A/N: A huge thanks for all the love and support you've all been giving! I really appreciate it!

Disclaimer: JKR owns Harry Potter, not me.

Chapter 45

Hermione reached down, giving her stomach a rub. She had just hit the five month mark and had blown up like a balloon. She gave her shoulders a shrug, trying to release some of the tension there.

"Hermione, you aren't paying attention to your potion," Severus said, eying her.

She gasped. "Oh, bollocks! I was so wrapped up in the book that I forgot I was brewing!" She scrambled up off the couch, moving towards her bubbling potion. She gave it a quick stir, frowning. "It's ruined."

Severus smirked. "Number one rule of brewing, never forget your brewing."

"Sorry, Severus," she said, a feeling of disappointment welling up within her. Severus had been teaching her some basic healing things to help prepare her for the medi-witch exam. Honestly, he scolded her so often she felt like she was a first year once more.

"Let me show you a small trick, when brewing Amortentia, if you ever go past a stage, just add a spring of mint," Severus explained. He dropped the mint leaf into the cauldron, watching as it simmered. The potion returned to its pink state.

"Severus, you're a genius. But I still don't understand why we're brewing love potions," Hermione said tiredly. "We did this in sixth year."

"Yes you did, Hermione, but it's been awhile since you've brewed and I just want to help you get back into the swing of things. Also, you're pregnant so we can't brew a lot of the more difficult things, so we have to start somewhere."

"Yes, Severus, no need to make me feel like an idiot," Hermione said, flashing him a smile.

He chuckled. "Besides, the amount of dunderheads who will slip someone a love potion is astounding, so you'll have to know how to produce the antidote."

"Yes Severus, I understand." She watched as he finished the love potion, quickly bottling it. He slid it into his pocket, "don't want that to fall into the wrong hands."

Hermione nodded. She opened her mouth to say something, but stopped when she felt something in her stomach.

"Hermione?" Severus asked worriedly.

Her face scrunched up. "I feel like I'm having gas."

Severus' face turned into one of discomfort. "Okay, didn't need to know that Hermione."

Her eyes widened. "Oh, Severus! It's the babies moving!" She smiled excitedly. "My babies!"

Severus smiled for her. At first she had irritated him to no end, but she had grown on him. Much like some sort of fungus. Chuckling, he reached down to help her up off the couch. "Come on, let's go find Narcissa."

Hermione nodded, feeling excited. The two of them were walking through the halls when a scream erupted. Hermione's eyes widened. "What was that?"

"I don't know," Severus responded. "Hermione, wait!" he called after her, but she had already started running towards the Drawing Room.

Hermione burst into the room, shocked by what she saw. Harry, Ron, and Ginny were bound on the floor, Fenrir crouching near them possessively. Bellatrix had her wand out, a look of glee on her face, while Narcissa and Lucius stood in the corner.

"What's going on here!" she demanded, causing all heads to turn towards her.

Harry's fix was a mix of shock and disbelief. Ron looked angry, and Ginny just looked frightened.

"It's none of your business Mudblood," Bellatrix hissed at her.

"It is my business, now what's going on."

"They were trying to break into Bellatrix's vault," Narcissa explained.

"Be quiet Cissy!" Bellatrix shouted.

Hermione's eyes widened. She knew what was in there. "Severus, go!" she shouted. He nodded, quickly disappearing from the room.

Before anyone knew what was happening, Bellatrix had sent a curse towards Hermione. She blocked it, but the force of it caused her to stumble backwards.

"Hermione!" Narcissa shouted, moving forward, but Bellatrix had her wand pointed in her sister's face.

Hermione shook her head. Bella had finally lost it. "Leave Bella, and don't come back."

The insane witch whipped around, taking a few steps towards her. "You filthy Mudblood, you dare to order me around?" Bellatrix inhaled deeply, her eyes filling with fury. "You have no authority over me!" Turning her wand, she cast the Cruciatus on Ginny.

Her screams filled the room, filling Hermione with heartbreak. "Stop it!" she cried. Pointing her wand at Bellatrix, she shouted "Incendio!"

Bellatrix's dress caught on fire, breaking her concentration. Ginny stopped screaming.

"Let them be," Hermione said, anger filling her. She started to approach Bellatrix. "You need to have to lost your grip on things, so let me clarify them for you."

She sent a hex towards Bellatrix.

"This isn't your house… you hold no power here. You don't even hold any power in the ranks either, but you're too stupid to even realize that."

Bellatrix sent a curse towards Hermione, but she blocked it. Hermione continued to advance.

"And he doesn't want you Bella." She shoved Bellatrix up against the wall, invisible wands trapping her there. "How does it feel?" Hermione asked tauntingly. "How does it feel to know he desires me, a Mudblood, more than you? How does it feel to know that I fuck him, every night? You don't even cross his mind anymore."

Bellatrix let out a bloodcurdling scream. "You're wrong, you Mudblood whore! The Dark Lord loves me, and only me!"

"No, he loves me."

Bellatrix shrieked, breaking free of the bonds. She lunged at Hermione, knocking her to the ground.

Narcissa and Lucius moved to help, but Fenrir and the other snatchers stopped them. A small duel broke out.

Harry and the others were forced to sit there and watch what was going on. Hermione was trying to help them! The brunette witch hadn't left his mind since he saw her at the Ball, and all this was just too much. Something just didn't seem right.

Hermione tugged at Bellatrix's hair, causing the older witch to screech.

"You'll pay Mudblood," Bellatrix hissed, her foul breath washing over Hermione. Her hands found Hermione's neck, squeezing tightly.

"Hermione!" someone called out.

Hermione struggled against Bellatrix, but found it harder to breathe with every passing moment. Immediately, she began to fear for her babies. Her poor babies!

Bellatrix cackled.

"Hermione!" another voice called out.

She heard someone scream.

"I'm going to enjoy watching the life leave your eyes Mudblood," Bellatrix hissed, squeezing tightly.

Hermione stopped fighting. She had lost the energy and knew that her situation was hopeless. She tried to hold on, but she just couldn't do it anymore. Her eyes were slowly closing…

Suddenly, the pressure was gone. Looking up, she saw Tom standing over her. Bellatrix was lying on the floor; he must have picked her off her.

"STOP!" he shouted.

Everyone stopped dueling. Fenrir immediately backed away, knowing he'd be in trouble.

Immediately Narcissa ran over to Hermione. "Are you okay?" she asked, checking her over worriedly. Hermione groaned, touching her head. "I'll be fine."

Narcissa helped her up. "The babies?"

Hermione pressed her hand to her stomach, holding her breath. Moments passed by, but the familiar bubble of gas returned. "They're fine!" she said, letting out a sigh of relief.

Tom turned towards Bellatrix. "What the hell is going on?" He sent a surprised glance towards Harry and the two Weasleys.

"They were trying to steal the Horcrux, my Lord," Bellatrix said, now on her knees. She was reaching for the edge of his cloak.

Tom took a step back. "That doesn't explain why you were trying to kill Hermione."

Bellatrix's face turned into a snarl. "Because she deserves to die! That filthy Mudblood has tainted you for too long, and I won't stand for it anymore."

"You will not harm her!" Tom said, his eyes flashing red.

Hermione trembled. He was so angry.

"She has you under some sort of curse My Lord, and I will free you of it! And then we can kill the Potter boy together, and-"

"Silence Bella!" he hissed. He began to pace back and forth. "I will not stand for this any longer, Bella."

Narcissa was now crying. Hermione wrapped her arms around her in sympathy. As much as Cissy hated Bellatrix, she didn't want her sister dead.

"I'm sorry, Narcissa," Tom said, sending a glance to her.

She lowered her head. "I understand."

Tom pointed his wand at Bellatrix. "You will not hurt anyone ever again Bella."

"No, my Lord, please!" she cried.

"Avada Kedavra!" he cried, the jet of green light going towards her.

Bellatrix collapsed into a heap on the floor. "Lucius, get rid of this filth." He looked at the body with disgust. He had created this monster… he alone was responsible for the death and tragedy she created. Shame and guilt filled him.


Turning, Tom saw Hermione fall to the floor. Immediately, he rushed over. "Hermione?" he asked, brushing the hair from her face.

"She's fainted," Narcissa said worriedly.

Tom nodded, "Lucius, summon the healer at once! Draco," he eyed Potter. "Release them."

He ignored Potter's look of disbelief. Bending over, he scooped Hermione into his arms, carrying her to their bedroom. Narcissa followed behind, worry etched all over her face.

Draco led the three of them towards the front gates. Once there, he released their bonds.

"Will Hermione be okay?" Harry asked, nervous for the girl who was once his best friend.

"I'm not sure. Aunt Bella may have hurt her or the babies…" Draco trailed off.

Harry opened his mouth to speak, but Draco shook his head.

"Get out of here; you've lost your chance."

"Thanks, Malfoy," Ron mumbled, before grabbing Ginny's hand and Disapparating.

"Let me know how she turns out," Harry said to Draco.

"We'll see," Draco said.

Harry Disapparated with a pop.