Part two :) Enjoy and thank you for your continued support and interest! I love your reviews, keep them up!
It was while of rash and hazy movements until Hermione realized they were headed towards the astronomy tower.
She couldn't quite put her feet infront of her in the correct way, but somehow Madame Delacour managed to bring her into a small chamber near the tower in one piece.
The room was dim and filled with the heavy scent of french perfume.
Hermione blinked but before she could take her surroundings in close, the other woman had pressed her into a chair and put a wet cloth in her face. Hermione hissed when it touched the scratch on her cheek.
"Now! Do not turn away. You will be zankfull for zis later."
Hermione held still until a wave of energy crawled over he cheek. She shivered and felt how the pain eased
"What was that?"
"'ave you never heart of silent magic, girl?"
"That wasn't silent magic. It felt different."
For the first time she stared directly into Madame Delacour's eyes - cold blue outside and inside. Hermione thought for the first time the woman looked a little human as she stared back at he. Then the olde woman sighed and seated herself in front of her.
"Mademoiselle Granger... 'ermione. I was told zat you are very bright and I can see it is true. Zat should make this conversation easier. I warn you, listen carefully, I do not like to repeat myself."
She patted down her gloved hands her silken dress and pointed to the gash on Hermione's cheek.
"Were zis caused by Fleur in 'er 'uman form, I could 'ave 'ealed it witz... a mere glance. 'ow it is, it will 'ave to 'eal naturally. Zis strenght is just one of ze many abilities zat lie in my daughter... she 'as powers over wind and storm, and water... zis is what made 'er so fast in ze lake, if you wondered. She can hypnotize rooms of people and command to do whatever she pleases. Do you realize zis? 'Ow powerful and dangerous she is?"
Hermione pressed her lips together and gave merely a nod.
Madame Delacour crossed her hands.
"Water is were all of zis began... love and water cursed and blessed my kind. For all our might is caused by the betrayal of beloved in ze past and can perish it once again until we truly die."
"What do you -"
"Do not interrupt me!"
"That I 'ave to tell zese zings to a 'uman girl as it is...", murmured the french woman, before she calmed down again.
Somewhere in all he weakness and confusion Hemrione found he stubbornness again.
"I'm not only human", she said in a clear voice. "I am muggleborn, in case you wondered."
The older woman glared at her.
"I know zat."
They both stared at each other angrily until a twisted smile crept up the French's lips.
"Impudence and intelligence always drew my daughter in... you would find some of 'er past lovers very agreeable I zink. But she did never condescend to taking a girl... not zat I didn't know zese she 'ad zese desires. You see, Mademoiselle Granger, zis would never 'ave 'appened, if she 'ad accepted my teachings. If she 'ad learned 'ow to be what she is. I am willing to admit my 'usband 'as some fault in zis... it was 'er choice, 'owever. Now ze water in 'er is just a mere chaotic mess of power, a power zat could consume 'er. But be sure zat if it comes to zat it will consume you first."
The words thrummed loudly in Hermione's ears. And beneath it there was a melody, a memory that already seemed so long ago...
Don't go on the cursed water.
But you will soon be a man,
You will laugh at my crazy terror
And you will sail just like
Your older brothers, sailors without fear.
She gripped the edges of her chair.
"I know that I am Fleur's mate. I accepted it. And I decided to help her."
Fleur's mother gave a bitter chuckle.
"''elp 'er. Ze only way you can 'elp 'er is not controllable, neither by 'er nor you. Fleur tried to restrain 'erself and so did you. See to what it led... and to what it will lead. You are bright enough to see zat."
At this point something in Hermione snapped.
"OH for Merlin's sake! What do you want from me? I could have reported your daughter for what she did to me, I could have left her alone! I didn't! Because I respect her. It is the minimum of what you as her mother should feel to, and if you are capable of feeling anything like that.. I beg you, just tell me what I can do. What are you here for? To scold at me, your daughters, to be hurt in your pride? If you are so powerful as you say, then do something, stop that blackmailing reporter and help your daughter!"
After her little speech, that left her shaking, Madame Delacour stared at her for a long time. It didn't seem to end. The room was dusty and the perfume irritated Hermione's nose.
Finally the older woman stood up and half-dissapeared in the darkness.
"I 'ave, Mademoiselle Granger", she started slowly, "Not only ze responsibility for my daughters, or family... but for the future of my kind in my country. Zis burden 'as taken from me my brozer. You 'ave no place to judge. You do not know what you speak of."
Hermione closed her eyes.
"I am muggleborn. Do you really believe I don't know what you are feeling? How can you be what you are and judge people in your situation?"
The french woman inhaled sharply.
"Whatever... the reasons and 'istory behind all zis and my beliefs are - it is of no matter to you. If you truly want t 'elp my daughter and my family; I need your corporation. Fully and as quickly as possible. Dumbledore is wrong."
The last par was more whispered. Hermione shut her eyes tighter in concentration.
"Fleur said she spoke with Dumbledore... she wouldn't say what he told her. If he knows... why didn't he interfere? Why didn't you interfere? My life was at stake."
"Dumbledore... 'as a 'istory with my kind as well. And in love. 'e seemed to zink Fleur and you just needed time. Well in my country we never found 'im to be as flawless as you British do."
Hermione opened her eyes again and starred into the darkness stubbornly.
"I think so, too."
Slowly the other woman emerged from the darkness into the dim light again.
"What did you say?"
"I too think we just need more time."
At that a gloved hand shot forward and gripped her chin tightly.
"WE do not 'ave time!", roared Madame Delacour. "If something were to 'appen to you, if she killed you or ze both of you, and zis reporter 'ad 'er story - it would destroy everyzing my brother 'as died for. Imagine what would 'appen to my kind... to my petite Gabrielle!"
It was difficult to speak, but Hermione managed anyway.
"Well, I don't! I can't if you only foreshadow everything!"
In a rough moment the other woman let her go and began pacing.
"It is not my place nor yours. No. If you want to play your part.. and you must! You will come to my mozer's tribe with us. Zis is ze only way."
"To do what?!"
And what she heard haunted her a long way. She didn't know how many hours she wandered Hogwarts' grounds, lost in thought and sheer despair before she found herself - or had someone brought her?- in the Gryffindor common room.
Harry stood there, saying something. She felt someone leave... Professor McGonnagal.
She felt how two tentative hands grasped her arms.
"Hermione", Harry said gently. "What is happening to you?"
And she burst into his arms, crying and for once not the strong one of the two, but forgetting herself in her friend's warm, comforting embrace. She had missed him.