There was a cadence in the air. Warmth accompanied by an unrecognizable melody.

A silhouette loomed over her.

It was dark, without any details, but as it came nearer, the shadow became a person.

A person with wild ebony curls, like the mane of lions. Impressive and alluring. Though definitely not of the masculine gender.

A body purely defined by curves, the air of confidence that wafted around this woman. Full lips and heavy eyelids made sure one could never ignore her.

A tongue that traced over teeth, one eyebrow that rose.


Jitters in Hermione's stomach made her sick and light in the head. Could she speak? Her voice had been reduced to a petty whimper.

The shadow was no longer, a woman in full glory it is.

Bellatrix Lestrange.

"Missed me, did you?" her voice was sultry, it could make anyone shiver. A stare, sharp as broken glass, they saw one's very soul.

Still, resolve was evident in her prey's system. Hermione had the heart to fight, knew how to listen to instinct. Adrenaline made her run at incredible speed, away from the hunter.

Yet it didn't work.

For it did not matter to where she ran, Bellatrix would follow and circle her, in the form of dark smoke, only to appear centimetres before her in full glory. Her scent all over the Mudblood; enticing her, weakening her resolve.

It was all a game. One Hermione had to play. She ran again, away, stumbled as Bellatrix re-appeared and once more ran with full speed the opposite way. Not that it mattered. There was no way out. Their path was none, all was darkness. Expect for their own being.

The Death Eater appeared before her like each other time and Hermione stumbled, not away, but against.

Not only scent but warmth enveloped her, crept in all her senses and drowned her whole.

Bellatrix' eyes, dark and dangerous, sparkled. Mischief? A sneer made a promise. Lips moved, the Death Eater wanted to say something, yet silence was all that greeted Hermione.

Her sight was shredded to pieces. Darkness entered from the corners, it covered not only herself but Bellatrix as well.

Who, as always, sneered at her still; those mocking eyes forever daring and challenging, yet with a spark of curiousity.

At times, whenever Hermione thought herself especially far gone in the darkness that engulfed them at this point, she swore she could also see fear in Bellatrix' features. But fear for what, the darkness?

The Mudblood never dared to think that it was fear Bellatrix felt for losing her, Hermione.

Darkness, it had them in its clutched.

Spasms; Hermione writhed in the tangled blanket like she was being electrified. Eyes shot open, deluded pupils, with sleep still in the corners of her eyes. Her mouth was open, ready to give voice to her agony. Her body covered in a cold sweat. Heart pounding in her ears.

Never would her scream come. Her pride was too important, she would never bow – never be submissive - to Bellatrix; not while she had been alive, nor now she was dead.

With her right hand she gripped the mattress, with her other she gripped her hair at their roots. And she waited, for the tension in her body to lessen. But it did not. Distress filled her, as images of years ago flew across her inner eyes. She relived those moments. Her memories of Malfoy Manor.

Her scar throbbed, the flesh around it felt incredibly sensitive, each touch a burn or a stab with a blade; like the word was carved in her anew.

Sobs wanted to spill over her lips, but she pressed her jaws tightly shut. As she wanted to grant the person beside her a few more hours of rest.

Her eyes glanced over to their silhouette. And she observed in silence how their torso slowly moved up and down - Hermione adored every subtle breath they took.

Her companion, lover and, as Fleur liked to introduce Hermione to others, lifelong mate.

However, Fleur's presence did little to calm her mind. The younger woman was still too close to the thin veil between being awake and the dark realm of nightmares. It would be impossible for her to fall asleep again for the rest of the night, she was aware. Yet, drowsiness that came with dreams lingered over her senses and mind. Made her unable to make decisions, even for her own wellbeing.

Her lover's breathing hitched and became more regular, her silhouette stirred. Fleur was awakening. Even though Hermione had made no noise. She watched the slender figure move, a hand searched for warmth. Which she had found real soon, as they laid close to one another already. The first touch was careful, then Fleur snaked her arm under Hermione's shirt and around her waist, and pulled herself against Hermione's side.

The younger woman watched and waited. She dared not breathe. Till those eyes finally opened. Piercing blue. Even with the little light that shone through the windows they seemed impossible to miss.

Calculating, observing, loving.

Hermione could only imagine how she herself looked in this moment. Fearful, haggard, but hopefully also smitten. For she still felt her pulse quicken as she felt how fingers and nails caressed her skin, despite her current state of mind.

Neither one spoke, they merely observed one another. And this, somehow, relaxed Hermione enough to untangle her left hand from her hair. Instead she laid it on Fleur's neck, the position a bit uncomfortable for herself, since her lover laid at her left side as well, but that mattered nothing to her.

She could feel a pulse, quick and lively.

The Quarter-Veela smiled as Hermione's fingers danced over her skin. A smile that brought flutters, a shiver and warmth to the younger woman.

Hermione whispered, "You are awake."

Fleur leaned in, kissed the shell of her ear and said, "Of course, mon amour."

"I made no sound, barely moved."

"You do not 'ave to."

I feel it.

Unspoken words, but both women knew.

In a swift motion Fleur was atop of her, hands now caressed her cheeks, jaws and neck. Thumbs wiped away invisible tears.

"Let me 'elp you forget about that night and everything to do with 'er," a throaty voice, the words were whispered against Hermione's lips. Shortly followed by the sensation of a tongue that traced an unknown path over the younger woman's neck.

In the dead of the night whimpers and moans drove away the silence.

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