A.N: University life is amazing. Finally, I am away from the-place-which-stifles-my-creativity.
Hermione was furious. Furious with the temperamental beast; furious with herself. She could not understand Fleur's sudden change, neither could she recall what cardinal sin she had done to deserve that.
She came back; did she not? As she had promised! Nothing made sense to her then. After all she had done to get Fleur out of her shell…
Hermione shook her head. Maybe it was for the better; she could now finally return to the village, back to her beloved father, back to her sisters. Draco would definitely be beyond joy when he see her, she thought. And it was then, as the young, headstrong woman was trudging through the vegetation towards the dirt footpath leading out of the woods, she made the decision to wash her hands of the matter. She would never look back ever again.
A flash of blue. The duke screamed in rage, slicing his hand through the air, eyes flashing darkly. A black blast of air rushed at the unexpecting witch who let out a cry when she was thrown back forcefully by the spell.
"Stupid witch; what makes you think you can take me when countless have failed? Be prepared to meet your doom!"
The brunette was slowing stirring, knocked daze from the impact. The figure of the duke was slowly drifting into focus when a loud crack sounded. A force swept through the room, and a woman suddenly materialised in front of the brunette. Her robes fluttered to a still and settled around her. With her long, silvery hair, she looked to be an angel from the heavens.
The duke seemed equally astonished and angered to see her. "Apolline? You are not supposed to be here!"
"Well, I am, so you can forget about supposing."
"But h-how? There is no way you could have broken past my wards-"
"-You forgot that Veela blood runs in my veins. For years I have tried, and I have finally succeeded. I want my daughter back."
"You are not getting her back."
Blue eyes narrowed threateningly. "You know I would be back for her. I will not allow you to doom her."
"You left. You decided that you wanted to leave when I loved you. How could you do this to me, Apolline? I loved you!"
Flashing blue eyes stared into dark black orbs.
"You don't know what love is, Gellert. You never did. You never loved me, nor have you ever loved our daughter. My family and I have been sadly blinded by you. I have enough of all that you did. Think of the lives of those you have killed. Think of the number of families you have destroyed. You just wanted our daughter to be your monster. I was too blind to notice it then, young and naïve I was. I was too blind to see that leaving her in your hands would be more detrimental than good. But now I see."
She helped the fallen woman into an upright position, arms wrapped protectively around the warm shoulders. A roar of rage issued from the beastly man as he realise what he was about to lose.
A young girl of five peeped into the room. Upon seeing her mother with an unconscious woman on the ground, she frowned and trotted towards the pair, a rose in her hand. "Papa, who are they?"
"No Fleur! Don't come over!"
The young child saw the frightened look in the eyes of the woman and her heart raced faster. "Papa? Who is she?"
The duke let out a maniacal laughter.
"Yes, yes; you care for your child, you monster? You dumped her. And tell you what, I do not care now. Yes, I admit. I was just using you and your family. And you were all foolish enough to believe me."
"Don't you dare hurt the child, you beast!" The brunette's eyes flashed in anger as she tried to stand, her shaking hand grasping her wand so tightly that red sparks sputtered out from the tip.
The duke laughed. "You call me a beast, woman? Do you know the creature next to you and this spawn of hers? I will show you who's the real beast!"
"NO!" A scream broke the silence that followed. The brunette grabbed the arm of the hysterical lady by her side as she tried to throw herself towards her husband. His wand shook as he held it towards the little girl, who stood dumbfounded.
"You forced me to do this, Apolline."
Her eyes were wild, her features wild.
"You never loved me, did you?"
"I should have killed you the instance she was born."
There was no time for her to respond. He caught her off-guard with a blast straight to the chest, throwing her against the wall. Her head hit the wall with a sickening crack and she slid down, lifeless. The brunette, thrown back by the force as well, quickly got back to her feet. Just as the wand trained upon her, she grabbed the wrist of the mysterious fallen woman, and in a blink, the pair vanished, amidst the angry howls and the sobbing of a child.
"What are you thinking of, my love?"
The rich chestnut locks of the middle-aged woman fell around the shoulders of the seated woman, enveloping said woman with the soft woody musk just like how the warm arms of her partner enveloped her shoulders.
A flash of pain and regret cracked through the blue ice of the blonde's eyes, bringing out the liquid blue depths. The woman's face was lightly lined with age, but she still possessed the power of attraction in her pores, her blood. A blessing. A curse.
"I am sorry." Her brunette partner whispered
"It was never your fault. If any, it was mine."
"No, you were injured, my darling."
"You came to save the people from him. You saved me from him. I can't even save my own child."
"You came to save me. You could if he didn't hurt you so badly. You almost died."
"I'd rather die than leave my poor child in his hands! I should have taken her when I first left."
Her partner gasped. She moved round the chair and knelt in front of the anguished blonde. Her tender hands held the woman's cheeks with love.
"Don't say that, my dear. You hurt me when you say that."
Their eyes met. A choke. The blonde gave in to tears.
"I am being selfish. You gave up the chance to be with your family, your husband, your children for the sake of the people. And for me. And here I am, absorbed in my own misery."
A solitary tear tracked a lonesome path down the contours of the brunette's face.
"I have you now. And you still have me, darling."
A whisper, a promise.
A whisper. A silhouette. A rose.
"I should never have let you go."