Chapter 31

I am soooo sorry for not updating sooner. But, today I passed my final test and I'll be having more free time :)

Thank you for your lovely reviews, they mean the world to me :)

Bellatrix woke up early and decided to see where Hermione was. The evening before she decided to let Hermione think about everything, but since she hadn't slept very well and her patience was running low she just wanted to clear few things with Hermione before the girl made a decision. She walked into Iris's room and her anger was gone in instant because she saw perfection- Hermione lied on the couch with Iris sleeping on her chest. A wave of jealousy went through her as she realized Bella had privilege of watching this every day, of being this happy every day. She slowly and quietly made her way to kitchen, her anger slowly rising but this time not on Hermione or Bella or entire situation. This time her anger was directed at her. She could have been this happy, with kid and wife. She spent her entire life killing and training to be a better killer and she had missed things like love, family, and real friendship.

She sighed and looked at hot tea in her hands as if it would tell her why she was to sacrifice love and happiness for servitude.

''Bellatrix?'' Hermione's soft voice filtered through her reverie. Bellatrix looked up to find Hermione leaning on door frame with Iris in her arms.

''Good morning.'' Bellatrix said in a curt tone. ''Cup of tea?''

''Sure'' Hermione said eyeing the woman in front of her. ''Are you okay?''

''Yeah, I'm fine. Just thinking.'' said Bellatrix as she moved around the kitchen doing her best to avoid Hermione's intuitive gaze.

Hermione put Iris in her seat and watched the obviously very angry Bellatrix stomp around the room. ''Something is wrong.'' She said, this time it was not a question.

''Hermione, I'm not in the mood for this right now'' said Bellatrix dismissively.

''Alright,'' huffed Hermione ''Is it possible for me to have a shower while you watch over Iris?''

''Go ahead, I'll make her breakfast.'' responded Bellatrix not even turning around from stove.

It was 4 o'clock in the morning when Minerva McGonagall walked into a dark house. She greeted Moody, Andromeda and Tonks who were sitting in the kitchen.

''Where is Bella?'' asked Minerva looking around to make sure she hadn't missed the girl somehow.

''Sleeping, I can get her...'' Andromeda responded already starting to stand from her seat.

''No!'' Minerva cut her off. ''I need to talk to the three of you.''

''Alright'' Moody said putting silencing spell around them. ''Should I get Sirius at least?''

''Not yet, he doesn't know about Iris's existence.'' Minerva said sitting down.

''Is something wrong with Iris?'' Andromeda questioned worried that something happened to her niece.

''No, Iris is fine.'' Minerva responded calming the woman's nerves.

''Then what happened?'' asked Tonks watching her former teacher closely.

''I'm sure Bella told you that both Iris and Bellatrix are in Hogwarts.'' Minerva sighed, ''Moody is there any scotch around perhaps?''

''Yeah, give me a second.'' Moody said as he put a glass in front of her and went to retrieve the strong brew.

''Minerva, you're scaring us.'' said Andromeda ''What happened?''

''What you don't know is that Hermione is at Hogwarts as well.'' Minerva said and downed her scotch.

''Oh my God'' said Andromeda realizing what Minerva meant.

Tonks and Moody who weren't so fortunate to understand the meaning behind Minerva's words asked her ''Why?''

''I thought she could help Bellatrix out.'' said Minerva and added ''And she was driving the boys mad with her frustration.''

''That's good; I mean she'll be able to help Bellatrix. I don't see a problem.'' said Tonks completely oblivious to what was going on.

''If they find her, they'll have third of a Golden trio'' said Moody painting a clear picture for the ditzy auror. ''Not to mention that if Bella finds out that her wife is at Hogwarts, a place that is currently covered in Death Eaters, she would most defiantly kill somebody.''

''Exactly.'' said Minerva ''That's why I need you to keep this from both Sirius and Bella.''

''Not a problem.'' said Tonks.

''Good, now I need to speak to Andromeda alone.'' Minerva stated and both Moody and Tonks nodded and went into living room.

''I know what you are going to ask me.'' said Andromeda glaring at Minerva ''If she sets her mind at seducing her, she will. Hermione is bound to Bella's soul which is the copy of Bellatrix's. They aren't the same because the copy grows on its own on new models- that is the reason Hermione loves Bella, but they are similar enough for Hermione to have affection towards Bellatrix. Hermione would never cheat on Bella but her very logical mind will tell her that indeed she is sleeping with her wife, which won't be far from truth. You know this Minerva, don't even try to fool me- one question remains though, why would you let Hermione be near Bellatrix when you know what is most likely to happen?''

''I need Bellatrix under control and Hermione is the way to do that. She'll have Bellatrix wrapped around her little finger in a day or two and she'll be my guarantee that Bellatrix won't do something stupid.'' said Minerva.

''Even if it ends her marriage?'' asked Andromeda incensed at the girl being used this way.

''I love Hermione as if she was my own daughter, but I don't have any other idea. Their marriage won't end because of this, but truth be told- if Bella doesn't find out they will have much smoother path to cross.'' Minerva responded getting up.

''That is uncharacteristically cruel of you Minerva.''

''Albus was right at one point, even though I didn't believe him: There is a war outside and we need to win it.''

''So what are we looking for?'' asked Hermione as she flipped the pages of a book.

''Signs- that paper I gave you.'' Bellatrix pointed and Hermione picked it up studying the drawings on it carefully. ''We are looking for those signs. If we find those in these books we will be able to find locations of Horocruxes.''

''Why are you so certain that we'll find them?'' question Hermione.

''Because the Dark Lord does everything in riddles, he creates a trail that is possible to find, but he is arrogant enough to believe that no one is smart enough to find it'' said Bellatrix.

''There is at least 30 books here.'' said Hermione looking over the pile of dusty tomes in front of them.

''34.'' responded Bellatrix. ''We should start then, don't you think?''

''Fine'' responded Hermione annoyed at how Bellatrix still refused to look at her.

When Bella didn't show up at breakfast, Andromeda went to see if her sister was alright. She was surprised when she found Bella sobbing in bed. Her heart broke a little bit when she remembered her talk with Minerva knowing that Bella's heart would shatter if she knew what was possibly happening between Hermione and Bellatrix right now. She sat next to Bella and pulled the sobbing figure into a warm embrace.

After few minutes when sobs died, Bella said ''Bellatrix was right- we should have run and hide. But where? She doesn't know Hermione, she would never let me take her and Iris away, she's too stubborn to let me drag her away from a fight for justice.''

''You did what you thought was the best.'' said Andromeda trying to placate her blame.

''That doesn't make me feel better.''

''I'm not into cheap emotions.'' smiled Andromeda. ''I will however tell you that, we make mistakes. All of us; you, me, Minerva, Bellatrix, Hermione- all of us. Dealing with them and getting over them is the key to survive, think of escape plans or work on your fight tactics. You will have to protect them. Besides, nothing comes out of worrying, it comes by finding solutions.''

''I hate that you're right.'' Bella said

''I know.'' smiled Andromeda

Bellatrix looked at sleeping figure on the couch. She knew that Hermione had slept in Iris' room the night before, but she didn't see the point of waking the little angel so she carried sleeping beauty to bedroom. She took Hermione's slippers off, tucked her in and settled down on couch in the living room.

When Hermione awoke, she immediately recognized her and Bella's bedroom. Usually that was the place where she felt safe and loved, but knowing the situation she felt panic rise in her. She sat up and looked around herself; rays of sun breaking through closed blinds, illuminating the room revealing that she was alone, the other side of bed was still made indicating that Bellatrix hadn't spent the night with her. Hermione felt wave of relief followed by disappointment- the emotion surprised her and at the same time scared her to death.

She walked out of the bedroom and was greeted by sleeping form of Bellatrix on the couch, her beauty surprised Hermione. She knew she was attracted to Bellatrix and she knew that older woman was great looking, but to be bombarded with this calm, carefree work of art first thing in the morning was almost more than she could bear. She tore her eyes from couch and marched to the kitchen, taking a book on her way. She sat down with coffee in one hand and book in other, waiting for a cry announcing that Iris is awake.

Bellatrix woke up when she heard her name being shouted. She jumped up grabbing her wand on her way expecting that Hermione was in trouble. She was met with Hermione looking at the book in her hand and Iris who was currently playing with her breakfast.

''I found them!'' Hermione said in an excited shout. When she looked up and saw Bellatrix she swallowed hard. Bellatrix was standing behind the couch, her wand drawn, her posture clearly showing that she was ready to fight, her eyes completely black and hair tousled more than usual because of sleep. She looked every bit the mad serial killer people thought her to be.

''Why did you wake me up like that?'' asked Bellatrix loudly but not yelling because of Iris.

''I just...'' started Hermione.

''You just...what? Are you crazy? I am trained to kill Hermione, do you have a death wish?'' said Bellatrix finally relaxing enough to lower her wand.

''I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking...''

''I figured that'' spat Bellatrix.

''Well, sorry for wanting to tell you that I found the book that has all 4 signs!'' snapped Hermione.

''You found them?'' asked Bellatrix her mood instantly shifting.

''Yes.'' responded angry Hermione ''We can try and track them down now.''

Well, I hope you liked the chapter- please review and tell me what you think :)

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