''I'm not. I'm just telling you the facts. You're risking almost everything you have in life for what? Inquiring about the Black family heir, don't take me for a fool Bellatrix. I'm done with games, tell me what is it that you want?'' asked Dumbledore looking in Bellatrix' eyes.

''I want to see my child. She's too little to remember me now, so they can tell her lies about me for the rest of her life if they want. I just want to be a small part of her life now.'' admitted Bellatrix closing her eyes in fear that Dumbledore would mock her.

''Why? Is Voldemorts' most faithful servant doubting his victory?'' asked Dumbledore.

''I never said that.'' responded Bellatrix.

''You said 'they can tell her lies for the rest of her life.' Which would mean they will be alive in the future and if Voldemort wins...''

''I am not doubting his victory. I'm doubting my survival through the war.'' Bellatrix interrupted trying to cover her slip up.

''I'm not going to mock you just because you want to see your biological daughter.'' simply said Dumbledore. ''However, this isn't something I can decide. Iris is in the castle with Bella right now. But Hermione isn't here at the moment, so you can't see Iris tonight. I will discuss the matter with Bella tonight.''

''Very well. I...thank you.'' Bellatrix said and turned to leave, but stopped. She sighed and turn her head towards Dumbledore again.

''Dumbledore, keep them safe.'' It was an order, but sounded more like a desperate plea.

Hermione was awoken by the voice calling her. She turned around and quickly sat up as she noticed that Bella isn't in bed. Then she remembered that Bella is at Hogwarts and she's still at Burrow. But the voice called out for her again, it was the voice she recognized in a moment. It was Bella calling her. Her first instinct was that something is wrong with Iris so she pulled her pants and jacket on over her pajamas' and went outside the room. She made her way to the back door of the house. Opening it, she could see a person standing a few feet from the wards.

''Hermione.'' Bella's voice was hoarse and heavier than normal.

''Bella, what's wrong? Are you hurt? Is Iris alright?'' Hermione rushed to familiar black cloaked person only to be grabbed and apparated away in the next moment.

They disapparated in a clearing in the woods and Hermione pushed the person away, mentally cursing herself for not grabbing her wand.

''Who are you? What do you want?'' she demanded.

''Don't you recognize the father of your child?'' laughed Bellatrix removing her hood. ''I'm disappointed.''

''Bellatrix.'' gasped Hermione.

''Yes, it's me. But don't worry, I won't hurt you.'' She said moving closer to Hermione, ''Unless you want me to hurt you.'' she grinned.

''I don't want you to hurt me. Just tell me what you want.''

''I want to see my daughter.'' Bellatrix stated moving away.

''What? She's not your daughter. Iris is mine and Bella's daughter. I will not allow you to hurt her!'' Hermione said raising her voice.

''Bella is me! Whether you like it or not, we are the same person, just from different times. You my dear, fell in love with me and Iris is mine. Do you have any idea what your dear girlfriend is going through every time she fights? Every time she has you moaning and groaning beneath her? She's going through worst kind of torture- she loves you too much to hurt you and it's killing her.''

''Wh...what…what are you talking about?'' stammered Hermione.

''She's born to be a killer and you can thank your professors and the Aurors who trained her for that. She's able to hold back in a fight and with you and I'm sure that there will be a time when being calm will come easy for her. But she's holding back now, which will cost her her life.''

''You're wrong. She'll survive. I'll make sure she survives. But she isn't you, you're cruel and sadistic.'' said Hermione.

''Perhaps she's not me, but Hermione if you want her to survive you must give her permission to fight full force. And you are the only one who can do that- you must tell her that she won't hurt you when she kills people. You have to make peace with the fact that we are at war and that your girlfriend is a killer.'' Bellatrix responded calmly.

''She's an Auror.''

''Aurors have the same job as Death Eaters- to make sure their side wins. You'll see soon what war looks like. Embrace her as she is, that's the key for her survival.''

''Why are you telling me this?''

''I'm helping you and in return you'll help me. I want to see Iris, I'll gladly remove my wand when I'm with her and I'll come just when you allow me.''

''Why do you care so much about her?'' asked a confused Hermione.

''She's the Black hair. I want to see her and know her.'' said Bellatrix.

''I'll talk to Bella and if...''

''This is the way to summon me.'' Bellatrix threw a piece of paper at Hermione and she caught it. ''Just write time and place on the paper.'' she finished, grabbed Hermione and apparated them in front of the house. She moved away from Hermione, nodded and apparated once more.

''Absolutely not!'' exclaimed Bella. ''I will not let her near Iris. She could hurt her or kidnap her.''

''Bella, you'll be there, we'll secure the grounds and she would have to give us her wand. We'll not let her hurt Iris, even though I doubt that she wants to.''

''I know it's risky, but maybe we can make an agreement with her.'' said Minerva.

''With Voldemorts most loyal?'' asked Bella.

''What are you really afraid Bella? Her hurting Iris, her taking Hermione away or are you afraid of letting yourself meet her?'' asked Dumbledore and seeing Bella flinch. ''I see.''

''I don't know how to explain it. I can understand her, I can feel what she feels.'' Bella admitted sitting down, ''And I can tell she doesn't want to hurt us.''

''You are very similar to her Bella, you are biological the same. What makes you different are your actions Bella.''

Tell me what do you think- R&R! :D

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