Hourglass

Chapter 30

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Big thanks to Asher Henry, best beta in the world.

''My Lord'' Bellatrix addressed Voldemort.

''Yes, Bellatrix?''

''May I go to Hogwarts?'' she asked, bowing her head to show respect.

''I see you still don't believe Severus'' he laughed. ''Will it ease your mind?''

''Yes, it will My Lord.'' She said, looking up to see his reaction.

''Very well, you may go to Hogwarts. But you cannot reveal yourself for the time being. Soon thought'' he smiled at his most loyal servant.

''My Lord!'' one of Death Eaters burst into the room covered in blood.

''What is this?'' yelled Voldemort at the man.

''Auror, My Lord'' he said, bowing his head.

''Aurors were at the sight?'' Voldemort asked furious.

''No, My Lord. One Auror- the one we told you about.'' Bellatrix knew that Bella is mysterious Auror and not wanting to get in the way of Voldemort's rage she backed away.

''One Auror!'' yelled Voldemort seeing the state of his men as they limped into the throne room. ''Crucio!'' he roared and the men started to convulse in pain on the floor.

''What will we do now?'' asked Harry.

''I don't know. I always thought Hogwarts was strong enough not to fall'' replied Ron.

''She has the whole of Hogwarts behind her! We'll protect her! I'll protect her! I'm her mother too, Hermione and I would give everything to protect her life!'' Hermione remembered Bella's words, but then she remembered Bellatrix's as well. ''What if she is too slow or unable to go to your parents? What then Hermione?''

''Hermione? Hello?''

''What?'' asked Hermione as she snapped out of her daze.

''Where were you?'' asked Harry. ''We called you like... 5 times.''

''I'm sorry, I was thinking.''

''Do you know where we should start our search for the Horcruxes?'' asked Ron.

''Have no idea'' she sighed.

''You need to run!'' exclaimed Minerva as she entered the room, startling Bella.

''What?'' asked confused Bella.

''Death Eaters are coming! You need to pack your things and disappear! Go to 12 Grimmauld Place and wait there!'' Minerva commanded and stormed out.

Bella heard a loud crack and saw Bellatrix standing in the kitchen area.

''I heard Death Eaters are coming'' Bella said bitterly.

''How could you have left your daughter in the muggle world without protection?'' hissed Bellatrix.

''How do you know that?'' asked Bella.

''It doesn't matter! How could you let your family get separated?''

''I had no choice!'' Bella yelled.

''Yes you did!'' Bellatrix spat back. ''You could have run, you could have hid. But no, you choose to continue to play the role of the mysterious Auror who combats alone! Alone, Bella! What the hell were you thinking?''

''Don't you understand that I was brought here to protect Harry, Hermione and Ron? My job is important because if I don't do it, then Order doesn't have any use of me! The only way I'm staying in the game is to be in the Order! The only way to protect Hermione and Iris is if I do my job!'' Bella yelled.

''I know that, but it doesn't mean you need to go alone! And certainly it doesn't mean you can leave your child unprotected!''

''What should I do now? Hm?'' an angry Bella asked. ''I have to go to 12 Grimmauld Place and stay there until further notice, how am I to be with my daughter?''

''Bring her here'' Bellatrix said. ''Severus will be new Headmaster and I requested to be here as a surveillance. The Dark Lord granted me permission under one condition- not to reveal myself, which is exactly what I want. This way I can find the Horcrux and protect Iris'' finished Bellatrix.

''What if they find you? What if you...'' started Bella.

''I took an oath, I cannot deceive you and work against you. They will not find me or Iris, this castle is protected and you know it.'' Bellatrix said and with an ernest expression added, ''She's my daughter too.''

Minerva returned to Hermione's and Bella's rooms to find Bellatrix there.

''What are you doing here?'' asked Minerva surprised.

''I just put Iris to sleep, don't be so loud'' replied Bellatrix.

''Iris is here?''

''Yes, Bella brought her here before she went to Grimmauld Place. I asked her to, Iris is safer with me. The Dark Lord allowed me to stay here on the condition I remain unseen.'' Bellatrix told Minerva.

''They let you guard Iris? Just like that?'' Minerva questioned.

''She's my daughter as well Minerva. Besides you were there when I took the oath, I promised not to harm Iris or Hermione.''

''But you never promised not to harm Bella'' countered Minerva.

''That is true'' Bellatrix confirmed.

''Why are you here Bellatrix? I don't care for The Dark Lord's plans or what you've been telling him, I want the truth- why are you here?'' Minerva asked, her eyes piercing through Bellatrix's.

''I believe that, at least one, of the remaining Horcruxes is in Hogwarts.''

''You're pacing like a mad woman'' said Andromeda.

''Well, I have every right-don't you think?'' Bella shot back.

''Don't need to snap at me, alright?'' said Andromeda and added, ''In no time, we'll get notification and you'll be able to get your ass out of here.''

''Do you believe Bellatrix will take care of Iris?'' asked Bella.

''We've been through this, Minerva said that Iris is alright, Bellatrix took the oath and you can't back on that'' Andromeda said standing and walking to Bella. She looked into Bella's eyes and said ''Look, I know her, I know you. She's my sister and no matter what others see, I still see her for who she is. I know what she's capable of doing and what she's done, but I can't help myself from remembering what she did for me and Narcissa. That's how I know she'll give everything to protect Iris.''

''I miss them'' sighed Bella.

''Professor McGonagall, what are you doing here?'' asked a surprised Harry.

''Sweet Merlin, you look terrible'' said Minerva as she laid eyes on the boy.

''We've been out here for three weeks, I'm not sure what you expected but let me tell you between looking for Horcruxes and Hermione's madness, I look far better than I should" Harry said with a joking smile.

''Hermione's madness?'' questioned Minerva thinking about spells and potions that may have caused madness.

''Yeah, she's jumpy as hell. Whatever we do, she yells at us or storms out. I've even heard her cry during the night, but when I asked her about it...''

''She yelled'' Minerva said.

''Yes, I've never seen her like this. I know that she's been hiding something from us and she's probably worried about the person waiting for her, but do you think you could tell her to ease up on us?'' asked Harry.

''You have no idea how much she has to worry about.'' Minerva thought to herself.

''Actually, I came here to ask Hermione to go back to Hogwarts with me'' Minerva said, shaking the thought from her mind.

''Back? Why?'' asked voice coming from entrance of tent. Both Harry and Minerva looked to angry looking, and clearly exhausted, Hermione.

''We may have some leads about the whereabouts of a Horcrux, but I need you to help me in figuring them out'' said Minerva.

''We'll come with you'' Harry said.

''Harry, you can't go back.'' Minerva told him. ''Death Eaters are there, they'll call Voldemort and he'll kill you on the spot. Hermione can take Polyjuice, but to take you there would be too much of a risk, Harry.''

''Who'll protect Hermione?'' asked Ron as he joined the others.

''I will Mr. Weasley.'' Minerva said in stern voice. 'And Bella, and Bellatrix.'

''I'll go, let me grab my things'' said Hermione and looked towards boys. ''I'll be back as soon as possible.''

''I haven't been completely honest.'' Minerva said as she and Hermione apparated to Hogwarts.

''Really? I'm surprised.'' Hermione said sarcastically but quickly added ''I'm sorry, it's just...''

''I understand.'' Minerva cut her off and continued with what she was saying. ''Bellatrix is in Hogwarts and Iris as well.''

''What?'' Hermione yelled as they approached the castle. ''Are you mental?''

''Hermione, enough!'' Minerva scolded. ''Bella brought Iris back to Hogwarts knowing Bellatrix will protect her. Nobody knows that Bellatrix is in Hogwarts, except Voldemort, Bella and me. She thinks a Horcrux is somewhere in Hogwarts, possibly more than one. I need you to help her find them.''

''I don't think that is very good idea.'' Hermione said.

''Hermione, this is our only chance. Think about it this way, the sooner you find the Horcruxes the sooner you'll have your family back.''

Bellatrix heard when Hermione apparated and moved towards the door.

''Bellatrix?'' Hermione called out.

''Hello.'' Hermione jumped at the greeting and spun around. She found Bellatrix leaning against the door frame of Iris' room, clad in black jeans and a black top.

''You alright?'' Bellatrix asked moving into living room.

''Yeah. Just surprised seeing you in jeans and not in a dress.''

''Yeah, I guess. So Minerva filled you in?'' asked Bellatrix.

''Yes, she did.'' said Hermione and quickly stated ''Nothing can happen. What happened at the Manor can never happen again.''

''Even though you want it to happen again?'' questioned Bellatrix.

''I need to see my daughter'' Hermione said and walked out of the living room and into Iris' room, leaving Bellatrix with smirk on her face.

Well, that was it. I hope you liked it :) Make my day and review :D

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