Hi guys! I've missed this fic. Recently I've caught up on all the uni work I fell behind whilst overseas and now I'm back to writing. Thank you for your very sweet messages. I had a lovely time ^^

Consider this chapter as the 'second of two parts' for Chapter 13. For those who were curious how Narcissa could possibly get off her elitist high-horse - here it is. Very short compared to the others. I would probably label this chapter as "incomplete" but for now I kind of like it this way (idk, you can decide whether you like more dialouge, detail or both. You know how it gets after reading your work too many times) but hey, Chapter 15 coming your way soon! x

EDIT: I think about this fic from time to time but I will stop promising how "quickly" the next chapter will come. I found some forgotten notes recently so there will be editing. Frankly, this story has deteriorated, and so has my motivation. The ideas are in my head. It will be better. The story will come, eventually.

Chapter Fourteen

A bassoon hummed and all at once the orchestra melded together in the climax of the final chorus. Each string reaching their peak and the percussions mercilessly beaten. Hermione gave in to the woman, allowing the puppeteer to pull her strings – dipping and twirling were made simple with Narcissa leading. Each step, purposeful; every movement, deliberate. Like a flamenco dancer, the woman was graceful yet strong. Her hand had slipped from Hermione's waist to her lower back a verse-and-a-half ago, and the Gryffindor could feel those ice-blue eyes fixed upon her.

She felt secure in the older witch's arms. The brunette had almost forgotten her personal struggle with sexuality. The Death Eater's question earlier that evening made her wonder – did she prefer the fairer sex? Or was the woman an exception? The idea of relationships came a natural second to her love affair with knowledge. But now she had forgone excursions and squandered study hours for a chance – a helpless chance – that the impossible would arise. The Gryffindor hadn't forgotten that her dance partner was married, or that she was deceived when making the Vow, or that she was an elitist much like her sister. How could she ever forget? There was as much guilt as there was love. She was divided. Could she ask the woman to love her? Would the Vow allow that? Hermione questioned if it would be natural – forced rather than given. It was selfish to even consider especially since she had done all of this for Harry. But what would be her friend's gain would be her sacrifice and didn't she deserve to get what she wanted just once?

The music had softened to only the tremors of resting instruments. The fingers which had led her, now gently tilted her chin to meet the woman's gaze.

"Tell me who you are, Hermione."

It was anything but rhetoric. Her name on the woman's lips made her freeze; yet it was her eyes that rendered her mute. The ice in them was beginning to thaw.


Twenty-three minutes earlier

Never had the aristocrat imagined – not in a million years that she would let a Mudblood into her home, let alone dine with one. It was something that made her feel unclean, and frankly rather ill. As a child she would applaud her father when he announced a new 'hi-score' – never had she herself killed one, but it had once been an adolescent fantasy to 'cleanse' England.

But things had changed since then. She had settled for a world of purity that became off limits to whom were not akin. And that had been good enough. Of course, life didn't remain simple. The Dark Lord had chosen them – and thus, she became faithful to Him first and her husband second. It was Bella who proposed that she secure the unity of the Pureblood families. So for years Narcissa knelt between the legs of Lords and Ladies; overtaking their minds by overwhelming them with power and wealth before ensnaring them within their most shameful requests.

It wasn't until tonight that she realised she couldn't do it. Not with her. She could fabricate lies to fool the world but she couldn't convince herself. There was only so much pretending she could do. Falling into the role of the lover was simple with Purebloods, even Half-Bloods, but impossible with Mudbloods.

A robin would never care for a caterpillar. Her mother used to say.

Pride stood in the way. The Mudblood was beneath her. The plan was flawed and the façade would soon come crashing down around them. There was just one curiosity that she could no longer suppress. So whilst dessert was being served, she separated her mind from her thoughts and penetrated the unknowing Gryffindor's memories.