Hourglass

Chapter 22

Hey everyone, here's new chapter. Hope you'll like it :) Big thanks to my beta, who not only corrrected this chapter, but previous ones too. :D

''Hermione, I was thinking.'' Bella said watching Hermione from the couch.

''That's not good.'' Hermione grinned.

''Ha, ha.'' mocked Bella. ''Do you still want to marry me?'' she asked seriously.

''Of course I do. Why on Earth are you asking me that?'' Hermione asked confused. She put down her cup and turned her full attention to Bella.

''I was just wondering. I know I asked kinda sudden so I just wanted to make sure.'' said Bella.

''I know what you mean, the news about Iris and a marriage proposal turned my world upside down. But I'm glad it did, and I do want to marry you Bella. Maybe we should set the date?'' Hermione said, a smile casting away any doubt from Bella.

''Yeah, that would be nice. I promised Dumbledore that he could perform the magical binding between us.''

''Really?'' Hermione asked. ''I'd be honored. He truly is the greatest wizard of our time.''

''That he is. I can't figure out how he does it but he always seem to know everything.'' Bella shook her head.

''I need to tell you something.'' Hermione sobered ''Last week, Harry came to me and told me he knows I'm hiding something.''

''What did you say?'' asked Bella getting up and walking over to Hermione at their kitchen table.

''I didn't say anything. I never had a chance to deny it or to confirm it before we entered the class. After that he was always with Ginny or Ron, so I couldn't say anything.''

''I'll talk to him.'' Bella said.

''And say what?'' Hermione snapped, her anger coming to the surface. ''You'll say that he needs to leave your 'friend' alone? Or that it's not wise to anger a woman filled with hormones? What would you say? I'm not yours in their eyes and I do not have a child either!''

''What is it that we're arguing about here? Harry's suspicion or our relationship?'' asked Bella, starting to raise her voice.

''Relationship? We don't have one, not in front of them! You're Isabella Noire, the professor in training and I'm Hermione Granger 6th year. That's it! There is no other connection between us. We don't exist outside this room; Iris doesn't exist outside this room. Only a few people know about Iris Victoire Black, the daughter of Hermione Granger and Bellatrix Black.'' Hermione shouted at Bella.

''You are absolutely right Hermione, let's go!" Bella started in a condescending tone. "Let's announce that I am Bellatrix Black- yes that one, the killer, the sadist. And I'm 18, hell I have more energy than Bellatrix Lestrange! Let's not forget that you- a third of Golden trio having a child with me- Bellatrix Black, the new, younger version of Bellatrix Black. Yes, we'll be so accepted.'' she finished. Then sarcastically adding, ''We also can't forget that we meet with Bellatrix Lestrange every weekend so she can see her child. Which is actually yours and mine, but because of this, completely insane, situation is also hers. That'll be normal, everyone will understand and accept that.''

''I'm not saying we should tell them about you, I'm telling you we should let them know that there is an 'us'.'' Hermione argued back, her voice a little strained.

''Do you know that Voldemort can enter anyone's mind? Do you know that if he, Merlin forbids, starts to suspect Bellatrix is hiding something and enters her mind he will know about you and Iris? The only reason she knows about Iris is because of the fact that she is linked to her, she sensed her. Telling more people about us and Iris puts both of you in danger.'' finished Bella.

''Puts us in danger? Since when have you had a problem with danger? Your job is to throw yourself into all kinds of dangerous situations!''

''That's my job! And you know it! I'm an Auror; my job is to make sure all of you are safe. I knew you had a problem with me being an Auror.''

''I don't have a problem with you being an Auror! I'm glad you're one because that means you're one of the most skilled witches around. Which means you'll be able to protect yourself and Iris if need be. I admit I was scared at first. I thought maybe bloodlust would overtake and you'll be helpless against it. But you're not, you're disciplined and courageous. You're everything I wanted in a lover.'' tears started streaming down Hermione's face, ''I'm just scared and tired. I want to tell them about us and Iris, I need to show them that I'm not trying to hide anything bad from them. The two of you are the most wonderful things in my life and those closes friends have no idea.''

Bella rushed over to Hermione and pulled her into a fierce hug. ''I'm sorry Honey. Soon, soon we'll be able to tell them the whole story. Then we'll introduce them to our perfect little girl.'' Bella finished kissing Hermione's forehead ''I promise.''

Later that night, as Hermione slept Bella slipped out. She found herself in front of Andromeda's house. She knocked few times before being met with a half-asleep Andromeda.

''Bella? What happened? Is Hermione alright?'' asked Andromeda shocked to find her sister there at that time of night.

''Hermione is fine Andy.'' said Bella as she walked in the house and straight to the living room.

''Are you okay?'' questioned Andromeda following her.

''Yes, no... I don't...I made her cry.'' Bella admitted.

''Who?'' Tonks asked announcing her presence.

''Hermione. We had an argument and I made her cry. I mean, it wasn't just me. It was the whole situation but I didn't help it. She hates the fact that we must keep our relationship and Iris secret from the others.''

'''Well you must admit it's rather difficult to live a double life. In school she's the perfect girl with good grades and an excellent reputation. But at the same time she's your fiancée and mother to your child. There is also the fact that she is a part of Golden trio and will have a key role in bringing Voldemort down.'' said Andromeda.

''What can I do about it? I help in every way I can, I make sure Iris isn't waking her up in the middle of the night and I try to help her with homework and class work. It's seems that the only thing that would help her at the moment is what I can't do. I can't tell them we're together, it's risking their lives. There is a reason only few people know about Iris.'' Bella said.

''I don't think I'm qualified enough to help you with this.'' sighed Andromeda.

''What's the reason?'' asked Tonks, at Bella's confused look she added, ''Why do only few know about Iris? Not even half of The Order knows about her.''

''I made a deal with Bellatrix. If Voldemort wins, and there is a real chance he might, she'll make sure Iris is safe and sound.''

''What?'' both Andromeda and Tonks exclaimed jumping to their feet.

''Are you crazy? She's one of the worst people out there!'' yelled Andromeda.

''I agree.''

''She's not like that with Iris. It's almost as she's completely sane with her.'' Bella defended.

'' You let her see Iris?''

''Andromeda, it wasn't only mine decision. I was against it first, but Dumbledore said it would be a good idea and Hermione said it's, technically, her child so we must let her see Iris.''

''That man has gone mad!'' Andromeda said dropping back onto the sofa.

''Mom, give it a break. She saw the kid she already knew existed. End of the story.''

''She sees her every week.'' interrupted Bella.

''Are you MAD!''? Tonks said whipping around to look at Bella.

''Look, I'll do my best and try to help bring Voldemort down. But in a case we don't succeed, this is a good option. I don't know why, but I just know that she won't hurt her.''

''Is there a reason you're looking at me like that?'' asked Bellatrix.

''What? Like what?'' Hermione asked, snapping out of her stupor.

''You're studying me. Why?''

''I'm sorry, I shouldn't have...''

''Relax,'' interrupted Bellatrix ''I'd be curious too if I'd be able to see my wife 30 years in the future.''

''We're not married yet.'' corrected Hermione, ''But we'll be very soon.''

''Well, this is it.'' Bellatrix said and showed herself. ''This is what's waiting for you in 30 years. Be prepared for high blood pressure around 45, and don't let her eat too much roast. So do you like what's waiting for you?''

''I actually do. You are physically her and I must admit that I'll still have very good looking wife in 30 years.'' smiled Hermione. ''Don't worry, I won't let her near roast.''

''I knew you found me attractive.'' Bellatrix smirked.

''There are a few things that don't change with years, I see.'' commented Hermione.

5th of December

Snow was still falling on this beautiful Saturday morning. Hermione looked at her dress for the thousandth time. A simple white dress, perfect for her. She smiled at her reflection in the mirror.

''Big smile.'' said Minerva walking into the room.

''You're right Minerva; she's wearing the biggest, happiest smile I've ever seen on her.'' Elizabeth said. ''My little girl is getting married.''

''Mom, please don't cry again. Please!'' Hermione turned to her mom. ''I'm still your little girl. Okay?''

Elizabeth smiled and nodded doing her best to fight off her tears.

''Let's go, there is a binding waiting to be performed.'' said Minerva.

Bella wore black, corset dress with necklace of Black's coat of arms which was actually Bellatrix's', but she borrowed it. The wedding took place at Albus and Minerva's home. There, of course, weren't many guests, but all in attendance held a special place in Hermione's and Bella's heart. Andromeda, Tonks, Moody, Elizabeth, William, and Minerva were standing around the young couple. Iris was smiling at her mom's from Elizabeth's arms.

As the ceremony began, William was as excited as a child- he was fascinated with the magical world and being at a wedding in it was exciting. But the fact that it was the wedding of his little girl was simply overwhelming. Elizabeth rolled her eyes at him.

''You are unique. A seamless mix of past and present coming together to form a perfect future. Love is great and it saves, you will see that very soon. Real love is like magic, it is there and it is fascinating- though few of us are ready to see it and except it. Only few of us are ready to be there till the end and I know that you two make through all the obstacles in your way. I believe I've talked too much already so let's cut to the chase." Dumbledore smiled and took out his wand before he continued.

"Hermione Jane Granger, do you take Bellatrix Black to be your wife, to love and protect forever more?''

''Yes, I do.'' Hermione smiled with watery eyes mirroring her mothers.

''Do you Bellatrix Black take Hermione Jane Granger to be your wife, to love and protect forever more?''

''I do.'' Bella said.

''Well then, with those words this binding is finished and you are officially married.'' announced Dumbledore waving his wand. A deep blue spell surrounded their joined hands and disappeared into them.

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