Disclaimer: I don't own any of J.K Rowling's characters or any Harry Potter related creatures.

Author's Note: This will be a short mini-story, it is also completely AU & OC. The song I used for Bellatrix is Dark Within by Within Temptation.

Summary: Bellatrix Black is a singer; Hermione Granger is a young witch who has a crush. On a rainy night they spot each other, unfortunately events keep them apart. With the help of two witches, Hermione is introduced to her dream. Completely AU & OC. Mentions of Rape.


Deep Within

Part III

And then I realised that to be more alive, I had to be less afraid… So I did it, I lost my fear and gained my whole life – Rudy Francisco

Hermione stretched out her still tired body, having returned from a slightly stressful therapy session. While trying to change out of her clothes, all she could hear was the sound of tapping against her window. "Hold on, I'm coming." The owl continued to impatiently tap her window until she finally took hold of the rolled up parchment, "Bugger off you impatient monster." Unfurling the parchment, she started reading;

Good day Hermione,

I trust that you're enjoying your week so far.

I just wanted to wish you well with your upcoming appointment with my sister.

When you have a free moment, let me know and we can make a plan to have lunch.

With warm regards,

Bellatrix

Smiling to herself as she read Bellatrix's note, she moved over to her writing desk to grab herself some parchment. Placing said parchment on the desk, she began writing her response;

Dear Bellatrix,

It is thank you, not much to write on, I do hope that your week is going well too.

Thank you, I've actually just gotten back and Madam Tonks said that I'm progressing really well.

If you don't mind, I'd like to take some time before I feel ready enough to meet up unaccompanied.

Warmly

Hermione

Rolling up her response, she secured it with a black ribbon. Calling out to her owl, she sent her on her way, "Ara my sweet girl, please take this letter to Madam Bellatrix Black at Black Manor in Salisbury." Securing her note to Ara's leg, Hermione opened the window and released her. Turning back to face her bedroom, she finished changing into her stay home clothes. Trudging down her stairs, she flopped down into her armchair, picking up her book and returning to the page she was on before she'd left for her appointment with Andromeda.


Dear Hermione,

I'm glad to hear of your progress, it's always good to hear of your success in therapy.

That's fine little dove, when you're ready.

How's about we stick to writing each other for the time being?

With regards,

Bellatrix


Dear Bellatrix,

Thank you, it's been hard lately.

Madam Tonks has been testing me on my sensitivity to touch.

I agree, writing will be easier for the time being.

Little dove… I like that.

Warmly,

Hermione


Dear Hermione,

Sensitivity to touch? What does that entail?

I'm glad that you like it dearie.

I must be off now, Narcissa just arrived for our weekly tea date.

Have a good evening,

Bella


Dear Bella,

Madam Tonks will randomly touch my back, my head or my hand to see how I react.

She said that so far, I'm doing really well, I don't flinch or jerk away from her as I used to.

Please give Narcissa my regards.

Warmly,

Hermione


Little dove,

I do apologise for the delay in replying.

It's been a bit hectic these last few days. Draco decided to drop a bomb on his parents by informing them that he and Astoria were expecting twins, of course Cissy is beyond excited with her new grandbabies. Little Scorpius is also happy and cannot wait to meet his new siblings.

Ah I see, that makes sense. It's lovely to know that you're making an excellent recovery. I'm sure that a few months back you wouldn't have been happy to do these sensitivity tests though.

Narcissa returns her regards and says that she is proud to hear of your progress as well.

Your friends,

Bella


After a few months of writing back and forth, Bellatrix and Hermione had found out more about each other and had formed a lovely friendship. In fact, Hermione was now on her way to meet Bellatrix for lunch. Her first lunch at the Manor without anyone else accompanying her and she was a bit nervous but her overall happiness drowned out the nervousness. Arriving outside the gates of the Manor, she found a little house elf dressed in a black toga waiting for her, "Hello miss. Mistress Black is waiting, please follow me." He was certainly the most cultured house elf she'd met. Following behind the little elf, she took in the vast land that housed what looked to be hundreds of apple orchids.

Walking up the long drive toward the old Victorian style Manor, Hermione started fidgeting and pulling at her shirt. "Are you alright miss?" Hermione looked down at the little elf and gave him a half smile that was more strained than anything, "Yes, I am thank you." Stepping through the now open door and realising that she'd zoned out on the last few feet of the outside, she was prepared for the tiny arms that wrapped around her legs. She screamed and jumped away from the tiny child that had unexpectedly touched her, looking down she found a little boy with bright purple hair and bright and terrified eyes looking back at her. "I'm sowwy." She was still hyperventilating and by the time Bellatrix came down the stairs, the tiny boy was bawling and the tiny house elf was panicking, wringing his toga between his fingers.

"Teddy love, come here to Auntie Bella." Running to his Aunt, Teddy hid behind her legs. "Kip, what happened?" He turned his green eyes to her and she saw his distress, looking at Hermione, she immediately figured out what had happened. "Kip, please take Teddy to the kitchens." Kip took him as requested, leaving her alone with Hermione, who seemed close to passing out. "Little dove?" Walking closer to the younger witch, Bellatrix slowly and tentatively reached out to touch her shoulder, a violent flinch and another scream broke free from Hermione's chest. "Hermione, little dove, it's me…" Stepping back a bit, Bellatrix had to fight to keep from wanting to reach for out for the young woman. "It's Bella, Hermione you're safe, you're in Black Manor. You're safe, I promise. Nothing will happen, I promise." Hermione was struggling to breath and Bellatrix hadn't the foggiest on what to do.

"Tippy!" Another little house elf dressed in a black toga appeared before her, "Tippy, please go and get Andromeda or Narcissa, miss Granger needs help." Nodding, Tippy disappeared with a soft 'pop'. "Hermione, I've sent Tippy to get one of my sisters to help, I'm so sorry, I just don't know what to do." Flustered and running her hands through her hair, Bellatrix began pacing in her anxious state. "Bella! Oh Bella, we're here, what's happening, where's miss Granger?" Andromeda ran into the foyer, spotting Hermione immediately, "Oh Merlin." Narcissa appeared, hands flying to her mouth when she saw Hermione's state. Both Andromeda and Narcissa tried to get Hermione to calm down, but Andromeda soon sent Narcissa away, "Go and sit with Bella." Bellatrix felt herself being pulled away from the foyer, Narcissa had her hand around her bicep and soon they were both entering into the kitchens. Bellatrix looked over her shoulder and saw that Andromeda was talking softly to Hermione, showing her some breathing exercises.

Narcissa turned to face Bellatrix and looked her straight in the eye, "What happened with Hermione?" Bellatrix's eyes roamed her kitchens before dropping her head into her hands and sighing deeply. "I think Teddy may have hugged Hermione unexpectedly and it set her off, then without thinking, I lay my hand on her shoulder and it set her off again." Grumbling into the crook of her bent elbow, Bellatrix rambled on some more, "Oh sweet Morgana, I'm such an idiot, I shouldn't have touched her." Narcissa placed her hand on Bellatrix's back and rubbed it soothingly, "Teddy, sweetheart, are you alright?" The small child looked up at Narcissa with tear stained cheeks, "I hurt the lady." Moving away from Bellatrix, Narcissa went over to the tiny boy and picked him up before moving back over to her sister's side. "You didn't hurt the lady darling; Miss Granger is not used to being hugged or touched so suddenly. What happened is not your fault alright, you understand that?" Teddy leaned his head against her shoulder, his thumb slipping into his mouth as he nodded.

Narcissa held him to her shoulder and resumed rubbing Bellatrix's back, "I'm sowwy Auntie Bella." Bellatrix lifted her head and looked at her nephew, "It's okay love, you did nothing wrong. Auntie Bella isn't used to knowing someone like little dove." Leaning over Narcissa's arm, Teddy patted Bellatrix's shoulder, "Love Auntie Bella." Bellatrix sat up completely and leaned over to place her arms around both Narcissa and Teddy and hugged them both. "I love you too my sweet boy." Kissing his head and then Narcissa's cheek, she stepped away from the counter and headed back out to the foyer. "Andy, is everything alright out there?" Stepping out of the kitchens, Bellatrix found Hermione wrapped up in a hug with Andromeda. "All is well Bella, miss Granger is doing much better." Hermione leaned away from Andromeda and smiled shyly at Bellatrix, "I'm sorry Bellatrix, I destroyed our afternoon and all I wanted was to share my happy news with you."

Bellatrix smiled softly and walked over to them, stopping a bit further back from the two, "I'm sorry little dove, I should've told you that Teddy was spending the week with me." Hermione stepped closer to her and reached her hand out. "What was the news you wanted to share?" Accepting the proffered hand, she entwined their fingers together, "I took your advice and applied for a position within the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures." Bellatrix's face split into a large smile, "And?" Hermione smiled, blushing a little, "I got the job!" Bellatrix, Narcissa and Andromeda all squealed in excitement, wanting nothing more than to hug the young witch to her chest, Bellatrix held herself back and instead squeezed her hand. "Congratulations! Oh, little dove, I'm so happy for you!" Hermione smiled and looked at the three sisters, feeling an emotion she didn't think she'd ever feel around them blossom inside her heart. "You three ladies have really been amazing to me and I'm so grateful to have you in my life."


A year down the line saw Hermione happily working in the Ministry, Andromeda had stopped their sessions after an extra six months when Hermione had informed her that her budding friendship with Bellatrix was helping her immensely. Bellatrix had continued with her concerts across England and tonight was her last performance for the next month and Hermione couldn't wait to see her, she'd been freaking out for nearly two months now as she had been planning to ask Bellatrix out as her girlfriend. However, at the moment she had to focus on the here and now, "Miss Granger, I have another set of documents that you need to check please." Her colleague Rigel handed her a pile of forms before he headed back out of her office.

Reading through the new legislations involving the Goblins and Werewolves, Hermione circled and underlined a few key points that needed to be refined before placing the documents into the tray for the editing staff. A sudden knock on her door alerted her to a person standing in the doorway, "Hermione? You busy?" Looking up she found Harry Potter standing in his Head Auror uniform, "I'm nearly done, have a seat and I'll be with you in a moment." Dipping her quill back into the inkwell, she drew a line right through a part of the legislation for unpaid work done by werewolves, "Ergh, honestly, they deserve to earn some money." Muttering to herself as she penned her thoughts upon the document, slamming it into the tray for the editing team once done. She turned her eyes onto Harry's silently shaking form, "Shut up Potter." He choked down his laughter and straightened his posture. "Sorry, I have some news."

Leaning back in her chair, she looked at him expectantly, "Well? Come on spit it out." Smiling at him in silent encouragement, she waited for him to speak. "I've been promoted!" He shouted with a broad grin, slapping his hands to his mouth seconds later. "Congratulations Harry!" Jumping up from her chair she hurried over to his side before freezing, he waited for her to collect herself, knowing that this still happened every so often. "Sorry." Going back to her seat, she sat down and smiled at him, "I'm really happy for you, so from Head Auror too...?" Looking expectantly for his response, "Head of the Department of Law Enforcement. Madam Bones is retiring and asked that I take her place and there's one more thing." Hermione tilted her head to the side, "What?" Harry pulled his spectacles down the bridge of his nose and rubbed at his eyes. "I placed your name down for Deputy Head." Smiling sheepishly, he pulled his shoulders up and looked at her shocked face.

"You what?" Stuttering and looking at Harry, Hermione struggled to find her words, "Madam Bones was very happy to receive your application. She hired you." Now Hermione's jaw slackened as her eyes widened. "But Harry, I've not worked in the Law Enforcement department, how am I supposed to manage an entire Auror Department?" Harry smiled and stood up, "Hermione I believe in you, you'll do amazingly well and you're a clever witch." Hermione interrupted him, "Seriously? I've never been part of the Aurors, I'll have to read about everything." Harry chuckled, "Oh Merlin, it's like fourth year all over. Hermione you're the brightest witch I know, you'll do wonders in the department I promise, now stop worrying so much." He stopped at the door and looked at her with a smile. "I'll see you in your new office in a week, your replacement has already been selected." Hermione felt her neck twinge in pain at the speed in which she looked up at him, "Who was selected?" Harry looked over his shoulder, "Rigel." He disappeared from view moments later.


Bellatrix stood on the stage waiting for the curtain to open for her last song of her last night before her month-long vacation and she couldn't be happier. She was giddy with her excitement, already planning her upcoming weeks off. "Madam Black, are you ready?" The stage hand called, "Yes, yes I'm ready." Without another second to wait, the curtains began opening and Bellatrix stepped forward, raising her arms and smiling brightly. She waved at her audience and listened as the orchestra started playing the mellow chords of her last song, the music caressed her senses pleasantly as it filled the theatre with a musical warmth. Raising her head, she let her voice flow with her song;

Is there a place deep within?...

A place where you hide your darkest sins…

There's a strange kind of ambiance, it's surrounding you…

As a songstress you lure me towards the truth…

Candles die down as you leave the room…

In my heart you leave no gloom…

As you lure me, I know the truth…

You're a leprechaun, I see you through…

Is there a place deep within?...

A place where you hide your darkest sins…

There's a strange kind of ambiance, it's surrounding you…

As a songstress you lure me towards the truth…

Finishing her song with her voice resonating around the theatre, a thunderous applause sounded out. Rose petals fell from the ceiling as the crowd gave her a standing ovation. "Thank you everyone, thank you for supporting me through the last year. I look forward to seeing you all again when I'm back from my vacation!" More applause filled the theatre as she bowed, the curtains closed and the sound of her audience disappeared. Sighing out as she turned to face the stage manager, she smiled and gave him her thanks for all his hard work. "Not a problem Madam Black. I do look forward to when you're back." Smiling as she walked away, heading back to her dressing room to freshen up before she headed back home.


After her week long hand over to Rigel, Hermione headed for her new office on Level 2 of the Ministry of Magic. "Good morning Miss Granger." Harry stood just inside of her office, a welcoming smile etched on his face, "Morning boss." Smiling as she made her way to her desk, Hermione took her seat and looked at Harry. "Alright, well today you're just going to get situated with your new station, familiarise yourself with the department and tomorrow you'll begin properly." Nodding as Harry left her office, she begun with decorating. Once she'd finished placing her recently acquired books and her old books onto the bookshelf behind her. She begun unpacking her stationary, putting her quills and ink pots into her drawer along with her other writing instruments, she finished by placing her personalised quill and inkwell onto her desk.

Pulling out a piece of parchment, she decided to pen out a letter to Bellatrix;

Dear Bella,

I trust that you're enjoying the first week of your vacation.

It's been some time since I last mailed you, I know, but there's been some small, yet exciting, changes in my life that has kept me from writing you earlier.

Last week, one Harry James Potter decided to drop in for a visit, informing me that he was being promoted to Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Of course, he also decided to drop another bomb on my desk by telling me that he had put my name and an application forward for the Deputy Head. What was more surprising to me was that they actually accepted this! I mean seriously Bella, what in Circe's name do I know about Magical Law Enforcement? Anyway, I decided that I would embrace this change, not denying that Harry is correct, when I put my mind to it, I can achieve anything.

So, one week down the line, here I am writing you from my new office. It still feels surreal, but I won't let it get me down. I am looking forward to this new avenue, a new change to my life, something that will move me up in the Ministry. Perhaps I'll become Minister! But alas, 'tis but a dream.

Enough about me, how are you? How has this past week been treating you?

When you're free, I'd love for you to join me at our restaurant for supper and a catch up.

Warmly,

Hermione

Rolling up her parchment and securing it within an inter-department memo, she placed a ward on it to keep it from prying eyes and sent it up to the Ministry owlery for delivery to Bellatrix. Sitting back down, she had a look around her circular office, noting that it could use a few paintings to liven it up a bit, she made a note to purchase some. A soft knock on her door interrupted her musings, turning around she found a dark haired beauty standing in her doorway holding onto a rolled up parchment, "I believe a young Miss Granger was attempting to contact me." A naughty smile followed her words which had Hermione giggling and moving to embrace the darker witch. "What are you doing here Bella?" Chuckling, she moved into the office and closed the door behind her.

"Well I came here to see if you're free for lunch?" Hermione nodded, "Yes, I am actually." A brilliant smile had her cheeks darkening, "Excellent! Come along dove, let's ditch this place." Grabbing Hermione's hand, she pulled her over toward the door, "Oh! Bella…" Giggling at her friend's excitement, she followed behind her. She informed her receptionist that she was going out for lunch if anyone was looking for her. Following behind the bubbly witch, Hermione smiled and rolled her eyes, "Bella, slow down, it's not like wherever we're going, is going to disappear." Her exasperated voice filtered into Bellatrix's mind and she turned her head to look over her shoulder, only to pull a tongue at her and then hurry her pace even more. "Come on Hermione." Her giggles were infectious and soon even Hermione was giggling.

The two witches made their way through the Ministry's Atrium, across the large hallway that was home to the floo network and through the double doors that led to Diagon Alley. Stepping out into the sun, both of them squinted at the sudden brightness. "Shall we go to the Leaky Cauldron?" Bellatrix gave her a down-the-nose sneer before smiling, "Yes, it's about the closest to the Ministry and we wouldn't want you to get into trouble on your first day as Deputy Head." Winking and walking through the doorway, Bellatrix led them toward a table that was a bit more secluded to the others. "What would you like to drink dove?" Hermione pretended to think deeply, tapping at her chin as she did so, "I think a cup of tea will do nicely, thank you Bella." Striding across the room toward the barkeep, Bellatrix placed hers and Hermione's orders, "Oh and Tom, a plate of chips will be lovely." A chuckle came from Tom, "Of course Madam Black." Smiling, she headed back to Hermione.

Bellatrix sat down opposite the younger witch, reaching across the table and taking her hand, she prepared to ask the young woman a question that had been plaguing her for a while, however Hermione beat her to the punch by speaking first, "Bella, I've been wanting to speak to you for a little while now and with your surprise visit, I think this is as good a time as any." Hermione squeezed Bellatrix's hand and turned her eyes onto the dark witch, "Bella, would you do me a great honour and be my girlfriend?" Bellatrix's giggle and steadily warming eyes, had Hermione feeling giddy, "I was going to ask you the same thing and yes, I will be your girlfriend." Hermione's giddiness was soon replaced with a warmth that filled her soul. Pulling Bellatrix's hand to her lips, she gently laid a kiss upon her knuckles. "You've made me really happy Bella. A year ago, I never would have believed that my dream of meeting you would come true let alone becoming your friend and now girlfriend, I'm so thankful that I have you in my life." Bellatrix smiled brightly; a slight pink tint coloured her cheeks.

Hermione and Bellatrix broke apart when Tom appeared with a plate of chips and their drinks, "Thanks Tom." Hermione snatched a chip and smiled at Tom, "Enjoy ladies." Bellatrix nodded and sipped her tea. "Thank you for making me a happy witch dove and I cannot wait to get to introduce you as my girlfriend." Munching on a few chips, Hermione became a bit shy. "At least you know of my history which means I don't have to have that conversation." Bellatrix nodded and reached for her hand once more, "Indeed my little dove." Interlocking their fingers, she smiled lovingly at Hermione, "And you'll never have to worry about moving fast for me, our relationship will move at the speed in which you're comfortable with." Bellatrix felt Hermione squeeze her hand, tracing her thumb over her own in a silent thanks. "What did I ever do to deserve such a kind hearted witch." Bellatrix giggled and winked at Hermione. Both women finished their shared plate of chips and ordered another pot of tea with Hermione moving to sit next to Bellatrix soon after.


After a month of being an official couple, Hermione and Bellatrix were happily falling in love. Hermione had settled into her new position beautifully; she had gone out and bought two paintings for her office. Looking around her office, she idly looked at said paintings, one was of a brunette woman with her back to the painter, dressed with a black shawl and a floral skirt. A piece referred to as Turquoise and Velvet which was painted by a muggle man named Daniel Gerhartz. The other was of an apple orchid farm, a painting that always reminded her of Bellatrix and Black Manor. "Excuse Miss Granger, you have a visitor." Hermione looked over to her door and found her receptionist standing with Bellatrix. "Thank you Violet." Bellatrix smiled in kind at the young witch before entering Hermione's office and closing the door.

"Not that I'm not happy to see you but what brings you to my office Bella?" Hermione placed her hands on her desk and leaned closer. Looking her girlfriend over and enjoying the view of her pert breasts, pushed up by a leather corset. "See something you like, little dove?" Hermione trailed her eyes up along Bellatrix's chest and neck before letting them rest on shining eyes, "Indeed dear Bella." Smiling, she leaned forward even more, pushing her breasts up a bit more, "Then I shan't deprive you." Giggling together, they each moved across the office space to the couch that Hermione had, had brought in a week prior, for just such an occasion. "There's been murmurs in the breeze that your attackers were captured, is that true?" Hermione went a bit ashen in her face and looked over to the painting with the orchids before she responded with a quiet whisper, "Yes, it's true." Bellatrix leaned closer and placed her hand upon Hermione's and gently squeezed the limb.

"You didn't see them, did you?" Bellatrix waited for her to respond, patient and supportive. "No, Harry made sure my office was completely warded, I heard and saw nothing." Squeezing the hand of her dark witch, Hermione looked up and smiled at Bellatrix, "You don't have to worry Bella, Harry knows that they are not to be mentioned within my presence." Bellatrix shifted until she could pull Hermione closer, she let the young woman rest her head against her shoulder, "I always worry about you dove, I don't want anything to happen to you." Hermione turned her head a little and kissed Bellatrix's cheek, shocking the older witch completely. "Thank you for being so supportive Bella, you have no idea how much it means to me." Bellatrix slowly wrapped her arms around Hermione's front, resting her arms atop Hermione's. "Is this okay?" A nod was all she received, "It's just perfect." Tilting her head, Bellatrix looked at Hermione, a soft smile forming on her lips, "Marry me."

Hermione's honey eyes found chocolate brown, her mouth agape at the words she'd just heard, "Pardon?" Bellatrix grinned, "Marry me little dove, I know it's soon and we've only known each other a short time, but I want you by my side as my wife." Hermione looked up at her with eyes that were slowly filling with tears, "You truly want me as your wife?" Bellatrix chuckled and pulled Hermione closer, "Hermione Granger, my sweet little dove, I want you by my side for the rest of my life, I've waited for years to find a witch who is worthy of my love and my life. You are that witch, you make me smile and laugh, you are strong and courageous and I couldn't be any happier than I am when I'm with you. My beautiful little dove, do me the honour and marry me… Please." Hermione looked at Bellatrix and choked on her tears as she twisted around in her arms and hugged her tight, "Yes Bella, I'll marry you!" Hugging Bellatrix and crying into her shoulder, Hermione could feel her heart fill with pure happiness and love.