AN: Lyrics are from The Haunting (Somewhere in Time) by Kamelot. I didn't like having a story called Haunted and one called The Haunting, so I changed the name of this one a few days after it was posted. If you have not heard this song then you are missing out, especially Epica fans, because it features Simone Simons. That said, this just popped into my head, I hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer: The characters belong to JK Rowling. The song belongs to Kamelot. The plot, God help us all, belongs to me.

-Ophelia

Merely the sound of your voice

Made me believe that

that you were her

Just like the river disturbs my inner peace

Once I believed I could find

Just a trace of her beloved soul

Her hair hangs down in front of her face, a thick curtain between her and the world. There was no real funeral, just a plain casket left out into the open for a time before being lowered into the gaping earth. There were no murmured condolences, just unsettled glances at the three figures before the open grave, silently begging them to leave. There were no flowers, just a dead murderer in a box that the world longed to hide from view.

With a rustle of silk and a whispered "Goodbye, Bella," the blonde woman departs, leaving the brunette witches. Andromeda turns to Hermione, tearing herself away from her sister's concealed corpse at last.

"What are you doing here, Miss Granger?" Hermione does not answer, choosing instead to relish in the sound of the familiar words spoken from a familiar voice. Not the same words and not the same voice, but close enough, as close as she would ever get again.

Once I believed she was all

Then she smothered my beliefs

One cold winter's night

I may follow her voice to the river

"What are you doing here, Mudblood?" She asked the words every time and every time the Gryffindor ignored them, pushing past the tall figure and entering the house. "Don't get snow on the carpet. Cissy will have my head if we muck up her house while she's gone," she commanded before slamming the heavy door shut behind them.

Hermione wandered through the now familiar halls, hearing the Death Eater follow close behind as she made her way to the kitchen. She browsed the shelves leisurely, not batting an eyelid when Bellatrix pulled a knife from the block on the counter and held it to her throat. Hermione felt an arm wrap around her waist, pulling her close to the older witch, who rested her head on her shoulder.

"I missed you," she crooned, her words entirely at odds with the cold steel she pressed to her lover's neck. She pressed down hard enough to draw blood before pulling the knife away, lazily tracing the cut with her tongue.

Hermione smiled and turned around, holding the woman close. "You know I can't come often, but I said I would return and I did. I always do."

Leave me for now and forever

Leave while you can

Somewhere in time

She turns to look at her, at the woman who had in a matter of months lost everything. Her husband, her daughter, and her sister; all dead and gone. Yet there is still pride in her dark eyes, hidden behind her endless grief. Pride, beauty and power, these were things Hermione which was well used to. It had all resided in the glorious woman who now lay lifeless at their feet, who was now lost to Hermione forever. She needed her, she craved her, but Bellatrix Lestrange was dead and could never come back to her little Mudblood no matter how sweetly she asked.

But she had two sisters, and they were far closer to her than even they wanted to admit. Oh yes, she thinks, they will do just fine. But Narcissa had left, and now she needs to keep the other one here. Hermione had learned deceit well from the long year of sneaking away from Harry and Ron, and knew that she could be convincing if needed. And she certainly needed it now, she needed so much.

"Perhaps I should go…"

"No. Stay here with me." Anything, anyone to fill the aching void.

I will find you and haunt you again

Like the wind sweeps the earth

Somewhere in time

They lay on the bed together, blankets and limbs tangled around each other, clothes lying in shreds on the floor. Hermione glanced at the clock and Bellatrix's gaze followed, her shoulders slumping as she contemplated spending the rest of the night alone again. "Stay," she ordered, demanding as always.

The Gryffindor sighed and shook her head. "You know I have to go back soon. Harry and Ron are expecting me and I have been gone for too long already. You know we both have roles to play." She giggled as her lover pulled a face, leaning in to kiss her on the forehead before continuing. "I can't stay here. Suppose someone comes in and sees us. What will you tell them?"

She thought for a moment, then smiled triumphantly. "Crucio. That's what I'll tell them. Nobody would dare say a thing."

Hermione rolled her eyes. Of course, her psychotic lover thought that torture solved every problem. She had learned that much to her chagrin many months before. "What if it's your sister who comes in? Or your master? You would torture them too?" A pained look crossed Bellatrix's face.

"They would knock first. I'll hide you and let them in."

"Hide? Hide me where? Do you really think that you could keep me from anyone as powerful as your master?" She wanted to add that Gryffindors do not hide, but then again Gryffindors do not sleep with Death Eaters either.

Bellatrix tightened her arms possessively around her naked form. "Yes, I do," she said fiercely. She bent her head and kissed her hard, trying to convey in her lips and tongue what her words could not. In that moment, Hermione truly believed it.

When no virtues are left to defend

You fall in deep

I was a liar in every debate

I rule the forces that fueled your hate

Hermione Granger was nothing if not persuasive, and it was almost too easy to convince Andromeda to accompany her to her home for a cup of tea and a chat. The sun was setting quickly and she hoped to convince her to stay the night as well, anything to avoid being alone again. It was her parent's house, but with them gone she was free to call it her own, which she found helped minimize any indications of their age gap. It was little tricks like this that she used to justify being with Bellatrix for so long, as she was the most immature woman she had ever met.

She had brewed the tea and added a generous helping of firewhiskey, explaining to the skeptical witch that it was to help cheer her up a bit. A few desperate mugs later, Andromeda was drunk and sobbing on the couch, much to Hermione's distaste. She looked so much like her sister, but if there was one thing that her Bella never did it was cry. No, this would not do at all. Hermione wanted an exact replica of the woman she had lost, and it would take a bit of work to get there.

She shifts closer to the sobbing witch on the couch, wrapping an arm tenderly around her. "Shh, Andy, it's okay. It'll be all right." She strokes her hair, annoyed that it is so soft and tidy instead of the chaotic black mass she loves so much. The woman's wails eventually weaken to sniffles, and she turns towards Hermione and hugs her tightly.

"Thank you," she tells her with a shaking voice. She pauses for a moment, two sets of brown eyes connecting, then leans forwards hesitantly and brushes their lips together. Hermione pulls her closer and deepens the kiss, willing the older woman to respond with the passion and fury that she craved.

When the cold in my heart leaves

It comes to an end

And quietly I'll go to sleep

How could that first time recur?

"Stay."

"I can't."

Always the same thing, always the same argument. Hermione was tired of it, tired of the war and being kept from the one person who made her truly happy. She closed her eyes and buried her head in Bellatrix's neck, feeling her unruly curls cover her like a blanket. She wanted to stay with her forever, she really did, but the clock ticked continually to three in the morning, the time that her watch ended and she would be expected to return to the boys. She knew that the wards could defend them until she went back, and felt that a mere five hours with her lover was not nearly long enough. She arrived precisely on time each night, four times a week, but it was nowhere near enough.

She could feel Bellatrix biting her shoulder absentmindedly, as if she was so used to causing pain that she didn't even notice doing it. Hermione had come to love the powerful aches that her nights with the formidable Death Eater always left in her, come to love being reminded of their time together through the rest of the day by the bruises and cuts hidden on her skin beneath layers of clothes.

"Hey, Bella?" Hermione pulled aside the thick hair to look at her, to look at the face she dreamed about every time she slept. The older witch raised an eyebrow questioningly, prompting her to continue. She was beautiful, this witch, beautiful and terrible. And hers, all hers. Hermione smiled and leaned in to kiss her softly. "I love you."

"That's nice, dear." Close enough.

When memories linger on and on

What made me think you were her?

Helena is dead to all

Dead to all

Nothing can bring her to life

Don't pretend that I'll be loving you

At last Andromeda responds properly, giving a desperate moan as she returns the kiss fervently. She doesn't taste quite like her sister but Hermione is willing to ignore that, winding her hands into those lovely curls. She presses herself against her warm body, which is not nearly thin enough and not nearly strong enough but it would have to do. Her Bella is dead, and Andromeda is the next closest thing.

But she doesn't hold Hermione tight enough, doesn't kiss her hard enough, doesn't dominate her and hurt her. She is soft and sweet and not at all what she wanted. Hermione wrenches her head back, much to the other woman's surprise. "What's wrong?" she asks in that voice of hers that is so close but too gentle, too kind.

For a moment she is speechless, unable to explain exactly what was wrong. 'Everything,' she wanted to say, but that would quickly drive away her last salvation. No, Andromeda could never be Bellatrix, but neither could anybody else. It is just what she loves about her, but she is dead and now she must settle for less. "Nothing's wrong, no. Just, could you be a bit… rougher? Is that all right?"

Andromeda considers her for a moment before nodding silently and leaning forward, trying again.

Once I believed she was gone

I'm corrupted from within

Leave me for now and forever

Leave while you can

"I have something for you, little Mudblood." The derogatory word had softened into a term of endearment by this point, oddly enough, and Hermione does not react to it any more. She sat up, pulling the covers around her to ward off the chill air as Bellatrix rose from the bed and crossed the room. She dug around in a drawer for a moment until her rummaging unearthed a small box, which she opened and peeked at before returning with a smirk.

Hermione held the blankets open for her to slide in, then cuddled up besides her and lay on her side to look at the small box. "Here you go. Be gentle with it." She unclasped and lifted the lid on the box, gasping as a ring was revealed. It looked old, with a large, glittering blood red garnet set amongst fine silver filigree swirls. It somehow looked both frail and sturdy, not unlike Bellatrix herself. She slid it almost tenderly onto the younger witch's finger.

"Pretty, isn't it?" she asked eagerly. Hermione looked up from the ring to see her eyes shining with glee. "It's a Black family heirloom, which I was supposed to pass to my daughter. As I have none of those, I figured you should have it. It's something sparkly to remind you of me." She laughed at the thought, then grew more serious. "This war is growing more deadly every day. We could die at any time, and any moment we spend together could be our last. I want you to think of me always, no matter what happens."

The younger witch nodded wordlessly, unable to articulate her affection, gratitude and fear. She knew that Bellatrix was right, but had refused to admit it so far. The Death Eater was powerful and chaotic, she seemed to be a force of nature all on her own. Imagining her dying was like imagining the wind fading to nothing, or the sun exploding. Anything was possible, but the very thought was absurd. No, this woman would last forever, she had to.

Somewhere in time

I will find you and haunt you again

Like the wind sweeps the earth

Somewhere in time

When no virtues are left to defend

You fall in deep

Her nails are digging into her skin just right, her lips and teeth are attacking her flesh just right, and her arms are squeezing her just right. It seems that soft and sweet little Andy can do rough just fine, when prompted. Hermione returns the favor herself, pressing hard against the older woman and gripping her as tightly. Even her breathy moans, quickly stifled as if for fear of being overheard, were like her sister's. For several long minutes, Hermione reverses the hands of time and brings back the woman she loves above all others.

But all good things must come to an end, just like her Bella's life did.

Andromeda grew uncomfortable with her harsh caresses, longing for the loving tenderness of her lost husband even as Hermione yearned for the harsh brutality of her lost lover. Neither could get what they wanted, not with each other, and she disliked the direction that this was taking. "'Mione," she mumbles, still drunk and struggling to get the syllables out. Hermione does not correct her for using such a familiar nickname; the woman more likely could not pronounce her full name in her current state. "What're you doing?"

Hermione pulls back again, eyeing her critically. No, no, this would not do at all. There was weakness in her eyes, weakness that the alcohol had pulled from her that she could never have noticed before. "Well, I was kissing you. Is there a problem?"

She nods. "Yeah, there's a problem. I don't like this. You're too hard." Uncomfortable, she gazes at their interlocked hands, then gasps loudly. "Wha- where did you get that?" Hermione follows her gaze, seeing the garnet ring glitter in the fading sunlight.

I was a liar in every debate

I rule the forces that fueled your hate

When the cold in my heart leaves

It comes to an end

And quietly I'll go to sleep

The clock struck three, the wretched hour at which Hermione would be forced to take her leave, and yet there was none of the usual flurry of action. No repairing clothes and pulling them back on, no brushing her tangled mess of hair, no desperate kisses goodbye and promises to return. No, that night there was none of that. Bellatrix had seen to that.

"There, now you can't leave me," she said proudly. Hermione struggled and squirmed, unable to rise from the bed where her lover had tied her to the posts.

"Bella, please, you know I can't stay. I want to, and I love you, but –"

"No, no buts. You're going to spend the rest of the night with me and will return in the morning. I won't hear anything more about it." Stubborn as always, she sat at the edge of the bed and stared at the writhing girl until she finally gave up. "Now, I can take off these ropes and give your wand back if you promise to stay here. Will you do that, my little Mudblood?" Hermione frowned at her, then nodded. With a smirk and a wave of her wand the ropes vanished and Hermione leapt forward, dragging her down.

Instinctively reacting to an attack, Bellatrix reached out to strike the Gryffindor, who dodged the blow easily and grabbed her wrist. "One condition, Bella. I'll stay if you let me be in charge tonight." The woman considered her for a moment,eyes trailing up the chains that they had conjured earlier and fastened to the bedpost, then grinned.

"Agreed. Anything you want, just don't leave me. Never leave me. I don't want to be alone anymore."

Follow me into the light

(Like ice on a lake of tears

I'll take you through)

Leave me tonight

I've gone too far to begin all anew

(Life fades in anew)

With someone like you

"Where'd you get that? That belongs to the family…" Hermione sighs, knowing that there is no way to continue without explaining her full intentions tonight.

"Bella gave it to me several weeks ago. She wanted me to have it to remember her." It is an oversimplified response, but she would rather give away as little information as possible. Andromeda's eyes widen.

"What? Why would she – why were you at the funeral? How'd you know her?" Now its Hermione's turn to look awkwardly down at her hands, watching as the light fragmented off the gem and sent rainbows across her skin.

"I love her, and she loved me," she finally whispers. "But she's dead, she's gone and no matter how hard I try I cannot follow her there."

"So what'd you want with me? I'm nothing like my sister, 'Mione."

"I know," she mutters, as if it was Andromeda's fault that Hermione was comparing her to a deranged psychopath and found her lacking. "No, you're nothing like her. Nobody could ever be, not even you. For a moment, I thought…"

"You thought that I could replace her." Andromeda's words are cold and harsh now, and she sounds so much like Bellatrix that Hermione wants to kiss her again, but the anger she wanted came far too late. She seems to swell with fury, anger unearthed in her drunken state that brings her resemblance to her sister to painful perfection. It takes every ounce of self-control that Hermione possesses to keep herself from crying out her dead lover's name. "Have fun with the rest of your life, 'Mione. Have fun trying to find a woman who wants to come second-best to my sister. Have fun being lonely forever." With a swirl of skirts, she stands and exits the house.

The door slams behind her before Hermione could even come up with a response.

Somewhere in time

I will find you and love you again

Like the wind sweeps the earth

Somewhere in time

When no virtues are left to defend

You fall in deep

I was a liar in every debate

I rule the forces that fueled your hate

When the cold in my heart leaves

It comes to an end

And quietly I'll go to sleep

Years passed, and as Andromeda had predicted there were no other women. Everybody else simply paled in comparison to her Death Eater, beloved and gone where nobody and nothing could reach her. Hermione Granger, the brightest and most promising witch in her generation, faded to nothing, just as her lost love did.