AN: Consider this an apology to all of the lovely people who are trying to read In the Dark of the Night but can't because I'm a lazy writer. I know that my updates are very sporadic, but this popped into my head and I decided to see where it would take me. After all, when life gives you lemons, you write them down and post them online.

- Ophelia

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and these characters belong to the talented J.K. Rowling, who I'm sure would be rather displeased that I keep writing her favorite and least favorite characters together like this. Sorry, Jo. I promise I'll clean them up before sending them back.

"Salvio Hexia."

The charm that she gave me grew hot in my pocket only a minute ago, I had four left before she came. I made my excuses to Harry, ducking outside of the dreary tent.

"Muffliato."

It was a small bronze piece in the shape of a little flame, a fitting icon for one who so loves to burn and destroy. I keep it in my pocket at all times, ready and eager for the next signal that she would come, that she would ease my loneliness.

"Muggletum Repellum."

Now is the winter of our discount tent, made glorious summer by that tiny charm. It represented freedom from this war, unchained by battle. It represented a slice of somebody else's life that I, nerdy Hermione Granger, surely could never have. It represented her love.

"Protego Totalum."

I guarded this secluded section of forest the same way that I protected the tent, knowing that Harry could not break through my wards. It would not do for him to see us together. No, that would not do at all.

"Cave Inimicum."

The five minutes were up. A sharp crack resonated through the otherwise silent forest, sending a cloud of birds into the sky from the tree they had been perched in. Their squawks of alarm covered the sound of her feet crunching over the snow and ice. There were no footprints left behind; she was as careful as I had been to leave no traces to be followed here. I never understood what it was that guided her unerringly to my warded area; after all, the point was that nobody could find it. She said that she recognized my magic, which left me both in awe and slightly worried that I was exposed to any who passed.

There was a ripple through the air, as if disturbing still water, as she passed through my wards. I smiled and went to embrace her as always. "Bella..." It had been far too long without her; surely she ached for my touch as much as I longed for hers.

As I approached, her arm darted out and before I knew quite what was happening my head had been thrown back by the force of her slap. I stared at her, eyes watering, my hand going to my flaming cheek. Her hair was a mess as always, but now that I was closer to her I could see the rips in her robes; the blood that caked the fabric and smeared across her pale skin; the wild look in her eyes. I knew that look; I knew what all of this meant.

There had been a battle, a nasty one, with plenty of blood and violence. I knew that carnage and destruction was an aphrodisiac for my Bellatrix, my beloved, demented witch. I knew what the slap meant; she had not come to me for sweet and gentle lovemaking, not that she often wanted that anyways. She wanted power, she wanted dominance, she wanted control. She wanted to own me and damn if I could ever say no to her.

A smirk twisted across her face, streaked with blood and partially obscured by her mass of hair. "On your knees, Mudblood," she commanded. She had rather recently gotten into the habit of calling me by my given name, but I suppose she felt that it would ruin her illusion of control. I, for one, saw no point in raining on her parade, and sank to the ground before her at once. She laughed, then waved her wand and banished our clothing.

I smiled, knowing what she wanted next and eager to give it to her, but I had to wait for her to order it. That's how the game was played, after all. Bellatrix loomed above me, her hair hanging around her in a black halo as she looked down at me. "You're a smart little Mudblood, you know what to do," she told me, spreading her legs shoulder width apart, holding herself open to me.

I leaned forward, pleased to have been given the permission to touch her again as I have been dreaming of every night since I last saw her. I kissed the inside of each thigh and raised my hands to part her folds when I was stopped by her hand on my wrist. "Wait, I have a better idea. Hold your hands behind your back." I complied at once, knowing how my Bella loved to punish anyone who does not obey her quickly enough. I always enjoy submitting to my dark lover when she wants, but I had never been as keen on torture as she was. That was the one area in which my Bella preferred to give rather than to take, but she knew my limits well and was careful not to cross the line.

With a twirl of her wand ropes appeared around my wrists, binding them behind my back as I knelt there on the forest floor. I had cleared the snow from the ground, but it was still frozen and hard on my knees as I leaned forward again. I kissed the neatly shaven patch of hair this time before spreading her open with my tongue and stroking her softly. My efforts were rewarded with a soft moan, and I felt Bella's hand settle possessively into my hair.

"Mmm, good girl. Just like that." Her voice was not nearly as desperate as I would like, and I was determined to make her come apart for me. The fight earlier must have been intense, as she was dripping wet before I even touched her. I raised my hand almost automatically to slide it into that sweet opening, then cursed softly as the binds prevented me from doing so. Bellatrix's laugh sounded above me. "Is there a problem, Mudblood? What are you waiting for?"

I smiled and licked her some more, swirling my tongue around her clit. I paused to listen to her breathing hitch, then sucked it into my mouth. Bella's hand in my hair tightened and she pressed my face closer to her as I lavished my attention on her clit, suckling eagerly. Once again I tried to pull my hands up and once again I was unsuccessful. "S-stop that, M-Mudblood," she panted. "You- you're not being... oh... a good girl f-for me." Her legs shook with pleasure and I felt proud for bringing her to this yet again. It was hard, even for her, to remain in charge in a situation like this.

Bella's hands left my hair and she stepped away from me, gasping and leaving me staring blankly at her. I could feel her arousal coating my face and quickly growing cold as the winter wind whipped around me. She quickly stepped backwards until her back hit a tree and I understood; she just needed something to lean against. "Here," she commanded, her voice still rather weak and breathy. She beckoned me with a finger and I shuffled over to her, still on my knees. Bellatrix laughed at the sight, smiling in that crazy way of hers, the one where she might kiss you or kill you and you'd have no idea which was coming. "Good girl. I never gave you permission to stand." I managed to hold back my pout; her voice was almost back to normal and she had regained control. With that, she braced herself against the tree and wrapped one long leg around my shoulder, motioning for me to continue.

I slid my tongue over her clit again, feeling her hand on my head once more. The heat of her body warmed my cheeks again and her juices flowed freely down my chin. With a final kiss on her clit, I slipped my tongue lower and slowly circled her soaking wet opening. "Don't tease," Bella gasped above me, pushing my head even closer to her. I obeyed at once and shoved my tongue deep within her, relishing her cry of pleasure, her tangy and familiar taste, and the way she clenched around me.

I started to thrust my tongue in and out of her, noting how much harder this was to do than when using my fingers. Her hips had been pressing against me before, but now my Bella was bucking enthusiastically against my face. Her moans were loud and frequent, but she refused to say my name, clinging to this last shred of dominance by distancing herself. I didn't mind; that's just how the game was played.

I moaned against her, knowing how the vibrations would add to the way I licked inside her. Her walls were clenching further and she was practically riding my mouth by now; I knew she had to be close. I pulled my tongue out of her, but she was too lost in pleasure to do more than groan in disappointment. She thought I was stopping, but after catching my breath for a moment I took her clit into my mouth again and bit down on it.

My Bella likes to use her teeth sometimes, something that never appealed much to me but which was enough now to drive her over the edge. I peered up at her to watch her throw her head back in ecstasy, the pain and pleasure combining as she came hard. "Oh fuck... Oh, Hermione!" She finally called my name as she came, crying out as I swallowed the juices flooding my mouth and licking up the rest. Every time she visited me I tried to make sure to taste as much of her as I could, to memorize her unique flavor while she was still here. But every time she left, it took only a few days to forget it again. She rode out her orgasm on my tongue as I lapped at her until she couldn't take any more and shoved my face away.

She fell to her knees beside me and wrapped her arms around me, kissing me on the shoulder, then up my neck and finally on the lips. She grasped my chin and wrenched my jaws apart before snaking her tongue inside and claiming my mouth. I could barely breathe, her kiss was possessive and consuming and seemed to go on for ages. She finally pulled back to look at me, her eyes bright and her smile wide. We were both panting heavily and for a moment we were content to just stare lovingly at each other. These were the moments I loved best about being with my Bella; the ones where she acted more like a woman I could see myself in a stable relationship with and less like the damn psychopath we all knew she really was. But all moments must pass, and Bellatrix got that gleam in her eye that told me she was not quite done with dominating me. Not that I minded at all.

She untied to ropes around my wrists, then pushed me away. "On your hands and knees, Hermione." I complied, having an idea just where this was going. At least she used my name this time, probably without noticing. Her drive to conquer and her bloodlust were fading, but I knew that even if there was no war at all they would still be strong. My Bella creates chaos where there is no need for it, creates strife in times of peace, creates death and pain when everyone else is trying to enjoy life.

"What will you do when the war ends, Bella?" I found myself asking. It was a serious question; surely she doesn't mean to live like this for the rest of her existence. As soon as the words left my mouth I realized that it had been a mistake to speak at all.

Bellatrix slapped me again, this time on the thigh, as she was sitting behind me and could not reach my face. It didn't hurt much and she knew it, for she grasped a handful of my hair and yanked my head back to look at her upside down. "I don't remember giving you permission to speak, Mudblood," she told me angrily. "That's not how the game is played. Or do you not want to play anymore? I could just leave then..."

It was an empty threat and we both knew it, but I pretended it wasn't. She wanted me to beg her to stay with me and beg I did. "Oh, please, Bella, don't go. I want to play the game. Please, I'll miss you so much, we have too little time together already. Please, I'll be a good girl, I promise." I meant every word I said and Bellatrix knew it, which pleased her. She leaned in across my back to kiss me before releasing my hair and dragging her tongue down my back, then sat up again.

"What do I plan to do after the war?" she repeated thoughtfully. "Hmm, that depends. Assuming we both survive and the Dark Lord is victorious, which is really the most likely scenario, I think I'll take you home. We'll play together all night and every day. What do you think, Hermione? Wouldn't that be nice?"

"That sounds lovely, Bella." Aside from the part about Voldemort defeating Harry, that is, but it would be exceedingly foolish to say that to my Bella when she's on a power trip. Actually, it would be a stupid thing to say ever.

"Yes, lovely." Bellatrix leaned across me again, sliding her hands up my sides and gently squeezing my breasts, then coming up over my shoulders and down my back. Her hands continued to roam and explore as she spoke. "You'll be all mine then, Hermione. When the Dark Lord reigns the only thing keeping you alive and safe will be me, if you continue pleasing me." She shuffled around me to whisper in my ear. "Does that frighten you, Hermione?"

I looked at her arm, at the hideous mark burned into it. The thought did frighten me, but showing fear was not how the game was played. I reached for her scarred arm and kissed it softly, then kissing each of her fingers. "No. I'm not scared." Bella smiled and kissed me gently, almost sweetly, then returned to her position behind me.

"Good girl," she said, then thrust two fingers into me without warning. I cried out at the unexpected entrance, but quickly adjusted to the familiar feeling of having Bellatrix inside me. She pounded into me hard, kissing and licking and biting the skin on my back. She was rough and commanding, unsurprisingly. "You belong to me, you know," she told me, panting almost as hard as I was. "Say it. Tell me you're mine."

It took a few minutes before I could control my moaning long enough to speak. I could tell Bellatrix was getting frustrated that I didn't answer at once, but she kept her rhythm strong and steady. "Yes. Yes, B-Bella... oh Merlin... I'm yours. No-nobody else..." She added a third finger in response and I groaned at the feeling of being stretched even more.

"Mine, mine, mine, mine..." Bella muttered to herself with every thrust, working herself up as she tried to get me off. She was very possessive, as I had found while Ron was still here, and gave me the flame charm as a way to remember exactly who I belonged to. I moaned and writhed for her, feeling the pressure build within me until she added a fourth finger and sent me over the edge.

"Oh Bella..." I knew that she loved hearing me moan her name, just as much as I loved doing it. "Bella, Bella... I'm yours..." The world spun out of focus and the only thing that mattered was those fingers inside me, still working me over and wringing a second climax from me.

When she pulled away at last I turned to face her and clung to her, knowing that she would leave soon. "Don't go, Bella, don't leave me again. I'll do anything..." That's how the game was played, but the game was over and it was time to go back to our lonely lives. She pulled her arms out from my embrace and held her glistening fingers up.

"Open your mouth," she ordered, and even though the game had ended I did so at once. She pushed one dripping digit into my mouth and waited for me to lick it clean. I swirled my tongue obediently around her finger, watching her smile at my submission. I preferred her taste to mine, and once Bella withdrew her finger and started licking the other three herself I lowered my head to get another taste of her.

She raised her eyebrows but said nothing as I slid my tongue up her slit again, burying it inside her wet heat for a moment before suckling her clit. As I pulled away her hips raised to keep in contact with my mouth and her hand pressed on my head to keep me down. "I made you come twice, now you give me a second one. It's only fair, and I'll stay longer if you do..."

I had just wanted another taste, but if she wants another fuck then there's no way I could turn her down. "Mmm, Hermione, my precious Mudblood..." she purred, her voice low and soft. I was able to use my hands this time and quickly slid two fingers into her, watching her back arch up as she moaned. She made the most beautiful noises when we were together, something I could never quite get used to hearing. I twisted my fingers as I set a slow but steady pace in her, adding a third finger and bending down to take her clit in my mouth again.

"Bella, Bella... You belong to me too, you know. You cannot gain without losing, you cannot own me without giving me yourself." She never outright said this to me but I knew it had to be true. After all, why else would she keep coming back? Why else would she get wet for me, make these noises for me, come for me? We simply could not stay apart, not even through this war. Harry and Ron didn't know what we had, nobody knew. Who could possibly understand?

Bellatrix whimpered as her pleasure increased, and I stopped sucking on her clit to lick my way up her stomach and up to her chest. I kept one hand steady inside her as I brought the other up to play with a nipple while my lips closed around the other. She moaned her loudest yet and I slammed my fingers harder into her, massaging her nipple with my tongue before bringing my lips to hers. She screamed into my mouth as she came again, her arms wrapping tightly around me and clinging desperately. I kissed her gently, slowing my hand to bring her down.

"Oh, Hermione..." she moaned breathily. "What would I ever do without you..."

I kissed her on the cheek. "I love you," I told her.

Bellatrix threw back her head and laughed. "No you don't. How can you? You know me in battle and in bed, but not day to day. You can't love me. You love fucking me. There's quite a difference."

I scowled. "Fine, go and ruin the moment then. I love fucking you, Bella. Happy?"

She nodded eagerly, kissing me forcefully, pushing me down so that my back was to the ground and she was sitting on me. "Nobody has ever said they loved me, you know," she murmured. "At least, not like that. Cissy and Andy have, you know, as kids, but that's obviously very different. I know you didn't mean it, not really, but it was nice to hear anyways. I love fucking you too." She bit down on my ear, laughing when I yelped, and kissed the pain away.

I sighed. I would rather change that to 'I fucking love you', but there's no way my Bella would believe it. Even if it was true. I loved her mischievous smile, her aura of power, the way she could find me even surrounded by all of these wards. I loved that I was hers and she was mine, I loved hearing her crying out my name, I loved that she showed me rare soft moments like this one. I do love her, I can never stop thinking about her. I would do anything to please her, anything at all.

But I would have done it anyway, anything she wants. After all, that's how the game was played.