Hermione knew that the moment she landed she would only have seconds to prepare herself. She needed some sort of cover to maintain the element of surprise she gained with her very dramatic exit. And she had to prepare for the fact that Bella’s wand was particularly finicky. It was extremely powerful, but it didn’t take kindly to being used by anyone but its mistress. Through their connection, it seemed that the young witch had been granted some privileges, however she suspected that it did not include dueling with her wife. She moved quickly along a row of hedges until she found a suitable vantage point. She believed the dark witch would not apparate, but rather walk through the house. One of Bella’s strengths was letting her prey wait. The fear alone would do half of her work and allow her to have fun.
Deciding not to risk the wand, Hermione tucked it into her waist band. She took a deep breath and fully raised her occlumency walls. She hadn’t spent much time attempting to keep Bella out, but it was one of the forms of magic she could still practice within the castle walls. So it had become a bit of an obsession over the last few months. She hoped it would be enough at least not to give away her position from the get go. She was at a slight advantage possessing the witch’s wand, even without her own. Bella did not specialize in wandless magic, not that Hermione could blame her with such a powerful wand.
The young witch was not disappointed at the arrival of her wife. The dark witch threw open the garden doors and stormed out as though she were royalty. Hermione suppressed the urge to go worship the ground she walked on. There would, after all, be plenty of time for that later. And she suspected that their physical connection was far more likely to give away her location than anything else.
“Come out, come out wherever you are, little witch. And I promise not to hurt you… much,” Bella shouted out into the moonlit garden.
Hermione involuntarily shuddered at the tone. Her wife sounded a bit unhinged, but merlin if it too wasn’t painfully attractive. She was quite certain that the witch would be the death of her if Hermione was destined to find everything she did attractive. She paused in her plan a fraction of a second too long, allowing Bella to narrow down what part of the lawn she was hiding in. She still didn’t have an exact location, but it was too close for comfort. Hermione deployed a quiet bombarda just to her left. She had to cover her head to protect herself from debris. The explosion was far enough away that it didn’t destroy what she was hiding behind, but she hoped that Bella would look to the other side of the garden not believing that her wife would detonate right next to her location.
“Hermione,” the sickly sweet voice came again. “Be a good girl and hand over my wand. The punishment will be short. No reason to draw it out, love.”
Disappointingly, the dark witch began advancing directly towards her. The young witch let her approach a few steps before whispering a stupefy. The spell was only inches away from her lover when it was swiped away by a calm hand.
“Now now, little witch. You know it will take more than that to take me out. Really you ought to be a bit more creative than that.”
Hermione moved slightly to the left. “Locomotor Mortis.” Her aim was true, causing her wife to fall mid-step. Not wishing to give away her position, the young witch slipped further back into the garden.
“Oh Hermione, I can feel your passion and anger. Stop running, love.” Bellatrix was once again advancing towards her. “The point is to practice your skill and I don’t think you are worried about your marathon abilities.”
“Reducto,” Hermione shouted, blasting a shrub directly in her wife’s path and sending debris all over the witch.
“Very well done, little witch. There you are. Let's make this a bit more fair. Accio wand.”
Hermione felt the wand fly out of her pants and she wondered why her wife hadn’t done that to begin with. “You weren’t afraid I would really attack,” she said. It was truly a statement and not a question.
“You are quite fierce, my darling. But no. You fear doing me harm. But I’ve saved you the worry. I have my wand back so I am more than your equal. Expulso.”
With the utterance of the curse, the bush Hermione was hiding behind blew her back. She was on her feet and running before she could think. She threw a number of stupefies over her shoulder. She knew one hit when she heard her wife curse loudly. The young witch was then surrounded with numerous curses hitting all around her. She was aware for the first time of what it felt like to be pursued by her wife in a non-romantic context. She was grateful that her protegos were more than powerful enough to protect her.
“Not bad, love. Shall we move on to more advanced magic then?”
“Oh Bella,” Hermione purred. “I most certainly can handle anything you throw my direction.”
The dark witch met her wife’s eyes and smirked before raising her wand. The curses flew so fluidly from the dark red lips that Hermione could scarcely distinguish them from one another. It was clear that nearly all of the dark witch’s power was behind this attack, and the young witch could feel her defenses faltering slightly. It was time to act or be eaten alive by the gorgeous monster she married. Knowing it was a decidedly risky move, she dropped her protego in order to conjure a full fiendfyre. She had only literary knowledge of how it worked and she wasn’t even certain she could produce it on her first try without her wand. Much to her delight a column of flame shot up between herself and her wife. She couldn’t help but admire her work. Unfortunately she was so enraptured with her own success she forgot the task at hand and didn’t hear the word crucio drop from her lover’s lips over the roar of the fire.
It hit her squarely and she instantly quashed the fire spell knowing she wouldn’t be able to control it through the pain. In fact she felt quite literally on fire. The pain threatened to rip her apart and she struggled to focus on Bella’s voice sounding in her head. The voice commanding her to push the pain away. To force it out of her body. To raise her shields again. To keep fighting. She managed to get a deep breath that fortified her enough to launch a protego, bouncing the spell away. When no other spells immediately followed, Hermione slumped back into the cool grass to rest her aching body. The tears didn’t come until she was scooped up into her lover’s arms. Cools hands stroked through her hair and over her body. Her skin tingled wherever Bella’s hand traced. She couldn’t suppress a shudder that reverberated throughout her body, flaring arousal through her.
“Don’t fight it, love. It's quite alright and you are not the only one to react physically. I am so proud of you. You put up a hell of a fight without a wand. Without mine, I am not sure I would have been able to get even that crucio past you.”
Hermione finally opened her eyes to see the adoring look on her wife’s face.
“You’ve gotten stronger mentally over the last few months. I am impressed that you blocked me out entirely. I could hardly feel you at all.”
“It was painful to block our connection,” she said in a raspy voice she didn’t recognize.
“Come, darling. We should get you water and a snack. Did you finish dinner before you stormed out?”
Bella laughed loudly. “Well I am glad that you’ve got your priorities sorted.” She stood pulling the young witch up with her fully prepared to support her weight, but was pleasantly surprised when Hermione intertwined their fingers for the walk back to the house. The dark witch enjoyed the hazel eyes watching her with rapt attention as she mended the garden on the way back to the house.
“I love watching you do magic. It's… breathtaking,” Hermione said breathily.
“And I love watching you do many things, little witch.”
The young witch blushed deeply and tried to focus on the walk to the house instead of what the fight and crucio awoke in her body.
“Please tell me that I did not see a fire sprout in my garden,” Narcissa said coldly.
“It was just a little one,” Hermione said questioningly.
“Cissy, she summoned it wandlessly. It was fiendfyre.”
“Well. That's different, not to mention very impressive. When did you have time to practice such a spell?”
“I didn’t,” Hermione replied attempting not to make eye contact.
“You didn’t practice?” The blonde was clearly struggling to moderate her tone and volume. “That was your first attempt?”
“I had read about it a few months ago. Bella was starting to penetrate my protection spell. I had to do something flashy, but it didn’t go as planned. I had to drop it entirely to conjure the fire. Unfortunately she hit me with a crucio.”
“Which she also wandlessly got out of,” the dark witch said proudly.
“That almost makes interrupting our first dinner as a reunited family excusable. But I suppose if you will come in and eat now, then certain allowances can be made.”
“Thank you, Cissy,” Hermione said affectionately kissing her on the cheek.