A/N: So, I got a few complaints from my first version of this story. I like it still, so I'll just keep it up. However, I did revamp the story to make it less expositiony. The concepts of my first version is still there but a little less explanatory. This deals more with memories and more to do with looking inside Bella's thought process and actions. The argument is more and less the same.
INSECURITIES: VERSION 2
Her skin felt like someone lit a fire to it. Her hair felt as if she has been electrocuted. A large lump formed in her throat and her heart felt as if it weighed a ton. Frustration, anger, sadness and a plethora of other emotions swirled within her before she opened the door to her home and slammed it behind her.
Like a vulture, she surveyed her surroundings, trying to piece together her next actions. She felt so much hate that a need to destroy something overwhelmed her, but in depths of her heart, it wasn't something she wanted to destroy. No, it was someone. The thought of betrayal was clenching at her heart and tearing up her soul. Without any warning to herself, she tore up to her bedroom and hit the closed door with a curse. The poor door never stood a chance as it exploded into a million tiny pieces. Although it was a little satisfying, it just wasn't enough.
The first thing she saw when the dust from the door remains settled was her bed. Sadness took over her emotions as she thought about how many nights she had laid together with her love and how many nights they had made love. She liked that bed, she really did. It was king sized, four-poster and made of strong oak. The curtains were green and red matching the color scheme of the sheets. The mattress was as soft as clouds. Oh, how she adored it once, but now, the sight of it sickened her as she thought about how the bed was now tainted. It needs to be purified. She ran to her wardrobe and threw the doors open. Upon the door was a long board sword, a family heirloom with no magical powers. It was only a symbol of power and might. She grabbed the two handed hilt length of the sword and held it like an ax. With great strength, she brought the sword down upon the bed. She severed away post after post until the top collapsed, but even still, it wasn't enough. She dropped the sword with a loud clang and ran back to her wardrobe to fetch her knife. Angrily, she shredded the curtains up and made them feel as her heart felt. Taking care of the curtains, she tossed her knife to the side and pulled out her wand and took aim. Pyrous. The bed immediately caught fire.
Putting her wand away, she looked around the room for anything else to demolish. After destroying the bed completely, her fire died down to some degree and she didn't feel like going too extreme. Instead she took to knocking things onto the floor: the book case, the vanity things, and lamps. What else is there? By this time, the magical equivalent of fire sprinklers rained down into the room drenching her to her skin causing her burning rage to cool off almost entirely.
She walked over the side of what was left of the bed where her lover had slept. On the night stand her love used sat three pictures: one of her love's parents, who remained frozen in time and space; one with her love and her love's two best friends at the end of their second year at Hogwarts (Colin Creevy took it as a way to give thanks to them for saving him); one of…
A single tear leaked from her eye and mixed with the pouring water. She gingerly picked the last picture up and brought up to her face. She looked at her love and traced their face with tip of her finger. The love of her life looked at her with such love and devotion. She pursued her lips as to fight the onslaught of tears she felt coming. Instead of letting them fall, she threw the picture and heard the glass shattered. All your love for me is a lie.
Tired of being wet and standing in the same room she had shared with her love for two years, she took off her St. Mungo's uniform and cast it aside. She sighed as she looked at it. I'll owl them later. She sulked off to her ensuite bathroom. Once inside, she fell to ground by the side of the bathtub. She could not believe that her happy ending came to a close like this. After everything she suffered through for the sake of the greater good, she came out with nothing. There was no reward for her risking her life in tricking Voldermort with her loyalty. With her mind eskew, she had no further wish to dwell on her past hardships.
Instead, she thought on her love once again, the candle that lit her darkness with joy, love and laughter. At times it seemed this small spark of light was just a dream. In all her life, she had never met someone who cared so much, who has sacrificed so much, and who had lived through so much. She had never met someone, who after finding out she was a "Death Eater" would want to befriend her, who cared about her well being, and who, through countless letters between them, had fallen in love with her.
She remembered their first kiss. It was right after the battle and what was left of Gryffindor tower. Her love took her by the hand and walked her up several long flights of stairs. They had no need to use a pass word to get in. A hole had been created. Carefully, they climbed through the hole. Inside the place was a mess. Places where sofas once sat were now covered with black chucks. There were rocks throw here and there. Her love frowned at the sight and looked towards the stairs to the dormitories and shaking their head as if they thought it was better to stay where they were.
She remembered asking her love why she brought her up there for. Her love had sheepishly smiled at her and said that there was something that they needed to say. Of course, they didn't say any words, but captured her lips with theirs in the most tenderness of kisses. She recalled how it made her feel. It started out slow and great until she remembered who she was kissing. She looked into her love's eyes and asked to know if this was real. Her love merely smiled and whispered "I love you" to her ever so softly. Instinct took over and she asked why. Her love merely slid her arms around her and declared everyone needs love and love her love needed came from her.
Before the kiss, she had fallen in love with her young love. Through the letters they would write between them, she had felt her love's pure soul and innocence. She recalled how terrible she felt at first that she could love someone who was old enough to be her child, but to have that child, no adult, love her in return was both exhilarating and scary. The part that scared her the most was what if her love would find someone new.
At the thought of the word new, she stood up and walked over to the large bathroom mirror. She saw her naked self and let her eyes wonder her body over. Her pale skin looked perfectly tight. It wasn't due to any magical cosmetic spell; no, it was due to her preference of plenty of exercise. In Azkaban, she had plenty of time to exercise. It helped kept her mind focused away from the dread called the dementors. As she thought on the dark creature, she wondered if she could take one of them and dissect it to find out what made it tick. If she could figure it out then maybe, she could find a way to reverse the dementor's kiss. As brilliant as the thought was she dismissed it immediately as she cringed at the thought of spending any more time with one.
From the tightness of her pale skin, her eyes glazed over her breasts. Her nipples were a deep burgundy color and were at the moment popped out because of how cold she was. Just staring at her nipples, she could not resist the urge to remember every time her love would lick them and suck them as if looking for milk. If her breasts did produce milk, she would have feely given it to her love. Over the last year or two, she thought on a spell that could induce her breasts to give out the drink they were made to give, but thought better of it. That thought aside, her breasts were still amazingly perky. She once commented on this to her love, who answered that perhaps in was her active life style and her need to stay physically fit that kept them like that. She had found herself agreeing on that the point.
Her eyes then traveled to her face. She had been reluctant to look at her reflection in fear of what she would find. She knew herself to be beauty, even after Azkaban her beauty never left her. Except for her teeth and her eyes, she was still attractive. She took a long hard look at her mouth. Her lips were as crimson as a red rose. Around her mouth were lines mostly from either smiling with menace or smiling because she felt joy or simply due to age. She opened her mouth some to see her perfectly straight white teeth. Teeth she had to work hard on. When she found out her love's parents were dentists (teeth doctors) she felt the urge to fix them and make them pretty. Of course, this beautifying was during their correspondence. When she looked back on it, she knew it was the start of her falling for her brunette.
Before her eyes traveled up wards, she took a glance at her neck. From experience, she knew one of the ways to tell the age of someone was to look at their necks. So she did. Her neck seemed to scream, "I'm aging, but not as quickly as I thought." She placed her hands around her neck and imagined her love kissing, biting and sucking on the flesh there. The thought alone sent two tears to slide down both cheeks. She didn't wipe them away and just let them fall.
Overcome with emotions, she braced herself against the mirror with both hands. She sniffled some before looking back into the mirror, but this time for a closer look. Not because she wanted to, but because she had to. She felt that if she pushed off from the mirror to stand on her own, she would collapse. Instead, she just stared at her small nose that according to her love was perfect. From her nose, she looked at her eyes. They weren't as dark and sunken in any more. Unfortunately, being surrounded by dementors for so long it leaves certain scaring behind like perpetual dark rings around the eyes. Her love once told her that those rings brought a certain beauty to her face. Now that she was thinking about it, her love was probably trying to comfort her in some ways. Pity is more like it. I guess that's what her love for me is pity. I don't want it. As she thought, she looked at her crow's feet. They had aged and made her look older. She hated it. She looked at every part of her that had age and hated her body for it. She hated how she wished she was born younger. If she were, then maybe…
Looking at her eyes some more, she saw the coloring of dark brown. Her love had called the coloring beautiful. Ha, it's not my brown eyes the whore wants any more. I guess blue is the new brown. Oh for my niece's power. Then maybe…
She bent to her knees and pressed herself to the glass. A cold sensation went through her from the contact. Reaching behind her she took a strain of hair and brought it forward for inspection. Water still covered it, but it couldn't take out all the curl. Her lips quivered as she thought about how she had something in common with her love. As her curls were loose, her love's was merely due to frizz. Even my hair color is wrong. Blonde. My youngest sister is blonde. She was born with it. She ran her fingers through her hair. Why couldn't I have been born with it?
She pushed herself away from the mirror and to look at herself again. From her pale skin to her dark eyes to her black hair she looked. Then she remembered the woman she saw her love with. Why must I be so dark? Why her? Why someone who is the complete opposite of me? Someone, who's so light?
Out of frustration she slammed her fists into the mirror until the glass broke destroying her image and making her hands bled from glass shards. Tears ran down her cheeks as she slumped on the floor again. She picked up a shard of glass and looked at her reflection. She couldn't help when two memories floated to the surface of her mind.
She was combing her hair in front of the mirror above the fireplace in the study and preparing for romantic evening with her love. As she put the brush on the mantle her ears perked up from the voice of the one she adored, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who's the fairest of them all?"
Warm arms wrapped around her from the back as she asked, "Where did you get that line from?"
"A muggle fairy tale called Snow White."
"What is it about?"
"It's about this queen, who wanted a child. She pricked her finger and dripped a few drops of blood into the snow to make a wish. Her wish was granted and a daughter was born, but only at cost of the queen's life. Her husband, the king, later married the most beautiful woman in the land. Unknown to him, she was a witch, but not just any witch. No, she was vain. Her beauty meant more to her than life itself. She was so vain she had a magic mirror. Every day, she would go to the mirror, take off all of her clothes and asked, 'Mirror, Mirror, one the wall. Who is the fairest of them all?' As a well known fact, mirrors can never lie and it told her that she was.
"Now the king's daughter had grown into a beautiful young woman. She had caught her stepmother in the act one day. Curious, she snuck in and repeated what her stepmother said as if it were a game. This time when the mirror responded, it said that Snow White was the fairest. Curiosity settled, she went back to her room.
"The next night when the new queen asked to be praised, the mirror responded how Snow White was the fairest. Angered, the new queen called forth a huntsman and asked him to take Snow White into the forest and rip her heart out and bring it back. The huntsman agreed and did as she requested, but when it came time to dig his dagger into the girl, he found that he could not. Instead, he warned her about the new queen and told her to run away. The girl obeyed and the huntsman took the heart of a dear instead back to the new queen. Through the power of the mirror she found out about the huntsman's betrayal and killed him.
"She then went out to find out where Snow White went. The mirror told her that she was taken in by seven dwarves. Using her dark arts, she went to kill Snow White herself in disguise. Once with a poisoned comb and once with a corset, both those times the dwarves saved the day. On the last try, the new queen gave her a poisoned apple. It worked.
"The dwarves put Snow White in a glass coffin so all the world could behold her beauty. One day a prince came riding along. He stopped at the coffin and was overcome with her beauty. Crazy as it sounds, the prince kissed Snow White's lips and she woke up. After all most fairy tale kisses are cures for poisoned apples.
"The prince was happy that Snow White lives and vowed to marry her. The new queen found out and went to stop the wedding, but only to be stopped herself. She had put all of her magic into the apple and when Snow White awakened it weakened her. Before she even reached the chapel doors she was nothing more than dust. As for the prince and Snow white, well…they lived happily ever after."
Upon the end of the story she smirked, "You know that's the most idiotic story I have ever heard."
"Hey, I loved it as a kid. Who wouldn't want to be awakened by a kiss from one's one true love?"
Grinning, she spun around in her love's arms and captured their lips. "Hmm, don't you do that every morning?"
A bright smile formed on her love's lips, "You're right, but in our case, I feel as if I should wake you up more often then you wake me up."
"Oh? Why's that?"
"Because you are my Snow White," declared her love before kissing her.
"And how am I your Snow White?"
A smile form on her brunette's face and asked, "Didn't I mention what Snow White looked like?"
She shook her head.
"Well, her skin was white as the snow, her lips as red as the rose, and her hair was a black as coal. In other words, she looks a little like you."
One memory melted into another one bringing up an earlier one.
She stood once again in front of a full length mirror in one of the wardrobes in their bedroom. Looking at her appearance: a black lacy bra and thong set, along with a black lacy teddy, she was deciding if she looked all right in what she chose for this occasion. It's been six months since they've been seeing each, but they have yet to consummate their love for one another. For the most part she didn't want to rush the younger of them for fear of frightening them off. However, there was a piece of her that was scared. Never before had she loved like this. Never before had she felt so vulnerable. It's not like she hasn't had any experience in the department of physical intimacy, but she felt… she feared what this would do to her heart. She feared that her body would not meet up to her love's expectations. She feared that her love would look at her with disgust. With all her fears added up, she hated herself for it. She hated that her love could make her feel this way. I'm a Black for Merlin's sake! A Black is not meant to feel down on themselves. A Black is proud and fears nothing. A Black is a conqueror not some weak thing that hides in a corner to rot. No, a Black is a predator. She smiled at the thought. Oh, yes, I'm a predator and that beauty is my prey.
In the mist of her thoughts a sweet voice cut them off, "'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on: Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive, If you will lead these graces to the grave and leave the world no copy.'"
She spun around towards the door to see her love standing there wearing a red oriental silk robe. The sight alone stirred something to her, but she pushed it aside, "What matter of language are you speaking."
"It's poetry, and it's Shakespeare."
"Who?" she asked before she prowled towards her prey.
"William Shakespeare," replied the sweet morsel, "He is a muggle play write. One of his famous plays is Romeo and Juliet, two star crossed lovers from feuding families. They met, fell in love, got married in secret. All would have been well if Juliet's cousin wasn't such a git and started to attack Romeo because of prejudice. The cousin killed a friend of Romeo; Romeo killed him; he later went into exile. Juliet was heartbroken. Her dad wanted her to marry some guy. To escape, she pretended to have poisoned herself. Romeo believed her dead and killed himself by her grave. She woke up, saw him and killed herself as well."
"Sounds depressing, I wouldn't mind reading it. Was your quote from that play then?"
"No," her love walked over to the book shelf and took out a great think leather bound book. It took her a moment before she found what she was looking for. "Shakespeare dabbled quite a bit in tragic tales, but he also wrote many comedies such as Twelfth Night."
By this point her prey sat the edge of the bed. She lowered herself onto the bed and crawled like a panther towards the beauty. Smiling upon reaching her destination, she placed her head on her love's shoulder to look over it to see the book. "What is this play about?"
"It's about a man, who loved a woman, who wants nothing to do with him, but he doesn't let this deter him. In his pursuits of the woman, he sends someone to woo his love in his name. The person he sends is not what he appears to be. In fact, he is a woman in disguise. She agrees to go to the woman. They meet and talk. The messenger is rather saucy and the woman is rather taken."
"Do they end up together?" she asked maybe a little hopeful.
"Sadly no, but they should have if society would have allowed it."
"It's a pity," she said sadly. "So, what happens to them?"
"Towards the end of the play, the messenger's true identity is brought to light and she marries the man. Where the woman marries the messenger's twin brother, who she thought was dead."
"How convenient," she whispered in her love's ear. Silence had come upon them as she took in her love's scent. It smelt of parchment, ink, and… She inhaled stronger to get the full effect. A pleased smiled formed on her face. Ah, lilacs.
Her pleasure was then cut short by her love, "Would you care to read some lines with me?"
Thinking it would be great foreplay, she agreed. She backed away from her love and straightened out some pillows to propped herself up against. Satisfied, she motioned with her finger for the beauty to come to her. Once they were settled in a snuggly positions, they began in scene one, act five, the point where Viola meets Olivia for the first time. When she had begun to read she felt a little foolish. Sure, she was an avid reader, but to read out loud and with her love it felt odd. However, as they kept switching parts, it stopped feeling odd. She read Olivia's part while her love read Viola's. The banter between these two characters was fun.
During the reading her love turned to face her, "'Good madam, let me see your face.'"
She wanted to look at her love as she read, but it was an impossibility. "'Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate with my face? You are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain and show you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one I was this present: is't not well done?'"
Her love looked at her intensely as if seeing her for the first time, "Excellently done, if God did all."
The way the beauty before her was looking at her was just too much. She grabbed the book and hefted it to the side and laid her love on their back. Not wasting time, she brought their lips together in a searing kiss. With one hand, she held her love's hands above their head, as the other one work on untying the strap of the silk robe. Once opened, she brought her hand inside the robe and caressed the soft smooth skin of her love's abdomen. She didn't know at this point where she wanted to go next. She wanted nothing more than to go in for the kill, but she the temptation to fondle those perky young breasts kept her from taking what she wanted. So she stopped her attack on her love's lips and asked huskily, "What do you want me to do?"
Her love freed one of their hands and brought it down to the hand she had rested on their stomach. Slowly, her love lowered her hand inside her red lacy panties and huskily said, "Take me and make me yours."
Roughly, she backed herself out the memory as she had no wish to recall their first time. It just hurt too much. She looked at the shard in her hand some more before she tossed it to the side. She heard it shattered. Breathing in, she took time to calm her nerves down to think rationally. I don't understand. We were so happy. Or at least I thought we were. She shook her head as she tried to recall her love's behavior from over the last little while. From what she could figure nothing out of the ordinary happened. There haven't been any late nights. There haven't been house calls her love had to take for her small business. As for the beauty themselves, they seemed so happy and content as if all was right in the world. It makes no sense. Why would she even consider running off with someone else if…? Am I not good enough? She stood up from the ground as dozens of questions floated in her head.
She walked out of the bathroom and back into her room, where the waters had stopped and the place was dry. It was still a wreck, but it was dry. However, she ignored all of this as she walked over to her wardrobe to grab a black robe to wear. As she reached out for one, she took note of the crimson that was covering her hands yet she could have cared less. Ignoring it and the pain, she put her robe on and trudged over to her dresser. She pulled out the third drawer from the top and reached towards the back of drawer to feel for a tiny compartment. She clicked it open and pulled out a small black box. Stuffing it into the pocket of her robes, she walked out of her room and towards the kitchen.
In the kitchen, she dug in her cupboards for a bottle of firewhiskey. Finding a bottle, she brought it over to the sink and uncorked it. Holding one of her hands out, she poured the alcohol on her wounds causing her to flinch and hiss in pain, but she welcomed it as an old friend. After the blood was gone and the cuts were thoroughly cleansed, she switched hands and washed her other hand the same way. Whatever was left was in the bottle, she chugged down like she just found an oasis. Seeing the now empty bottle, she chucked it at a wall where it smashed into as pieces as possible.
Feeling numb, she scuttled over to the kitchen table and pulled out a chair to sit on. Taking out the small black box, she gently set it down on the table. Gingerly, she opened it to reveal a white gold ring. Set in the center was white diamond and on either side of it were two other stones: one emerald and one ruby. Nervously, she took it out and looked at the inscription in the inside: BB belongs to HG. Just seeing the ring brought tears to her eyes as another memory came to mind.
Her lover was standing at the stove as she walked in. The smell of green beans and spaghetti sauce filled the room. Her love couldn't cook much, but what they could it tasted good. Of course, if you gave her love a cookbook, they could whip up anything. After all, following a recipe is so much easier than following along with a potion or so said her lover.
Enchanted by the mouth watering smell, she approached her lover and rested her head on her shoulder. It had to be one of her favorite positions to hold her brunette. "Have I ever told you how domesticated you look in your apron and bare feet?"
"No," the reply came.
"You do and may I say, I think you look incredibly sexy."
"Thank-you, but I think you're sexier than me by far."
"My dear, don't sell yourself short."
Her lover merely laughed a bit as they continued to stir the sauce so it wouldn't stick to the bottom of the pan. "How was work, love?"
It simply amazed her, how much joy it felt to be asked how her day went. It let her know that someone actually cared for her. "It was good. We had someone come in who was suffering from dragon burns."
"Oh, dear, are they okay?"
"We were able to stabilize the situation, but other than him, there wasn't anything else major."
"That's good." They stood there for a while before her lover spoke again, "As much as I'm enjoying having you hold me, I need to drain the pasta."
"Ah, by all means." She stepped back and watched her lover work. It's not like she wouldn't lend a hand, but she enjoyed looking at her lover as they worked. They had turned off the fire to the stove from the burners in use. After draining the pasta, they poured the sauce over the noodles. "You know dear, I could get use to coming home to you every day."
Turning around, her lover asked, "Is that your subtle way of asking me to marry you?"
"Ah, not a chance, but I merely stating my mind," she declared. "Why? If I were to ask you to marry me, would you?"
"Of course, I love you. Besides, I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life with you."
You would, but only until you found something else better suited for you she thought. "It's nice to know."
"Do think we'll ever be married?"
Oh, I hope so young one. "Who knows, but it wouldn't be any time soon."
"Why not? I mean we're sleeping together and practically living together. Why shouldn't we take the big plunge?"
I just don't want you to have any regrets she thought before answering. "You're young, my dear."
"So, what if I'm young unless you found being with a younger…"
"No, it's not that," she interrupted. "First, I love you for you. I wouldn't be sleeping with you otherwise. Second, you're nineteen. There are so many things you could be doing. You could travel the world is you want."
"I can still travel the world if I was married you."
"Yes, but when it comes to marriage there are certain expectations people tend to want to meet."
"Such as?" her lover asked with a quirked eye brow.
"Such as children," she sort of coughed out not sure what her lover's stance on having children was.
She searched her lover's face for disgust, but found only curiosity and scrutiny, "You want to have a child with me?"
Smiling gently, she asked, "Why wouldn't I? I think we could have beautiful children." They smiled at each other before she recalled she had a point to make about children. "So, if we were to marry and have a child, it would be tough for you to do things that you wanted to do." It would be tough for you to walk away from me if you stop loving me.
"Thank-you for looking out for me, but I think just being with you would make me happier than traveling to foreign places. A life with you would somehow complete me."
The memory faded away as she placed the ring back into the box. She wasn't sure when she would have asked her love to marry her, but she knew she couldn't think of one day passing where she wasn't married to the love of her life. Completing each other? I thought we did that, but I wonder what changed for us. Was it something I said? Or something I did? Has my love's love faded? The last thought angered her. If it's true then I should have been told without having to hang onto hope of us tying the knot.
At this point she knew what she needed to do. She had to confront her love about what she seen. Out of all the people in the world, why did it have to be her? She is very beautiful, I understand that, but she has a history with my… If they're together now, it would seem as if our love is a lie. Leaking out two more tears, she pocketed the now closed ring box and stood up from her chair. Back up the stairs she walked and into her bedroom for something better to wear. She went back to her dresser and pulled out a pair of black yoga pants and a black long-sleeve t-shirt. Over her shirt, she pulled on a dark brown sweater. She slipped on new socks and her house shoes, before digging the ring box out of her robe and putting it inside the pocket of her sweater. Without cleaning up her mess from the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen, she entered her study, sat on a chair and curled herself into the fetal position. Eventually, she fell asleep due to her emotional tiredness.
A few hours later, the sound of the front door closing woke her up. She heard light foot falls heading towards the study. It still amazed her as how her love always knew where to look for her. She told this to her love once, but the reply she was given stunned her a bit, "I just follow my heart and it leads me to you." Shaking her head from such a happy sentiment, Bellatrix quietly waited until she heard her lover come into the study. Sensing her near, she spoke, "How long, Hermione?"
"How long what?" asked Hermione curiously as she moved to face Bellatrix. The older woman sat in a high backed arm chair facing the fireplace. The cackling flames of the fire danced reflectively off of the older woman's very pale skin. The sight made to older woman's eyes look more sunken in than normal, but it did not diminish her beauty at all.
"You know what I'm talking about," stated Bellatrix in a guarded tone. Please don't play stupid.
"I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about," replied Hermione looking honestly confused. Bellatrix watched as Hermione knelt down in front of her to get a better view of her face. She continued to stare at Hermione, who was doing a quick study of the emotions she was displaying. She knew what Hermione would see, her… showing hardly any emotions which would make her appear dangerously scary, but she had no idea how her love could deal with her some times. Bellatrix knew Hermione dealt with tons of her moods. "What's wrong?" was the end reply.
The older woman abruptly stood up causing Hermione to fall back. All of her pent up frustrations came bursting out. "What's wrong? What's wrong?" Bellatrix knelt down really close to Hermione's face, "I'll tell what's wrong, since you're playing the village idiot on me. You no longer love me."
"What? That's the most absurd thing I have ever heard," exclaimed Hermione. "I love you," Bellatrix stiffened as she watched Hermione reaching out her hand to cup her cheek, On instinct she pushed the younger woman's hand aside.
"No, you no longer have the right to touch me."
"I don't understand," exclaimed Hermione as she stood onto her feet. "What have I done to cause you to think that I don't love you anymore?"
Bellatrix remained silent loving as it was making the brunette to grow in frustration.
"Bella, answer me! What have I done to have caused you think that I no longer love you?"
Bellatrix turned towards Hermione and glared at her, "I would prefer it if you would not refer to me as 'Bella' anymore, and why should I answer you, when you already know the answer."
"This is ridiculous," stated Hermione. Bellatrix rolled her eyes at Hermione's dramatics when she threw her arms in the air in disgust and frustration. "Seriously, I have done nothing but be faithful to you. Why are you doubting my loyalty to you now? Blast it all, I feel like Desdemona."
"Who?" snarled Bellatrix confused at who Hermione was talking about.
"Desdemona, she is a character in a Shakespeare play."
Bellatrix huffed in frustration that Hermione would bring up Shakespeare now, "Are you trying to change to the subject?"
"Then why are you bringing her up? What relevance does she play in our conversation?"
Hermione gave her a fixed stare, "Desdemona was accused of cheating on her husband, who she loved very much." At the end of her statement, Bellatrix watched as Hermione's face showed signs of comprehending. "Who in Iago's name has you convinced that I've been sleeping someone else?"
Bellatrix cocked her head to the side and asked, "Who's Iago?"
Hermione answered like she would any other question thrown her way, "Iago is the jealous bloke that convinced Desdemona's husband that she cuckolded him." She paused and threw her hands in the air again, "I can't believe we're talking about Othello in a time like this."
"I had the same thought earlier."
For a moment both women looked at each other in silence. Bellatrix was half way between angry and wanting to laugh. She felt thrilled that she held such a deep connection with Hermione that they could think the same way, but her sense of thrill ended as she recalled the scene she witnessed earlier today. Sorrow once again gripped at her heart.
Burning in rage Bellatrix managed to spit out, "You know I don't understand why you're still here." She said more to the fact she really didn't know why Hermione was still here. Here as in why was she still with her? Why was she even there this the moment?
"What the hell does that mean? I'm fighting for what we have," argued Hermione.
"But I think you forget that we have nothing anymore."
The black hair beauty saw fire burning behind Hermione's eyes as she walked up to her and slapped her across the face. "How dare you?"
Bellatrix touched her face. The pain and brief contact felt good. She quirked a smile and launched a fiery glare at Hermione, "Oh, deary, you shouldn't have done that."
"What are you going to do, Bella?" Hermione challenged. "Take me where I stand. I know how you like it rough."
Bellatrix glared at Hermione. A part of her would have liked nothing more than to just hit Hermione back, but the memory of torturing Hermione in Malfoy manor flashed through her head. Watching as she used an unforgettable curse on the young woman she secretly loved. Remembering as she cut into the young flesh of the beauty she cared for. Although it brought her sorrow, she did like the end results of her knife. Her eyes glanced down to Hermione's forearm and saw how the flames illuminated the white scars which read: Bellatrix's Mudblood. Shaking her head from the memory, Bellatrix answered, "That's just the thing, I do like it rough, but apparently you prefer to play things safe."
Hermione narrowed her eyes at Bellatrix, "What do you mean by that?"
Smiling like the mad woman she has portrayed for many years, Bellatrix slowly walked towards Hermione, "You know exactly what I mean. After all," Bellatrix had managed by this point to back Hermione against a wall, "you prefer to…" She reached out a hand to touch the smooth skin of Hermione's face, "whore around with that veela."
"Fleur?" questioned Hermione. "She's who you think I've been cheating on you with? I can't believe it. I haven't been whoring around with Fleur. She's my friend."
Laughter erupted from Bellatrix, "Yeah right, deary! I see the way she looks at you. I know how she wants to get in your pants and don't deny that you haven't allowed her entrance."
"I haven't, I swear. You've been the only person I've been with, and Fleur is just a friend. Besides, where in the Merlin's beard is all this coming from?"
Shaking her head, Bellatrix backed away from Hermione. She couldn't believe her ears. A part of her wanted desperately to believe that Hermione was true to her, but she knew what she saw. "I saw you with her today at the Leaky Cauldron. Both of you were looking oh so chummy together."
"We were just catching up on old times," said Hermione. "She came into Ink and Quill (Hermione's book shop and stationary supplies) for a repair on an old book. It was about lunch time, and she asked if she could accompany me. I agreed because I couldn't eat with you since you were doing double shifts at St. Mungos and couldn't join me for lunch."
"You know I would have come for lunch despite my hefty work hours."
Hermione just shook her head, "Whatever, but still, my lunch with her was meaningless. If you were at the Leaky Cauldron and saw us, you could have just come and join us." She paused for a moment. Bellatrix watched as Hermione was thinking about her lunch time with Fleur. The brunette's eyes darted up and caught hers. "What did you see exactly?"
"What did I see?" spat Bellatrix as she continued to glare at Hermione. "I saw you bringing out a ring box and proposing to her! Oh, by the way she looked oh so happy as she flung herself at you. So, when the wedding and am I invited?"
A smile broke out over Hermione as she began to laugh. Seeing Hermione laughing unnerved Bellatrix. What about this whole thing could she find hilarious? "What's the matter with you?" she asked out of frustration. She somehow felt as if she was being laughed at and she didn't like one bit.
"You're making nothing out of nothing, Bella," Hermione stated when she was calmed down.
"Nothing? Nothing? How am I making nothing out of nothing, when I see the woman I love proposing to another woman?"
At this Hermione's eyes grew wide, "Bella, I wasn't proposing to her."
"Then why were you presenting her with a ring then?" she spat out. "Admit it, you love her. You would rather be with her than with me."
"But I don't," Hermione pressed, "It's you I want to be with."
"Hermione, stop!" Bellatrix said, "Just stop lying to yourself. You still love her."
"As a friend. Come on, Bella, I love you. Now if you let me explain I wasn't proposing to her."
"Are you trying to say that what my eyes saw was a lie?"
Biting her bottom lip, Hermione dug into her robe pocket and retrieved a black velvet box and threw it at Bellatrix, "Since you won't let me explain, here. Satisfied?"
The older witch caught it and opened it to see a silver ring with a forest green gem in the center of the gem it glowed a little red, "I take it she refused you then?"
A loud growl from Hermione startled Bellatrix as she witnessed more theatrics of Hermione throwing her arms up into the air again, "Bella, how can you be so dense? I swear sometimes you're worst than Ron."
"Hey, don't compare me to that brainless git."
"Oh, no," exclaimed Hermione, "And why not, he jumps to more conclusions than you." Shaking her head, she went over the chair Bellatrix had vacated and sat down, sighing deeply as she did so.
Bellatrix inhaled as if to say something, but whatever the older witch wanted to say was held back. Instead, she just stood there glaring daggers at the back of Hermione's head. She hated the fact that, Hermione had insulted her. She hated how the younger girl was making her confused. She hated how she wanted to make things better between them because she wanted to believe in Hermione. All she wanted was some sort of sign to confirm the Hermione was telling the truth. Sighing, her attention was drawled back to the object in her hand. Curiosity got the better of her and she dug the ring out to take a closer look. She couldn't help but feel upset as she studied the ring's beauty still thinking it was meant for Fleur, but she would have thought Hermione would have chosen a blue stone instead. Looking closer, she noticed some engraving on the inside of the ring: BB + HG Forever.
Upon reading the engraving, a single tear leaked from Bellatrix's eye. It ran down her cheek as she turned her head to look at her lover, who stayed slumped in the chair. That single tear brought forth a gaggle of emotions. There was anger at herself for being stupid. There was sadness for hurting Hermione as she had. There was relief in knowing Hermione wanted to be legally hers. There was also a little happiness. All the emotions eventually evolved into one, frustration.
Gingerly, she walked over to Hermione and took up the younger girl's position from earlier, "Hermione?"
The said girl refused to say a word.
Sighing at Hermione's stubbornness, Bellatrix tried again, "Love, look, I'm sorry. I guess I should have let you explained."
Hermione tore her gaze from the fire to look at a remorseful Bellatrix. In a tear filled voice, she asked, "You guess?"
"Well I was hurt?"
"I understand. Will you let me explain now?"
Bellatrix nodded her head.
"Before I do, I would just like to state for the record that this is not how I wanted this proposal to go. As I explained to Fleur during lunch, I had arranged with Headmaster McGonagall to use the Gryffindor tower once school was over for a romantic dinner."
Another tear streaked down Bellatrix cheek as a small smile formed on her lips. She now felt guilty for ruining such a romantic gesture. To be propose to where they shared their first kiss… She was about to apologize more, but Hermione kept on. "After I explained to her why the tower was a special place for us, she asked me if I had the ring yet. For some strange luck, an owl had dropped it off. It was right before Fleur arrived at the shop and I simply slipped the ring into my pocket. When she had asked the question, I showed her the ring. She thought it was beautiful and gave me a hug to wish me luck in asking you to marry me. You know, she's really happy that I found someone who makes me happy."
Hermione got quite again and asked, "I understand a little, but why would you think I would have an affair with Fleur?"
Aggressively, the older woman ran a hand through her hair. She had no desire to divulge in her reasons. Giving reasons to her own insecurities was something she totally loathed in doing. For the most part, she avoided it like the dragonpox. "Look at me, Hermione and what do you see?"
The younger witch took a good look at Bellatrix and gave a small smile, "I see a beautiful and talented woman and someone who I want to spend the rest of my life with. Why, what do you see?"
"I see a woman, who is old enough to be your mother, who has done things she is not very proud of. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with me?"
"Oh my… Bella, you're starting to sound so much like Professor Lupin, when he was trying to dissuade your niece from wanting to be with him." Hermione took a moment to think, before going on, "Bella, do you really think that I would waste my time with you until something better came around?"
"Hermione, you're too good for me. You're very idealistic and deserve to be with someone…"
"I deserve to be with someone I love," she declared. "I deserve you."
"Fleur would have been a better choice for you. She's far younger than I am and extremely fair."
"Yes, but she doesn't hold my heart." Cheekily, Hermione smirked, "I'll admit she is beautiful, but I've never imagined what she would be like in bed. Besides, why would I when we're perfect together."
Bellatrix rolled her eyes as she stood on her feet. Turning around, she faced the crackling fire, while she grabbed a curl to twirl, "I don't want to admit this, but it seems like I'm in admitting mood and I'll just come out and say it." Still twirling the strand of hair, Bellatrix faced Hermione again, "As you have deduced, I honestly did believe that I was a mere fling to you."
Hermione shook her head, "Bella, we've technically been together since I was about sixteen. That's four years; do you think I'll give that up for someone else?"
"That's just thing, Hermione. You're young. There are so many other people out there you could be together with."
"I know, but I choose you. All I ever see is you. So what if you're older than I am. If you haven't noticed I'm rather mature for my own age. Finding out that I'm a witch at the age of eleven, going to Hogwarts on my own for months at a time, and befriending Harry Potter has all caused me to grow up much faster than I would have liked, but the damaged is done. However, my maturity makes me better able to be with you. Did you know that your very essence has a way to seep into my soul to where I could never forget you? You are my world."
Bellatrix couldn't help the smile that formed on her face at Hermione's admittance. At the end of the tirade, Bellatrix grabbed hold of Hermione's robes and dragged her towards herself so she could capture a kiss. The kissed started out chaste but slowly deepened with Bellatrix licking at Hermione's lips. The younger girl responded perfectly and groaned as she felt the pleasure of tasting the woman she loved.
When the need for air came, they separated. Bellatrix placed her head on Hermione's forehead and said breathlessly, "Yes."
"Hm?" asked a dazed Hermione.
"My answer is yes; I'll marry you," she placed a kiss to the tip of Hermione's nose. She then gave Hermione the ring box back. "But I want to say I'm sorry for ruining the plans you had for the proposal. It sounded perfect."
Hermione deeply sighed as she took the ring out of the box to place on Bellatrix's right hand (A/N: I don't know about England customs, but in Germany and Switzerland, the wedding band and engagement ring goes on the right hand so I'm going with it in the story). "Well, yes, it is completely ruined, but seriously, I was just hoping you would ask me, since you, as you have stated early, are older than I."
"I would have," Bellatrix stated as she watched Hermione studying her hand "I even…
"Bella?" asked a confused Hermione cutting her off.
Hermione brought up her hand up to eye level, "What happened to your hand?"
Bellatrix bit her bottom lip not knowing what to say. She now felt totally ashamed for her earlier mental breakdown. She also feared what Hermione would say about her behavior. Pride did want her to admit how incredibly she was emotionally unstable she was in her relationship with Hermione. It wasn't like she was going to kill Hermione, or herself; she just didn't want Hermione thinking she would. However, she found she couldn't keep it from Hermione. After all, when they would head off to sleep, Hermione would be bound to notice a nasty surprise. Trying to think of the best way of approaching things, Bellatrix finally decided on taking hold of Hermione's hand and leading them to their bedroom. The black haired beauty hardly noticed the bewildered look on her love's face as she led her up wards. They stopped by the entrance of where the door used be.
Hermione gasped in horror from behind her.
"The idea of you and Fleur didn't settle well with me," Bellatrix explained as the younger woman advanced into the room for a closer inspection. Disbelief was clearly written all over her face making Bellatrix cringe. The young girl walked around the whole room taking everything in. She even advanced into the bathroom and saw broken glass on the floor and blood trails on what was left of the mirror. She once again looked at the charred mess of a bed.
The black haired beauty watched as Hermione took in a deep breath before turning around to face her. "I really loved that bed. We made many fawn memories on that bed."
"I know; I sorely regret it."
Hermione shook her head, "I'm sorry for your pains, but you have to know your lack of trust is astounding."
"Hey, I was a spy for the Order for almost two decades and thus making it hard for me to have trust in people."
"I know, but I think you should pour your trust in me."
"I do trust you."
Hermione growled, "Yeah right."
Bellatrix remained thoughtful for a second and remembered something. If this whole thing never happened, then she would have been able to execute her proposal off. Yes, she did have a plan, but this wasn't it. Well, now she needed just to wing things and earn some dignity back from Hermione. Clearing her throat, she began to recite the speech she had memorized for when she would have asked Hermione. The speech, itself, seems fitting for the occasion.
"O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful
In the contempt and anger of her lip!
A murderous guilt shows not itself more soon
Than love that would seem hid: love's night is noon.
Hermione, by the roses of the spring,
By maidhood, honour, truth and everything,"
By this point, Bellatrix had walked over to Hermione and grabbed hold of her collar.
"I love thee so, that, maugre all thy pride,
Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.
Do not extort thy reasons from this clause,"
By this point, Bellatrix was on her knees, still clutching on to Hermione.
"For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause,
But rather reason thus with reason fetter,
Love sought is good, but given unsought better."
Seeing Hermione smile at her sweetly with tears in her eyes, Bellatrix took the opportunity to kiss her lips before she went on. By this time, Hermione was kneeling with her.
"Blame not this haste of mine. If you mean well,
Now go with me and with this holy man…"
With one hand in Hermione's, she brought her other hand out holding a black box. She smiled as she saw Hermione's eyes light up.
"Into the chantry by: there, before him,
And underneath that consecrated roof,
Plight me the full assurance of your faith;"
She took her hand from Hermione's to open the box to reveal the ring inside. A loud gasp of joy escaped Hermione's mouth. It gave Bellatrix to continue on:
"That my most jealous and too doubtful soul
May live at peace. He shall conceal it
Whiles you are willing it shall come to note,
What time we will our celebration keep
According to my birth. What do you say?"
Hermione looked from the ring to Bellatrix and back again. She leaned forward to capture Bellatrix's lips much to Bellatrix's pleasure. Pulling away, Hermione answered, "It's a bit redundant, but I will go with you; and, having sworn truth, ever will be true."
Smiling brightly and filled with such joy to cover all of her past pain, Bellatrix removed the ring and slid it on Hermione's finger. It looked so perfect on Hermione's hand. The sight alone melted Bellatrix's heart. Not being able to conceal her joy any more, Bellatrix leaned forward and kissed every inch of Hermione's face. "I trust you with my life, but now, I'll try trust you completely with my heart."
"Because I can't help but love you."
Hermione grinned widely, before asking, "I thought you didn't like act three scene one, because Olivia had to beg?"
"Well, I was begging you."
Before capturing Hermione's lips again, Bellatrix admitted, "But one of my favorite scenes is act four scene three where Olivia proposes. Who says it always have to be a man, and yet, it would have been better if was towards Viola instead of her twin."
"Indeed it would."