She was running. Again. She had been on the run ever since that night on the sloping lawn of Hogwarts. When someone finally catches up with her, there are a few choice words for Bellatrix Lestrange...
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and RaincoastBooks, and Warner Bros., Inc., yadda yadda, all hail the Queen of Hogwarts. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I own nothing here. Really; nothing at all.
She was running. She Apparated to a small village in Wales, then set off trotting away from the village square.
This was nothing new. She had been running, oh, these many years now. She had been on the run ever since that night on the sloping lawn of Hogwarts when her Master and the boy had their final confrontation. That night she had seen the most horrible and wondrous thing...
She had gotten sloppy again, she supposed. At the beginning, in shock and in hatred she had tortured and maimed and killed as she fled from village to village. It had felt good and vented her anger. But it had also left a telltale trail of bodies that was all too easy to follow.
Over time, the worst of her rage had run its course and she learned to hide better. Besides, the Aurors were too good at their job and had learned to anticipate her moves. She had nearly been caught when she went after the Lovegood girl; if that ickle Weasley brat husband of hers had been just a few minutes later, she would have succeeded. As it was, she barely escaped before the anti-Apparition wards went up.
So over the years she learned. She learned to hide. She learned to suppress her base impulses. She learned to do without magic. She even learned how to do things (shudder)the Muggle way. She had known that her be-damned cousin had hidden himself from the authorities for over two years when he escaped from Azkaban Prison. Well, she had done him better by five fold.
But she must have gotten sloppy. Or lazy. She must have gotten too comfortable and stayed too long.
She had heard that they got Wormtaillast year. Or was it two years ago? She lost track of time being constantly on the run. She had been surprised that he got caught. She didn't have his Animagus skills; she couldn't just turn herself into a rat and hide among the refuse bins in the alley.
She Apparated again when she reached the edge of the village. She appeared, appropriately, in an alley behind a Muggle fast food restaurant in downtown London, the bins overflowing with waste. You've just been living like a rat, she mused to herself wryly. She was too well known, her face too recognizable, the reward for her capture too high that even the darkest of wizarding communities would not have been safe for her to hide in.
She set off at a loping pace. She was getting tired; this was her fourth Apparition in less than an hour - or was it her fifth? It was exhausting her and she had lost count now. She was having trouble concentrating and would risk splinching if she couldn't stop soon.
She had just turned the corner to an adjoining alley when she heard the pop of someone Apparating behind her. It was too soon. They shouldn't have been able to trace her that quickly. She should have had time to get further away to prevent them from tracing her next Apparition. Should she Apparate again this quickly? Should she, could she get further away? How close were they?
The moment of indecision cost her. As she turned another corner and was faced with a dead end, she felt the anti-Apparition wards settle over the alley.
NO! she screamed in her mind. There was no way they could have caught her like this. It was too simple, too easy. She spun to face her pursuer, her tormentor. She would not go down without a fight. She would torture this blighter within an inch of his life. She waited, the Crucio on her lips; waited for the person dogging her steps to appear.
"Bellatrix Lastrange!" came the shout from around the corner, not taking a chance of being cursed. She fired a Reducto curse towards the wall, spraying shattered brick and mortar, hoping to force the pursuer into the open. "You might as well come out! I know that is a blind alley and the wards will keep you from Apparating away again."
"NO!" she cried. "I won't be taken! I won't go back to that place. You're going to have to kill me!"
Quiet. Nothing came back from the alleyway.
Becoming slightly hysterical, she shouted again. "Do you hear me? You're going to have to kill me!'
A voice spoke quietly, almost in her ear. "If you insist..."
She spun to find a wand pointed at her chest as the Disillusionment charm faded. She looked down the slim arm holding the wand and up into the face of her pursuer. She looked into the hard eyes and fell into them.
I remember those eyes. Oh, gods! I remember them. She remembered being on the hillside, staring into those eyes; those eyes so filled with hope and love that it was actually painful. She remembered the boy holding, hugging her Master to him, shouting his love to the heavens. She remembered her Master screaming in agony as he dissolved into ash and dust in the face of that love.
She was afraid now, just like she had been afraid then. She remembered being afraid as the boy stared into those deep cinnamon pools, just as she was now.
"Do you know how long I've waited for this? Do you know how long I've wanted this?" Hermione Granger-Potter said. "Twelve years! It's been twelve years since you killed Sirius at the Department of Mysteries. Harry tortured himself for nearly a year, blaming himself for Sirius' death. It took every ounce of my being, every part of my heart to convince him that it was your doing. It took even longer to convince him that he was worthy of being loved and that my loving him didn't mean I was going to die, too."
She sighed. "And now, finally, justice will be done. Harry and Sirius both can now rest, knowing that you aren't roaming free anymore."
Defiant to the end, Bellatrix cried, "Twelve years? Have you been chasing me all that time?" Asmirk crossed her face. "It sounds like someone has an overdeveloped sense of revenge!"
As she said this, Bellatrix saw the bushy-haired woman's eyes become unfocused for a moment. She also saw, for the first time, another pair of eyes staring over the shoulder of the woman. The little girl riding in the shoulder slung carrier had her mother's bushy hair, but it was nearly black as midnight, the same as her father's. She also had her father's emerald eyes, filled with as much love as her mother's; a love so intense, that she became frightened again.
Her momentary confusion over, Hermione stood straighter, extending her wand before her. Her brown eyes hardened again as a grin curled the corner of her mouth.
"So what did you do then?" asked Luna as she settled into her husband's arms, still giggling at what Hermione had just told them.
"I just stunned her then called in the Auror's," Hermione placed the two litres of milk in the door of the refrigerator then moved a couple of things to make room for the eggs and rasher of bacon. "I really didn't want to kill her. I just wanted to see her brought to justice."
"I still can't believe you did that, Hermione," Harry said, his voice growling as he fed his daughter another spoonful of mashed carrots. A playful glint in her green eyes, she spit most of it back out and Harry quickly scraped her chin with the spoon before she wore it. "Chasing after Bellatrix Lestrange all across the country without anyone backing you up." He glowered at his wife, letting her know that the discussion was clearly not over yet.
"Well, what was I supposed to do?" Hermione calmly asked as she finished putting the groceries into the pantry. "Honestly, Harry, should I have let her get away again?" She turned to place a kiss on top of her husband's head. "Besides, you should have seen how pathetic she looked picking her way through the refuse bin behind the grocer's. It looked like she hadn't had a decent meal in weeks. She couldn't have had the strength to go much longer."
"But you had Lily with you. Did you even think of that?" he cried. "You both could have been killed. It doesn't take much to fire off an A-K and then..." Harry shuddered at the thought.
"Da!" Lily squealed at him and held her mouth open, so he dutifully shoveled a spoonful of strained chicken in.
Wrapping her arms around Harry, Hermione hugged him tightly. "I'm sorry," she spoke softly into his ear. "But nothing happened and everything turned out okay. Bellatrix has finally been caught and she was the last of them." She kissed the side of his neck. "Besides, I promised you I would never leave you and I fully intend to keep that promise. I won't do it again."
Harry sighed. "I'm just glad it's over and you both are all right." Turning his head, he brought his lips to hers and kissed her soundly. Momentarily awed by this display of affection between her parents, Lily forgot about her supper.
It was Ron who interrupted them. "So, Hermione, tell us again what it was that you said. I still don't get it."
Harry and Hermione both snorted their laughter through their noses as they separated.
"Well, first she says..." and Hermione voice rose to almost a screech, in an almost perfect imitation of Bellatrix Lastrange. "Twelve years? Have you been chasing me all that time? It sounds like someone has an overdeveloped sense of revenge!"
Harry snickered and Lily beamed a smile at her.
"When she said that, it was literally a line straight out of one of my favorite movies, and I just couldn't resist." She giggled as she stood at her full height, extending her wand straight ahead of her as though she were dueling.
"'Allo! Meye name ees Hermione Potter. You keeled his godfather. Prepare to die."
She took a sweeping bow as Harry and Luna broke into fits of laughter and Lily applauded her mother's performance.
~~The End ~~