"She's too old"
Those were the first words Ronald Weasley had stated when Hermione Granger finally had the guts to tell her two best friends about her long term relationship with Bellatrix Black.
They'd been in a stable relationship for a year. It had started soon after Hermione graduated from Hogwarts as top of her class. She received plenty of job offers from any department in the Ministry of Magic and after many encounters with her mentor, Minerva McGonagall, Hermione finally settled for the Department of International Magical Cooperation. Her boss, a middle-aged man with a kind nature, immediately took her under his wing, taking her with him on his meetings and personally teaching her his job. The young witch was extremely grateful to him for all that he was doing for her career.
It was on one of these meeting that Hermione laid her eyes on Bellatrix Black for the first time. Bellatrix was the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, mostly she handled the paperwork but often enough she still did her former job as an Auror. Everybody in the Ministry knew her name, she had quite the reputation. Some admired her while others feared her.
Everything about the older witch struck Hermione. She had an aura of power and confidence around her, when she talked everybody listened and when she entered a room every head turned. Not to mention she was beautiful. Her wild dark curls perfectly framed her face, her skin was very pale creating a contrast with her piercing black eyes. She was rather short but she made up for it with her posture and with the way she walked.
Although she knew Bellatrix was in her early forties, which made her twenty three years older than Hermione, the young witch couldn't help but feel attracted to her. From that moment she took every opportunity she had to talk with her and in a month's time the two became somewhat friends.
The woman hunted her dreams at night and her thoughts during the days that followed for almost two months when finally Hermione picked up her Gryffindor courage to do something about her feelings.
The first time they kissed, it happened behind the closed door of Bellatrix' office. Surprisingly for Hermione it was the older witch who made the first move and kissed her. The girl hadn't been expecting it, she knew Bellatrix was the Head of the House of Black, one of the most powerful Pureblooded families, so she was surprised when the woman kissed her. She thought she was supposed to be only a muggle-born to those who shared Bellatrix' views on the Wizarding society.
From that moment their relationship blossomed. They spent their free time in each other company but had decided to keep it a secret for some time because they didn't want to attract Rita Skeeter's attention until they were sure their relationship would last. Hermione was happier than ever, all her friends noticed the cange in her behavior but nobody knew why. They thought it was because of her promising career.
And so, after a year, here she was, standing in the living room of her small apartment. Hermione'd asked her two best friends to meet her so she could give them the news. She was pretty sure Harry would have no problem with her relationship with the older witch. He had always treated her like she was his little sister, always protecting her and such, but he personally knew Bellatrix so she imagined he wouldn't have to worry about her this time. Bellatrix was Harry and Ron's boss. They were training as Aurors and even if they rarely talked to her they knew she could be trusted. Bellatrix' however was Harry's god father's cousin so sometimes they met even if they weren't working.
Hermione wasn't sure what Ron's reaction would be like. She knew he'd had a crush on her since their fourth year in Hogwarts but his feelings were never mutual. She just didn't like boys. Of course she didn't know that when she was only fifteen so she gave her virginity to a seventh year named Cormac McLaggen. She didn't like it one bit. She'd always thought her first time would be with someone special. Cormac at the time seemed like a cool guy, a nice boyfriend even, but it turned out that in the end he was only a jerk. Hermione spent days crying because two months in their relationship she'd found out he had been sleeping with a girl from Ravenclaw the entire time.
On the other hand her first time with Bellatrix was glorious. The older witch was obviously far more experienced than she was but Hermione was always eager to learn and her girlfriend surely was a willing teacher. It was nothing like Cormac. All he cared about was his own pleasure while Bellatrix was loving and sweet, she always thought about her first.
Their relationship had come a long way since then but still Bellatrix somehow managed to surprise her. Sometimes it was with a small gift, other times it was a simple sentence. Hermione wouldn't even dream of leaving her just because she was a few years older.
Still that didn't change the fact that right now, in front of her two best friends, she was really nervous. The young girl didn't know how to approach the subject so she just blurted it out.
"I'm dating Bellatrix Black"
This was the simple answer she gave them when Harry had asked why she wanted to meet them. The expressions on their faces were really something else and if she wasn't so damn nervous she would have even laughed.
"W-What?" Harry stuttered while Ron gaped at her like a lost golden fish.
"I've been dating Bellatrix Black for a year now"
Harry digested the news and then patted Hermione on the shoulder.
"Okay, I'm happy for you" he smirked "She's hot"
Hermione chuckled but didn't comment on that. She was happy, Harry's reaction was even better than she expected. She smiled brightly at him but unfortunately the moment didn't last for long because as soon as she shifted her gaze to her other friend she saw the look on his face.
It seemed like he had eaten something really sour, a lemon maybe.
"She's too old" he deadpanned.
The young girl swallowed. This was exactly what she had feared since the very beginning of her relationship with Bellatrix. The confrontation with Ron. Of course she had noticed he's had a crush on her since their Hogwarts years, it was hard to miss the way he always looked at her or the way his behavior completely changed when he was in her presence.
Hermione was also aware that many people expected her to give in to his advances. Ron's mother has been waiting for years for her youngest son to come home with Hermione as his girlfriend.
The girl however was never interested in him that way in the first place so Ron had never really stood a chance. He was still one of her best friends though. He was funny and kind, she didn't want to hurt his feelings but now it seemed like the moment of truth had finally come.
"Love is not about age, Ron" she retaliated with the same tone of voice he had used.
She knew she'd have to tell that to many people now that her relationship was about to become public.
"She's still almost thirty years older than you!"
He raised his voice a little. It looked like the denial phase had started.
Hermione scoffed, "I don't care how old she is! And before you start arguing on that, I don't even care that she's a woman"
The young witch had known in advance that the woman factor would have been Ron's next topic. Why couldn't he just accept the fact that she was dating someone who wasn't him? Sometimes in was really hard to get things through his thick skull.
"But-but… You! I…!"
"Look, Ron" she started taking a step towards him while Harry was awkwardly standing in the background "I know I've never told you this" she briefly looked at Harry because she was talking to him too "But I'm not interested in men. I'm aware of the fact that Bellatrix it's older than me but she stole my heart from the moment I first laid my eyes on her"
Ron kept silent. Hermione, not knowing what to think, turned to Harry. He cleared his throat and spoke up.
"I think that's really sweet Mione" he knew her really well and honestly thought that her and Bellatrix were a perfect match "In my opinion you two are perfect for each other. You've always been more mature than a girl your age should be so it's somewhat natural that you want to be with someone with your own level of maturity and I don't think that any boy or girl our age can compete with the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement"
Harry felt bad for having said that in front of Ron but seriously, he needed to let Hermione go once and for all.
"Thank you Harry"
The boy smiled then they both turned to Ron. He looked really pale for his standards.
"Ron are you okay? You don't look really well" Harry stated.
"I'm fine" he muttered "I just remembered I have to pick up something for mum in Diagon Alley"
He walked to the door and exited her apartment without saying goodbye. She turned to Harry with worry etched all over her face.
"He'll come through" Harry said "He needs some time to think"
With Ron gone, Harry asked her for all the details about her and Bellatrix relationship. It was very liberating to finally talk to someone about it and it was even better to know that Harry was genuinely happy for her, like she'd been when he and Ginny started dating.
They'd been talking for about two hours when suddenly her fireplace erupted in green flames and a familiar silhouette emerged.
"I can't believe they hire such idiots at the ministry these days" Bellatrix commented before noticing that Harry was still there "Oh I'm sorry to interrupt, I didn't think they'd still be here"
"It's okay Bella"
Hermione smiled lovingly at her girlfriend while Harry shot up from the couch as soon as he realized his boss was in the room.
"Good evening Miss Black" he bowed slightly and Hermione had to suppress a small laughter threatening to escape "Don't worry, I was about to go anyway"
Bellatrix was about to stop him but he was already half way to the door. It was obvious he feared the older witch for some reason but she found it amusing.
"Okay. I'll see you on Monday then, Potter"
"Sure thing Miss Black! Goodbye Hermione!"
The girl didn't have time to replay because he was already out of the apartment so she turned to her girlfriend instead.
"You scare him"
The older witch chuckled, "I know. Probably someone at the Department told him some scary story about me, wouldn't be the first time…"
Hermione nodded and moved closer so that she could sneak her arms around the woman's waist. She leaned in and kissed her softly. She relished in the feeling of their lips pressed together, she guessed this was what heaven felt like.
"So how did it go?" Bellatrix inquired when they eventually separated.
"Harry took it rather well. He's happy for us. Ron on the other hand still needs to get over his crush on me. I knew he'd have been the difficult one"
"He'll get over it with time, don't worry"
She placed another soft kiss on her lips before settling on the couch for some snuggling.
"You up for take out?" the woman asked while running her fingers through Hermione's brown hair.
Bellatrix smiled while watching the younger girl give a letter with their orders to her owl. How did she get so lucky? She's always been so lonely before she met Hermione and now she had the most perfect girl she could ask for.
She didn't know when exactly but somewhere across the way she fell in love with this beautiful girl who was Hermione Granger.