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“Bitter love, a violet with its crown of thorns in a thicket of spiky passions, spear of sorrow, corolla of rage: how did you come to conquer my soul? What brought you?”

-Pablo Neruda

 

 

While Professor Black is speaking about the importance of a clear mind while practicing nonverbal spells, Hermione’s mind is far from clear. She’s entranced by the way the woman moves when she speaks; when she’s talking about something that interests her she stands up straighter and folds her arms, often bringing one hand up to wave a finger on an enunciated word. She’s hardly ever still. Most Professors were rooted to one spot and they merely droned on about a subject but Bellatrix is a breath of fresh air, brimming with insatiable energy. 

She’s a pleasure to observe and her words are honey to Hermione’s ears, even if she cant bring herself to comprehend the meaning behind them. Her eyes travel up the woman’s body from the heeled boots, over the curve of her hips and the skin tight button up that was one button short of being anything resembling appropriate. Her hair is up as it always is, exposing the length of her neck and drawing her eyes up to the wild mass that is barely contained in a loose knot on the back of her head. Her face is the work of art that haunts Hermione’s dreams. Arched eyebrows and dramatic cheekbones contrast against the full, soft curve of her lips. Bellatrix taps a finger on that lower lip as she considers her next words, and Hermione finds her tongue sneaking out to trace her own lip in response. 

Her eyes settle on Hermione’s and she feels heat pooling in her stomach. Those eyes are impossibly dark, inhumanely so, and so incredibly absorbing. They make Hermione want to get closer, as close as she can, to see if she can find a hint of honey in their depths. 

A foot nudging her calf brings her back to her senses. She shoots Harry a glare, but he only jerks his chin toward Bellatrix and widens his eyes like he is trying to tell her something. 

“Shall I repeat myself, Miss Granger?” Bellatrix asks, arching a brow. 

Hermione crosses her legs and squeezes her thighs together, letting out a long, shuddering breath. She wants to hear that voice curling over her first name.  

“Sorry, Professor,” Hermione says, surprised at the huskiness in her voice. 

Bellatrix moves forward, heels clicking on the stone floor, until she reaches Hermione’s desk. She leans a hip on the surface and peers down her nose at the Gryffindor. 

“You know,” Bellatrix says, folding her arms, “I’ve heard you’re quite the know it all in your other classes. Always raising your hand, always hanging on to the professor’s every word. What is it about my class that is so unique? Do I bore you, Granger?” 

Hermione gulps, trying to focus on anything other than the fact that she can smell her when she’s this close. She has an earthy, intoxicating scent; like pine, and the soil after it rains. 

“No, Professor. It’s quite the opposite, actually. I’m merely…too enamored by your lessons to come up with any questions of my own,” 

Someone stifles a snort behind her. Pansy, she thinks. I’ll smack her for that later. 

If that’s true,” Bellatrix drawls, placing the tips of her nails on Hermione’s parchment, “Then you must be taking notes quite diligently,”

Hermione slaps a hand on her parchment to hold it in place, her heart leaping into her throat. The professor’s eyes narrow. Before Hermione can react, Bellatrix stands and moves swiftly behind her, bending over her with one hand on the back of her chair and the other hand on the parchment. She’s pressed against Hermione’s back and she’s enveloped by the smell of Bellatrix’s hair.

Knowing Bellatrix has no intention of letting her get away with her privacy, Hermione sighs and removes her hand. Bellatrix hums directly into her ear, pleased with her compliance and her face burns with embarrassment. 

She’d been doing an incredibly detailed drawing of Bellatrix’s eyes, and in the borders of the parchment she’d doodled dozens of little hearts. Black eyes with long lashes and sharply defined eyebrows stared at them, and Hermione prays she hasn’t done a good enough job for it to be totally obvious who the eyes belonged to. 

Bellatrix snatches the drawing and stalks back to the front of the classroom, slamming it down on her desk. 

“Ten points from Gryffindor,” Bellatrix says in a sing-song voice, “And thats not all. Miss Granger, you’ll be joining me at four o’clock for detention this evening,” 

Hermione should feel embarrassed, or angry, but instead all she feels is excited. The thought of her in this classroom alone with Professor Black has her stomach fluttering like mad. She hears Pansy again, this time coughing to cover another snicker. She whips around and glares at her. The Slytherin only smirks and gives her a sarcastic thumbs up. 

Bellatrix resumes her lesson and Hermione forces herself to listen to what the woman is saying. She keeps her eyes fixed on her fresh page and the tip of her quill flies as she tries to keep up with the main points of the lecture. Still, occasionally Bellatrix will wander too close and that intoxicating, woodsy smell will wash over her, causing her quill to freeze in place until the woman passes. 

When the class ends she darts out of the room as fast as she can. When she’s halfway down the hallway, Pansy’s voice stops her. 

“Wait up, Miss Granger!” 

Hermione turns around, cheeks red, and glares at her friend. Pansy has that infuriating, shit-eating grin on her face as she jogs toward her. Hermione slumps against the wall, letting the other students pass and waiting for Pansy and the rest of her friends to catch up. She braces herself for the inevitable teasing. 

Harry leans against the wall next to her, bumping shoulders with her. Pansy comes to a stop in front of her, arms folded with a smile. Draco arrives last, giving Hermione a look of exasperation. 

“Honestly, Hermione, what is your deal with my aunt? It’s creepy,” 

She gives him a tight shrug, “I just admire her, is all. Don’t you? She’s a legend,” 

Pansy snorts and punches Hermione on the shoulder, “No one else admires her quite like you,” 

Hermione straightens and shoves Pansy’s shoulder right back. Then, she remembers all of Pansy’s embarrassing laughter during that lesson, and she smacks her other shoulder with her textbook. 

The Slytherin gives an overdramatic squeak and Harry howls with laughter. Draco rolls his eyes, walking away from them. 

“You’re all embarrassing,” He calls over his shoulder. 


Hermione is ten minutes early to detention. The classroom is empty, silent, as Hermione lets the door click shut behind her. She runs her fingertips lightly across each desk as she wonders where to sit, before setting her stuff on the one closest to Bellatrix’s desk at the front. She glances  at the door, then at the clock by the door, confirming she still has time before Bellatrix will arrive. 

Hesitating for only a moment, she decides the risk is worth the reward and meanders behind the professors desk. A photograph catches her eye first. It’s Bellatrix with two other women, one that has her curls, and the other she recognizes as Narcissa Malfoy. Bellatrix looks happier than Hermione has seen her, and more genuine than she looked in any of the Daily Prophet clippings she has saved in a shoebox. There is another photo of an adorable, chubby baby mid-laugh. And next to that, one with Bellatrix from her Auror days next to a large team of Aurors. Hermione is able to pick out enough familiar faces to recognize them as the team that took down Voldemort before he could start another war. Bellatrix, of course, is famous for discovering and orchestrating the destruction of Voldemort’s Horcruxes, and in the end was the witch who fired the curse that killed him. It had been a team effort, but the key points could not have been achieved without Bellatrix Black. 

There is a planner open on the desk, and Bellatrix’s messy handwriting fills each column and spills into the margins. Hermione finds today’s date, and sees meet with Sprout before detention with Granger. 

Hermione runs her pointer finger over her name in Bellatrix’s handwriting. She loves that Bellatrix even knows who she is. She wishes she could go back in time just to tell her younger self that one day Bellatrix Black will know her name, that she will have an opportunity to learn from the woman herself. 

She gives the door another glance before reaching down to open the top drawer. It’s neatly organized; spare quills, a bottle of ink, a leather bound notebook, and a folded piece of parchment. She unfolds it, and finds Bellatrix’s eyes staring up at her. A smile sneaks onto her face. She kept it. 

The notebook is tempting, but it is getting too close to four for comfort. She leaves the drawing where she found it, shuts the drawer and sits at her desk to wait. 

Hardly a moment after she sits down, the door bangs open behind her. She listens to Bellatrix’s approach, fumbling for her parchment and quill. When she sees Bellatrix’s feet stop in front of her, she drags her eyes up her body until she reaches her disapproving glare. 

“What has you so distracted in my class, Granger?” 

“I-I’m not distracted,” 

The professor rolls her eyes, “Then write me something that proves you give a damn,” 

She turns on her heel and sinks into her chair, propping her feet up on the desk. Hermione sits in silence for a minute, staring at the blank parchment. Then she looks back at Bellatrix, who already has a book out and her glasses on. 

“Um…was there something specific you wanted…?” 

Bellatrix pulls her eyes from her book with great effort. She waves a hand dismissively, “I don’t really care. Just show me you care, or I’ll see you back here tomorrow,” 

She goes back to her book and Hermione continues to look at her. She’s reading a Herbology book. That is something Hermione didn’t know about her. There is something incredibly endearing about the thought of Bellatrix caring about plants. Something occurs to her then, and she gets to work on her paper. 

The paper takes her over an hour of constant writing to complete. She could swear she feels Bellatrix’s eyes on her at multiple points, but she refuses to break her focus by meeting them. She wishes she had more time. With a subject like this, she could spend several more hours working on it without breaking focus, but her peek at Bellatrix’s planner told her she has a dinner with her sisters to get to that evening. Despite that, Bellatrix is quiet the entire time, and probably would’ve let her keep going without saying a word. 

Bellatrix observes at her over the rim of her glasses when she places the papers in front of her. 

“I think you’ll find this satisfactory,” Hermione says, turning to gather her things. 

“This is about me,” Bellatrix says, a note of surprise in her voice. 

“It is,” Hermione says, slinging her bag over her shoulder and turning to face her. 

Bellatrix’s brow is furrowed and there is a myriad of emotions playing across her face when she raises her eyes to stare at Hermione. 

“…I asked you to write about the Defense Against the Dark Arts,”

“No. You asked me to prove to you that I care about your class and what you have to say. I think you’ll find that adequate proof that I am very interested in what you have to teach me,” 

Bellatrix only blinks at her, and Hermione whirls away and strides out of the room, waiting until the door shut behind her to let a smile bloom on her face. 


A week later and Bellatrix is in a terrible mood. It seemed like things were getting better; Hermione had been making point to think with her brain and not…well, any other part of her body, and Bellatrix seemed pleased. She pushed Hermione harder than any other student. A simple question often turned into a heated debate that always left Hermione with more knowledge than she arrived with. There was a glint in Bellatrix’s eyes when Hermione talked back to her, and that glint ignited something in her that only made her want to argue more. She left the room every day feeling flushed and alive. 

Today is another story. No answer any student comes up with is right. Bellatrix paces the room, arms folded and a scowl on her face.

“You’re all hopeless,” she growls, “Granger, to the front, please,” 

Hermione stands and scurries to the front of the room. Bellatrix stops her pacing so she stands about fifteen feet from Hermione. With an irritated flick of her wand, all the desks and chairs in the room scoot back five feet, to the shock of all the students. 

“You need a hands on approach if any of this is going to stick with you,” Bellatrix says, “Wand at the ready,” 

Hermione raises her wand. Bellatrix mirrors her, and gives her a small bow. Hermione does the same, and as soon as she straightens, Bellatrix throws a wordless disarming spell her way. 

Protego!” Hermione cries, The shield deflects the spell in the nick of time. 

“No words!” Bellatrix demands, firing again. 

Hermione throws up her defense again, but it is twice as hard to accomplish without words. Bellatrix is too fast for her to get out any offensive spells. It’s shield after shield, and Bellatrix is relentless. She begins weaving through the tables, firing spells at her over student’s heads. Sweat glistens on Hermione’s forehead, and Bellatrix is completely effortless in her movements. 

She notices that the longer Bellatrix comes at her, each shield becomes easier to cast. It starts to feel like she’s reacting on instinct, like her body’s natural defenses were taking over. Still, her arm burns and she is growing increasingly hot under the collar. The exhilaration on Bellatrix’s face isn’t helping. There’s a smirk tugging at the woman’s dark red lips and her chest is heaving. Her eyes flicker to Bellatrix’s mouth for half a second, and it’s long enough for a stinging jinx to sneak through and catch her on the shoulder. 

Hermione hisses but doesn’t cease in her defense. Bellatrix’s eyebrow quirks, the faintest look of pride passing over her face. The expression is enough to give Hermione the strength to survive the assault for another minute, and then it’s over. 

Bellatrix drops her arm, her jaw twitching as she tries to keep a smile off of her face. Hermione stumbles, reaching out a hand to steady herself against Bellatrix’s desk. 

Pansy is the first to start clapping, the rest of the class erupting shortly after. Hermione tries to read Bellatrix to no avail. 

“Quiet,” Bellatrix says, and the students obey, “Granger, how do you think you did?” 

“Not good enough,” she huffs, still short of breath. 

“Why do you say that?”

“I couldn’t get off a single offensive spell,” Hermione says, straightening when she finally catches her breath, “I wasn’t fast enough,” 

Bellatrix tsks, approaching Hermione at the front of the room, “You were faster and stronger than some witches twice your age. You tapped into that natural fight or flight instinct, didn’t you? And which did you choose?” 

“Fight,” Hermione grumbles, fighting a blush. Her eyes fall to her feet as Bellatrix gets closer. 

Everything is quiet for a moment, and then Hermione’s world stutters to a halt when she feels a cool hand on her cheek. Bellatrix’s hand rests there, and Hermione leans her cheek into her almost against her will. Bellatrix’s hand lowers to cup her chin and raise her head so she is forced to meet her eyes. 

Bellatrix’s gaze is smoldering, consuming. Hermione falls into it, completely forgetting they have an audience. Bellatrix looks like she’s trying to figure her out, the faintest line appearing between her eyebrows. Bellatrix’s eyes flit across her face and she blinks, seeming to remember herself. She drops her and and steps away. 

“You will keep improving, but know you are leagues ahead of your peers,” Bellatrix moves behind her desk and collapses onto her chair, exhausted. She waves her hand. “Class dismissed,” 

Hermione walks back to her desk slowly while the rest of the class stands to leave. Harry pats her on the back and Draco whispers, “nice job, Hermione,” as he passes her. Pansy squeezes her arm and widens her eyes with a look that says we’ll talk later. 

Hermione packs her things as slowly as she can so that she’s the last student in the room. Once they’re alone, she turns to Bellatrix, who’s staring out the window. 

She lets out a nervous breath. The woman still puts her on edge, and that edge only sharpens when they’re alone. Hermione wants to be closer to her, to learn more about her, than she’s ever wanted anything in her life. 

“Um, Professor?” 

“Hmm, yes, what is it?” Bellatrix says glancing up at her. 

Hermione shifts her weight from one foot to the other, “Uh, is everything okay with you?” 

Bellatrix looks at her in disbelief, “Thats none of your business,” 

“Maybe not, but you can still…talk to me, um, if you wanted,” 

Bellatrix continues to stare at her, “Why would I do that?” 

Hermione can’t come up with a response. She can’t stop the look of of disappointment on her face as her shoulders sag. She turns to leave, but before she can reach the door Bellatrix’s voice stops her. 

“Granger,” she says, irritated, “wait,” 

Hermione turns back to her with wide eyes. Bellatrix looks incredibly annoyed with herself. She waves a hand, motioning for Hermione to come back towards her. Hermione obliges, perching on the edge of the desk closest to Bellatrix’s. 

Bellatrix points at her, giving her a stern look, “I am only telling you this because you stood your own in a duel against me. Most students wouldn’t have lasted 5 seconds against me, let alone 5 minutes,” 

Hermione nods eagerly. Bellatrix drops her hand and taps her fingernails on her desk. 

“It’s my sister,” Bellatrix finally says, “She doesn’t want me to stay with her for winter break, like I usually do,” 

“Why not?” 

“Something about me ‘causing too much drama last year’ and ‘you cant star’t a duel with Sirius over the dinner table and expect to be invited back, Bella,’” 

“Oh,” Hermione says, trying to find a way to be on Bellatrix’s side, “Well, have you apologized?” 

Bellatrix looks at her like she’s grown a second head, “He started it,” 

“Uh, well, you don’t have to mean it,” 

“I never apologize if I don’t mean it,” 

“Okay…well that’s…um, I’m sorry. What will you do if you cant go?” 

“Stay here, I suppose,” Bellatrix says, “There’s nowhere else for me to go,” 

Hermione’s heart aches at the thought. 

“Maybe she’ll change her mind,” Hermione says. 

Bellatrix shrugs, “I doubt it. Narcissa’s not one to change her mind once she’s decided something,” 

No, Hermione thinks, But I know one weakness of hers. 


“Draco!” Hermione calls, finding him at the Slytherin table that evening. Pansy and Draco are sitting together, and they both perk up at her voice. 

“Merlin, Hermione, I’ve been dying to talk to you!” Pansy says, scooting over to make room for Hermione between them. Hermione sits down and Pansy grabs her knee excitedly, “I cant believe she touched your face like that in front of everyone. I’ve never seen her be that nice to someone, like, ever,” 

“I know. I was more nervous when she touched me than I was when she was trying to curse me,” Hermione laughs. 

“Merlin,” Pansy says again, “That was so hot. Do you think you might actually have a chance with her? I mean, if you asked me yesterday I’d have said not a chance in hell, but now…” 

“Um, guys,” Draco says, “Do you mind? Thats my aunt you’re talking about,” 

“Oh, don’ t be such a baby, Draco,” Pansy laughs. 

“Actually, Draco, I wanted to ask you something,” Hermione says. 

“Great,” He says, dropping his fork with a clatter, “What do you want?” 

“I talked to Professor Black after class and she’s upset because your mother said she’s not allowed to come to your house for Christmas holidays,” 

Draco snorts, “That doesn’t surprise me. She just about destroyed the dining hall last year,” 

“Well, maybe you could ask your mother to reconsider,” 

“You’re only saying that because I’ve invited all of you this year,” 

“Maybe,” Hermione says, “But thats not all. Draco, she seemed really sad. She said she’ll stay here all alone if she doesn’t get to go. She doesn’t have anyone else,” 

“She doesn’t need anyone else. She was just trying to manipulate you,” 

“Thats not true. Everyone needs someone. And she wasn’t telling me to talk to you about it, I’m doing it on my own. She doesn’t know,” 

Draco sighs. 

“Come on, Draco, stop being such a prat,” Pansy says, reaching across Hermione to ruffle his hair. 

“Yeah, come on Draco,” Hermione says, mimicking Pansy’s whiney voice and joining her in messing up his hair. 

Draco jerks his head away, “Fine! Just stop with the hair,” 

“Ohh this is going to be so fun,” Pansy says, “We’ve got to think of a way for you to get closer to her, Hermione,” 

“What do you mean?” Hermione asks. 

“Oh, I don’t know. There’s got to be a way for you to get some sort of reaction out of her. Do you have any inside information that could help us, Draco? Like, does she even like women?” 

“You can’t think I’m going to help you with this,” Draco says incredulously. 

“Just tell us if she likes women,” Pansy pleads, “You have to know,” 

Draco groans, “I don’t want to tell you. You’re being creepy,” 

Pansy squeals, “That has to mean she does! If she didn’t, you’d just tell us!” 

Hermione laughs, “Pansy, seriously, you don’t think I actually have a chance do you? It’s ridiculous,” 

“Oh I think you do, but I think someone like her needs a big push. She strikes me as the possessive type. Listen, you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I think I have an idea,” 

Draco groans again. 


Pansy’s plan is crazy, and Hermione tells her as much. She feels like she’s been getting closer to Bellatrix on her own lately, and she’s afraid of messing up that progress by playing games with her. The Christmas holidays were in two weeks, though, and Hermione can’t shake the feeling that this break will be a huge opportunity to get closer to her professor, in whatever way she could. 

The following weeks Hermione stays after class to try to connect with her. It’s surprisingly easy for her to come up with an excuse to talk to her. Most days, it’s to go into depth about something she touched on during the lesson. Bellatrix never seems to mind Hermione’s prolonged presence, nor does she seem to mind talking to her more about these subjects. Even though she doesn’t seem to mind, she doesn’t quite seem thrilled about it either. Hermione will take her allowance as a victory. Usually this means she has to run to her next class, but the extra private moments with Bellatrix are worth it. 

After a week of this routine, Bellatrix makes a point to ask Hermione to stay after class one day. 

“It looks I will be going to my sister’s for the holiday after all,” Bellatrix says when the other students cleared out. 

Hermione beams at her, moving to perch on her usual spot at the desk in front of Bellatrix’s, “That’s great, Professor!” 

Bellatrix runs the feather of her quill across her lower lip, considering her, “She also informed me that you and your friends will be joining Draco and that I absolutely must be on my best behavior,” 

“…yes, thats correct,” Hermione says. 

“Did you have something to do with this?” Bellatrix asks. 

“Something to do with what?” Hermione says, feigning ignorance. 

Bellatrix’s voice sharpens, “Don’t play dumb with me, pet. Did you have something to do with Narcissa changing her mind?” 

Hermione’s stomach flutters at being referred to as pet. Maybe it should offended her, but she can’t find it in herself to be. 

“Alright. All I did was mention it to Draco…and suggest that he ask his mother to reconsider,” 

Bellatrix stands and rounds her desk to stand directly in front of Hermione. Hermione is very aware of how fast she’s breathing all of the sudden. Her professor glowers at her and despite them being close in height, she feels very small. 

“That was not your place. You had no right to insert yourself into my affairs like that,” 

“I was only trying to help,” Hermione says quietly. 

“I didn’t ask for your help,” Bellatrix snaps. 

Maybe it was the week of civility between them, or maybe Hermione is just feeling more emotional than usual today, but she finds tears rising in her eyes. She turns away from Bellatrix to hide them but the woman’s hand wraps around Hermione’s arm, just above her elbow, before she could walk away. Hermione freezes. 

“I didn’t ask for it, but…I am thankful for it,” Bellatrix forces out. 

“I’m glad,” Hermione says, her voice trembling. 

Bellatrix’s grip tightens for a moment before she releases her. 

“You may go now, Granger,” 

The dismissal is a reminder that this meeting has been on Bellatrix’s terms. Still, feeling victorious that some form of progress has been made, Hermione leaves the room in a good mood. She’s convinced she can feel Bellatrix’s eyes on her back as she leaves. 

The last day before winter break, Hermione can’t resist getting Bellatrix something for the holidays. It made sense to give it to her now rather than at the Malfoy’s. Instead of waiting to give it to her in private, she leaves it sitting next to her desk for her to find when class begins. 

Bellatrix arrives that day to see a large potted Belladonna plant standing waist high next to her desk. She’s late, so the students are all there to see her reaction, which wouldn’t look like much to the average student, but Hermione is tuned in to her on a level no one else is. 

The Professor rubs one of the leaves between her thumb and forefinger, traces a berry lightly before turning  around and looking directly at Hermione. She’s a little embarrassed to be caught staring, but she only gives the woman a small smile as if to say yes, it was me. 

Bellatrix blinks rapidly and shakes her head, like she’s trying to expel some unwanted thought. And just like that, she snaps herself out of it and into teaching mode. They pair up for duels today, to everyone’s delight. Hermione wishes it wouldn’t look lame to team up with her professor. But then who would kick Harry’s ass? 

In reality, Harry is a formidable opponent. He isn’t as level headed as Hermione by any means, and probably couldn’t hold his own in a duel against Bellatrix for that reason, but he certainly has loads of natural talent. Hermione placates herself by deciding to beat Harry hard enough to impress Bellatrix. 

She’s successful, to Harry’s dismay. When they’re done, all Bellatrix has to say this time is “Granger” and Hermione knows she’s asking her to stay after everyone is gone. Her friends don’t even bother teasing her about it anymore apart from one measly eyebrow wiggle from Pansy on her way out. 

“Why?” Bellatrix asks tiredly. 

“I thought you’d like it,” Hermione says, deciding to be bold today and leaning against Bellatrix’s desk, closer than she usually dares to be. 

Bellatrix frowns up at her, pushing her glasses up so they rest on top of her head. The student tracks the movement eagerly, committing the simple action to memory. 

“I do like it. How did you know I would?” 

“You have a little one already,” Hermione hesitates, then adds, “And I noticed you reading a Herbology book during detention,” 

“Are you always this observant?” Bellatrix is looking at her like she’s trying to figure out her motives. Hermione finds it hard to believe she hasn’t reached the right conclusion on her own yet. Does she want her to know? Hermione decides that yes, part of her does want Bellatrix to know her feelings. She wants her to know everything about her, but she wants her to want to know. And Hermione wanted to know everything in return. 

“I may have a particular inclination to be observant towards you,” Hermione says. 

“Why?” 

Hermione takes a deep breath. If she does this, there is no turning back, no more plausible deniability. She reaches out and traces a finger over Bellatrix’s hand where it rests on the desk in front of her. When she doesn’t move, she traces her fingers higher, ghosting them over Bellatrix’s wrist, up her forearm, her shoulder. She swears she can feel a current of electricity traveling between them at the point of contact and she can’t help but imagine what it would feel like to have that sensation all over her body. 

She makes it all the way up to Bellatrix’s jaw, just below her ear, when Bellatrix grabs her wrist quickly and painfully. Hermione’s eyes fly to the woman’s face, expecting to find outrage, disgust. Instead, she see’s Bellatrix’s wide, confused eyes and parted lips and Hermione wants so desperately to fall forward, crawl into her lap and taste those deceptively inviting lips, but she knew it was too soon. This simple touch she could get away with. 

Hermione moves to take her hand away but Bellatrix’s grip doesn’t loosen. Her gaze is cloudy, and Hermione explores it, trying to understand what she’s thinking. Before she can figure it out, she lets her go. Hermione darts out of the room and the professor doesn’t say a word. Her wrist is red and irritated from the grip, and Hermione intends on cherishing it until it fades. 


Hermione has been to Malfoy Manor once before but her memory didn’t do it justice. It’s more gothic and extravagant than she remembers, as if her mind had oversimplified it in order for its existence to even make sense. She can't imagine growing up in a place like this. She’d get lost trying to get a glass of water in the middle of the night on a regular basis. The grounds around it are just as over the top. There aren’t any other properties as far as the eye can see, and the place is surrounded by perfectly manicured landscaping. It must’ve taken a small army of house elves to look after such a place. 

She’d also misremembered Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy; that or the couple had grown more intimidating with age. She never knows how to interact with someone like Lucius, and she can imagine what an odd dynamic it must be with Bellatrix, considering their history. Lucius had been a loyal follower of Voldemort before Bellatrix got her hands on him thanks to Narcissa’s help. Hermione imagines that Bellatrix used Draco’s future as a means to manipulate Narcissa into turning against her husband. One of Hermione’s old Daily Prophet newspaper clippings was of the headlining story of Bellatrix Black torturing her own brother-in-law for information on the Dark Lord, and how the man hadn’t lasted a day before he broke and gave them everything in exchange for a reduced sentence. And now here he was, like he hadn’t served under one of the most notorious dark wizards of all time. Soon, Bellatrix will be here too, as if she hadn't tortured him for information. 

“It’s nice to see you again, Madame Malfoy,” Hermione says, “And hello, Mister Malfoy, how are you?” 

Lucius clears his throat, “I’m doing well, miss Granger, thank you,” 

“Right then,” Narcissa says, “Come now children, Draco will show you to your rooms. You’ll all be staying on the same floor as Draco, won’t that be nice?” 

Narcissa doesn’t wait for a response, only ushering Draco up the stairs. Harry, Hermione,  and Pansy followed behind him, relieved that the short and uncomfortable interaction was over. 

“Have you given any more thought to my plan?” Pansy whispers to Hermione while they round the second flight of stairs, “This would be the perfect time to start,” 

“I still don’t know. I think I’m making enough progress the way things are. I don’t want to push her,” 

“A woman like that isn’t going to succumb if we don’t apply the right pressure. Plus, if things don’t go the way you want, we can just fake a break up,” 

Hermione considers this. She imagines the was Bellatrix’s eyes would look glinting with jealousy. She wants her to feel possessive over her. 

“I’ll take your silence as a yes,” Pansy says. 

“You don’t have to whisper,” Draco says, and they almost bump into him when he stops at the third floor, “This is house is huge, my parents wont hear you,” 

“Right,” Pansy says, “Sorry, this house just feel so weirdly silent that talking at a normal volume feels wrong,” 

Harry nods in agreement. Draco grabs his arm and steers him to the right. 

“Pansy, Hermione, you’re the first two doors on the left there. Pick either one,” Draco calls as he disappears into a room with Harry in tow. 

“They’d be cute together,” Pansy says wistfully when the door shuts behind them. 

Right away Hermione feels more uncomfortable without Draco nearby. She has this odd sensation that if she moves too fast, she’ll somehow magically knock over an incredibly expensive crystal vase. 

Pansy rolls her eyes and shakes her shoulder, “Come on, these rooms face the front of the manor. If you pick one now you might be able to catch Bellatrix’s arrival. She ought to be arriving soon, right?” 

Hermione figures there’s a chance. She picks the room closest to the staircase, feeling very alone as soon as the door shuts behind her. 

The room is three times the size of her room at home. Merlin, Draco’s room must’ve been the size of the entire first floor of Hermione’s house. This guest room is decorated with a light, airy feel to it; the sheets and curtains are a crisp white and the wardrobe on the wall to her left is a lighter, distressed looking wood. Narcissa certainly has an excellent eye for interior design. 

There’s three large windows on the wall opposite the door, flooding the room with daylight. The clouds are heavy and Hermione can feel the crisp air radiating from the window and she wished for snow. She could think of nothing more romantic than a cold, snowy evening curled up by the fireplace with the holiday quickly approaching. 

For now, Hermione drops her bags on the bed and curls up by the window alone. From here she can see all the way to the gate that wraps around the perimeter and beyond. She watches the spot where she, Harry, Pansy and Draco Apparated to, willing Bellatrix’s dark figure to materialize. She watches until the sun goes down before she finally gives up. She sighs and draws the curtains shut so she can change for dinner. Draco had informed them that dinners in the Malfoy household tended to be a stiff, formal affair. It’s another detail that makes Hermione shudder when she imagines growing up like that. 

She made sure to pack plenty of formal attire but knowing there was a possibility that Bellatrix could show up at any moment makes picking out which dress to wear extremely stressful. She’s wearing a slip when theres a knock at the door. She cracks it open and sees Pansy standing there looking absolutely beautiful in a shimmering silver dress, and she glares. 

“Damn it, theres no way I can pull off a better look than that,” 

Pansy laughs and pushes her way into the room, “Please, like it’s even a competition. Professor Black only has eyes for you,” 

Hermione rolls her eyes, trying her best not to let Pansy get her hopes up. 

“Anyway, I’m here because I have predicted that you wouldn’t be able to decide what to wear which would ultimately lead to you picking something too tame,” 

Pansy sits cross legged on the bed next to Hermione’s open bag and begins rifling through it. She frowns when the outfits never stop coming, realizing theres no bottom to the suitcase. 

“Seriously? You enchanted it so you could, what, pack every single outfit you own?” 

“Shut up. It was easier to just throw everything in rather than try to decide what to bring,”

Pansy groans, then squeals when she produces a silk, forest green dress, “This one! It has to be this one. It’s even her house color,” 

Hermione’s pleasantly surprised at the choice. She wiggles it on over her head and it falls perfectly around her. The thin crisscrossing straps make her feel better about how low cut it is, but after her waist it flows beautifully down to her ankles. On top, it’s revealing and tight while remaining elegant. 

“Damn,” her friend whistles, “Yeah, that’s the one,” 

Pansy insists she wear her hair up, so she lets her style it into something as elegant as her bushy locks would allow. She applies a light amount of makeup, too. After all of this effort, Bellatrix better show up tonight. They run into Draco and Harry at the top of the stairs, and Hermione’s relieved they don’t have to go down alone. Not to mention she wasn’t sure where the dining room was in the first place. 

“You both look very handsome,” Hermione says genuinely. 

Harry’s wearing a simple white button up and a long black dress coat over it, while Draco is dressed in an all black, three piece suit. 

Harry’s giving them a dorky smile and Draco looks impressed, “You both look perfectly acceptable,” he says. 

“Aww, thanks Draco,” Pansy says, pretending to wipe a tear. 

Narcissa and Lucius are already in the dining room when they arrive, and the food is waiting for them on the table. Pansy and Hermione sit on one side, and Harry and Draco are on the opposite side. 

“You children all look lovely,” Narcissa comments, taking a sip of wine, “Would anyone else like some?” 

“I would,” Hermione says at the same time as Pansy. 

Narcissa waved her wand and the girls glasses filled with a wine as red and dark as Bellatrix’s favorite shade of lipstick. 

The glass is halfway to Hermione’s lips when a loud bang in the direction of the front of the house made her freeze. She looks at Narcissa, who just looks annoyed. 

“Where is everybody? Helloooo!” 

Bellatrix! Hermione thinks, a flood of emotions making a blush rise to her cheeks. 

“That would be my sister. Excuse me,” Narcissa rises from the head of the table to make her way to the entrance hall. 

“Draco,” Pansy hisses, “Scoot down a seat,” 

Draco looks exhausted suddenly, but he obliges, swapping his picked at plate with the full plate and moving his glass down. Now, the only available seats were across from or next to Hermione. 

Hermione glances at Lucius, who just looks very interested in the ice in melting in his glass of whisky. She takes a long swig of her own glass, finding it too easy to down the whole thing. There’s a surprising sweetness to it, and a warm feeling floods through her. The glass is enchanted to refill once emptied, as Hermione discovers when she reaches the bottom. She shoots Pansy an anxious look and downs that glass, too. 

The doors to the dining room burst open and Hermione jumps, even though she knew she was coming. Bellatrix Black strode into the room, eyes flitting over everyone at the table. Hermione could feel the blush creeping up her neck and spreading across her cheeks as she took in Bellatrix’s attire. She was showing more skin than she has ever seen of her before. The dress is as red as Hermione’s wine with a sinfully high slit going from the bottom of the dress all the way up her thigh. The top of the dress is dangerously low cut and Hermione’s gaze lingers there for way too long. Hermione is almost too busy trying not to drool to notice that Bellatrix’s eyes have stopped on her. 

When she finally meets the woman’s eyes she fells a shocking surge of heat between her legs. Bellatrix smirks like she knows exactly what she’s feeling. Hermione bites her lip, completely unable to stop herself from continuing to drink Bellatrix in. 

“Granger,” Bellatrix greets, her voice low, “You clean up nice,” 

“So do you,” Hermione says without thinking. 

Bellatrix also seems reluctant to take her eyes off of Hermione, and she takes the seat across from her without breaking eye contact. Hermione raises her glass to her lips again, keeping her eyes locked with Bellatrix when she takes a sip. 

“Nice to see you too, Bellatrix,” Lucius says. 

Bellatrix tares her eyes from Hermione to look at him, making a noise of disgust. Narcissa takes her previous spot at the head of the table and took a long drink from her wine. 

“This looks lovely, Narcissa,” Bellatrix says, stabbing into the slab of meat on her place with fervor. Hermione watches her tear into her food with surprising ferocity and she ponders what else she is capable of consuming in such a manor. 

She pauses only to take a swig of the wine Narcissa provided for her and Hermione just stares at her. She feels like she’s watching a lioness devour its prey with the way Bellatrix is eating. Hermione crosses her legs, desperately wanting some kind of friction. She had never been quite this turned on in Bellatrix’s presence before. 

Maybe it’s the wine, Hermione wonders, drinking more of it. Hermione absentmindedly cuts off a piece of the seared duck in front of her, and it is actually incredibly delicious. 

She eats and drinks until she feels hot despite her revealing dress. She’s almost done when she feels Pansy’s hand on her thigh. 

“Do you want to go upstairs?” She asks, her voice low. 

Three drinks ago, Hermione might’ve blushed or asked what she was doing. But she’s drunk, and she wants Bellatrix to want her. 

“Okay,” Hermione says, grinning. 

“Dinner was lovely, Miss Malfoy,” Pansy says, standing and pulling Hermione up with her, “If you’ll excuse us,” 

Hermione giggles as Pansy pulls her out of the room. She casts a glance over her shoulder and finds Bellatrix’s eyes, and they’re black and angry, sending a thrill running down her spine.

The girls dissolve into giggles as soon as Hermione’s door shuts behind them. Pansy grips Hermione’s arms and gives her a little shake. The world spins when she does it, and Hermione feels like her scalp is being tickled. 

“Merlin, did you see the way she looked at you when she got here? She wanted to eat you alive,” 

Hermione wraps her arms around Pansy’s shoulders, “Thank you for helping me,” 

“You hardly need it,” Pansy says, squeezing her around the waist, “That woman is mad for you, she just doesn’t know it yet,” 

“You’re a good friend,” Hermione sighs. 

Pansy pulls back to give her an odd look, her hands remaining on her waist. Something occurs to Hermione then that never has before. She surges forward and presses her lips to Pansy’s in a sloppy kiss. She pulls back almost immediately, looking at Pansy with wide eyes. Pansy looks confused, but she slowly leans in and kisses Hermione. Hermione’s eyes slip shut and Bellatrix’s face appears in her mind. She can almost imagine the lips on her are fuller, softer, meaner. Her fingers wind into Pansy’s straight, silky hair and she imagines the way Bellatrix’s hair would curl around her fingers, trapping them. Hermione is throbbing inside, and she desperately wants release, but not like this. 

Pansy pulls away and lets out a little sigh, “Sorry, this is weird,” 

Hermione stares at her for a moment and then throws her head back and laughs, “Oh no, I’m so sorry,”

Pansy rolls her eyes and pulls her friend towards the bed. She wiggles out of her dress and Hermione stares, trying to figure out what was happening. Before she can ask, Pansy begins rifling through Hermione’s suitcase and pulls out two nightshirts. She tosses one to Hermione and pulls it over her head. Once they’re changed they climb into bed together, facing one another. 

“Why are you helping me with this?” Hermione asks, once they’re settled and shrouded in darkness. 

“Because you hooking up with Bellatrix Black would be legendary. And because I know how much you really like her. I actually think that under different circumstances you’d be a perfect match,” 

“Is that all?” 

Pansy is quiet for a moment, “I guess it wouldn’t hurt if in the process of making Bellatrix jealous, we made someone else jealous, too,” 

Hermione tries to contain the surge of excitement she feels at the admission. Pansy never caught feelings, not since she’d known her. “Who?” She asks, as casually as she can. 

Pansy giggles, not buying her act for a second, “I’m telling you because I know how bad you really want to know. I may have the tiniest…crush on Ginny Weasley,” 

Hermione is stunned, “Woah, really? Oh, that’s so cute!” 

“Ugh, don’t. It’s frustrating. Every time I try to flirt with her she thinks I’m mocking her or trying to trick her into being my friend so I can, like, learn her weaknesses,” 

Hermione hums, “You need to work on your delivery. I’ll help you. Pretend I’m Ginny and ask me out on a date,” 

“…You cant be serious,” 

Hermione is quiet, glaring even though Pansy probably can’t see her in the darkness. Eventually Pansy sighs, “Hi Ginny, can I talk to you for a second?” 

“Why?”

“I have a question to ask you,” Pansy grits out. 

“Okay, what?” Hermione says, getting into character. Ginny would not be easy to win over. 

“Well, I was wondering if you’d like to go to Hogsmead with me this weekend and do some window shopping. Then maybe we can stop somewhere and get some butterbeers,” 

Hermione feels that Ginny would squint suspiciously here, so she does, “What are you playing at?” 

“Hermione!” 

“I’m not Hermione!” 

“Ugh, I like you, okay?” Pansy shouts. 

Hermione stifles a giggle, “Say it nicer,” 

Pansy sighs, “Ginny, I like you. I want to date you. And then I want to take you back to the dorms and tell everyone else to get out, and once we’re alone I want to strip off your-“ 

Hermione yells and covers her ears.


 

Hermione wakes up late in the day with a raging headache and a churning stomach. She’s alone in bed and she can hear the distant sounds of chatter floating up from downstairs. She drags herself out of bed and pulls on a robe, wandering out of her room. When she defends the stairs, she finds everyone except Lucius gathered by the fireplace in the living area. Harry, Draco and Pansy are curled up with blankets on the floor next to the window, cups of coffee steaming in their hands. The impossibly tall Christmas tree is behind them, decorated only with silver lights. Narcissa is in an armchair reading the paper and Bellatrix is curled up in the corner of the couch cradling a book, glasses slipping down her nose. Her hair is piled up on her head and she’s wrapped in a forest green robe. 

Harry is the first to notice her, “Morning, ‘Mione,” 

She notices that Harry and Draco are sharing a blanket. How curious. Draco smirks at her, “Rough night?” 

Hermione clears her throat, glancing at Pansy who is also smirking, unsurprisingly. She stifles a groan when she remembers their kiss. 

“Granger,” Bellatrix says. 

Hermione’s eyes snap to her. Bellatrix has pushed her glassed up so they rest on her head, and she’s glaring. “Y-yes?” 

Bellatrix picks up a mug from the coffee table and holds it in her direction, “I had a feeling you’d be in need of a cup,” 

Swallowing her nerves, Hermione approaches the couch and perches on the edge of the middle cushion, keeping a good distance from the professor. She takes the cup gratefully, bringing it to her lips to blow on it. 

“I spiked it with a bit of Vitamix,” Bellatrix whispers.

Hermione sips it, and it’s wonderful. There’s a dash of cinnamon, just like she prefers it, and the potion is hardly noticeable. Her headache lessens immediately. Bellatrix is watching her, so she sips more and relaxes into the couch a little, but still far from where she wants to be. 

“I don’t bite,” Bellatrix says like she knows exactly what she’s thinking. 

Hermione doubts that, but she shifts closer to Bellatrix anyway until her thigh is touching Bellatrix’s knee. Hermione feels a little shock at the contact; Bellatrix’s knees are poking out of her robe so the only thing separating them is the thin cotton robe she’s wearing. Bellatrix has gone back to reading, not seeming to mind their closeness. Hermione smiles a little before she notices Narcissa looking at her over the top of the newspaper. 

“How did you sleep, Hermione?” Narcissa asks. 

Hermione’s response is cut off by Pansy plopping down onto the couch, right up against her. She slings her arm over Hermione’s shoulders. “We slept great. Those guest beds of yours are marvelous,”

Hermione looks at Bellatrix instinctively, catching the flash of irritation on her face before it goes blank. She continues to stare at her book, but her knuckles are white where they grip the top of it. Pansy continues to chat with Narcissa until Bellatrix gets up and wordlessly leaves the room. She misses her warmth immediately. 

She sits and pretends to listen to the conversation for a bit longer, before she quietly gets up and leaves in the same direction of Bellatrix. She wonders though the dining room, the kitchen, down a hallway until she finds a set of doors with one cracked open. Hermione pushes through and finds a beautiful library. There’s cold morning light shining on the rows of shelves through a gigantic wall of windows. There’s a sitting area by a fireplace in here as well, and that’s where she finds Bellatrix. 

“Couldn’t stay away?” Bellatrix remarks, “why not stay with your little girlfriend?” 

Hermione ignores her, exploring the shelves closest to where Bellatrix is stretched out on the couch. Her fingers run along the spines as she reads, the only other sound in the room the crackling fireplace. 

She picks a novel on magical creatures and approaches the couch. Bellatrix is taking up the whole thing so Hermione stands in front of her, uncomfortably shifting on her feet. Bellatrix looks up at her and rolls her eyes, pushing herself into a half sitting position and pulling her legs up so there’s room for her to sit. Hermione settles into the sliver of space Bellatrix allowed, snug against her legs again. She sighs happily, opening her book. 

They read like that for a few minutes, Hermione enjoying being in her presence in such a casual way. 

“When did that start?” Bellatrix asks suddenly, “You and Parkinson,” 

Hermione clenches her jaw, trying not to laugh. She schools her features into a serious expression, “Does it bother you?” 

Bellatrix glowers, “No, why would it?” 

Bellatrix goes back to reading, but Hermione wraps a hand around her exposed ankle and her eyes snap back up. 

“Good,” Hermione says, “It shouldn’t,” 

Bellatrix shifts closer to her, tucking her legs under her and bracing her arm on the back of the couch, behind Hermione’s shoulders. She can feel her breath on her face, can feel the heat of her pressing into her shoulder. 

“And why shouldn’t it?” 

Hermione cant look anywhere other than her lips, “I already told you. Before, in your class,” 

“Hmm,” Bellatrix hums, bringing her hand up to trace Hermione’s cheek. She can hardly believe this is happening. Bellatrix is touching her, no, caressing her, “But you didn’t say anything, not really,”

Hermione wracks her brain, trying to figure out what the woman wants to hear. Before she can come up with anything, Bellatrix leans in and speaks right into her ear, her lips brushing against the shell, “You think I don’t know you think about me? I’ll bet you think about me when you’re with her. Do you imagine it’s me touching you?” 

The hand caressing her cups her jaw, fingers digging into her hair as if to stop her from moving away. Hermione wouldn’t dream of it. “Y-yes,” She shudders. A small gasp falls from her lips when she feels teeth on her earlobe, rewarding her response. Her eyes fall shut. 

“Tell me, do you imagine it’s my lips on yours, my hands in your hair?” Bellatrix gives her hair a little tug, “Do you imagine it’s my fingers working inside of you?” 

“Yes,” Hermione says, her voice high pitched and breathy. Pansy had never gotten that far with her, of course, but Bellatrix didn’t need to know that. Bellatrix breaths in sharply at her words, and she presses her forehead against Hermione’s temple. 

Abruptly, Hermione is cold, Bellatrix’s warmth gone from her. She opens her eyes in time to see Bellatrix collapse back against the arm of the couch, cackling like a madwoman. 

“Oh, you’re too easy!” Bellatrix exclaims, taking great pleasure in the heat that immediately rises to Hermione’s cheeks. 

Hermione jumps to her feet, “And you’re vile!”

Bellatrix manages to stifle her laughter, straightening in her spot to fix her with a pointed look, “You needed a cold shock of reality, pet. I’m more than twice your age. What makes you think I could ever look at you that way?” 

“You’ve said yourself that I’m better than anyone else at that school. I can hold my own against you in a duel, who else can say that, student or not? All of those conversations we have, just the two of us…you know as well as I do that the two of us would never run out of things to talk about. Maybe I’m closer to being your equal than anyone else, regardless of age,” 

Any mirth is gone from Bellatrix’s face now. Hermione steps closer and leans down to deliver her next words directly into her face, their noses inches apart, “You can treat me however you like, but it’s not going to change the way I feel about you. Nor will it change the way you feel about me,” 

Bellatrix’s sharp brows twitch in surprise and before she can ruin the moment by opening her mouth, Hermione leaves. 


Dinner that evening is butter poached lobster with white wine as the popular drink of choice. Hermione is set on not drinking until she sees Bellatrix again, dressed in an expensive looking black dress. The woman doesn’t spare her a glance the entire dinner. In fact, she hardly spares anyone a glance, nor does she speak a word. Lucius retires early, as soon as he’s finished 

When Dobby stumbles while carrying away everyone’s empty plates, Hermione leaps up to help him. Bellatrix scoffs at her. Hermione ignores her and helps him carry everything to the kitchen, awkwardly accepting his overzealous thank yous. When she’s on her way back to the dining room, she finds Pansy standing in the archway, waiting for her. 

“What is it?” Hermione asks, confused. 

“It looked like a lot to carry, I was coming to see if you needed more help,” Pansy says, but there’s a mischievous glint in her eyes when she says it. She stops Hermione when she tries to squeeze past her, “Not so fast. Look,” 

She follows Pansy’s gaze above their heads and sees a mistletoe. Pansy has really set this one up perfectly. They are in clear view of Bellatrix, to the point where it would be weird if she wasn’t looking at them. And she was. Hermione glances at her and Bellatrix leans back in her seat and quirks an eyebrow, like she’s challenging her. 

She looks back at Pansy, “Um, alright,” 

Pansy grips her waist and Hermione steadies herself by gripping her shoulders before she brings their lips together. The moment she shuts her eyes Pansy is replaced by Bellatrix. She thinks about their earlier conversation, and she knows Bellatrix knows she’s thinking about her. The thought turns her on, doing this with her professor watching, knowing. She deepens the kiss, her fingers diving into Pansy’s hair. She drags her tongue across Pansy’s bottom lip and with a small noise of surprise, Pansy parts her lips and Hermione slips her tongue inside. 

They pull apart and Hermione seeks out Bellatrix’s gaze, but her stomach sinks when she sees her chair is empty. Everyone else looks incredibly uncomfortable; Narcissa’s eyebrows are raised, Draco is blushing and Harry is looking everywhere else but at them. 

“Did you want us to give you some privacy?” Draco says. 

“Um, sorry,” Hermione says, cheeks hot. 

The students thank Narcissa for another amazing dinner before retiring to the living area to chat and play games late into the evening. At a certain point, Draco admits that Bellatrix saw most of the kiss, but got up and left moments before they parted, muttering something about horny teenagers. 

When everyone else goes to bed, Hermione stays behind to tidy up the living room. Its past midnight when she makes her way up the stairs, trying not to feel unsettled in the dark, quiet house. When she’s walking down the hallway towards her room, it’s quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Still, she doesn’t notice the woman standing in the shadows until she’s coming out of them at her. Hermione would’ve screamed, but Bellatrix pushes her against the wall and covers her mouth with her hand.

“Shut up,” Bellatrix hisses. 

Hermione relaxes against her when she realizes who she is. Bellatrix is pressed against her completely, and she feels an electric energy coursing through her body. Her hands are gripping Bellatrix’s arms and the woman has one hand resting on her throat. She’s pressing down hard enough to hold her in place but not so hard that she can’t breathe. Once she knows she’s not going to scream, Bellatrix moves her hand from her mouth to her shoulder, pressing her harder into the wall. 

“Where do you get off, fucking with me like that?” Bellatrix whispers. There’s something frantic about her. She’s more unraveled than Hermione had ever seen her. She wants to know what she’s like unraveled fully. And slowly, she’s learning the right threads to pull. 

“Pansy is the one that stopped me under the mistletoe. How was that me fucking with you?” The curse sounds odd coming from her, even to Hermione’s own ears. 

Bellatrix huffs out a disbelieving laugh, “Typically you don’t shove your tongue down someone’s throat in public. Don’t you dare try to tell me that wasn’t because I was watching,” 

“And what if it was?” Hermione retorts. 

Bellatrix growls, and presses impossibly closer. She shoves a leg between Hermione’s thighs, one hand moving to trap her hip against the wall to prevent her from moving. She brings her lips to Hermione’s neck. For a moment, Hermione expects her to kiss it, but instead she bites down hard. Hermione gasps and her hips jerk in an instinctive attempt to get friction but Bellatrix has her firmly in place. Hermione cries in frustration. 

“How does it feel?” Bellatrix asks, “To only feel what I allow you to, and nothing more? Don’t forget that it is you who’s at my mercy, not the other way around,” 

Hermione’s mind is reeling with disbelief. She can’t believe she’s pushed Bellatrix to this point, that she was able to draw this side of her out. She’d been bluffing earlier, in the library. She truly had no idea if Bellatrix felt anything at all for her. It’s incredible she’s gotten this far, but still she wants more. She wants all of her. 

Hermione grabs Bellatrix’s wrist and presses her hand harder against her throat, telling her that yes, she is at her mercy and that it’s exactly where she wants to be. Bellatrix sighs into her, dropping her head to rest on Hermione’s shoulder. In that moment, she can feel how close Bellatrix is to breaking. 

Then she’s pulling away again, and this time Hermione feels the ache of her absence in her chest. She clings to her wrist but it’s useless. Bellatrix disappears back into the darkness, towards the stairs. Wherever she’s going, it isn’t back to her room. Hermione drops her head back against the wall and lets out a long breath she didn’t know she was holding. All she can think about is how wet she is and how close she was to getting what she wanted. Now that she knows Bellatrix has either left the house or is at least somewhere else, she can’t fight the urge that has overcome her. She enters the one room on  the floor that neither she or any of the other students were staying in, hoping it’s the right one. 

As soon as she slips inside the dimly lit room, she knew it is the one Bellatrix is staying in. There’s a distinct smell in the air she knows belongs to the professor. The room is messy, the bed unmade and clothes strewn about the floor. The only light comes from the flickering candles she’s left lit. 

Feeling like she’s in a trance, she approaches Bellatrix’s bed. Her fingers trace the messy sheets and then she sinks into them, crawling onto her bed and burying her face in her pillows. Bellatrix’s scent is all around her and she can still feel the ghost of her touch on her neck, the pressure of her thigh between her legs. Hermione rolls onto her back, wrapped up in the sheets and shoves her dress up around her waist. Her eyes slam shut when she shoves her panties to the side and she finally feels the skin on skin contact she’s been craving. 

She slides her fingers through the wetness that Bellatrix created and gasps when she reaches her clit. It’s easy for Hermione to pretend it’s Bellatrix touching her with her smell all around her, her voice still ringing in her ears. Her other hand comes up to her throat and she grips it with the same pressure the older woman had applied. Knowing Bellatrix would be rough, Hermione pushes three fingers inside herself. She moans loudly and her hips lift off the bed. She’s tight enough for it to hurt a little, but she’s so turned on that it feels too good to stop. Her hand slides down from her throat to push her dress down until her right breast is exposed. She palms it, then tweaks a nipple roughly and starts fucking herself at a steady pace. 

All of the pent up frustration that has been building for months of being rewarded and punished by her, teased and refused by her, is finally being released. Hermione makes quick work of herself. She’s terrified and thrilled at the possibility of being caught like this, and the thought only brings her closer to the edge. 

She imagines what it would feel like if Bellatrix would barge in right now. Shame would bloom in her chest; she’d freeze under Bellatrix’s gaze. Would this be enough to push her over the edge? Would Bellatrix melt, would she come to finish her off? 

Hermione curls her fingers and gasps, covering her mouth to stifle the reckless sounds spilling out of her as she finally falls over that edge. Her hips twitch as she withdraws her fingers, and she has no choice but to wipe them on her dress. She only allows herself a moment to stare at the ceiling and wonder what the fuck she just did before she scrambles up, fixes her dress and slips out of the room. She hopes Bellatrix isn’t watching her from the shadows. 

Once she’s changed and in her own bed all she can think about is whether or not Bellatrix will be able to smell her on her sheets. She wonders if it will disgust her or torment her. She wonders if it will drive her to mirror Hermione’s actions on herself. She groans, feeling herself throbbing between her legs again already. 

She’s never found herself so completely enamored by someone before. Not only is she devastatingly attracted to Bellatrix, but she admires her deeply. She’s looked up to her since she was a child, modeled herself after her in some ways. Bellatrix has been a driving force in her motivation to be the brightest witch of her age. When Dumbledore announced who the next Defense Against the Dark Arts professor was going to be, she felt like she was having an out of body experience. Since then she’d wanted nothing more than to please her, to stand out from the rest in her mind. She worships the ground she walks on. 

Hermione knows her sexual attraction is wrong, but she cant deny the electric connection she has to her. It’s addictive; she feels more alive in her presence and worse than ever in her absence. And she wants so much more than for Bellatrix to just give in and fuck her. She wants to know everything about her, she wants to be around her all the time. She wants to sit in silence and read with her, she wants to learn from her, debate with her, see the world with her. Still, even though it seemed like Bellatrix felt that connection, too, Hermione couldn’t imagine her being interested in her enough to ever take it any farther. 

The time tells her that it is 2:30 in the morning and Hermione sighs, knowing her brain is showing no signs of slowing down. She flicks on a light and pulls a book from her bag, resigning herself to a sleepless night. 


The next day is Christmas and after hours of fitful tossing and turning Hermione falls asleep around 4 in the morning, and wakes up at 8. She rolls over and feels a rush of childlike excitement when she sees the thick flurry of snowflakes outside her window. Upon further inspection, she sees that it snowed quite a lot overnight; at lease 5 inches have accumulated and it’s still coming down. 

Oddly enough, everyone else seems to be sleeping in today. Hermione bundles up and gets ready to go outside, not seeing anyone else when she makes her way downstairs. She goes out the back doors to find an expansive garden and lush trees all covered in fresh white snow. The world feels so much quieter under the heavy blanket of frost. theres no sound other than the crunch of her boots as she makes her way down the path between immaculate rosebushes. 

She rounds a corner and finds a spot of black in all the white. Bellatrix is sitting on a stone bench amidst the flowers and trees, a book on her lap. She’s wrapped in heavy black cloak with grey fur at the collar, and her hair cascades over her shoulders and down to her waist. It’s the first time Hermione has ever seen her wear it down in person. The sight of her stops her in her tracks. She’s utterly absorbed in her book and hasn’t noticed Hermione yet. For a moment, all Hermione does is watch her. She commits the sight of her to memory; peaceful, relaxed, unaware she’s being watched. 

Then, Hermione gets an idea. The moment it enters her mind, it becomes irresistible. She’ll probably never get a chance like this again. As slowly and quietly as she can, she kneels down and gathers a large, tightly packed ball of snow. She stands, aims, and before she can talk herself out of it, sends it flying straight at her professor. 

Without even looking up, Bellatrix waves her hand and the snowball curves at the last second, slamming instead into the tree next to her. She looks up then and glares at Hermione. 

“What the fuck was that?” 

“…A snowball?” 

Bellatrix stares at her menacingly, “Are you trying to have a snow fight with me, Granger? Believe me, that would be a very bad idea,” 

“Why’s that?” 

Bellatrix sets her book aside and rises to her feet. She produces her wand and gives Hermione a wicked smile. 

“Wait, you’re not supposed to-“ 

Before she can finish, Bellatrix aims at the branches above Hermione’s head and fires a wordless spell. The tree trembles, and all the snow that has been gathering comes crashing down on her. Hermione shrieks, pulls out her wand and casts expulso at the ground a safe distance in front of Bellatrix, causing the spot to explode and cover Bellatrix in half-melted snow. 

The woman yells and charges Hermione. She tries to run away but Bellatrix grabs her around the waist and throws her to the ground. The ground is freezing. She tries to claw away, but the woman straddles her and traps her in place. Her thighs are tight around Hermione’s waist, making it impossible to escape. Bellatrix starts gathering a big pile of snow in her hands. 

“No, no, please don’t do this!” Hermione begs. 

Bellatrix cackles maliciously and drops her pile on Hermione’s face. Even blind, Hermione scrambles to gather snow in her right fist. Her professor sees this and grabs both of her wrists, slamming them on the ground above her head. 

“I win,” Bellatrix says triumphantly. 

Hermione blinks at her through the snow, realizing they’re nose to nose. If she wasn’t soaked and freezing to the bone, she’d be excited at the position. 

“You took it way too far,” Hermione pouts. Bellatrix laughs again, softer this time, and releases Hermione’s wrists to brush some of the snow off of her face. 

“Never start a duel you can’t win,” Bellatrix says, matter of factly. 

“Yes, professor,” 

A dark look passes over Bellatrix’s face, and Hermione is reminded of what she did in the woman’s bed last night. Bellatrix opens her mouth to say something, then seems to think better of it. She releases her and stands, holding out a hand to help her up. 

The two make their way back to the house together, soaked to the bone. Hermione stumbles in the snow and grabs Bellatrix’s arm reflexively. She moves to take her hand away but Bellatrix grabs it and mumbles, “no, it’s okay,” 

When they get back to the house Narcissa is there to frown disapprovingly at them. She flicks her wand in their direction and dries them both with ease. Narcissa then stares at Hermione’s hand tucked under Bellatrix’s arm until she jerks it away. 

“Compose yourselves, will you? We have more guests that have just arrived,” 

Hermione brightens and Bellatrix stiffens. There’s voices drifting in from the front of the house and Hermione bolts for the door. She flings it open to find Harry’s parents, Remus, baby Teddy, Tonks and her parents, and Sirius Black all greeting Harry, Pansy and Draco. 

Hermione’s been around them all before, but never all at once. There’s a collective cheer of delight when the group notices Hermione standing there, and she makes her way forward to hug everyone hello. 

“How are you, Mr. and Mrs. Potter?” She says, giving Lily a hug and shaking James’s hand. 

“Oh, we’re fantastic, Hermione!” James says, yanking Hermione forward by her hand to give her a bone crushing embrace. 

“I hear you’re still setting an excellent example for our son,” Lily says, ruffling Harry’s already messy hair. 

“Sure, everywhere except Potions,” Harry says. 

Hermione narrows her eyes, “I’d rather excel in other areas, anyway,” 

“Oh, like Defense Against the Dark Arts?” Harry says, smirking. 

“Well…yes,” 

“Oh, isn’t Bellatrix Black teaching that now? That can’t be easy,” James says. 

“No, it isn’t. But Hermione is in the top of that class. She’s Professor Black’s favorite student, in fact,” 

“Auntie Bella has a favorite student?” Tonks asks, jumping in the middle of their little circle to give Hermione a hug, “That’s quite impressive, Hermione. Bella doesn’t like anyone,” 

Sirius is there now, and Hermione is really blushing now that everyone’s attention is on her performance in Bellatrix’s class, “It’s true. How’d you pull that one off?” Sirius says. 

“Um..I don’t know if I’d say I’m her favorite, necessarily,” 

“Don’t be shy, Hermione. You were my favorite when I taught that class,” Remus says, slinging his arms around James and Sirius. The three of them made quite the trio. Hermione knows about their past at Hogwarts, of course, and she feels she is witnessing something special in seeing them all together. 

“Talking about me, are you?” Bellatrix says. She’s leaning in the doorway, regarding everyone from a distance. Everyone is quiet for a moment, falling prey to the instinct to be uneasy at the witch’s presence. Tonks is the first to move, rushing to Bellatrix to throw her arms around her shoulder. The woman’s features soften, and she pats her niece on the back. Andromeda greets her next, subtly bringing her sister into the fold of the reunited friends and family. Lily lightly touches Bellatrix’s forearm and the woman stills at the gesture. They share a look that is indecipherable to an outsider.

They retire to the living room for drinks. Inevitably, the adults end up gathered around the coffee table on the couch and armchairs and the students end up on the floor, closer to the windows, listening. 

Pansy curls up next to Hermione and rests her head on her shoulder. Its a friendly gesture they’ve shared many times before, but to someone who doesn’t know them it probably looks more romantic than it is. Hermione can’t tear her eyes away from her professor. She feels that the longer she watches her, the more minuscule details she learns about who she is and how her mind works. She’s perched on the arm of the armchair Narcissa is in, back straight as she listens to everyone catch up. She looks detached and uninterested, yet the fact that she’s in the room with everyone suggests differently. She’s like a cat that way; she may want to be near you but it doesn’t mean its okay to pet her. 

She notices she’s not the only one staring at Bellatrix. Lily Potter also seems more interested in what the woman is doing than she is in anyone else there. When Bellatrix notices Lily’s eyes on her, the woman flicks her eyes away, shifting uncomfortably against her husband. 

Bellatrix rises and moves to the liquor cart. She pours herself a glass of firewhisky and a glass of white wine for Narcissa before returning to her perch. Pansy shifts against her, moving her head to whisper in her ear. 

“Where’s she going?” 

Hermione notices that Lily has abandoned her spot next to James and slipped from the room. Bellatrix notices, too, and isn’t far behind her. The Gryffindor waits a few moments before getting up and slipping out the same door the pair had disappeared behind. The dining room is empty. She presses her ear against the next door, the one leading to a hallway, and heard voices on the other side. She whispers an incantation to make it easier to hear, and suddenly it’s like there’s no door between them at all. 

“I don’t know why you’re being so difficult about this. I just want to catch up with you, Bella,” 

Bellatrix scoffs, “And what makes you think you’re entitled to know anything about me at all? You forfeited that right a long time ago,” 

Theres a tense silence, and then, “Just because I chose him, doesn’t mean I just…stopped caring about you. It’s not a switch I can just flick off,” 

“You could’ve fooled me,” Bellatrix says darkly, “Never bothered to call, to write, to keep in contact in any way. And now you want to act like you’ve cared all this time? No, the truth is you just feel bad,” 

“Bella-” 

“No. You don’t get to call me that. You don’t get to call me anything. Run back to your perfect little family and leave me in peace,”  Bellatrix spat. 

It’s silent again, and then the door is flung back so abruptly Hermione jumps back in shock. Lily gives her a surprised look. Her eyes are bloodshot and her hair is mussed, like she’s been running her hands through it. Her surprise melts into annoyance at Hermione’s intrusion. She gives her a look Hermione has never seen from Harry’s mother. She’s never seen her anything but kind, but the look on her face now lets her know she’s crossed a line. She brushes past her without a word. 

“I know you’re there, Granger,” Bellatrix says. 

The student shuffles through the doorway to find her professor smirking at her. 

“Sorry. Um, you’re not angry?” 

“I’m not sure there’s anything you could do that would surprise me at this point. You’ve got a serious issue when it comes to boundaries, you know that?” Bellatrix leans against the wall, her hands clasped behind her back and her head tilted back. 

“I’m well aware. I’m not like this with anyone but you. I mean, I certainly have a healthy level of curiosity in most regards, but with you it becomes…well, unhealthy,” 

Bellatrix is looking at her from beneath her lashes, and it’s doing things to Hermione’s heart, “Why are you so interested in me?” 

Hermione is pulled forward by some invisible force. She walks until she’s toe to toe with the older woman, until she’s breathing in her scent again, “You’ve accomplished so much in your life. It’s no secret you’re one of the most powerful witches to walk the earth. There’s so much I can…learn for you,” 

Bellatrix hums and reaches out to grasp the front of Hermione’s sweater. She yanks her forward a step so there’s almost no space between them. Hermione can actually feel the heat emanating from her. 

“Is that all? You want to…learn from me?” 

“Yes,” Hermione whispers. Her eyes fall to Bellatrix’s full, smirking mouth. It would be so easy to just lean forward and give in to all her fantasies. 

“I don’t believe you,” Bellatrix husks, “You follow me, watch me, sneak into my room and fuck yourself on my bed because you want to learn from me?” 

Hermione gasps when she’s pulled forward again. She’s pressed fully against her now, and she can barely stop herself from moaning at the heat of the woman’s body. Bellatrix’s lips are at her ear again and her hand is gripping her hip, fingers digging in painfully. 

“What are you doing to me, Hermione?” 

The sound of her name in Bellatrix’s breathy voice sends a searing heat straight between her thighs. When she feels Bellatrix’s lips ghosting against her jaw her head begins to spin. Her hands rise to settle on Bellatrix’s shoulders, using her to steady herself. Bellatrix presses even closer and her lips latch onto Hermione’s neck. This time, she cant stop the moan. 

“Bellatrix,” she gasps, “I need you,” 

Bellatrix sucks on her neck until she feels a prickling pain. Hermione’s hand slips into those thick curls to cradle her head and to prevent her from pulling away. she’s trembling with the force of her desire, reeling from the surreality of it all. 

A noise from behind her makes them jump apart. She whirls around at the same time Bellatrix growls “Damn it, Potter,

Harry is standing in the doorway, his cheeks bright red and his eyes wide. 

“I-I am so sorry. We were just wondering where you’d gone and…look, I’ll just pretend I didn’t-,” 

Bellatrix draws her wand and snaps, “Obliviate,” 

Bellatrix!” Hermione says, glaring at the woman, “Why would you do that?”

“Oh, there you are!” Harry says brightly before Bellatrix can respond, “We were wondering where you’d went,” 

“Miss Granger will rejoin you in a moment, Mr. Potter,” Bellatrix says flatly. 

“Alright then,” He says, leaving the two of them alone. 

Hermione frowns at her professor, “You didn’t have to do that. He wouldn’t have said anything,”

“You don’t know that,” Bellatrix hisses, “If you want to keep pursuing this, you need to realize that this is what you’re signing up for. I will not allow anyone to find out about any of this. I will not allow you to breathe a word of it, not to anyone,” 

Bellatrix grabs her by the back of her head, fisting her hand in her hair and pressing her wand into her pulse point threateningly. 

You’re saying theres something to tell?” Hermione whispers. 

Bellatrix glare fades and she rolls her eyes. She blows a curl out of her face irritably, and brushes past her to leave. 

“Wait!” Hermione says, something occurring to her. Bellatrix turns back to her and raises her brows. “Um, you and Lily…?” 

“None of your business,” 

Hermione grabs her wrist before she can turn away again, “Please talk to me. I want to know,” 

Bellatrix sets her jaw, avoiding Hermione’s gaze until the girl cups her cheek and forces her to meet her eyes. Bellatrix’s gaze softens and she sighs, “It was nothing. Her and James broke up for a few months after Hogwarts. We had a fling, she found out she was pregnant and decided to work it out with him.  End of story,” 

Hermione rubs her thumb across her cheekbone. The tenderness it too much for Bellatrix and she jerks her head away. Hermione drops her hand back to her side and asks, “Did you love her?” 

Bellatrix is quiet for so long that it doesn’t seem like she’ll respond. Then, so softly that Hermione has to strain to hear, she says, “I thought I did at the time. I thought it would kill me when she left. But it didn’t. I survived, and now I’m not so sure that what we had was love at all. I was always afraid she’d go back to him. If I loved her, wouldn’t I have not had any doubts in her? And if she loved me, obviously she would have stayed,” 

Hermione nods as she takes in every flicker of emotion displayed on her professor’s face. Eventually she settles on apathy. 

“You shouldn’t ever have to feel afraid that the person you’re with is going to abandon you. You deserve someone who sees you for who you are. Someone who worships you,” 

Bellatrix looks at her again, and Hermione’s thoughts don’t need to be spoken for them to be apparent. I worship you. 


That night, after a long dinner, everyone ends up back in the living room to open presents. Hermione receives a lot of clothes and books, but she always got more pleasure from seeing her friends open their gifts. Pansy receives a first edition of The Art of War-something she and Harry had to work together all year to acquire. She got Harry a pair of glasses identical to his own that were charmed with every minor spell she could come up with to make his life easier-the prescription would always adjust to his needs, they would never slide down his nose and they would never break or smudge. For Draco, a dagger made with a Basilisk fang. 

She tries not to notice when Bellatrix disappears with Lily. She catches the forlorn look on James’ face when they go, and it’s futile to ignore the clawing feeling of jealousy in her own chest. She wonders what it feels like for him. 

When the night is over, Hermione returns to her room to find another present wrapped neatly in shimmering silver paper placed on her bed. Theres no note on it, and she feels a surge of hope at who it could be from. Who it must be from. 

She tugs the wrapping paper off carefully, feeling it would be a shame to tear through it. A heavy, leather-bound deep red journal is revealed. It feels expensive in her hands, as she traces her fingertips over the intricate design bordering the front. In the center, there’s a flaming heart sigil pressed into the material. She opens it to the first page. Slowly a sentence is revealed, scrawled in messy handwriting  across the center of the page. 

Don’t forget me. X

Hermione frowns, her fingers tracing the words as she reads them again. The begin to fade as slowly as the appeared until they’re gone and the page is blank once again. It’s from Bellatrix, she knows, she’s memorized the scrawl from the notes and corrections she leaves on her papers. But why would she say something like that? Why would she ever forget her? 

She flips to the next page and wonders what she could ever deem important enough to write about in this, which is probably the most beautiful thing she’s ever owned. Only one thing comes to mind; the dark witch that is always coming to mind. The way she feels about her is the only thing worthy of filling the journal with. 

She brings it to the desk on the far side of the room, retrieves her quill and ink from her bag and settles into the chair. It’s a full moon outside, and it’s reflecting off the snow outside, making it feel much earlier than it actually was. It makes it easy to settle in and write through her tiredness. Once she begins, it’s hard to stop. Every beautiful thought and emotion she’s had for the older witch pours out of her. It feels good to let it out, to make it real. Theres only so much she can talk about her to her friends before it becomes insufferable. This journal could become her constant, silent companion, here to absorb the emotions she’s become too exhausted to contain. 

When she’s too tired to continue writing, she carries the journal with her to bed. She sets it on the pillow opposite her, needing to be close to this physical object that said Bellatrix absolutely did feel something for her in return. 


Hermione finds Bellatrix in the library on the last evening of the holiday break. She’s slouched on the couch, feet on the coffee table, book in her lap and a half empty glass of firewhisky in her right hand. When she settles down next to her, Bellatrix gives her a tired glance before dropping her eyes back to her book. 

When Bellatrix simply continues to sit in silence, ignoring her, Hermione snatches the book away from her. Bellatrix gives her an incredulous look and Hermione glares back. She’s tired of playing this game with her, this give and take. Now she just wants to take, take, take. Bellatrix drinks in the look she has on her face, reading her now instead of the book, then slams back the rest of her drink. 

“Look, Granger,” Bellatrix begins, “We need to be realistic here-”

Hermione can sense where this is going and she feels the panic rise inside her. There is no ending this now, not after she’s gotten this close, after she’s felt those full lips on her neck and those hands grabbing at her body. She needs more, so much more. She absolutely cannot go back to nothing. 

“No,” Hermione says, her fear forcing her tongue, not allowing her to roll over and let Bellatrix walk away, “We’re in this too far to turn back now,” 

“This? There is no this,” Bellatrix says, slamming her glass down on the coffee table. 

“Don’t say that,” Hermione can hear her panic in the tremor of her voice, rising an octave in desperation, “You can’t not after…” 

She isn’t sure what to say, how to put into words the way Bellatrix’s looks and words and hands had spun a web she couldn’t escape. She wants to say You’re too late, I’m already doomed. Instead, she crawls forward, onto her lap with her legs on either side of her and buries her face in Bellatrix’s neck. She snaps, any semblance of restraint gone from her. 

She revels in the gasp that falls from Bellatrix’s lips when she kisses along her jaw. She nuzzles against her, tears rushing to her eyes at the glorious sensation of finding Bellatrix’s thundering pulse. She’s done this, she’s making her heart race. She’s hers, hers, hers. She sucks on the skin, mirroring what the woman has done to her. She’s never done this before but she needs to leave her mark on her. 

Once she’s satisfied she’s left a bruise, she kisses back up, along her cheeks, her temples, the corner of her mouth. Bellatrix is motionless, unyielding and cold as marble, but Hermione can’t stop herself until she elicits some response. She kisses her soft, still lips once, twice, again, pulling that glorious lower lip between her own and biting softly at it. Finally, Bellatrix responds, moving her mouth against hers. It’s hot and wet and desperate, just not enough. It’s never enough. 

“Granger,” Bellatrix growls, pressing her hand against the center of her chest and pushing until she’s forced to release her. Hermione stares at her, crestfallen. 

“Don’t do this,” She says, tears wetting her cheeks. 

Bellatrix’s gaze is dark but hard. Her lips are redder than normal, swollen and lovely but she’s frowning. 

“I don’t want you,” Bellatrix says. 

There’s that clawing feeling again, shredding her insides. 

“I don’t believe you,” Hermione says. What she means is she can’t believe her, that she can’t survive believing her, “Is it because I’m your student? Since when have you cared about being ethical? Or did Lily say something-” 

It’s the wrong thing to say. Bellatrix’s eyes go cold at the name, her jaw twitches, and she shoves Hermione off her lap. Her back slams into the coffee table and she yelps. Bellatrix stands, towering over her. 

“You don’t know anything about me. You’re just some young, insolent little twerp. What makes you think you ever had a chance with someone like me?” Bellatrix picks up her book and hurls it against the wall. Hermione jumps, suddenly terrified of the witch in a way she never used to be. Bellatrix kneels down, grabbing Hermione by the hair and forcing her to look at her mean, sneering face, “You’re cute, so I let you get away with more than most. But you’re nothing. You mean nothing to me,” 

If she wasn’t being torn apart from the inside out, Hermione may have noticed the way Bellatrix said it, like she was trying to convince the both of them. She misses the tremor in her voice when she says nothing. 

Bellatrix leaves her trembling on the floor, slamming the door behind her. The room is hot from the roaring fireplace but Hermione can’t feel anything but cold and shattered. 


She doesn’t see Bellatrix at Malfoy Manor again. They leave early the next morning, finding their own way to the station. Hermione hadn’t slept at all the night before, spending the remainder of it sobbing into her pillow. She finally sleeps on the train ride back to Hogwarts with her head in Pansy’s lap and her hands running soothingly through her hair. She doesn’t ask what happened, no one does. 

How is she supposed to move on from someone when she knows no one else will ever measure up? Hermione knows on some integral level that she will never love anyone the way she loves Bellatrix Black. No one will ever make her stomach flip like someones just pulled the rug out from beneath her. No one will ever make flowers bloom in her chest or make the world fade away when they touch her. She’ll never marvel at the heavy softness of someones hair curling around her fingers. No one else will ever infuriate her, challenge her, push her the way Bellatrix has. Now that she’s had a taste, she can never find true happiness with some lesser being. 

The pain of this knowledge torments her. She obsesses over the professor on an even more consuming level than she had before. She can’t sleep, she has no desire to eat or drink, and she certainly can’t pay attention in any of her classes. All day she waits for Defense Against the Dark Arts and when she’s finally before her she can’t bring herself to meet her eyes without tearing up. It’s constant agony. She wishes she could take back everything that happened over winter break. She wishes she could un-know her. 

It occurs to her in the middle of her class that she can do exactly that. She could take it all back. She could forget Bellatrix Black ever happened to her and move on with her life in blissful ignorance. The only evidence of her feelings existed in Bellatrix’s Christmas present. The beautiful, heavy red journal that Hermione has been pouring every ounce of pain and love into since she received it. It was a memoir of her darkest thoughts and deepest emotions. She couldn’t bare to destroy it. She’ll have to entrust it to someone who understood the gravity of what she felt. Yes, she remembers the words scrawled in the front page, don’t forget me. What did they matter, now that Bellatrix has made her feelings clear? 

Pansy would be her first choice ordinarily, but since they returned she grew inspired by Hermione’s bravery with Bellatrix and finally asked Ginny out. Ginny thought she was joking but after several attempts, each growing more sincere than the last, she finally accepted that Pansy was serious. Hermione doesn’t want to rain on her parade after all that hard work. Pansy has already done everything she could. 

Draco, though, would be more than happy to cover up any evidence that Hermione has managed a fling with his aunt, however brief. She’s sure of it. 

A month after suffering through her heartbreak, she makes one last entry. She’s not sure why she does it when it’s unlikely that the day will ever come when she can bear the weight of the memory of Bella’s lips on hers, but she can’t resist writing out a goodbye. She wishes she could bear it. She wishes she could cherish the memory the way it deserved. At least it would live on in the confines of Bella’s gift to her. 

Draco is grim when he agrees to do what she asks. He hated the idea of Bellatrix and Hermione together, but even more he hated seeing Hermione falling apart in every way possible. He takes no joy in any of it. 

He buries her journal in the bottom of his chest, beneath the out of season robes he never wore and promised to never read it or show it to anyone. He meets Hermione at midnight in the Room of Requirement and they go over the specifics of what is to be erased and what may remain. 

Hermione will remember her lifelong fascination with Bellatrix’s career and that she’s her professor, but she will remember none of their time alone together. She’ll forget Bellatrix’s love for Herbology, her detentions and after class chats. Any special attention she received, any alone time, any touch or look that lingered too long would fade into oblivion. 

Once it’s done, Draco is to inform Harry and Pansy of whats happened. If they knew before, they would probably try to stop her. It’s important that Hermione doesn’t know that anything is missing. She knows herself, and if she knows she’s without some piece of information about her own life she won’t stop until she gets it back. 

She’s crying when Draco points his wand at her face in the empty room. 

“Are you sure?” He asks. If she’s not mistaken, his own eyes are shimmering at the sight of her. 

She wraps her arms around herself, squeezes her eyes shut and says, “Yes. Please make it go away,” 

She hears him swallow and then whisper, “Obliviate,” 


Bellatrix Black is meaner than Hermione remembers. She’s always been a bit severe and unforgiving, yes, but now she’s brutal. She nitpicks at Hermione’s homework assignments, finds something wrong in every test. It’s as frustrating as it is exhilarating. She knows this is making her better in the subject, pushing her harder than any other class. Yet she can’t explain the way the professor’s eyes sometimes linger on her a moment too long. There’s something in their depths that she can’t quite make sense of. Something dark. Something soft. 

“Many of you know I’m the most skilled Occlumens there is,” Bellatrix says one day, looking pointedly at Hermione, “Today, you will receive the greatest gift anyone will ever give you. You get to learn from the best. Everyone partner up,” 

Hermione looks at Harry but before she can say anything, Bellatrix is standing between their desks. The student drags her eyes up to see Bellatrix glowering at her. 

“Except you. You’re with me,” 

“Y-you’re going to use Legilimency on me? Is that allowed?” 

“You should be honored. Unless you have something to hide…?” 

Hermione furrows her brow, “Of course not. But I thought we were only allowed to learn Occlumency, not Legilimency,” 

“The only way to truly learn Occlumency is by actually performing it. No amount of studying will prepare you for trying to defend your mind against that violation. Better you learn it now in a classroom than when someone wants to violate you out there,” Bellatrix gestures out the window, “With me, Granger,” she repeats, leaving no room for argument this time. She spins on her heel and returns to the front of the class, not looking to see if Hermione would follow. She does. 

Bellatrix motions for her to take a seat at her desk. Once she’s settled and facing the classroom gathered in pairs, she feels Bellatrix’s fingers ghosting along her shoulders. She’s breathing faster, and she chalks it up to being on display in front of her peers. 

“Now,” Bellatrix begins, “One of you will reach out with your minds, and the other will quiet your thoughts. Empty your minds. Focus only on your breathing, nothing else,” 

The room is uncharacteristically quiet. Bellatrix walks around and kneels in front of her, placing her hands on the arms of the chair so Hermione is trapped. The idea of trying to block out Bellatrix seems impossible. Obviously she’s far more experienced, yet Hermione never shies away from a challenge. It’s easy to empty her mind. There’s nothing troubling her, after all. Her eyes fall shut, partially to focus but more because Bellatrix’s eyes are boring into her own with an odd intensity was making it difficult to keep any thoughts at bay. 

In a moment she feels her professors presence pushing against her. It almost feels like a physical pressure against her forehead. Hermione fights to keep her mind blank against the sensation, her breathing growing deeper. The pressure grows stronger, beginning to get uncomfortable. Bellatrix must have moved closer, because she can smell her now and hear her labored breathing in time with her own. 

She hears a huff of frustration and Bellatrix pushes against her even harder. There’s a sharp pain beginning at her temples, and she’s sweating from the effort. It makes her angry that Bellatrix is so intent on invading her privacy. Hermione knows she’s proved herself more than enough for a first lesson, but the woman is hell bent on getting inside her head. It’s inappropriate, unprofessional. The anger makes her concentration slip, and suddenly she feels her. 

The abrupt intimacy of having someone in her head, hearing her thoughts and feeling what she feels is jarring, infuriating. She fights against it, but now it seems impossible to stop the flood of consciousness. It’s like Bellatrix is eliciting thoughts intentionally, and she’s helpless to stop her.

Memories of the past few months are flitting before her eyes. Christmas at Malfoy Manor, her chats with Pansy about Ginny, the delight on her friends faces when they opened their presents. She can sense Bellatrix’s frustration growing with every memory, and they fly by quickly. She’s relentless, and it feels like she’s digging for something.

She’s in the middle of the memory of arriving at Hogwarts at the beginning of the year when Bellatrix retreats. Hermione gasps and her eyes fly open. She opens her mouth to yell at the professor but the words die on her lips when she sees the look on her face. 

She looks…hurt. Betrayed. Her eyes shimmer, her bottom lip trembles and for a second Hermione thinks she's about to cry. The moment passes, the devastation fades and then she just looks furious. 

"Get out," Bellatrix says. 

Hermione only notices then that the entire class is staring, and that she's covered in sweat from the exertion of fighting Bellatrix. She's trying to make sense of what's happening, of why her mundane, uneventful memories had caused this reaction. 

Bellatrix stands up and the room trembles, the loose objects in the room rattling. Bellatrix flings her hand out in the direction of the door and it slams open so hard that it shakes on its hinges, "Out! Class fucking dismissed!" 

Hermione is frozen. Her heart is racing and she's trembling as if Bellatrix's magic is affecting her like it is the inanimate objects in the classroom. There's some strange urge to stay right where she is, her fight or flight instinct willing her to fight against something she doesn't even understand. 

The professor takes a threatening step towards her, but before she can figure out what her intentions are Pansy is yanking her to her feet, past the enraged woman and out of the room. 


Class the following day is uncomfortable to say the least. Hermione had received a ton of questions from her classmates about what prompted Professor Black’s outrage. In fact, she’d been getting questions from students that weren’t even in that class. News of her outburst traveled around the entire school and everyone wanted to know why it happened. Everyone except her closest friends. The silence from them is disconcerting. She wants to know why they don’t want to know, but the fact that she doesn’t know herself leaves her with no idea how or why she should confront them about it. Perhaps they knew her well enough to know Bellatrix couldn’t have seen anything weird. 

The class is quiet. Hermione herself is most noticeably quiet, but Bellatrix terrifies her now. She’s afraid to meet her eyes. The emotions she feels when she’s near are the most terrifying thing about her. They’re confusing, senseless, staggering. 

Hermione blinks away the thoughts and focuses on jotting down her notes. Bellatrix is still in a way that is unusual for her. Instead of her usual impassioned pacing, she’s simply been leaning against the windowsill, staring forlornly out at school grounds as she gives a monotone lesson on methods of clearing your mind. The students are collectively too petrified to ask any questions, the only sound the scratching of quills on parchment. 

As soon as the hour is up, Bellatrix returns to her desk and slumps in her seat, “Go on then, class dismissed,” 

The Gryffindor feels an odd impulse to stay right where she is. She follows it, gathering her things slowly and waiting for the classroom to empty. It feels familiar despite her never having done this before. The professor doesn’t seem to notice her presence, instead busying herself by fussing with the shaggy Belladonna plant by her desk. She doesn’t look up until Hermione is standing directly in front of her desk. When she looks at her, she squints in confusion. 

“What do you want?” 

“Well, I’d like to know what gives you the right to be angry at me after you violated me by forcing yourself into my head, Professor,” Hermione quips, adjusting her bag on her shoulder. 

Bellatrix sits back in her seat, eyeing her up and down, “I did not violate you. The lesson was Occlumency, or did you forget what that entails?” 

“You know damn well you pushed me way harder than what was necessary for that lesson. I held you off long enough to prove my abilities,” 

Bellatrix looks more awake now than she had the entire lecture, blinking at her like she cant believe Hermione’s standing up for herself, “You think anyone out there is going to go easy on you? Just shrug and walk away once you put up that pathetic excuse of a fight?” 

Pathetic?” Hermione says, indignant, “You are a renowned Occlumens! The fact that you weren’t able to immediately get past my defenses warrants a label higher than pathetic, I’d say!” 

“I was going easy on you,” Bellatrix sneers. 

“Oh, you’re so full of crap,” Hermione can’t explain the rush of frustration she’s feeling. She doesn’t understand why it feels natural to argue with her professor, to talk to her as casually as she is. She’s terrified of her, isn’t she? “You were trying your hardest to get inside my head. You were looking for something, I could feel it. You owe me an explanation!”

Bellatrix snaps, rising from her seat with so much force that the wooden chair falls back and clatters loudly behind her, “You don’t know anything, stupid girl. You made damn sure of that,” 

Hermione cowers, stumbling back a step. This irritates Bellatrix. She rounds her desk and grips Hermione by her tie, restricting her from retreating any further. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Hermione whispers, disarmed by the woman’s closeness. She’s always had a bit of a crush on her, but she’s always managed to keep in in check. Now, with her this close, this impassioned, it’s difficult to ignore. 

“No, you wouldn’t have any idea, would you? But I can make you remember,” Bellatrix hisses. 

Hermione doesn’t notice the sound of the door opening, but Bellatrix does. 

“Aunt Bella! Let her go,” 

Bellatrix growls, tearing her eyes away from her student to give her nephew a black look. 

“You,” she snarls, releasing Hermione to advance on Draco, “Did you do this?” 

Draco ignores her, giving Hermione a meaningful look, “Go, Granger,” He jerks his chin at the door. Hermione’s desire to understand what the hell is going on loses against her fear of Bellatrix’s unpredictable moods. For all she knew, the woman is having a psychotic break. She brushes past the pair, whispering a thank you to Draco as she passes him. 

She hears a crash when the door shuts behind her, like Bellatrix threw something at her. She wouldn’t put it past her, at this point. She’s completely unhinged, that woman. What was she on about, making her remember? 

Remember what? 


Hermione spends the following weekend holed up in the library, trying to stop herself from thinking about Bellatrix. She needs to stay focused on her studies, but theres this clawing desire inside of her to find out what was driving Bellatrix mad. It was driving her mad thinking about it. She’s almost positive her friends are hiding something from her, but what could it possibly be? She’s torn between needing to figure it out and fearing the answers she’ll find if she digs. 

She’s anxious to see what state Bellatrix is in when she goes back to class, but it’s almost disappointing when she finds her…back to normal. She’s as intense and unforgiving as ever, yes, but there’s no more special attention. Whatever Draco said to her must have helped somehow. She no longer forces Hermione to pair up with her, she doesn’t seem angry or depressed. It’s like the last week was a fever dream. 

She can’t resist asking Draco what he said to her exactly. She finds him in the Great Hall at dinner to try to shake him down. 

“I just reasoned with her,” He says, avoiding her eyes, “She gets like that sometimes. Taking down Voldemort took a toll on her. You don’t get away with finding and destroying Horcruxes without some mental scarring,” 

“You’re saying she violated my mind and nearly attacked me when I asked her about it because of PTSD?” Her voice hitches, drawing the attention of some of the other Slytherins at the table. 

“Uh, yes,” Draco says, “Just let it go, Hermione. I’m sorry you got caught up in it at all,”  

She wants to argue with him, but what is she supposed to say? She has no reason to think he’s lying. 

She tries to let it go, she really does. Over the coming weeks it becomes easier to ignore the nagging feeling that something is missing. Occasionally she’ll get a wave of deja vu when she catches Bellatrix’s gaze lingering for a moment too long, but then her eyes leave her and the feeling passes. 

The ordinary passing of days begins to lull her into a sense of security. Her grades are up, her friendships feel almost normal. Except for Pansy and Ginny being together, which is always going to look shocking and weird, things are simple. 

Then Ronald Weasley decides Defense Against the Dark Arts is a good time to ask Hermione on a date. 

“So…what do you think? If you’d be more comfortable, Ginny said she and Pansy will come with us. Um, like a double date,” 

Hermione is scrambling to come up with a single reason to say no. Then she sees Ron’s face start to fall in her silence, and she doesn’t know why she should reject him, so…”Well…alright. The Three Broomsticks it is, then,” 

His face lights up, and he really is sort of cute in a simple, lighthearted sort of way. It would be easy with him. Bellatrix snaps at everyone to take their seats and Ron runs into another desk in his hurry to get to his own. Ginny pats him on the shoulder and smiles appreciatively at Hermione. As if she’s going on a date with Ron out of the kindness of her heart and not because she actually wants to. Which may be true. 

Bellatrix breaks five pieces of chalk over the course of the lecture. Hermione tries not to think about what that means.


 

She settles on a low cut maroon sweater and jeans for her outing with Ronald. She keeps catching Pansy giving her a strange, sad smile while they’re getting ready together. She shakes the urge to ask her about it, reminding herself how much easier everything has been since she stopped probing into the sudden strangeness of her ordinary life. 

They walk to the inn together, and the shock of warmth when they come in from the freezing February air has her shrugging out of her coat before they get to the table. Ginny and Ron are waiting for them, the boy’s face bright red at the sight of her. It feels good to be looked at with wide, awestruck eyes. 

Ginny rises and wraps Pansy in a hug like they haven’t just seen each other a few hours ago. She takes a seat opposite her date, smiling in response in his toothy, contagious grin. 

“You look great, Hermione,” he says. 

“Thank you. You look very nice, too, Ronald,” 

He blushes even harder, either at the compliment or her use of his full name. 

“You really do Hermione,” Ginny says, settling back into her seat next to her brother, “You have to let me borrow that sweater sometime,” 

“Hey,” Pansy interrupts, slouching next to Hermione and elbowing her, “What about me. How do I look?”

Ginny rolls her eyes at her, “Shut up, you know you look good,” 

They order their drinks and she finds it easy to settle into conversation with them. Ron asks a lot of questions about their shared classes and she’s happy to answer them. She’s always found it beneficial to go over what she’s learned aloud. 

They’ve been there around 20 minutes when the door opens and the temperature drops and electrifies. She looks past Ron’s orange hair to the woman that’s just entered. Her stomach drops. Bellatrix.

Her hair is loose and wild around her pale face, and she’s wearing a different dress than what she wore earlier. It’s deep red and revealing and familiar. She looks right at her, her eyes darker than she remembers and so, so magnetic. The sights and sounds of everyone else in the inn fade away when she gives her a wicked smirk. 

The moment is broken when Ron touches her hand to get her attention. Her eyelids flutter as she reminds herself where she is and who she’s with. Ron asks her if she’s okay and she mumbles a response, looking past him again to find her professor sitting at the bar with a glass of firewhisky already in front of her. She wants to go up to her, confront her, yell at her. What does she think she’s doing, coming in here and ruining her evening with her presence? 

“Hermione,” Pansy whispers, squeezing her knee and pulling her focus, “ignore her,” 

Pansy is right. She’s being ridiculous. She tries again to return to her conversation with Ron but she’s suddenly incredibly bored with their topic. Inevitably she finds her eyes drawn to Bellatrix again, in time to see her rise from the barstool and head towards the stairs. Hermione is startled when she looks over her shoulder and meets her gaze, before turning and ascending the creaky wooden steps. 

“Excuse me,” Hermione says, cutting Ron off in the middle of his monologue about how great a Keeper he is, “I need to use the restroom,” 

She gets up without sparing her friends a glance. She swears she can still smell Bellatrix in the air as she follows her path up the stairs. On the next floor she finds a quiet hallway of rooms with the doors shut, no professors to be seen. She takes a few hesitant steps forward, the floorboards creaking noisily under her feet. She’s almost at the end of the hallway, about to give up and turn around when a door opens and someone yanks her inside. 

She would have screamed if it weren’t for the cool hand covering her mouth. 

“Calm down,” Bellatrix hisses, pressing her against the now shut door. Hermione is hit with another wave of familiarity, like she’s been in this exact position before. Which is ridiculous. 

Hermione stares at her with wide eyes. Her hand still covering her mouth, Bellatrix draws her wand and wards the room, trapping her inside. Her skin is crawling with fear mingled with a sick anticipation. Bellatrix releases her and steps away once she’s done fortifying the room. 

“What do you think you’re doing?” Hermione whispers. It’s embarrassing the way her voice trembles, but Bellatrix elicits a terrifying feeling of helplessness whenever she’s alone with her. Especially now that she trapped and she’s looking at her like a cat about to devour a mouse. 

“I’m sick of pretending,” Bellatrix advances on her, grabbing Hermione’s face with both her hands and eclipsing her vision completely, “It isn’t fair that you get to waltz away from this without consequence and I have to suffer. You started this, you deserve to suffer with me,” 

“Why are you suffering? Is this your PTSD acting up again? Draco told me-” 

Bellatrix looks at her like she’s crazy, then releases her and cackles, “Is that what he told you? That’s fucking rich. No, Granger, I’m not acting like this because I’m crazy, I’m acting like this because you have-you’ve-,” Bellatrix stutters uncharacteristically, “You have made me…feel things that I cannot feel, and then you erased me,”

Hermione’s heart is pounding. She feels like she’s teetering on the edge of a revelation that will ruin her. The way Bellatrix is looking at her makes her not care. She has to know why she’s causing this severe, wild, untouchable woman to look at her with a frustrated softness. 

“What do you mean I’ve erased you?” She says. She moves forward, consumed by a desire to reach out and touch, to make this feel real. 

“You obliviated me,” Bellatrix says, her voice impossibly soft. Broken. 

She doesn’t want to believe her, but how can she not? It explains everything that’s been wrong with her lately. 

“Why would I do that? What did I forget, exactly?” She lifts her hands to grip the sides of Bellatrix’s neck, her thumbs resting just beneath her jaw. She can feel the woman’s pulse pounding just as quickly as her own. 

“I broke your heart,” Bellatrix says, “I had to,” 

She can’t believe Bellatrix hasn’t moved away from her yet. It feels strange and wrong and wonderful to hold her, to feel her soft skin beneath her fingertips. 

“Then why are you angry at me for forgetting you if you don’t want to be with me, anyway?” It feels absurd to ask such a question  

The softness gives way to anger. Bellatrix shoves her against the wall and presses herself against her, fisting her hands in her hair and yanking painfully, “I didn’t say I didn’t want you, I said I couldn’t…I can’t-” 

Hermione groans, and she doesn’t know if she’s responding to the pain of the hands tugging at her hair or the feeling of Bellatrix against her. She wraps her arms around her bony shoulders and pulls her closer. 

Bellatrix melts around her, lowering her mouth to Hermione’s neck and peppering it with open mouthed kisses. Hermione’s head falls back and she gasps, then moans when Bellatrix’s hands slide down her body. They pass over her breasts, her nipples hardening at the contact, then wrap around her waist in a crushing embrace. 

“This is wrong,” Hermione moans. She thinks about shoving her away but something inside her twists painfully at the thought. 

Bellatrix nips at her collarbone, then licks her way back up to bury herself beneath Hermione’s jaw. Her head is craned back in complete submission and she’s gasping for air, never getting enough. Bellatrix is sucking on her now, absolutely hard enough to leave a mark. 

“I’ll make you remember,” She says against her skin, “I’ll never let you go,” 

Hermione is beside herself, in too lost a state to even notice the poke of a wand against her temple. Bellatrix slides her other hand up her shirt at the same time she whispers a charm between kisses. 

Hermione would have collapsed if she wasn’t trapped against the wall. She screams at the force of her memories resurfacing, flashing behind her eyelids like a bad romance movie that ends in tragedy. Bellatrix buries her teeth in her neck in response and she’s grateful for the physical pain keeping her tethered to the present. 

“What-what..” She stutters, struggling to form a complete sentence. She’s disoriented from the onslaught of information combined with Bellatrix’s aggressive touches. She only just notices that the woman has pushed her bra up and is rolling her nipple between her fingers. 

“Fuck,” Hermione growls, “Fuck you,” 

Bellatrix jerks away in surprise and Hermione slaps her across her cheek. Bellatrix stares at her, infuriated, but her anger is nothing compared to Hermione’s. 

“How dare you?” Hermione shrieks, shoving the woman farther away from her, “You had no right-”

You had no right!” Bellatrix interrupts. She’s so beautiful, her hair disheveled from Hermione’s hands and her cheeks flushed darkly, the one she’d hit darker than the other, “You don’t get to forget me and leave me alone in this!” 

Hermione shoves her again and the back of her knees hit the front of the bed, forcing her to sit, “You’re the one who left me alone. I put my heart in your hands and you stomped on it. You made me think I had a chance and then you humiliated me. You broke me,” 

There’s tears falling down Hermione’s cheeks now, hot and unbidden. The words flow from her freely, a broken dam of fury and pain, “I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t focus. I was falling behind in my classes and withering away. I couldn’t take it,” 

“Shut up,” Bellatrix huffs, her voice hoarse. Hermione moves to hit her again but Bellatrix grabs her wrist and yanks her forward instead. She stumbles right onto the woman’s lap. She adjusts so she’s straddling her, clinging to the front of her dress to keep herself steady. 

Hermione sucks in a breath to keep yelling at her but Bellatrix grabs her face and stops her by surging forward and crashing their mouths together. She kisses her hard and deep, her tongue slipping into her mouth and sliding hotly against her own. Hermione pushes against her until Bellatrix is on her back without separating their mouths. She’s too hot, she’s throbbing and angry and painfully aroused. 

She pulls back to breathe but Bellatrix isn’t having it, tugging her back sucking her lower lip between her teeth. Hermione’s head is spinning from the lack of oxygen, the limited breath she’s getting from her nose not nearly enough to fill her burning lungs. She bites Bellatrix’s lip and the woman jerks away, finally allowing her to gasp for air. 

There’s a line of blood blossoming on her swollen mouth and Hermione falls in love all over again at the sight of her. She slaps her again. 

Bellatrix trembles beneath her, whips her head back to scowl at her, “Enough,” she snarls, flipping their positions with ease. She presses her forearm into Hermione’s throat, ending her short reunion with breathing easily. 

She kisses her again, straddling her thigh and grinding against her. Bellatrix moans into her mouth, licking her way inside again. Hermione lifts her hips to try to get some sort of friction, but her jeans make it impossible. She whines against Bellatrix’s mouth and feels her lips curve into a smirk. She pulls away and Hermione’s head spins as she gasps for air. Bellatrix unbuttons her pants and yanks her jeans down her legs, tossing them to the side. She pushes Hermione’s knees apart and drags her fingers over her damp panties. 

“I hate you,” Hermione says, her voice breaking. She says it too softly for it to sound genuine. Bellatrix drags her underwear down her thighs, exposing Hermione to the air. She squirms under her professor’s hungry gaze, feeling too vulnerable. 

“I don’t believe you,” Bellatrix says, continuing to stare at her. 

Hermione reaches for her, tugging at the collar of her dress, “Take it off,” she demands. 

Bellatrix ignores her, crawling back up her body and shoving Hermione’s sweater up over her head. The student huffs and allows Bellatrix to completely undress her until she’s completely exposed before her. 

“I’m angry with you,” Hermione sighs, bringing her arms up to cover herself. Bellatrix shoves her hands away and pins them to her sides. 

“I’m angry with you, too,” Bellatrix snaps, “You erased me, slapped me, paraded that Weasel in front of me…” 

“You deserved it,” Hermione says, moaning when Bellatrix lowers her head and takes a nipple between her teeth. She nips gently at it, then sucks it into her mouth and circles it with the tip of her tongue. 

Bellatrix scratches her nails down Hermione’s stomach harsh enough to leave red welts rising in their wake. She presses her hands into her hips, pinning her to the bed and moving closer so Hermione’s center rubs against Bellatrix’s stomach, smearing against the velvet of her dress. She kisses up Hermione’s body until she’s staring into her eyes again, her hips resting snugly between her legs. The younger girl clenches her thighs around Bellatrix’s waist and rushes her hips up, against the hands that are pinning her down. It’s not enough, and Bellatrix knows it. 

“I’m going to ruin your dress,” the student says. The feeling of silk dragging against her is weird and nice but not nearly what she desires. She wants Bellatrix. She wants her skin on her, she needs to feel her. 

“You’re insufferable,” Bellatrix says, leaning away to reach behind her and unzip her dress. It slides off of her to reveal absolutely nothing underneath. 

“Oh,” Hermione breathes, drinking her in, “Were you planning this?” 

Bellatrix purrs “Maybe,” and lowers herself back down between her legs. Hermione’s eyes slam shut at the contact and Bellatrix’s remain unblinking on her face, watching her every expression. She grinds down slowly, and the Gryffindor gasps when the woman’s sharp hipbone pushes against her. 

She wraps her arms around Bellatrix’s neck so they’re pressed against each other, closer than ever before. She feels her every soft curve, every sharp angle. Bellatrix just lays against her, feeling her, running a hand up and down her side. 

“Bellatrix,” She sighs, bucking her hips against her, “I want you,” 

Bellatrix pushes herself up and stares down at her. Her long hair falls down, tickling Hermione’s face. She reaches up to smooth back the wild hair, face growing hot under Bellatrix’s intense gaze. 

“Where do you want me?” She asks lowly. 

Hermione moves her hips again, “Here. I want to feel you inside,” 

She grabs the hand thats been wandering and shoves it down where she needs it. Bellatrix chuckles softly and tsks. 

“Eager, aren’t we?” 

“I’ve been waiting for you my whole life,” Hermione says. 

Bellatrix finally, finally touches her where she needs her. She drags her fingers through her heat and pushes two inside, softly, slowly, sweetly. She drops her head down to rest her forehead against Hermione’s, watching her eyelashes flutter. 

“You’re going to ruin me,” Bellatrix whispers. 

Hermione pants and grabs Bellatrix’s forearm, spreading her legs wider and pushing her in deeper, “Never,” 

Bellatrix drags her fingers out, then pushes back in with a third finger. She moves like that, slowly and gently, taking her. Hermione clutches at her hair, bring her back down against her. Bellatrix latches back onto her neck, sucking promises into her skin. She uses her other hand to sling Hermione’s leg around her waist, the angle allowing her to push into her even farther. 

“Bella,” Hermione sighs. She digs her nails into her back and drags them down, reveling in the way Bellatrix shivers at the action. 

She’s never felt more complete than she does right now, wrapped around Bellatrix Black, the woman of her dreams. And now that woman has kissed her way down her body and is wrapping her lips around her swollen clit. 

“Bella!” Hermione cries again, arching into her. She hums, the lips wrapped around her vibrating with the noise and Hermione’s noises grow louder and higher. She’s rutting with abandon against her face but Bellatrix doesn’t seem to mind. 

She’s so close. There’s a white hot pressure building inside of her and her movements are growing frantic. She’s clenching around Bellatrix’s fingers and then suddenly…nothing. 

Panic slams into her. Her eyes fly open and she sees Bellatrix, totally naked and sitting on her heels at the end of the bed, grinning maliciously at her. 

“What-no, no no, why are you doing this?” Hermione cries. 

She scrambles up and grasps at Bellatrix desperately, mad with want. 

“Bella,” She hisses, wrapping her arms around her and straddling her, “Don’t be an asshole,” 

Bellatrix laughs, letting Hermione push her back down and climb on top of her. Hermione grinds down on Bellatrix’s stomach and buries her face in her mess of curls, breathing hotly into her ear. The woman’s laughter dies when she feels Hermione’s slickness against her again, giving way to heavy breathing instead. She grabs Hermione’s ass and guides her thrusts. The girl whines, biting at her earlobe, asking for more. 

Bellatrix’s restraint runs out. Her hand finds Hermione’s center again and she slides inside easier this time. Hermione sighs in relief, moving herself against the fingers that are impaling her. Bellatrix lifts her head to pull Hermione’s nipple back into her mouth. Hermione cradles her head and gets into a steady rhythm, locking Bellatrix against her in an iron grip. It should’ve been painful or uncomfortable but Bellatrix doesn’t care. She lets her student use her, ride her until it hurts, and Hermione’s whimpering in her ear again in that particular high pitched way that means she’s close. Bellatrix doesn’t pull away this time, Hermione wouldn’t let her. 

Hermione throws her head back and she knows she’s being loud but it feels too fucking good to care. Her professor’s palm is grinding roughly against her clit and she’s hitting that perfect spot inside her, again and again until she’s seeing stars. She cries out her name like a prayer or a curse. 

Bellatrix continues to work inside of her, letting her ride out the aftershocks in jerky movements. She kisses her cheeks, then her mouth, as she gently removes her fingers. 

“You’re perfect,” Hermione whispers against her lips. Bellatrix rolls them over so Hermione’s on her back again. 

Before Hermione knows whats happening, Bellatrix’s head is between her legs again, licking up  her thighs and back to her swollen, sensitive center. She jerks her hips and gasps in surprise. 

She shoves at Bellatrix’s head, laughing when the woman bats her hands away. 

“I don’t think I can take any more,” 

Bellatrix dips her tongue inside her, then flattens it against her clit, “I think you can,” She murmurs. 

Hermione’s head falls back against the pillow and she lets Bellatrix have her way with her. She doesn’t know how she’s managing to breathe down there with how completely she’s buried against her. She laps at her until Hermione’s coming again, faster this time. 

“You taste so fucking good,” Bellatrix moans, dragging those pouty lips against her and licking everything up as Hermione bucks weakly against her face. 

“Come here,” Hermione whispers, tugging Bellatrix head up until they’re pressed fully together again. 

Bellatrix kisses her deeply so she can taste herself on her tongue. “Wow,” She says, wiping her wetness off of Bellatrix’s chin with her hand, “There’s so much,” 

“You’re perfect,” Bellatrix echos, her eyes softer than she’s ever seen them. 

Hermione wraps her up in a hug and Bellatrix nuzzles against her, “You’re so sweet,” Hermione says, confusion seeping in as she regains her senses, “What’s changed?” 

“You,” Bellatrix sighs, “I thought I could walk away from you, that I could shut it off. When I saw that you’d forgotten me I couldn’t…stand the idea of you existing in this world and not remembering me,” 

“I remembered you…I just didn’t remember how I felt about you,” 

“Thats just as bad,” Bellatrix says, pulling back to pout at her. 

Hermione can’t resist kissing the pout away. “Why were you so mean before? At Draco’s?” 

Bellatrix stiffens, then shifts away so she’s laying next to her instead of on top of her. Hermione rolls over so they’re face to face, but Bellatrix wont meet her eyes. 

“Bella,” she says, caressing her face, “Tell me,” 

After a moment, Bellatrix looks at her, “I told Lily about us. Not you specifically, but she figured it out easily enough. You’re not great at hiding your emotions, by the way. I could tell how you felt about me the first time I laid eyes on you,” 

Hermione blushes which she knows is absurd considering everything thats transpired. 

“She told me how stupid and inappropriate it was. How dangerous it would be if we ever got caught. How It would ruin my reputation and yours. She said if I really cared about you, I’d let you go before you really fell for me,” 

“She was too late,” Hermione comments. 

Bellatrix’s eyes widen at that. Hermione feels a jolt of anxiety until Bellatrix pulls her close, tangling their legs together. 

“She was right,” Bellatrix says, “This could ruin us,” 

“Then why stop me from leaving you behind?” Hermione asks. 

Bellatrix shrugs, dragging a nail down her cheek, “I decided I didn’t care,” 

A small smile tugs at Hermione’s lips. She can’t bring herself to care, either. The entire world is against this, the most beautiful thing Hermione has ever felt. Nothing else matters outside of this shabby room, no force in the world could tear her from this now that she finally has it. Bellatrix runs her fingers through her hair and gives her a toothy grin, and she’s easily the most wonderful thing she’s ever seen. Her chest aches at the sight of her. She’d ruin her life for more time with her, she’d ruin Bellatrix’s, too. None of it matters but them, here and now, and whatever the future holds for them. She can see the rest of her life in Bellatrix’s black eyes, and whether it ruins them or not she knows they’ll be together at the end of it. She won’t accept anything less.