Hourglass

Chapter 23

Hello again, I'm very sorry for delay- my life is little hectic at the moment and I'm adjusting to the new schedule I was given.

Well, here is new chapter. Hope you'll like it :)

yamiperv -yep, u're right. I made a mistake, it's Jean. My bad XD

March

The months were passing by way too quickly for Hermione. Harry was training with Snape and Dumbledore, she tried to help him with problems he had and then there was her little baby girl now 10 months old. Her life was indeed hectic. Bella was really good wife Hermione had concluded. She was her biggest supporter, she held her when she cried and laughed with her when she was happy. Hermione did the same for Bella of course, but Bella was better at keeping it all together. Hermione was surprised not only by Bella but also with Bellatrix, who turned out to be not as sadistic and evil as she thought. Well towards them, anyway.

Having them both around her made her confused sometimes. She would never say it out loud, but she often found herself watching at Bellatrix, studying her moves and gestures. The softness in her smile and eyes as she played with Iris, the way she sang to her when she put her to sleep. It was her Bella, Bellatrix had all Bella's moves and they looked at Iris identically- like mothers ready to turn the world upside down for her.

''How similar are we?" Bellatrix asked out of the blue.

''What?'' Hermione was snapped out of her thoughts by the question.

''Bella and me, how really similar are we?''

''You're both strong women, smart, devoted, thoughtful, courageous and sometimes arrogant.''

''Are you attracted to me?'' Bellatrix asked calmly.

''No! I'm fascinated by you. Not...'' Hermione went silent as Bellatrix took a step toward her.

''Let me kiss you.'' Bellatrix said softly, Hermione never thought she could sound so soft and caring. Well, wrong again.

''No, Bellatrix I'm married to...''

''To me.'' Bellatrix finished as she stepped into Hermione's personal space.

''To a different version of you.'' Hermione said and swallowed hard.

''I am the same, you just get to see the real me. Not the sadistic murderer I am while doing my job.''

''Bellatrix, it could never work, my soul is bonded with Bella's.'' Hermione said truthfully, hoping the older witch would back away, but part of her didn't want her to.

''It's my soul as well.'' Bellatrix told her. ''I'm also connected with you in a way, much weaker way then Bella but still. The night at the Ministry, how do you explain me knowing Rod was hurting you?''

''That's impossible.'' stated Hermione, but Bellatrix had enough of playing nice. She grabbed Hermione by waist and kissed her. Hermione tried to fight it, but she soon found herself responding to kiss. After a minute or two, Hermione tore herself away from Bellatrix.

''Please go.'' Hermione said in a hashed tone. ''Just, please...'' Bellatrix nodded and disapparated with loud crack.

''That shouldn't of happened.'' she said to herself.

Later that day, Hermione decided to talk to Dumbledore.

''I have a problem.''

''Mrs. Lestrange I suppose.'' he simply said

''What? Why would you say that?''

''Because I find it completely possible for a person to be attracted to their wife, even a 30 years older version her.''

''But that's impossible. You said that Bella's soul isn't the same as Bellatrix's.''

''It isn't.'' Dumbledore confirmed. ''However, Bella's soul comes from Bellatrix. It was the same soul up until the moment I split it. When Bella came here the course of who she was too become started to change and the soul along with her.''

''So, as Bella changes and grows her soul will become her own, independent from Bellatrix.''

''Correct.''

''And what am I supposed to do in the mean time?''

''That Miss Granger is something I do not know the answer to. It's entirely up to you my dear.''

''Are you serious? Did you know this could happen?" She asked Dumbledore, already knowing the answer in the back of her mind.

"Yes."

"And you never even warn me!''

''Mrs. Black'' Dumbledore began to defend his actions, ''If I told you this could happen you would have put your guard, and that wouldn't benefit anyone.''

''Benefit?'' shouted a now very angry Hermione.

''It's important for the development of a war that Bellatrix gets attached to you and Iris. It'll give us a much needed advantage.''

''Albus...'' Minerva's cheery voice called out as she entered the room, ''Hermione, what are you doing here?'' she questioned and upon seeing Hermione's face she added, ''What happened?''

''I've just found out being manipulated and whored out is my contribution to the war.'' Hermione spat out. ''How could you do this to me?'' she asked looking between Dumbledore and Minerva.

''What are talking about?'' a confused Minerva asked.

''Like you don't know!'' Hermione shouted at her as the tears threaten to fall.

''Albus, what is going on?'' A fuming Minerva asked knowing that she won't get a proper response out of Hermione.

''It seems that Hermione got attached to Bellatrix Lestrange, which is not all that surprising, I mean in a way she is married to her.'' Dumbledore explained as if it is the most obvious thing in the world. ''I admit I made a mistake by not informing Hermione that she could develop feelings towards Bellatrix sooner, but I did find it necessary at the moment and the leverage we've gotten is big plus for us.''

''Albus, why didn't you tell Hermione and Bella this could happen?''

''Minerva, I made a strategic decision. I admit I was wrong to put Hermione in this situation, but I can't say I regret it. I do apologize for my omission Hermione.'' he finished.

''I have to go.'' Hermione rushed out of Dumbledore's office not able to stay there any longer.

''You are sleeping somewhere else this evening.'' Minerva said furiously and turned to leave.

''Minerva dear...'' Albus started but was quickly cut off.

''Don't you dare! You have manipulated my favorite student and you have put her in a very difficult position. I don't want to talk to you.'' Minerva finished and left the room.

''Women, always so complicated.'' commented Dippet from his portrait.

''She hasn't kicked me out of our room in over 40 years.'' Dumbledore sighed.

Hermione entered the common room and saw Harry and Ron doing their homework. She decided to stay here for a while, knowing she would have to talk to Bella about what happened.

''Hey.'' she greeted them sitting on the couch opposite them.

''Hey 'Mione.'' Harry said and Ron smiled up at her.

''What are you two doing?'' She asked, though she could tell it was the potions assignment due tomorrow.

''Homework. Snape is trying to kill us.'' commented Ron. ''But I'm sure you've already done yours.''

''I did. I don't like to do everything last minute.''

''Mione, are you okay?'' Harry asked taking in her appearance. ''You look a little upset.''

''I am upset. I thought that I knew some things, but I was obviously wrong.'' Hermione said staring into the fire. ''The only problem is that I don't know what to do next.''

''If you told us a little more information, maybe we would be able to help.'' Harry offered, he knew she had been hiding something big from them and saw this as an opportunity to find out what.

''Thanks Harry, but I'm afraid I need to figure this on my own.'' said Hermione sending him a weak smile.

''Are you in love with me?'' Ron blurted out of nowhere.

''What? NO! Why would you say that?'' Hermione said shocked.

''Sorry, I thought...guys said...I'm sorry.'' Ron jumped up and nearly ran up to the boys dormitory.

''This day is just getting worse...'' Hermione muttered as she too left the common room.

Hermione sat and waited. She knew this was a terrible idea but she sent the message to Bellatrix to meet her again. Loud crack interrupted her thoughts.

''Hermione.'' Bellatrix greeted her.

''Bellatrix.'' Hermione wasted no time. ''We need to talk about what happened this afternoon. It can't happen again.''

''Why?'' Bellatrix asked her.

''Because I want to be faithful to my wife. Yes,'' said Hermione quickly stopping Bellatrix who wanted to say something, ''She is you. But I can't be unfaithful, please don't ask that of me.''

''How is it cheating if you're with your wife?'' Bellatrix challenged her.

''Bella may have come from you but she's different. She's kind and nice, she loves me and Iris more than anything and she would give up her life to protect us! You're the follower of Voldemort, you kill people and torture them.''

''She's an Auror. There's hardly any difference, we both kill and do what we have to do too win the war.'' said Bellatrix simply. ''I'll gave you space to think and I won't pressure you, because I would never do that. To you, that is.'' She took a breath and then added, ''You're mistaken though. I do love you and Iris. You've managed to do something no one ever has. You managed to make me feel love. Bella isn't the only one who would give up everything for the both of you, in the case you hadn't realized yet- I'm doing that already. He will not hesitate to kill me if he finds out and I will not hesitate to protect you.''

''I...''Hermione was left speechless.

''I've give you my word. I won't pressure you and we don't need to speak of it again.'' she finished, walked to Hermione and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek before turning around and disapparating.

''Hey babe.'' Bella greeted Hermione as she walked into their apartment. ''You finish your meeting with Dumbledore?''

''Yes, I did.'' Hermione nodded. ''Where's Iris?''

''Sleeping. Minerva played with her all day and she was exhausted.'' Bella told her and then added ''I'm going on a mission tomorrow morning.''

''Will you be away or is it normal mission?'' Hermione asked starting to get worried.

''Few days, we have to go to Paris. I'll be back in few days.'' Bella smiled. ''Nothing to worry about I promise.'' She grinned at Hermione's constant worrying.

''This maybe isn't good moment, but we need to talk about something Bella.'' Hermione said, her mood shifting drastically.

''Okay. Now I'm getting worried.'' Bella turned to Hermione and took her hand in her, their wedding rings resting beside one another.

''Bellatrix kissed me.'' Hermione blurted out.

''What? When?'' Bella asked, anger rising in her.

''Today when she came to see Iris.'' Hermione told her as she squeezed the hand holding hers.

''I'm going to kill her.'' Bella muttered and stood up to pace the room.

''No, Bella please.'' pleaded Hermione, tears gathering behind her eyes. ''Don't. It's not her fault.''

''What do you mean by that?'' Bella asked turning to Hermione.

''Do you remember when Dumbledore told us that we're soul mates and we are forever connected?''

''Yes, of course I do.'' Bella answered her. 'How can I forget the happiest day of my life.' She thought to herself.

''Since your soul came from her, you two are still connected in a way.''

''That would mean that your soul is connected with hers. I can't believe this! Do you, do you feel anything towards her?'' Bella asked needing the answer to be no.

''I feel connected to her yes, but not in a way I feel with you. I'm in love with you and I will always love you, but I just have a weird feeling about her. It's like I have two wives and it drives me crazy that I can't do anything about it. I would never cheat on you with her Bella, you must believe that but I can't say I don't feel connected to her.''

Bella stared at Hermione and sat on the couch. She looked as if she was deep in thoughts, but in reality her mind stopped functioning the moment Hermione said yes. After a few moment Hermione began to panic.

''Say something! Anything! Yell at me, hate me, curse me, but please say something.'' Hermione cried. The walls she had built up around these feeling had begun to crumble and a tidal wave of emotions began to seep through.

''I'm not sure what to say, Hermione.'' Bella told her. ''I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the situation. I just can't handle this at the moment. I'm going to Andromeda's to get ready for my task tomorrow.'' With that she got up and started to walk towards their bedroom.

''Don't go. Please.'' Hermione called to her as she jumped up and grabbed her hand.

''I'll come back Hermione. I promise, I just have to think about this.'' She said and gently pulled Hermione into a loving kiss before continuing to their room.

Few moments later, Hermione heard a loud crack and knew Bella was gone. She fell on her knees and started sobbing.

Little cliffhanger, I know. What should happen next? R&R!

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