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The Black Prophecy

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When Hermione began to regain consciousness the scent of cinnamon and pine magic flooded her senses. She felt her pulse quicken, knowing it could be no one but Bellatrix. The scent was entirely unique. She attempted to open her eyes, but they felt too heavy to move. She similarly tried her extremities, but had no greater success. Suppressing the urge to panic she tried to retrace her last thoughts. She was debriefing the Dark Lord and performed a simple spell to retrieve the prophecy from her robe. And her body went cold. She hoped remembering would be more comforting than that. She attempted to reach Bella with her magic, but couldn’t find enough of a spark to hold on to. Feeling thoroughly trapped in her own body and more than a little frustrated, she let out a loud scream in her head. Much to her surprise the scream managed to reach her vocal chords, though not in the way she intended. Instead a small squeak resonated in the back of her throat.

Even such a miniscule vocalization drew the attention of the person attending her. The cool slender hand on her head was familiar, but the vanilla and jasmine belonged not to Bella but to her sister. Soft lips hit against her ear,

“Don’t try to move or perform magic, little witch. Your body has been through quite an ordeal." The soft fingers trailed through her hair in a gentle massage.

"My sister used her magic to bind you. In order to heal, we needed to keep you still. So don't fight it. You are strong, but her spells are incredible when she puts so much emotion into them."

Hermione heard the familiar snap of the woman's fingers as she summoned an elf and dispatched him to retrieve Bellatrix. In mere seconds he was back with a loud pop. She heard the rustle of full skirts that could only have been created by her lover. Instantly she felt herself relax. So long as the dark witch was by her side, she knew she was safe.

"What is it, Cissy? The elf didn't give me any details. Is she ok?"

"I think she is conscious again. She managed to make a small sound a few minutes ago."

A throaty chuckle resonated through the room. "It figures that she would be able to break through my magic even if only a little. You would show off even in your current state wouldn't you, my love."

Bellatrix looked down at her still recovering lover, contemplating her options. Every part of her wanted to protect the girl's every move, but knowing she was awake and too depleted to communicate magically broke her heart.

"I am going to unbind you now, but don't try to move. Just open your eyes. You will be extremely weak." She paused to let her words sink in before drawing her wand. She allowed her magic to flow through her as she loosened the bonds on the girl. She watched tensely as long eyelashes fluttered before opening slowly.

"Hey there, beautiful. You have no idea how much I've missed those eyes," she said quietly.

"I'll let you two catch up," Narcissa said distantly.

Her tone confused Hermione, but the girl couldn't bear taking her eyes off Bella. As the door clicked closed the dark witch allowed the calm facade to crumble. Tears held back for many days streamed down her face. A weak and shaky hand gripped her sleeve and pulled her slightly towards her. Normally Bella would fight against such a show of emotion, but the last week had been anything but normal. She lowered herself next to the still unmoving body to bury her face in the slender pale neck. She let the tears fall until there was nothing left. She allowed her breathing to resume a normal cadence. She bounced her wild curls back and out of her eyes so that she could stare into the depths of the beautiful light brown eyes. When she found them, she noted that the very corners of the girls lips curled slightly.

“Listen and don’t try to talk. I know that will be difficult for you,” Bellatrix winked playfully. She began delicately trailing her hands down the girl’s body. After so many days without use, her muscles were bound to be stiff.

“Before I tell you everything, Draco is ok. He is doing far better than you are now. He has been up and moving for several days. You saved his life both in the ministry and by bringing him back here. It was quite ingenious. But Cissy, well you will have to make it up to her on your own.” She paused, allowing Hermione to process her words. She thought she might be projecting, but it seemed as though the eyes seemed less worried now. She transformed her gentle touches into a languid massage hoping to chase out lingering discomfort.

“You made quite the entrance here. You practically drug our Lord away from Malfoy. Though, you did save him from an unpleasant punishment. I wish you could have seen the look on his face when you pulled the unbroken prophecy from your robes. I thought for a moment that he might bow to you.” The dark witch cackled at her own joke. Hermione managed to move her lips enough to properly smile. She inhaled deeply to try to speak, but a finger was on her lips before she could manage a word. But it stayed only a moment before returning to her extremities.

“I watched as the light went out of your eyes. And then what you said. Hermione, I thought you were gone. Never fucking do that to me again,” she said almost panting. Bella closed her eyes for a moment quelling the rising anger. Under control again she continued, “the Dark Lord himself healed you. Had he not been present....”

Hermione flexed her fingers, gauging her muscular abilities. The gentle touch of Bella’s hands seemed to be imbuing her body again with strength. With considerable effort she interwove their fingers and squeezed. Dark eyes searched her face for any trace of strain. Deciding it was safe to continue on she started again,

“In your absolute determination to make a difference, you managed to entirely deplete your body of energy. You pushed every ounce out of your body with the final spell to retrieve the prophecy. It was remarkable that you managed to hand it over before you fell. He saved you by injecting you with my magic. It was an incredibly rare piece of magic. There are very limited situations in which it would have been successful. But it seems as though your magic has fully accepted me.”

Hermione finally gathered herself enough to whisper to request water. She needed to be able to talk to Bella. A glass was lifted gingerly to her lips as a steady hand lifted her head slightly to make the task easier.

“I am so sorry,” she said noting her voice was rougher than usual. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I didn’t even think. I just saw an opening for how I could make a difference and I took it. I had no idea how things were going here. It was so isolating.”

Bellatrix listened carefully attempting not to cry again. “We didn’t consider what it was like inside the school. We knew that Severus would keep you safe at all costs. I should have known that eventually you would take matters into your own hands. That blasted incompetent pink witch. She got power hungry. I swear if she harmed a hair on your head...”

“She didn’t. There might have been a time or two she considered it, but she was smart enough not to try. I am not sure I would have been able to keep my head down.”

The older witch playfully touched their foreheads before gently pressing their lips together. “Don’t you dare ever do that to me again. At least let me fight by your side. Being powerless and watching the life drain out of you. I felt my sanity slipping away with you. I would become a demon without you.”

“I won’t do it again, I promise.”

“I need more than just a promise. I need to have you forever. Will you, Hermione? Will you be mine forever?”

“I’ve always been yours, Bella. Nothing about that can ever be changed.”

“I want it to be official. Be bonded to me. Marry me.”

Hermione struggled into a seated position and pulled herself flush against her lover’s gorgeous body. “Just tell me when and where.”

Bellatrix kissed her slowly and softly until the younger witch pushed her slightly away. “I won’t break you know. Like you mean it, please.”

Hermione watched the pupils of the beautiful dark eyes expand. The dark witched licked her lips before launching herself at the girl. She wanted the girl to not expend as much energy by sitting up, and truth be known she did prefer being on top. She thoroughly kissed and nipped at the proffered lips, determined to communicate in a way that only she could the full extent of her desire. Before their private celebration could heat up, a sharp rapping at the door caused Bella to climb off the bed.

“Hermione,” Draco said. His voice was colored with emotion both relief and gratitude.

She gingerly repositioned herself until she was seated with light help from her lover. When he reached the bed, he enveloped her in a warm embrace.

“I am so glad to see you awake,” he said, perching on the edge of her bed.

“The same goes for you, blondie. I thought you were going to abandon me at the first battle. And then I would have had to carry out all of our plans alone.” She looked at her lover, seeing the warning flashing in the dark eyes.

“Oh that would have been most cruel. You would have had to go all alone,” he replied, easily catching on to Hermione’s joke. “But you shouldn’t tease my aunt so.” Turning towards Bellatrix he continued, “this was the only plan we had. There is nothing left up our sleeves. And if there were, we both know my mother would lock us in our room until we confessed every last detail.”

“That I would,” Narcissa said returning to the conversation. “Anyway Miss MacCarthy, I think you have more than enough to be repentant for. I would not recommend adding to the list.” The blonde Black sister remained stiff and cold as though she were talking to a stranger.

“Be nice, Cissy. The girl has just survived a harrowing ordeal and has just agreed to marry your crazy older sister. That should be enough to keep you happy for now.”

Draco threw his arms around Hermione rapidly congratulating her and asking his aunt for further details and plans. The girl however heard nothing of what was being said. She was focused on the steely blue eyes connected with her own.

“Come Draco, we mustn’t overexert her.”

“Cissa...” Hermione whispered on the verge of begging.

Against her better judgement, the blonde crossed the room into the drooping open arms of the girl. She held the slightly shaking form closely, knowing tears were finally rolling down the girl’s cheeks. She cooed the girl’s name, promising everything would be ok. Feeling the girl relaxing once again into her exhaustion, she laid her back down and placed her head carefully on the pillow. Before Hermione’s eyes closed, Narcissa said so only she could hear,

“You will still need to apologize to me properly, but you won’t be capable until you fully recover.”