Hermione was getting increasingly worried, again looking out of the bay windows to see into the street. Still no sign of Trix.
Could she have gotten lost? Honestly, Hermione couldn't imagine how: Heathgate was just a single street and it was, conveniently, located just a few minutes away from a portkey transport hub in the middle of the Heath. Certainly Trix couldn't be that helpless in the muggle world, no?
Still, she was running late. It left her to pace back and forth through the living room. Her rather amused father, who was sat on the sofa, looked up from the book he was reading. "Chin up, puppet," he said. "She's only ten minutes late."
Hermione sighed. Perhaps dad was right. Perhaps she was worried over nothing. Perhaps... perhaps she should rush to the bay windows again to see if she was already making her way here. Alas, she was not.
The young witch let out a grunt and stomped over to the glass sliding door looking into their spacious backyard. She heard her mum over in the kitchen while she thought back to some playful memories of that backyard. Running around with the family dog, when they still had one. Playing badminton with her mum. Floating around in an inflatable pool in the summer. She actually discovered her magical nature right here in this backyard, after stubbing her toe against a big rock and then shooting it off into the sky by waving her hand at it in anger. How startling that that been.
McGonagall had come to visit the family home the very next day. Her life had taken such a strange turn after that.
The pleasant chime of the doorbell sounded through the house, causing Hermione's heart to skip a beat. She turned around and rushed towards the front door, barely hearing her father's well-meant 'go get her, Tiger!'. Hermione stopped after almost colliding with the front door, caught her breath and patted down her clothing to remove some unsightly creases. She opened the door and, to her delight, saw Bellatrix on the other side.
It was required of wizards and witches to adjust their clothing when going out into the muggle world and Bellatrix had done just that, having transfigured herself into an outfit conforming to the latest fashionable trends… of 1968. Bellatrix had donned a pair of very flared trousers with an astonishingly colourful floral pattern and combined it with a baggy and blindingly bright blouse. Finishing the image was a pair of oversized plastic sun-glasses. Bellatrix looked to be, dare Hermione say it, rather 'groovy'. Which made the completely black travelling cloak flung over her back and the traditional pointy, floppy witch-hat on her head utterly ill-fitting on an already completely and utterly ill-fitting outfit.
"Uhm," Hermione started after taking it all in.
"Sorry I'm a bit late," said Bellatrix. The two girls smiled and brushed lips briefly. "Maman wouldn't let me go until I'd allow her to put a trace on me. And my wand. And my clothing down to my underwear. She's probably looking in on us right now through the scrying bowl. Hello, maman! See? I arrived safe and sound," she said after waving at no one in particular.
Hermione raised an eyebrow at the positively psychedelic Bellatrix and tried to keep a neutral expression. "C-could you find it alright?"
"Yeah, it's only one street, but... I say, travelling through the muggle world is legitimately shit-your-pants scary," said Bellatrix. "Those muggles out there couldn't stop staring at me! It's like they could sense I'm a witch!"
"No," replied Hermione with a grin. "I can honestly say that's not why they were looking at you."
Bellatrix unsheathed her wand and tapped her clothes, transfiguring her psychedelic 1968 look into a black velvet dress underneath her cloak. It was an elaborate dress with a corset-like waist section and a widening billow from the hips down. Silver runes had been inlaid on strategic places of the fabric. Of course, the most striking feature was that, even though she showed no cleavage, there was a very nice, well, push-up effect going on.
Hermione had no idea she'd been staring until Bellatrix reached over with her hand to raise Hermione's lower jaw until her mouth was shut to the sound of an audible clack. The young witch immediately felt the heat rise to her cheeks. Bellatrix, for her part, seemed rather pleased with herself.
"Is there somewhere I can put my hat?" asked Bellatrix, with a tone that was a little too much filled with forced innocence. Indeed, Bellatrix was wearing her Sunday best. No doubt she wanted to make a good impression on her parents.
The curly-haired witch seemed playful and happy. Joyous, even. It was hard to imagine Bellatrix hadn't been much older than this when she'd become a member of the Death Eaters and been given her Dark Mark. Wait? What? What was she on about? Bellatrix had never been a Death Eater! Or... had she? Wait, she had. But...
Again, Hermione head felt as if it was about to explode. The pain in the back of her skull was more painful that the last time. Even so, Hermione managed to keep it hidden. She took Bellatrix' hat and hung it from the coat rack next to the door. Bellatrix then took out her bag and set it on the ground. Of course, she was staying the night so she figured Bellatrix had brought some supplies with her. Those hopes were dashed when she heard soft buzzing.
Hermione sighed heavily. "Don't tell me you've brought the wasp."
"I've brought the wasp," Bellatrix chuckled and released Zipper from the bag. The giant wasp immediately shot through the hallway to explore his surroundings, leaving no time for Hermione to warn her poor parents.
A shriek sounded from the kitchen, followed by the sound of something breaking after falling to the ground. A cry of 'Cor! Amazing!' came from the living room. Zipper came flying back into the hallway and lazily flew up the stairs to explore the first floor.
"Yeah, didn't want to leave him all alone at the mansion," Bellatrix shrugged.
The next step was to take her to the living room to introduce her to her parents. Though her mother was decidedly shaken up from coming face-to-face with a giant wasp... a giant wasp which was now sat on the ceiling having a staring content with a tiny spider in the corner. Her mother looked up every so often, eyeing Zipper suspiciously.
"Bellatrix Black," Trix introduced herself. "Eldest daughter of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. Well... technically speaking, of course. Pleased to make your acquaintance."
Hermione had been a bit wary about Bellatrix coming to her home: the curly-haired witch could be blunt and insensitive at the best of times, but Bellatrix also knew how much her parents meant to her. She was being on her best behaviour while making the usual introductory small talk with her mother and father. It was almost odd to see her being this polite.
"Tell me, Bellatrix," asked her father, a twinkle in his eye. "Do you know what a 'hunting rifle' is?"
Bellatrix put her finger to her lips. "I think I've heard mention of it. It's a muggle chimney decoration, isn't it?"
Jack Granger turned to Hermione with a smirk. "Well played, Hermione. Well played."
Upon the questioning look Bellatrix gave them, her father turned to clarify. "For years I've had this running gag with Hermione that if she were to bring home some spotty twerp to introduce to us, I would be casually cleaning granddad's hunting rifle while he was doing so. Now, to turn that on its head, first of all, Hermione brings home a girl... which isn't really all that much of a surprise…"
"Dad..." Hermione sighed.
"And second, she brings home a girl who has no idea what a hunting rifle is," Jack Granger said. "I have been deftly outplayed."
"Ah, I see," Bellatrix replied. "But you need not worry. Hermione and I have already shared a bed on multiple occasions."
An awkward silence followed. Then, in complete unison, both her parents turned their heads to Hermione. Hermione, who was now red as a beet, bit her lip for a month before scraping her throat to speak with a tiny voice. "Uhm, Trix... you don't say that... that sort of thing to someone's parents..."
"You don't?" Bellatrix frowned. "Oh. Well, you see in pure-blood culture, it's good form to mention when two pure-bloods are already having sexual relations at the start of formalities. It is an indication that the future bond will be fruitful in terms of offspring and continuation of the family line."
While Hermione certainly understood the importance of continuation of bloodlines for a pure-blood household, that didn't make this situation any less awkward. No less the fact that Bellatrix simply didn't seem to understand that she had made a serious social faux-pas.
Emma Granger, eager for a change of subject, broke the silence with a smile and a nod. "Well, Bellatrix, what would you like to eat tonight?"
A choked snort breaking the silence came from her dad, doing his best not to laugh and failing at it.
"Dad!" Hermione narrowed her eyes before elbowing him.
"Dinner!" her mother corrected quickly. "What would you like to have for dinner tonight, Bellatrix? You are our guest, so it seems right for you to choose."
"Oh!" Bellatrix' eyes lit up. "Kebab roll!"
Emma Granger frowned. "Kebab roll?"
"This is the muggle world, right?" said Bellatrix. "When me and my sisters were growing up, only my younger sister Andie was brave enough to enter the muggle part of Manchester. My sisters and I always had to eat it in secret because father didn't want any muggle things in the house and Andie had to smuggle it in. It was oh-so-good! Could we have a kebab roll tonight? It's been ages!"
Emma Granger laughed. "Well, at least you're a cheap date, Bellatrix. And you'll be saving me a lot of time in the kitchen, so I'm not complaining."
The kebab rolls were swiftly ordered and delivered. The concept of delivery of fast food was a new one for Bellatrix and she undoubtedly filed it away as useful information for later. The curly-haired witched looked to be rather happy to sink her teeth in her kebab roll, a blissful look on her face when she chewed.
"So," asked her father. "I've been told about your incredible story. I can't imagine what it's like to have made a thirty-three year timeskip. How are you adjusting? Things must be so different."
"Hm," said Bellatrix after finishing her bite. "Well, truth be told, I don't feel all that much has changed other than people being older and, well, me having missed two wizarding wars. Other than that, wizarding society doesn't change all that much."
"The muggle world changes very fast," said Jack Granger. "Compared to thirty-three years ago, the world would be almost unrecognizable to a time traveller."
"I used to be told that muggles are dangerous and live in mud huts. Obviously not true, but you know how stereotyping goes," said Bellatrix. "The only thing that was a shock is to hear that both my young cousins died in the war."
Hermione nodded. "Sirius and Regulus."
"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that," replied Emma.
"Aye," Bellatrix replied. "And with Uncle Orion and Aunt Walburga gone too, my branch of the family means we're the only Blacks left in the United Kingdom. That puts a great deal of pressure on us. At least there's the Montana Blacks left, so at least there's no direct danger of our family dying out, but it's still frightening."
"Montana Blacks?" said Hermione. "You've never mentioned that you have family in the States."
Bellatrix shrugged. "Not much to tell. I've never had much contact with them, though I would honestly like to. My great-grandfather Delphinus Black travelled to Montana in the late 1890s to study the shamanistic magics of the Blackfoot tribe... and yes, I am aware of the irony in that name. It's a story as old as the world: he fell in love with one of the native witches and, hey presto, separate branch of the Black family in Montana. They've been developing a lot of new magic for generations, marrying more western style spell-casting with tribal shamanistic magics. One of the things they're discovered, for example, is a way to apply permanent charms to themselves by the way of enchanted tattoos. The practice hasn't really caught on yet outside of the Blackfoot tribe. My father visited them on several occasions, in direct defiance of uncle Orion's orders."
"Oh?" Hermione asked. "What was wrong?"
"Nothing much," shrugged Bellatrix. "The Black family enjoyed good relations with out Montana cousins for ages until uncle Orion made a stink about it. Apparently, the Blackfeet don't keep proper genealogy records, so it couldn't be strictly confirmed that the girl my great-grandfather married was actually a pure-blood. My father argued that she had to have been because of the traditional shamanistic bloodlines, but that wasn't enough for uncle Orion. It was a big fight over nothing, but uncle Orion was head of the entire Black family at the time, not just our branch of it, so there was nothing he could do. From what I've heard, my sister has smoothed things over considerably the past ten years. So maybe we could visit them sometimes, Hermie."
Bellatrix took another bite from her kebab roll and swallowed. A few more bites later and it was gone, leaving Bellatrix to somewhat mournfully stare at her empty plate.
"Well, you certainly have an interesting family," said her father. "Is there something you like to do in your spare time? Such as a hobby or a way to pass the time."
"Hm," said Bellatrix. "I used to be really big on broom-flying, but more recently I've been enjoying the writing of short stories. Mostly scary and morbid horror stuff."
Oh, dear. Bellatrix shouldn't have said that: Hermione could see her father's eyes positively light up. "Oh, I'd love to read some of those! Do you have a favourite horror film?"
"Film?" Bellatrix raised an eyebrow. "Horror layers? Layers of horror? Pardon me, but I don't think I understand the question."
"Dad," said Hermione. "Trix is a pure-blood witch. She's never seen a film in her life."
"Oh!" grinned her father. "Have I got a treat for you then, Bellatrix!"
Hermione felt a soft hand on her wrist. "Hermione, dear? Would you give me a hand with the dishes?" asked her mother.
Now, Hermione had known her mum long enough to know that that was code for 'let's talk in private'. Indeed, while her father dragged Bellatrix to the living room, Hermione helped her mother to gather the dishes from the table and followed into the kitchen.
"She's nice," said her mother while cleaning the dishes at the sink while Hermione sat at the kitchen table. "And very polite."
"Yes. Uncharacteristically so," replied Hermione.
"Maybe she just wants to make a good first impression," said her mother. "Aside from that single faux-pas... which she thought was actually stating something desirable in a partner. In her culture, at least."
"Believe me," Hermione said grimly. "I'll have a chat with her about that later."
"Don't be too harsh on her sweetie," said her mother, taking her hands after sitting down at the table.
"How have you been holding up, mum?" asked Hermione.
Her mother pursed her lips slightly. "Taking it day by day. The entire lawsuit thing has been taking its mental toll, but it has always been for a good cause. I've been... looking around for other places to live. Smaller. Cheaper."
"Mum," Hermione shook her head, tears stinging in her eyes. "This... this is our home!"
"Oh, sweetie," spoke Emma. "It's fine. We've always done well with the practice, our house is worth a lot of money and the mortgage has been fully paid off. If we sell it, even if we lose most of the money towards the legal fees, we'll still be fine."
"It's not that, it's..."
"Sssh," said her mother, putting her hand on her cheek. "We have you back now. That's all that matters."
Hermione and her mother chatted for a long time after that, leaving Bellatrix and her father to bond. Still, the living room had been quiet for a while and Hermione got up to see how they were doing. What she saw when she entered the living room was surprising and endearing: Bellatrix and her father were sat on the living room sofa. Zipper had gotten down from the ceiling and was apparently sleeping on her lap. Her father was grinning, while Bellatrix herself was wild-eyed and held her mouth open in joy as she was watching whatever was on the screen.
Hermione should have recognized the sounds and the voices. On the screen, John Carpenter's The Thing was playing out.
"Hermione!" Bellatrix exclaimed. "This is GREAT!"
Hermione took one look at the screen and immediately bowed out and prepared to rush back to the kitchen. "Oh god!" she hissed. "The kennel scene!"
Though her father had tried his utmost to get Hermione to watch the entire film with him on multiple occasions, Hermione never had the stomach to get past the kennel scene. Apparently, Bellatrix had no issues with this and, judging from her expression, she was craving for more.
That was apparently all dad wanted out of a daughter-in-law: the ability to sit through the entirety of John Carpenter's The Thing. And judging from Trix' expression, watching horror with her dad would become a regular occurrence.
Wonderful… Just wonderful…
Hermione swiftly retreated to the kitchen for the remainder of the film. Though she wasn't freed from it after the film was done. In the living room, Hermione had to endure Bellatrix and her father discussing the finer details of the film and possible infection time lines. She didn't miss the expression on her mother's face either which seemed to say 'oh god, not another one'.
At was around midnight when it was finally time for bed and her mother was showing Bellatrix the guestroom. Hermione spent some time brushing her teeth and offered one wistful look to the guestroom before retreating into her own room. Normally, she'd do some reading before bed, but she simply didn't feel like it today. Hermione lay down on the bed, pulled the duvet over herself and reached over to the lamp on her nightstand.
With the room now bathed in near-complete darkness, Hermione stared at the ceiling and reflected for a moment. Honestly, she was quite happy that Bellatrix was getting along so well with her parents. To her own surprise, Bellatrix had been nothing but polite and got along particularly well with her dad. The curly-haired witch really had changed.
Changed? Compared to what? If she... Instantly, another splitting headache reared its ugly head. Did she save Bellatrix from what she would become? Or did she save Bellatrix from being murdered by her fiancee? It was... it was getting hard to think with two conflicting truths fighting for dominance in her very mind. More questioned ran through her head, the most important one being what exactly had happened to her when the time-line changed? She had conflicting memories of having lived through the events of two time-lines which were, thankfully, similar enough that she could function without a permanent migraine, but trying to remember the old time-line couldn't be good for her mental health. Was this something that would pass or would she have to suffer through this her entire life? And then there were the philosophical ramifications: was she still one person, or was she two persons forced into the same body. Two personalities forcibly integrated, perhaps. Was the original Hermione being suppressed within her own mind, screaming to get out? Did the original time-line even still exist and was it going forward without her in it? Worst thing was that there was no certainties here as her case was pretty much unique.
Perhaps it was simply a good idea to go to sleep. She turned around to lay on her side and closed her eyes. Best to get some rest. The house was so quiet now that everyone had turned in. All she could hear was the sound of her own breath and the December wind blowing past her window.
At least she had her life-sized tiger plush with her, as well as her ratty old bear Pete. Hermione fished the tiger plush from the floor and cuddled up against its softness with Pete snuggled in between them. Simply laying still.
Until there was the sound of a pop at the far end of her room. A dim light soon emerged from the tip of a wand, illuminating the smiling face of Bellatrix, clad in a black bathrobe. "Oh, come on," whispered Bellatrix after giving her a questioning look. "You must have known I'd be in here the moment the lights went out."
Bellatrix didn't come to the bed immediately. Instead, she sauntered through the room for a bit, scoping out Hermione's belongings. She let the light of her wand rove over the spines of her considerable book collection for a moment and giggled briefly when she discovered Hermione's collection of fairy figurines.
There was a pang of self-consciousness when Bellatrix picked up one of the fairy figurines. The collection was from her early years and she had always enjoyed it herself. Yet, she couldn't help but feel slightly embarrassed about her 'fairy phase'.
"Well," said Bellatrix after gently putting the porcelain figure down. "I'll know what to get you for your birthday."
"So," asked Hermione, keeping her voice low. "What do you think of our house?"
"Cozy, nice," said Bellatrix. "It's a little small and cramped, but... it feels like a real home regardless. But, come on, you don't want me here to talk about your house, now do you?"
Bellatrix grinned and let the robe slide off her. Her pale skin of her naked body was illuminated by the light of her wand. "Bed's a little small and cramped too, but that's just the way I want it to be right now."
The curly-haired witch reached over to the duvet, lifted it and slipped underneath it. Hermione's bed being meant for one occupant forced her to scoot over to make enough room. "Did you cast a silencing charm?"
"No," Bellatrix smirked. "Where's the fun in that?"
"Trix!" Hermione hissed softly. "My parents are just down the corridor!"
"I can control myself, Hermie," chuckled Bellatrix, reaching over to run a hand through Hermione's long brown hair. "Question is... can you?"
Hermione let out a sigh. "Insufferable..."
"My middle name. Now get rid of the cuddle-cat and cuddle me instead," Bellatrix winked before tilting her head slightly while laying her hand on Hermione's cheek. Hermione smiled before closing her eyes to let it happen.
Bellatrix's lips were soft as honey and as welcoming as a light breeze on a hot summer day. God, she'd missed her. And this. It didn't take long for the intense sensation of feeling Trix' tongue rolling over hers. Hermione fought back in earnest, but was lost when she felt a warm body press against hers. The girls lay on their sides, sharing kisses while in a tight embrace.
Without realizing she was even doing it, she was moaning in Bellatrix' mouth. Bellatrix broke the kiss, chuckling briefly. "I'm starting to think the answer is no," she smiled.
Hermione didn't even have the proper state of mind to be indignant. Instead, she merely gazed into Bellatrix' eyes. The curly-haired witch grinned and produced her wand. "Here I am completely naked and you're still wearing that pink monstrosity. We'll have to do something about that."
The tip of her wand roved over the fabric of her pyjamas. It sent a shudder through Hermione until it moved to the front of her garment and Bellatrix slowly pulled it down, the magic undoing button after button. When her pyjamas fell open, Hermione instinctively lowered her head in embarrassment. Funny, really: they had made love multiple times and had seen each other naked on numerous occasions and yet there were some old insecurities which kept coming back.
"Pish-posh," Bellatrix snorted. "Your breasts are beautiful, Hermie."
Hermione smiled before kissing Bellatrix again. Their bodies pressed together. Hands were felt over her back, her sides, her chest. Eager fingers found her quickly hardening nipples. Soft lips and cruel teeth found the nape of her neck. Hermione, emboldened by her amorous cravings, let her own hands do some exploring. A cheeky grin crossed her features as one of her hands ran over Bellatrix' side, then raised to give her a smack on the bum. The tell-tale sound of flesh slapping on flesh resounded through the room.
And yet again.
"Filthy, dirty girl," Hermione whispered to her.
"You don't know the half of it," returned Bellatrix.
With magically enhanced strength, Bellatrix yanked Hermione's hair, causing her to grunt and shift her body. Instantly, Bellatrix pinned her down, latching onto her neck while a hand slid over her stomach. Hermione gasped when she felt eager fingers slide down the hem of her pyjama bottoms. A moan escaped her lips when said eager fingers found her loins. Pure bliss overcame her when Bellatrix found her most sensitive spot and treated her to delicious massage. Her breath quickened, her soft cries increased.
Hermione spread her legs further to make it easier for Bellatrix. Two fingers entered her. Slow, rhythmic strokes followed, quickening and slowing of pace ever so often.
"Oh..." Hermione gasped. "Oh, god..."
"Flatterer..." Bellatrix husked.
If she kept this up, she'd be falling over the edge and shouting her lungs out in a matter of seconds. Bellatrix seemed to realize this and slowed down somewhat, treating her to a few gentle kisses.
Hermione grabbed this reprieve with both hands, so to speak, gently laying her hands on Bellatrix's cheeks and kissing her back gently... only to realize that Bellatrix had wickedly betrayed her when she suddenly picked up the pace of her strokes again and assaulted her with pure fervour.
Hermione grit her teeth and grunted while trying to resist giving in to the sheer pleasure of it all finding the release of screaming her lungs out. And scream she did. Bellatrix deftly captured Hermione's mouth with her own when release finally came. Hermione arched her back, her scream muffled by Bellatrix' mouth until she collapsed back onto the bed, spent and panting.
But Hermione wouldn't forget this betrayal. In fact, she had picked up some tricks of her own. And, at this point, making Bellatrix pay was more important than keeping her parents from finding out they were fucking each other's brains out scant twelve feet away from them.
Bellatrix lay on her back, sweating, writhing and mewing softly as she tried to keep quiet. Granted, Bellatrix probably wasn't doing herself any favours by sliding her hands over her breasts, but Hermione wasn't about to point that out to her. With Bellatrix' thighs on either side of her, Hermione artfully tickled her with the tip of her tongue while sliding eager fingers into her lover's wetness with long, merciless strokes. Bellatrix was fighting it, Hermione could sense it. But she was still losing ground with every swirl of her tongue and every crook of her fingers. She could see Bellatrix grit her teeth and snort through her nose as the exertions to stay afloat threatened to overwhelm her. Her little mews were getting louder and louder.
Hermione's own arousal was apparent, and her free hand found its way down her own stomach to give rise to some pleasure for herself.
Bellatrix arched her back and, at one point, clamped her own thighs shut around Hermione's head after losing control. However, the curly-haired witch did have enough control to yank a pillow over her own face just as her body spasmed and she released a scream now muffled by said pillow.
A moment later, the two girls were facing each other, smiling and kissing as they pressed their drenched bodies together.
"Hah," Bellatrix whispered. "Filthy, naughty girl."
"I was taught by the best," Hermione grinned, running a hand through black curly hair.
"I'm glad your parents like me."
"If they find you naked and sweaty in my bed, they might not like you that much."
"Good thing we kept it quiet then," said Bellatrix. "Also, am I to interpret that as you not wanting me naked in your bed right now? Perhaps I should return to the guest-"
"Stay!" Hermione demanded sternly.
Bellatrix grinned. "I thought so," she said and followed up with some eager cuddles.
Some brief giggles later, the girls drifted off to a blissful and well-deserved sleep.