Hourglass

Chapter 33

Thank you so much for all your reviews, you are wonderful :D

I am also very sorry to hear that some people don't like the development of situation in this story; but I am sure that you understand how improbable is for every person, who is reading this story, to like development of it.

I hope you will enjoy new chapter :)

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

"Andromeda, this will not leave this room.'' Minerva warned.

''Hermione has a right...'' started Andromeda.

''It's not a priority now!'' Minerva cut her off.

''Priority? Bella has been here for you, protecting the three of them, helping you fight as well as Hermione but you don't think they are important part of the Order?'' Andromeda asked surprised.

''Their well-being is important to me! Their marriage is not. I cannot run around to make sure that everybody's relationships are fine.'' defended Minerva.

''What the hell happened to a woman I used to know? Best professor with a golden heart?'' Andromeda asked.

''You're right! I'll tell Kingsley and Mood to watch out for Harry and Ginny, Ron and Lavander, Bella and Hermione and of course Tonks and Remus!'' said Minerva sarcastically.

''I didn't say...''

''Andromeda, get a grip!'' Minerva cut her off immediately ''I have to save as many lives as possible, to plan an attack against enemy who is much stronger than us and has more followers then we do! We're talking about War, not gang fight in Knockturn Alley!''

''I know, but look at it this way. You lost valuable member of the Order and you're refusing to share that information with the only person who is able to get her back. What will you tell Hermione when she asks? And you know she will.'' contoured Andromeda.

''I'll think of something.'' sighed Minerva ''Andromeda, they are soul mates; they'll work it out- whatever it is, eventually.''

Bellatrix felt bad-yes, Bellatrix Lestrange, the coldblooded killer felt bad for sleeping with Hermione. Not because of the sex, because it was great, not even because it will hurt Bella, but because it was hurting Hermione. She got attached to that young woman and even though she tried to block that part from the beginning, she had failed. Hermione, as well as Iris made her feel alive for the first time in years and a part of her wanted to take Bella's place. She belonged there, next to Hermione's body at night, as a mother figure to Iris.

Mother figure? Bellatrix sighed and resumed her search of Horcruxes.

Minerva looked at all of them- tired and wounded, but determent to continue with fight. She thanked Merlin for such good team who supported her in all of this chaos.

''My friends'' she started ''the fight will begin very soon and I'm afraid this is our last meeting. It is very obvious that the final fight will take place at Hogwarts, which can be our advantage. Even though many Death Eaters are too familiar with the grounds, there are still quite many secret passages and hidden rooms. That rooms will be used for us to hide while we lure Death Eaters inside the castle.''

''How will we lure them?'' asked Arthur

''Dark Mark will appear in the sky, their marks will burn and they will exit Hogwarts. We shall close all the doors immediately with locking spells and wards, than we will start to work. '' Minerva explained.

''How will we make Dark Mark appear?'' asked confused Molly.

''That is taken care of.'' said Minerva dismissively.

''Do we even stand chance Minerva?'' asked Tonks.

''Well, we have only one target really- Voldemort himself. If he dies, the rest will give up and flee the scene. And there has been progress in finding a way to kill him once and for all. We discovered how he managed to come back from the dead- he split his soul into Horcruxes.'' everyone gasped and were ready to start with the questions, but Minerva raised her hand no one uttered the word.

''We know that three Horcruxes had been destroyed and that leaves four that must be destroyed. We firmly believe that the rest of the Horcruxes are hidden in Hogwarts and we are in process of finding them.'' Minerva said.

''When you say we...you mean...''Tonks said.

''Hermione and me.'' said Minerva.

''When are we going to alert boys?'' asked Bill.

''When we form a plan and locate all the Horcruxes, not a moment before. We only have one chance at this, after all.''

''Shit, shit, shit.'' mumbled Bellatrix under her breath as she translated the words over and over again.

''What's going on?'' asked Hermione who was leaning against door frame and looking at a fanatic Bellatrix on the couch. Bellatrix looked surprised at Hermione, the girl barely spoke three words to her since they slept together, four days ago.

''I'm not sure.'' Bellatrix lied.

''You're lying.'' at Bellatrix stare she continued ''When you lie you tilt your head little, others do not notice it, but I do.''

''There are some complications.'' Bellatrix confirmed not seeing the point of arguing.

''What kind of complications?'' Hermione asked as she walked into living room.

''Two out of four Horcruxes are living beings.''

''What? Who? How is that possible?'' Hermione asked.

''I do not know how that is possible or who they are as I haven't translated the whole text yet.''

''Two heads are better than one.'' said Hermione as she sat down next to Bellatrix.

''Why are you stopping?''

''I'm sorry, I can't.'' Bella said as she took the step back from the blonde she was pressing against the wall.

''Yes, you can.'' The girl smiled, ''I don't care on who you'll think of.''

''I'm sorry, I can't. Not yet, anyway.'' Bella said and exited the storage room leaving the unsatisfied blonde behind her as she walked into crowd of a club. She ran straight out, into the cold. She couldn't comprehend what happened to her life, all of the questions she avoided came rushing to her head. What if Dumbledore hadn't brought her here? Would Hermione be with Bellatrix or would she end up with Ron? Where did she belong- past brought to future, trying to be someone who she shouldn't have become. She is Bellatrix, her name still is Bellatrix. Bellatrix Black, later known as Bellatrix Lestrange. She will look like her in a few years, if she survives. There is part of darkness in her heart and she knew about it very well. Did she make a mistake when she tamed it? Was that what brought Hermione to Bellatrix? Why it felt acceptable to see Bellatrix pressing her wife against the wall? Maybe because she saw herself...maybe because it isn't cheating technically.

Anger that has bubbled inside of her came to surface, a roller coaster of mixed and uncertain emotions went through her body in waves as she marched back into the club.

''Nagini!'' exclaimed Bellatrix ''It's Nagini, here it says: 'favourite one.'''

''That could be you, as well.'' Hermione retorted.

''Impossible, he is only connected to that snake. We are all just tools, not dear to him. But, Nagini is almost like a child to him.'' Bellatrix finished.

''That's a little sick.'' Hermione commented and asked ''What about other?''

''Well, it says basically: 'the one who has stand and will stand again in the death game.' Death game could be duel or fight to death'' Bellatrix mused.

''Yes, but no one survived a duel with the Dark Lord.'' Hermione stated.

''Except Harry.'' Bellatrix said.

Hermione shot a glare ''That's not true! He was a child, only a baby! He wasn't in a duel!'' she stood up.

''Hermione...''

''No!'' she moved back as Bellatrix got up ''He is not Horcrux!''

''Hermione, take it easy, you're starting to panic.''

''Of course I am! You're telling me my best friend is going to die!'' Hermione yelled, her back colliding with the wall.

''You're lying!' 'accused Hermione ''You're lying, you're on their side and you're trying to tell me we must kill him!'' she advanced towards Bellatrix and punched her in the shoulder with her clasped fist. Bellatrix stopped series of punches by grabbing Hermione by wrist.

''Let me go!'' Hermione started to resist.

''Stop it!'' Bellatrix growled, remembering they were once in similar position.

''No!'' Hermione yelled ''I hate you! Let me go!''

Bellatrix let go of her wrists, but grabbed Hermione's body instead pressing it against her own. After a minute Hermione stopped struggling and started sobbing.

After half an hour Hermione was lying on the couch against Bellatrix, her sobbing quiet down but her body too exhausted to move anywhere. Paper appeared in the middle of the air and hit the coffee table.

''Accio note.'' Bellatrix commanded ''Minerva wants to see us in her office.''

''I don't know what to do Albus.'' Minerva said as she looked up to the painting ''I do not trust Bellatrix completely, she did make unbreakable vow with Bella, but that was to protect Hermione and Iris, not to help us.''

''Well, the connection between Hermione and Bellatrix is still there. It hadn't disappeared completely yet and that is something you should use.'' Dumbledore said.

''That will wreck Hermione's and Bella's marriage.'' said Minerva.

''It won't. In the end, it'll make them stronger. Yes, it may be little rocky, but it'll make them stronger.''

''Albus...we're losing who we are. We haven't been this cruel...''

''Minerva, dear, sometimes my methods are crazy and it may seem that I lead you towards the wall, but I know what I'm doing.''

Hermione and Bellatrix apparated in Minerva's office.

''Hermione, what happened?'' asked Minerva seeing Hermione's puffed face, eyes red from crying.

''We have some news.'' said Bellatrix as Hermione didn't utter a word.

''Well, what is it?'' asked Minerva impatiently.

''Two out of the four Horcruxes are live beings'' Bellatrix paused but continued ''one is Nagini and the other is Harry Potter.''

Minerva sat down, legs just couldn't hold her.

''What will we do now?'' questioned shocked Minerva.

''There is always a way.'' Dumbledore mumbled, ''Death doesn't have to be the end.''

Minerva wanted to ask what the hell that meant but as she turned in her chair to look at the portrait, she was met with familiar gaze that made her drop her question.

''Bellatrix, I need to speak with Hermione alone for a moment.'' Minerva said and thanked her for the new information.

''Very well, good night Minerva.'' Bellatrix nodded and apparated.

''What's wrong with Bella?'' asked Hermione. She had felt bad for days and she knew Bella wasn't good.

Minerva swallowed at the bitter lie she was about to say ''She's missing. She could be dead Hermione, no one is sure..but...''

Hermione felt numb, as if someone cut the life out of her. She was drowning in chaos and knew only one straw to hold onto. She stood up and disapparated.

''Albus...''

''Minerva, trust me. Both of them are suffering, they can feel it from inside. But they will pass it, trust me.''

Bellatrix was lying on the couch on which she had slept since she and Hermione had slept together. Even though Hermione tried to move to the couch, Bellatrix didn't want to hear about it and took the couch instead. She was lying and pondering about life when Hermione apparated.

Hermione was on top of her in matter of seconds, kissing her desperately. After first shock, she kissed Hermione back. After a minute or two, Hermione broke the kiss, grabbed her by the hand and yanked into standing position. She moved backwards towards bedroom leading Bellatrix with her looking straight into her eyes: ''Make me feel again, please.''

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