Well you know what they say... all good things must come to an end! I truly have enjoyed sharing Impossible with you over the past few months... all the fantastic reviews I have had made me smile when sometimes I was so stressed that I wanted to cry! I really appreciate all the reviews I have been given, and especially those loyal reviewers who have let me know their thoughts time and time again. I hope to post more fic for you as soon as I have the chance! All my love, peace out. X
AureaCupiditas - That's a really lovely thing to say- thank you!
owlcalledraven- I thought the same... had it come out about Bellatrix and Hermione during the war, people wouldn't have been so accepting. Thank you. :)
Kriszti7- I did debate having a Hermione/Narcissa pairing as well, but no. It wouldn't work considering Semper Amor, so I'm going to have to save that one for another fic. :P Bellatrix is just jealous of absolutely nothing, as always. :P
deedeex912- Well I'll probably explore Narcissa kindness more should I do a sequel but put simply, it's because she realises how good Hermione will be for Bellatrix. She makes her more sane and brings happiness into her life, which has never happened before. As for Ron, he's a stubborn character.
greeneleka- Haha, MY Narcissa now too, is it? :P She is a hard character to figure out... and I too am a fan of jealous Bellatrix. She appears again in this last chapter, you'll be pleased to note! Yes, I am hopeful that I will have time for a sequel, someday soon!
some-girl-somewhere- Yes, I am indeed planning on writing another Hermione/Bellatrix fic as soon as I have the chance! Thank you for the compliment. :)
Cobrastryke- No, thank you for being so lovely! :)
Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your loving, your loving behind
You can't carry it with you if you want to survive
The dog days are over
Florence and the Machine, Dog Days Are Over
Bellatrix had always loved the summer night times. When her parents were in bed, she would sneak out of the house and into the garden, her heart pounding from the thrill of doing something that she shouldn't be. She would lie on the grass and stare up at the stars for hours on end until she fell asleep, protected from the chill of the winds by the huge duvet she carried, with a heating charm to keep it warm, courtesy of her mother. Fortunately, she always managed to wake with enough time to sneak back into the house before her parents awoke, and no one ever knew that she had even left the manor in the first place.
Until the night she heard whispers behind her.
Jolting up, she peered around the bush she had hidden behind, shielding her from the view of her parents' bedroom should they decide to look out of the window. The whispers grew louder, and soon she realised that it was the voices of her younger sisters, Andromeda and Narcissa that she could hear coming closer. They hadn't yet spotted her, but she could hear their conversation perfectly well.
"She's got to be here somewhere," Andromeda said matter-of-factly.
"I want to go back to bed, Meda," Narcissa whined back, and Bellatrix instinctively knew that she would be tugging on Andromeda's hand, even if she couldn't see her doing it.
"We will in a bit if we don't find her, ok? I promise," Andromeda said kindly, and as she came into view, Bellatrix noticed her peering around looking for her.
"Meda!" Narcissa said, sounding more hysterical now. "I want to go back!"
Bellatrix sighed. She liked her peaceful nights alone out here without her sisters, because as much as she loved them, she liked to be alone too. On the other hand, the rest of the many peaceful nights that she would experience in the future were in jeopardy if Narcissa made much more noise and woke their parents. It may be best if for one night she just revealed herself, if only for her own benefit. It was going to be a serious pain in the arse having to listen to her sisters drone on, but it was for the best in the long run.
"Narcissa," she hissed sharply, causing both her sisters to jump and look around frantically for any sign of her. "Shut up, before you wake mother and father!"
Spotting her older sister and immediately relaxing, Narcissa smiled with relief. "Bella!" She ran over to her, throwing herself down on top of the duvet. "What are you doing here?"
"Yes, what are you doing here, Bella?" Andromeda asked inquisitively. She too sat down on the other side of Bellatrix.
"I'm looking at the stars," Bellatrix said. "Or at least I was before you idiots interrupted me."
Andromeda looked annoyed, and Narcissa looked downcast. Always the one to retaliate, Andromeda snapped, "Well you shouldn't be sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. If mother and father knew, you would be in serious trouble."
"Better keep your mouth shut then, hadn't you?" Bellatrix said threateningly.
Narcissa shook her head, her blonde hair swinging back and forth as she did so. "We're not going to tell. Promise!" She grinned up at Bellatrix, and Bellatrix felt herself began to soften. For some insane reason, Narcissa idolised her, and she didn't want to upset her so much that she went crying to their parents after all.
"Good," Bellatrix said smugly. It was amazing how much control she had over Narcissa without even trying, for she truly was idolised.
"Can we sit with you?" Narcissa asked, looking at Bellatrix with hopeful, pretty brown eyes. "I feel safer now that we're with you."
Bellatrix looked curiously at Narcissa. "You do? Why?"
"Because you can do anything," Narcissa said confidently. "Can't she, Meda?"
Raising an eyebrow, Bellatrix looked at Andromeda. It was a challenge, and she was sure Andromeda knew that. She didn't want to pay Bellatrix such a compliment, but neither did she want to upset Narcissa, not when she was their baby sister whom they both doted on. It put Andromeda in an extremely awkward position, which Bellatrix secretly found it to be hilarious. With anticipation, she sat still, waiting with her eyes fixed on Andromeda's to hear her reply.
"Yes," Andromeda said finally. "She can."
Unable to stop herself, Bellatrix grinned. Holding up her warm duvet, she made enough room for Andromeda and Narcissa to join her underneath. Together, the three sisters curled up, lying back on the grass and gazing into the dark sky above them. There was silence between them as they stared up in awe at the specks of light in a giant night sky. It was amazing, Bellatrix thought, how tiny they were in such a vast space. They were small and insignificant, but they were still the beautiful spectacles that were the focus of people's attention as opposed to the darkness surrounding them.
"Sisters forever, right?" Narcissa said happily, drawing Bellatrix back to the conversation.
"Sisters forever," Andromeda echoed.
"Sisters forever," Bellatrix said.
Days later and Hermione's near breakdown had almost been forgotten. She was pleased to note that Bellatrix had not appeared to hold a grudge, and instead had treated her far better than usual. Whenever she went to the library to read books, or sat writing letters to her friends, more often than not Bellatrix found a reason to sit with her. At first, Hermione wondered if she was building up to something she wanted, but eventually, she came to the conclusion that this was Bellatrix's own way of showing her support. She would never sit and talk to Hermione in-depth about her feelings, but she would observe her to make sure that she was coping.
Bellatrix had been taking the potion Sedonus that her Soul Healer had advised her to take on a daily basis, and the improvements in her personality were astounding as each day passed and the potion began to have greater effects. She was still sarcastic and angry, but far less likely to fly off the handle for no reason, and more placid all round. Hermione hadn't been able to stop herself gawping in shock the previous day after the raven haired witch had arrived home from a meeting with the Ministry, proclaimed she had been pardoned, and proceeded to sit and read a book quietly with no mocking words of frustration at what she had been made to endure. It seemed that she really was changing, right before Hermione's eyes. Amazing.
The day after this happened, when Hermione was walking through the huge grounds surrounding the manor and trying to soak up the sunshine, Bellatrix approached her from behind. "Let's sit for a moment," she said casually, and Hermione knew at once that there was something she wanted. It was instinctive, but also the fact that she knew her lover so well by now, though she didn't get the feeling that she should worry too much considering the calm tone of voice that Bellatrix used.
Once seated fairly comfortable on the grass, Bellatrix waved her wand, and an umbrella appeared, shading them both from the sun's rays. Frowning, Hermione said, "I was enjoying the sun, you know."
Bellatrix rolled her eyes. "It'll ruin my complexion."
"Since when did you care about your complexion?" Hermione asked, amused.
"Since I began courting a witch who is twenty-nine years younger than me," Bellatrix retorted.
Struggling not to laugh at Bellatrix's use of the word "courting", Hermione decided it was probably best for her to ignore the defensive sarcasm and move on to discussing whatever it was Bellatrix wanted to talk about. "You don't need to worry about your complexion, Bella. Honestly," she said sweetly. "Now what is it you want?"
Bellatrix pulled out a roll of parchment, and a quill from her pocket. "I want you to write a letter to Weasley, as you promised you would," she said happily. It sounded like a friendly, almost joyful request, and there was no bitterness in her voice, much to Hermione's immense relief.
Despite the fact Hermione really didn't want to do it, she realised that she had no choice. She had assured Bellatrix that she would write to Ron, and if she didn't want to start another argument, then that was what she would have to do. She wouldn't be able to be as blunt or forceful as Bellatrix wanted her to be, but she would give the letter her best shot, if only to drum it into Ron's head that they would never again be together. Hopefully, that would be enough for Bellatrix. The tone of the letter would be harsh but fair, she decided.
Picking up the quill, she began to write, formulating the words in her head as she went along.
It was harder than she thought. How did you put into words the fact that you weren't in love with someone, but you still wanted to be their friend? And that they probably shouldn't come too near you at any stage in the immediate future, because your slightly insane lover was likely to murder them? It wasn't like anything Hermione had ever written before, and with luck she would never again have to write more similar letters in the future. Besides, it was quite likely that Ron had already got the message; she was only doing this to make Bellatrix feel better about her precarious friendship with him, and to stop her lover from holding a grudge against herself and Ron for the regretted kiss in the Room of Requirement.
Eventually, she managed to get the words she needed down onto the parchment:
I am not entirely sure what exactly I should write and the way in which to say it, so I'm going to just be blunt, much in the way that you yourself are.
I love Bellatrix. I will always love Bellatrix because of Semper Amor. You don't understand that, but you should respect it. I want you in my life as a friend, but unless you're prepared to be just that, a friend, then we can never spend any time together. There is no point trying to change my mind because it won't happen, and if you even try to, that would be an extremely stupid choice to make. You know who Bellatrix is and what she is capable of, so I advise you to take me seriously.
You're so infuriating, really you are! I want us to be friends, and I miss you. I miss your stupid jokes, the way you never listen to anything I say (though you really should pay attention to this letter else I won't be able to stop Bellatrix from confronting you) and even just socialising with you.
Please think about the friendship you're giving up if you never talk to me again. I'm sorry that I can never be with you, but you can always have me in your life as a best friend, if you'd like to take me up on the offer.
There. What else was there to say? She didn't see what else there was to include that would possibly make Bellatrix any happier, and so she handed the parchment to the raven haired witch, waiting for her reaction with apprehension abundant. Hermione was smart enough to realise that had Bellatrix written the letter herself (and really, she was surprised that she hadn't at least tried to) then it would have been much more offensive and rude than the one that she herself had written.
"It's too nice," Bellatrix said predictably. "He won't take it seriously enough!"
Hermione sighed. "He will, Bella. I know Ron better than you..." She held up a hand to stop Bellatrix from retorting. "...and I know that he's unlikely to want to speak to me ever again. Which is a shame, because I would really like a platonic friendship with him."
Sneering, Bellatrix tossed the letter back onto the floor. "You don't need him as a friend; there are plenty of other people for you to be friends with," she said dismissively. Suddenly, her face brightened. "I have the perfect idea! Why don't you make friends with Draco?"
"Draco, as in your nephew, Draco?" Hermione said, disbelieving. "Are you serious?"
"Well, what's wrong with him?" Bellatrix asked, sounding astonished. "He's related to me."
Exactly, Hermione thought, but she didn't want to be so blunt as to say it, even sarcastically. "Lucius hates me, and would go absolutely mental at the idea of his son socialising with me," Hermione offered instead.
"I've told you before to leave me to handle Lucius," Bellatrix snorted.
Hermione ignored this comment. She snorted, "You only want me to be friends with Draco because he can spy on me for you, tell you what I say, and because he wouldn't dare be so stupid as to make a move on me."
Bellatrix shrugged, not even bothering to deny it. "What's wrong with that?"
"Draco and I... strongly dislike each other," Hermione revealed. In actual fact they despised each other, but she didn't need to be so obvious about it to Bellatrix in case she took it upon herself to force Draco to be nice to her. The last thing she needed was for Lucius Malfoy to start kicking off because Bellatrix had told his precious son to make friends with a Mudblood. Bellatrix might just about see past her blood status these days, but that didn't mean that she could make others feel the same way.
"Well, who else are you going to socialise with at Hogwarts? Potter will be hanging out with Weasley, I assume," Bellatrix said.
"If they go back," Hermione said. "And... well, I'll have Ginny, Luna, Neville; I don't just have two friends. I know for a fact that Ginny and Neville will talk to me, and I have a feeling that Luna will too. So... I'll be fine. Other than that, I'll be too busy studying. And sneaking you into the castle every now and again," she added teasingly.
Looking appeased, Bellatrix smirked. "Hmm. So how exactly are we going to do that, right under McGonagall's nose?"
Hermione raised her eyebrows. "I know you have this vision of me in your head as a goody-goody, but I've broken quite a few school rules over the years," she began.
"Really?" Bellatrix interjected, disbelieving.
"I brewed Polyjuice Potion in my second year," Hermione announced, avoiding mentioning the fact that she inadvertently turned herself into a cat in the process. "And I knocked out Snape when disarming him in my third year." She was careful to avoid specifically mentioning anything that was too related to Voldemort, not wanting to bring him into the conversation. As the days had passed, he had been coming up less and less as a topic of conversation, and Hermione was determined to keep it that way. Leaving him in the past was the best thing to be done, as far as she was concerned.
"My my," Bellatrix drawled. "Not the innocent little Gryffindor you'd have me believe you to be then, hmm? I suppose Polyjuice Potion is what you used to disguise yourself as me when breaking into my vault?"
Realising that she hadn't yet discussed that particular mission with Bellatrix, Hermione had the good grace to blush. "Yes. Sorry."
"I can't believe you managed to pull it off for as long as you did," Bellatrix said, shaking her head. "You may know me well enough but I think it's clear that we have absolutely nothing in common... I can't even believe you dared to do it."
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," Hermione admitted, still embarrassed. "It was strange though, to pretend to be you. It felt entirely wrong."
Bellatrix looked offended. "Thanks!"
"No sorry, I didn't meant it like that!" Hermione protested. "It was just the fact that I found myself attractive, but at the same time I wasn't exactly myself. That probably doesn't make any sense, does it? Anyway the point is I thought I was hot which obviously isn't normal."
Bellatrix grinned evilly, and at once Hermione knew that she wasn't genuinely angry and was teasing her instead. "If you sneak me into Hogwarts to see you, all will be forgiven."
Smiling sweetly, Hermione laughed aloud as Bellatrix pounced, pinning her to the ground. "I'll scope out the weak points of Hogwarts as soon as I can. McGonagall will probably be keeping an eye on me considering my association with you so it may take a while, but I'll manage it somehow. Maybe Harry will let me borrow his cloak and I can sneak out, or you can meet me in the Shrieking Shack."
"How brilliant," Bellatrix said with a groan, and she kissed Hermione's neck before alternating between sucking and nibbling on it.
Responding, Hermione tilted her head backwards and fluttered her eyes shut, digging her nails into her lover's back as she sent pulses running through every nerve in her body. "Ohhh..." she moaned, and was distracted entirely from the conversation by Bellatrix's movements on her body. She didn't want to talk very much anymore; all she could think of doing was touching Bellatrix in every way she could right there on the grass. How adventurous!
It wasn't long before Bellatrix had shoved a hand up Hermione's skirt, and slid her hand inside of Hermione's underwear. She shifted above Hermione allowing her more room to breathe, and the choice to bend her legs outwards if she chose to do so. As was expected of her, Hermione pulled her legs up and wrapped them around Bellatrix's back, throwing her hands behind her head. She allowed Bellatrix to use her remaining free hand to expose her breasts by pulling her vest top upwards, and sliding her bra higher. She then took each of Hermione's rosy nipples into her mouth in turn, wrapping her lips around them and sucking in such an erotic way that Hermione felt like she was about to orgasm already.
Bellatrix followed this by pushing a couple of fingers into Hermione and thrust into her over and over again, her teeth scraping along Hermione's neck as she did so. The position Hermione lay in afforded Bellatrix contact with her own clit, and each time she rocked against Hermione, she was rubbing against herself too. Enthralled by the view, Hermione watched as her lover pumped into her, forcing her eyes to stay open so that she could continue to focus on Bellatrix. There was something unbelievably satisfying about watching the raven haired beauty when she was in the throes of passion, and it intensified her feelings to the extent where she felt as though she was going to go out of her mind with pleasure.
It wasn't long before Hermione came, crying out loudly. Bellatrix soon had her own release, and breathing hard, she slumped against Hermione, the vast amount of curls on her head falling around Hermione's bare chest and torso area. Affectionately, Hermione stroked her head, knowing that Bellatrix was too busy catching her breath to force her to stop. She loved the immediate aftermath of being intimate with Bellatrix, purely for the opportunity to caress her in a way that she didn't usually do. Bellatrix always enjoyed it when Hermione touched her lovingly, but she was too stubborn to admit that occasionally, there was nothing wrong with her being shown a little tenderness.
After several minutes of silence, Hermione said dryly, "As good as that was, it would have been way better if you'd taken your clothes off."
"You didn't take yours off either," Bellatrix retaliated. "Letting me pull your clothes aside doesn't mean you're not still wearing them!"
Hermione laughed. "You have an answer for everything, don't you?"
"I could say the same about you," Bellatrix muttered into Hermione's skin, just loud enough for her to hear.
Still grinning, Hermione ignored her. She could deal with Bellatrix's derision when it remained at this level, knowing that it was just the way she was. It was much tamer these days anyhow, and so it didn't bother her anywhere near as much as it did previously. It was just part of Bellatrix's personality and something that Hermione would have to accept fully if she was going to be in a relationship with the raven haired witch.
Rising up, Bellatrix stood slowly, holding out a hand to drag Hermione upwards too. Obliging, Hermione took hold of her, and picking up the letter to Ron, she allowed Bellatrix to vanish the umbrella and lead her back into the manor. She was aware that it was time to send the letter to Ron, and so together they walked up to the tower room in which Amber (the newly named owl) lived peacefully. Aware that Bellatrix would be watching her every move for any sign of hesitation in sending the letter, Hermione was careful to keep her face impassive and free of emotion. With steady hands, she tied the rolled up letter to the leg of Amber and after smoothing the young owl, she send her on her way. Crookshanks bounded into the room just as Amber flew off, and he watched through the window, miaowing what Hermione assumed was his own way of saying goodbye. When she disappeared from sight, he slinked straight back out of the room, probably to venture into the garden to chase the birds he had spotted in the sky.
"There," Hermione said confidently. "All over."
"Is it?" Bellatrix replied hesitantly. It was one of those rare tones of voices she used when she sounded utterly unsure of herself. Hermione realised that she was terrified of their relationship ending, because she didn't seem to believe that it was possible for Hermione to love her forever. Or at least, that was the conclusion that Hermione had come to.
"Yes," Hermione said firmly, determined to drum it into Bellatrix's head that she would always be there for her. "There's no more need for you to worry about Ron... he's just a part of my history now, unless he is willing to only be a friend to me."
Remaining silent, Bellatrix still looked apprehensive and as though she couldn't quite make herself believe Hermione.
"Really," Hermione insisted. "Bella, practice Legilimency on me now, and you'll see that I'm telling you the truth. I promise you."
Searching her eyes, Bellatrix did as she was invited to do. Hermione kept her mind open, her eyes locked on Bellatrix's, granting her the permission to see into her mind and know that she wasn't lying or stretching the truth at all. After a few moments, Bellatrix was seemingly satisfied that Hermione was being honest with her, and she relaxed slightly.
"Told you," Hermione said, giving her lover a small smile. Gently, she kissed Bellatrix on the lips, pushing her way into Bellatrix's mouth and turning the conversation into yet another intense kissing session instead.
When they broke apart, Bellatrix whispered, "I have a proposal for you, little babe."
"Oh?" Hermione asked, genuinely intrigued.
Bellatrix stared straight into her eyes, intensifying the connection between them. "I think we should start looking for your parents next week. That gives us enough time to prepare, and then we should find them within a few days, if all goes to plan."
Hermione swallowed, feeling choked up. It was one thing for Bellatrix to go along with her finding her mother and father once again, but for her to actually suggest it was something that Hermione had never expected. She had thought Bellatrix would feel awkward trying to find two Muggles that were of no benefit to her whatsoever, but apparently, Bellatrix was willing to put aside any potential discomfort for the sake of Hermione. Moreover, the fact that she had stated they would be found within a few days gave Hermione hope. There was no way that Bellatrix would make such a statement if she didn't truly intend on making it come true. It was probably one of the most selfless acts she would ever commit in her life, and from Hermione's point of view it would go a long way towards proving how much she had changed. If that's not love, I don't know what is.
She tried to stop herself from crying, knowing that Bellatrix wasn't exactly fond of her tears when she was upset, let alone because she was happy. Managing a simple nod, she bit her tongue in a desperate attempt to control her emotions. It was enough of a miracle that Bellatrix had become as human as she was presently, but to expect an entire personality transplant was unrealistic to say the least. Finally, Hermione could see the lengths Bellatrix had gone to, and the promises she had made proved the extent of her feelings. In moments of weakness and confusion Hermione failed to see that, but if anything, the suggestion of Bellatrix's that they should begin looking for her parents should alleviate her future fears entirely.
"I'll give you a moment alone," Bellatrix stated awkwardly, having observed Hermione's expression and coming to the conclusion that she was beginning to get emotional.
"N-no," Hermione said shakily, with a small smile. "I'm f-fine."
Bellatrix looked as though she didn't believe her at all, and raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Yes," Hermione said, voice no longer trembling as she managed to control herself a little better. Explaining her reaction, she revealed, "I'm just... happy I suppose. Once we find my parents and bring them back home then I'll feel more like the way I used to. It's going to be nice to have my family back together, and not completely oblivious to my existence."
Bellatrix looked uncomfortable for a split second like she was thinking something but didn't want to say it aloud. It was one of those rare expressions that Hermione hardly ever got to see, as more often than not Bellatrix was guarded to the extent that she was sealed off from everyone. Since the war had ended she was more relaxed and generally happier than she had been during it, but when it came to doubts and fears she still kept them behind closed doors and wouldn't discuss her worries with anyone. Sometimes, Hermione wondered if maybe she went to Lemmy, judging by things the elf had said Bellatrix had confessed to her in the past, but even so, it was probably still extremely limited information that Bellatrix gave.
Unable to ignore it, Hermione chose to confront Bellatrix. "What is it?"
Surprisingly, Bellatrix didn't lie and say it was nothing. If anything, she looked relieved at being called on her troubled expression as she said tentatively, "What do you think your parents will say when they find out about us?"
Hermione shrugged. "They're not homophobic... I'm apprehensive about telling them of course, but I think it'll be ok. I hope, anyway." If anything, she was most concerned about their reaction when they discovered the age gap between herself and Bellatrix. She had considered lying and knocking off ten years or so to soften the blow, knowing she would probably get away with it at first, but she wasn't sure how that would work in the long run. There was no need for Bellatrix to get herself worked up over that for the moment though; it was for Hermione to deal with the issue, and she would tell Bellatrix how she wanted to handle it closer to when the time was right.
"Yes, but what will they think about you dating a witch?" Bellatrix said impatiently.
Frowning, Hermione took a few seconds to consider what Bellatrix meant. When she was still met with blank thoughts, she asked for clarification. "I really don't know what you mean. Can you explain?"
"Well, would they rather that you marry a Muggle?" Bellatrix asked.
"Of course not!" Hermione exclaimed. "Why would you think that?"
Now, Bellatrix looked confused. "I didn't think Muggles were very accepting of our world in general. I mean, obviously there are a few exceptions but don't many of them disown their child if they discover they're a wizard or witch?"
Hermione shook her head. "No. No, my parents are proud of me, just like most other Muggle parents are proud. Of course there are always a few that reject the world, but they're few and far between I'd imagine. I haven't heard of anyone with parents like that."
She was starting to understand what was going through Bellatrix's head, but she didn't know how best to approach it. The easiest solution would be for Bellatrix to willingly disclose the reason for her beliefs herself without any intervention from Hermione, but that was unlikely to happen. All that Hermione could do for the moment was to continue to discuss the subject with Bellatrix and hope that it came up somehow.
Fortunately, it did as Bellatrix opened her mouth once more. "That is what the Dark Lord informed us; are you sure you're right?"
"Yes," Hermione said, annoyed not at Bellatrix, but at the false ideas Voldemort had placed in his Death Eaters' heads. Admittedly it was clever; if you were taught to hate somebody because they hated you first, then it seemed more justifiable and would allow his followers to sleep easier at night. Moreover, pure-bloods like Bellatrix who had never been exposed to the Muggle world would take it for granted that what they were being told was true, even if it was a pack of lies. How would she ever have discovered the truth if it wasn't for Semper Amor and Hermione? Bellatrix would have spent the rest of her life believing false information such as this and more. Even worse than this!
When Bellatrix still hadn't said anything, Hermione added, "My parents love me, Bella. They're good people. Even though they can't tell their Muggle friends about the fact that I'm a witch, they're always telling them whenever I get high marks or... or do well at something. They just adapt what it is I've done well at when talking about me, but they love me the way I am."
"That must be nice," Bellatrix said, and for the teeniest moment, she looked awed.
"You know, the offer I made you before still stands. If you want me to teach you about Muggles then I'd be happy to. They're not a threat to us. There are bad Muggles, sure, but it's like the wizarding world; there are good witches and wizards, and bad witches and wizards," Hermione said slowly.
"Which category do I fall into?" Bellatrix asked with a smirk, breaking some of the tension. It was a sign that she was feeling self-conscious, which Hermione could appreciate entirely. She decided to carry on with the conversation and see where it took them, but not to put too much pressure on Bellatrix should she begin to close off.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You're in an entire category of your own, gorgeous. I don't think there's anyone else like you."
Bellatrix laughed. "I know you meant that as an insult, but I'm choosing to take it as a compliment."
Smiling back, Hermione replied, "So... do you want me to teach you more about the Muggle world?"
For a few moments, Bellatrix remained silent, mulling over Hermione's offer judging by the thoughtful expression on her face. She looked as though she really was debating Hermione's proposal, and eventually, she said, "No. No... I don't want you to teach me about the Muggle world as such. I want you to teach me about you and your family though. You know much about mine, and I know barely anything about yours."
Although she'd never really considered it before, Hermione realised that the raven haired witch spoke the truth. She knew a great deal about Bellatrix considering she had known Sirius, had gone to school with Draco (ok so they spent most of their time arguing, but one did hear certain snippets...) and had heard the Weasleys mention the odd thing or two about The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. Granted, she didn't know a great deal about Bellatrix's parents, but from what she had discovered so far, that was an extremely touchy subject for Bellatrix. Nevertheless, Hermione wasn't going to put pressure on her to discuss anything that she didn't want to, because as it was Bellatrix was going to be busy enough with the Malfoys and Andromeda for the time being. Anyhow, although Hermione knew a lot of random information about Bellatrix, there was very little that Bellatrix had disclosed about her own life that explained the challenges she had faced.
Formulating the best reply she could think of on the spot, Hermione said, "Well I've already told you my parents are dentists, which I know you don't understand, but I'll let them explain it to you when you meet because they'll do a better job of telling you, I'm sure. But as far as personalities go, I'm more like my mum. She's determined, strong-willed, and well... bossy like me I suppose," she smiled, having the good grace to blush too. "My dad is a huge softy. I'm an only child so he absolutely adores me and spoils me rotten. It was harder for him to let go than my mum when I went to Hogwarts because he was used to spending a lot of time with me. But they're both brilliant... I couldn't ask for better parents."
"You're lucky. And loved. I didn't really have that growing up," Bellatrix said, sounding slightly envious. "But no matter. My parents are six feet under and I eventually got used to not having much affection. In hindsight that's probably partially why Andromeda found it so easy to leave and Narcissa is so loving towards Draco. Andromeda didn't want to turn out the same as our parents and Cissy has spent her whole life proving she's entirely different."
Although Hermione didn't want to push Bellatrix to keep talking about issues that evidently affected her deeply, she didn't want to let the moment pass without comment either. Wrapping her arms around Bellatrix, she kissed her lightly on the cheek, bringing her mouth towards her lover's ear. She spoke quietly, knowing then she would be less likely to force Bellatrix's defences up, and whispered, "You don't have to worry about not having enough love anymore. I can't change what happened then but now, you have me. I'm always here Bella. It doesn't make you weak to need or want a hug or a kiss; it's natural." Reinforcing her words, she pulled Bellatrix closer, her lover's head buried against her neck.
They stood there for what felt like hours to Hermione, but in reality probably wasn't much more than five minutes. For the entire time they were silent, until pulling away, Bellatrix wondered aloud, "I don't even know how we've ended up like this. How did we even begin?"
"You captured me," Hermione said, but somehow, the thought of what Bellatrix had done didn't hurt her as much as it should. It wasn't exactly the nicest way to begin a relationship, but it was what it was. No longer did Hermione hold a grudge against Bellatrix because of the cruel torture she had handed out against her, because those memories were irrelevant. It was the injuries Bellatrix had caused her after they had formed a relationship that had always bothered her the most, and they were working through that particular problem.
"You captured me back," Bellatrix said. "In all the ways that it matters, Hermione." She smiled.
Hermione smiled too. Together, they worked. Together, they loved each other. Impossible.