Hermione tired of waiting. Harry needed her help, but she wasn’t going to come alone.
“Fleur?” he muttered sleepily. “It’s good to see you.”
“It is spectacular to see you, Harry,” the blonde smiled brightly, despite her sweaty, flushed form, “as I feared I would not see you again.”
“You could have called me anytime.”
“Oui, I could have, but it would have distracted me from my exams. And I feared that I would be under too much stress if I saw you while I researched the veil.”
“Any progress?” Harry wondered, now fully awake. He had been on a bit of a tear the previous night, a bit more… energetic than usual. Ivy and Harley were completely out of it, and he stood by the doorway, careful not to disturb their slumber.
“Non, sorry Harry. We have come across a problem.”
Harry furrowed his brow, before a resigned sigh released itself. “What now?”
She spun the mirror, and Harry blinked a few times at the erotically disturbing image.
In what looked like the fully renovated version of Salazar Slytherin’s Chamber of Secrets, naked bodies were strewn about the large room; the floor, the rugs, the beds, and even the tables weren’t safe from the coverage of an endless string of arms and tangled limbs, all connected to fully developed curves of slumbering girls.
There was even a girl sleeping peacefully on top of the swaying chandelier, twenty feet off the ground, and Harry only needed to see a flash of blonde to know who it was. “Fleur, could you please get Luna from up there?”
The mirror moved slightly, and Harry guessed it was a shrug. “I tried. She does not want to come down, so I threw her a pillow.” She turned the mirror back to herself, and Harry noticed how very naked she was. “I woke up first, and this was what I saw. Hermione, she… she was like nothing we’ve ever seen. She saw through our plan to distract her the moment we tried it.”
“Wait,” Harry furrowed his brow, “Tonks said they were going to distract Hermione yesterday. You can’t possibly be telling me that…” he faltered as Fleur’s expression stayed grim. “So she got away?”
“Sincerest apologies, Harry, but she err, épuisé, er, exhausted, everyone. My Veela blood assured that I would wake up first. Parkinson should be awake soon, with her condition. Harry… if you had a pensieve…”
Harry nodded, running his hands through his hair. “I knew I felt a bit antsy yesterday. I guess I know why. Do you know where she went?”
She sniffed. “I could guess. I’m sorry, Harry.”
His mind frantically searched for a clue that there was another presence.
All he got back was a simple message – a picture of a strange apple. Half black and half white. He didn’t know what it represented, but he knew what it meant.
“She’s still alive,” Harry exclaimed, and both breathed a sigh of relief. “So she either got away for a while, or she found a way to get through the veil,” Harry tried to rationalize.
“It has to be the veil. Snape was guarding it, and he refused to tell me anything.” She bit her lip. “You ordered him to follow all of our commands. Someone made him break that order. Only you and Hermione can do that.”
“She ordered him to not tell anyone. If she didn’t want him to say anything, she would have told him to hide.” Harry tilted his head. “Unless he’s not allowed to tell you how she went through.”
“The Hallows,” she exclaimed, and there was a groan out of screen. “Parkinson is awake.”
“If Hermione truly wanted to find me, she’d be here, no question. She could be somewhere else – perhaps with backup?”
“But où? Where is she?”
“She only sent me a picture of a black and white apple. It has to mean something.”
Fleur shrugged helplessly. “Would it be another world of fiction?”
“Has to be. She wouldn’t have sent a message so simple otherwise.” Harry frowned. “She doesn’t want to be found right now. She’s planning something. And shy of Voldemort and Dumbledore, I feel sorry for anyone in her way.”
The French half-Veela smiled wryly. “It seems she has been slaughtering everyone in her path for the past twenty hours; from ze break of dawn to dusk and back again.”
Harry frowned and rechecked the image that Hermione had sent him.
The apple had craters. It wasn’t meant to be an apple. It was in the perfect shape of an apple, however.
But it was meant to be a moon. One side white, the other side black.
Harry sighed. He had a prison to rob in the morning, but it appeared that he wasn’t going to get much sleep, knowing that his girlfriend might be facing off with the supernatural. “I know where she is.”
~Ch. 9, pg. 195 quote~
About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how potent that part might be – that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
“That logic seems very flawed,” Hermione muttered, and Isabella Swan jumped up in surprise to see a woman in a simple pale green hoodie and black skinny jeans, looking over her shoulder as she wrote in her diary. “Sorry, didn’t mean to shock you. I’m Hermione. Hermione Granger.”
She backed away as the girl clutched at her chest, her breathing erratic. With an unnoticeable calming charm, her heart settled, and her breathing became relaxed. “W-where did you come from?”
Hermione pointed her thumb back towards the window. “You should really close your windows at night. You may be on the second floor, but your gutter spout is very durable.” She brushed her hair away from her face as she gently sat on the edge of the bed, mere feet away from her. “I’m sorry, but I was, er, running away from home, and you were the only house I saw for miles. The other house was a boy’s and, that would have been uncomfortable, to say the least.” She smiled nervously. “Sorry for the inconvenience.”
“No, no. It’s alright.” She looked intrigued. “You really just got up and ran away? With no bags?”
“Well, I didn’t really have a choice. See, my boyfriend’s gone missing, and I have to find him. I’d like to think that he depends on me, but I can’t say that without also saying I can’t do a bloody thing without him. A lot of people are after him, and I didn’t have time to think about anything else. Like clothes.” She bit her lip. “You seem to be one to believe in fairytale type creatures, right? Would it surprise you to know that there’s more out there?”
Even as Bella began to deny that she knew what the brunette was talking about, the pale girl felt her voice dying as Hermione gently placed a finger over her lips, and with the other, a soft glow emitted from her palm to form a small apple, hovering between her fingertips. “Do you believe in fairy tales, Miss Swan?”
“I… how do you know my name?”
“Same way I know that you have a fetish for the weird, Bella,” she whispered, and her smile was predatory – far more sinister than a Vampire’s. “Magic.”
Her breathing was heavy. “Why are you showing me?”
“Because I feel drawn to you, and I’m doing what I feel is right.” She bit into the apple, and took a long swipe with her tongue at the exposed juice left behind. “I’m not coming on to you or anything, though you’re a very beautiful girl. You just seem like a good partner to have around.” She wordlessly handed over the apple, and, after only seconds of indecision, she took it.
She was tired of relying on people. The harrowing experience of having three strangers approach her at night, only to be saved by an always watching savior, made her both relish and reject the idea of a guardian.
For all she knew, Edward could be watching her right now.
“He isn’t,” Hermione informed her. “I may sound like a hypocrite, reading your mind and all, but a girl deserves her privacy. My magic allows you to have that.”
“You can… you can read my mind?” She had speculated Edward could do the same thing, but it’s doubtful he’d ever tell her the full truth. “Could you… not? Please?”
“Oh, I’m sorry! It’s just that… your mind is so vulnerable to me, and I don’t see that so often. An open book, and I love books. It’s interesting.”
Her eyes shifted away. “Not that interesting.”
“I’ve read a lot of books, and a lot of minds. Yours is downright fascinating, Bella. So… inventive. Imaginative. Beautiful.” She looked down. “So much more than I expected. I wish you could see that.”
Bella bit her lip, pondering the situation behind and ahead of her, her mind racing. Being saved in the middle of the night by an impossibly beautiful man, and to come home to an even more incredibly attractive creature, certainly made her feel like she was special.
And that’s all she ever really wanted: to feel special. Not to lust after some sense of danger, and not to surround herself with potential cannibals. She just wanted to be… accepted.
I made my decision.
The once-bitten apple was sweet, almost too sweet, I realized as I covered her bite with my own, rather large bite. Edward and I didn’t have a large dinner, as he gave me half-truths and even lesser-fractioned explanations. This girl – Hermione – I had only met her for minutes, and she tells me everything I needed to know. Or, at least she seems ready to.
There were several people in my life I knew were hiding secrets from me: Angie, Jessica, Mike, Eric, Jacob, Tyler (who apparently didn’t let me in on the secret that he’s my prom date), my own father, and of course, the man with the most secrets, the Vampire, Edward Cullen.
I’ve been so desperate for the past few days to find the answers to the things that happen around me, I forgot the feeling of overwhelming joy when the answers are right in front of me.
That logic seems to make sense. Then again, I claimed to be in love with a man I met for a combined – eight hours? One hour outside of class? I like a good mystery novel, sometimes I could love them, but once the mystery’s over, it loses its magic. No pun intended.
This girl claimed that I was an open book, but she seemed to have no secrets she wanted to keep from me. She even pulled a few out of me herself.
So how did I find myself so incredibly attracted to her? How did I find myself, with a mouthful of as-of yet un-chewed apple, kissing and holding the only girl in Forks to have any answers for me, and I find myself not caring if I scare her away, if only for a lingering, fleeting moment of this?
Fortunately, that turned out not to be the case, for when we parted, me staring into her brown eyes, her smile almost eclipsed mine, even as she chewed on a piece of apple that wasn’t there before.
I didn’t apologize, nevertheless. I couldn’t apologize. Even if I could, I didn’t want to.
Love is a fickle thing, I’ll be the first to say that. And perhaps the words ‘irrevocably’ and ‘unconditionally’ were a bit over the top.
But I swear I love this girl by my mortal heart.
It didn’t start then. That would be, compared to the past few months, somewhat ridiculous. But throughout the night, we talked. We did nothing but talk for a good long while, and I didn’t regret it at the time. She was a truly fascinating woman, and explained so much to me about what’s out there. My weirdness for attracting the weird wasn’t an isolated incident, it seems. But I also attracted her, to be fair. An inquiry for another time.
She understood that I wanted answers, and she revealed to me what seems to be a far-fetched tale, even compared to the rest. Her beauty was only rivaled by her mind, which was just as voluptuous and attractive to me, despite my ambivalence towards school. She explained what she knew about me – things that no one else but I knew – before she told me about the existence of other worlds.
But even that couldn’t compare to the wondrous tale of my life being catalogued in a popular book series where she comes from.
She was a fountain of knowledge, and I had no reason to not believe her so far, but there was one thing I needed to know – one thing I needed to hear her say, lest my emotions go unchecked. “Why?”
Her head tilted in the slightest way, and her beautiful eyes sparkled so genuinely. “Because your story is everything short of a tragedy,” she slowly admitted to me. “I didn’t mean to come here, but I quickly deduced where I was, and it would be inhumane of me to not warn you of hard times.”
I tilted her chin, yet again, and sealed my lips on hers. I suppose it was my way of thanking her.
No. That’s not true. It’d be far simpler if it was, but that’s not apropos with my life, according to her. ‘Complications’ would have made a far better title than ‘Twilight.’
What I said and did next, couldn’t be explained as me trying to thank her. It can’t be blamed on me trying to find closure, or at least more answers. I’ve never been one to take a leap of faith, but right now, with this girl, I’d dive head-first, at least until she found what she was looking for. “Your boyfriend,” I asked her, almost surprised that she had never once mentioned his name. “Who is he?”
Her eyes sparkled, and I felt an odd feeling of dread overcome me. It’s utterly reckless to write this down, but I would have never been the same again if she said ‘Cullen’. I don’t imagine my story would go on much longer if I started skipping Biology.
Luckily, she told me an unassuming name, a name that was comfortable to me. A name with no meaning or consequence.
But I knew it had to be a special name to be attached to this girl. I’m more grateful for this mystery; it promised much more in terms of simplicity.
As dawn broke over the horizon in the east, my head was lain against her shoulder as we travelled the terrains in a lavish, smoother vehicle that shared some resemblance to my former deathtrap monster truck; the resemblance was passing at best, and I even took a before/after picture. We passed the city limits, something I was once confident my car could never do, and her teasing smile at being made right made me shiver, and it was all I could do not to distract her from driving.
I’ve said since the beginning that I’ve wanted to leave Forks, Washington, and the people I’ve met have only slightly spoiled my exuberance to leave – the letters I’ve decided to write and leave next to my old diary will express my thanks enough, I think. The rain will still be there when I come back. Someday.
My story can wait; this one seems far more intriguing.
“So, where is our next stop?”
Hermione frowned. “I don’t know, actually.” She glanced over at Bella, who raised an eyebrow with a curious look. “Well, I wasn’t exactly thinking this through when I started this whole journey. I just looked at the facts, and forced myself to make a decision. I think I’m doing all this for a reason, I just need to figure out what it is.”
“You mean… kidnapping me?” There was a smile when she said it, and a tilt of a laugh.
“Oh, hush you. You chose to come with me.”
“And as long as we don’t run out of gas, I suppose I won’t regret it.”
The brunette scoffed. “We ran out of gas hours ago, Bella. We’ve been running on magic since we left the hotel.”
The pale girl blinked a few times. “Well, that explains the car being so quiet.”
Hermione nodded the affirmative. “As to where we’re going, that all depends on where the wand is taking me.”
“Your wand?” She took a quick look around. “And you’re getting directions from it from inside your pocket?”
“Remember when I said that I looked at the facts and decided I had to go? Well, in the past twenty-four hours, I’ve had a mother lode of information dropped on me. One of which had me stealing something that was apparently very special to me. At least, that’s what my friend Daphne said.” She reached up into the truck’s visor and pulled out a long, thin piece of wood, which Bella rightfully assumed was the wand. “Of course, I trust Daphne. So I have every right to believe that I am in possession of the Elder Wand. And if it wasn’t mine, I wouldn’t have been able to summon it straight into my palm, past all protections.”
“So, what is all of that supposed to mean?”
“There’s a fable that children born into magic would read, like a fairy tale. But most fairy tales are based on facts in a world filled with magic. However, this is one of the few books that was probably a nonfiction. Collect three objects, and you have the power to control your own power, your fate, and death itself. And this was the last piece in the puzzle. Funny, how life works like that.”
“Is that how you managed to get to my, umm… world?”
“As far as I can tell. Had I not unknowingly taken ownership of it minutes before Harry went through the veil, even with two of the objects on him, we likely wouldn’t have survived. Our magicks are tied and his fate is mine. So this wand, should work for the both of us easily.
“The actual problem is finding the veil. It’s hidden in his world. Inaccessible until it’s revealed. We know where it is, but we can’t do anything about it until we use a reveal charm on it – from this wand. And now, I have to get this to him.”
“What veil did you use to get to me?”
“It was in the outskirts of your town, Forks. You didn’t notice, but while you were writing in your journal, I drove through it. The problem is that I drove right through it. It did nothing, like it wasn’t even there. We’re still in your world. The one at my home and the one near you seem quite insistent that I don’t get directly to Harry. I don’t feel positive about the next one.”
“So, is there a giant veil in the outskirts of my town, now?”
“It was a timed reveal charm. Should have disappeared in minutes. What really concerns me is the lack of power I have over these portals.”
Bella tucked her legs underneath her, and leaned against the window. “Well, when you thought of Harry, and landed here, could that mean that he could actually be where I am? In the outskirts of New York, you said? We have one of those, you know.”
“I don’t remember reading in your books about superheroes destroying and rebuilding your New York.”
Bella pondered to herself for a moment. “Well… in a sense, we do.”
Hermione swiftly turned her head to the teen who was now biting her lip. Damn, they needed to stop at another hotel soon. “Oh? Do tell.”
“They’re not superheroes, per se,” she tried to explain, “but they certainly try to be. Not the world, but they do a pretty good job saving the city. I’d say they are the purest form of vigilantism.”
“I see.” She focused on the road again, her magic temporarily driving for her. “So there are a few of these ‘heroes’. Do you think any of them would like to help me?”
“As far as I heard, they’re dealing with some bad guy.”
“How big of a threat is he?”
“Well, I heard he has a lot of guns and some henchmen more twisted than he is – and that may be saying something.”
“So why is he the boss?”
Hermione shook her head. “That’d do it. Which part of New York?”
“I believe it was Staten Island.”
“I’ve been to a few places: Egypt, France, Japan, Germany. Never the States. So I wouldn’t know how to apparate there. And seeing as I left Harry’s Firebolt at home…”
“Guess we’ve got a ride ahead of us.” She was quiet for a few moments. “So why do you think the veil won’t take you there?”
“It has another name – the Veil of Death. Unless you have the three tools I told you about, unfortunately, coming back through is impossible. The fact that I can, presumably, control death, assures us passage. It all seems to be soul-based. The veil takes your soul, so Harry having ownership of the other two objects keeps me safe. He never takes off the ring, and he always keeps the cloak somewhere on his person or immediately available, no matter what. So the theory I’ve been working on might have some weight if the next veil doesn’t let me through.”
“And what theory is that?”
“That something even more powerful than death itself is working directly against me. And I’m not particularly fond of that idea.”
There was a chilling silence between the two. And as they drove down the path on a cross-country ride, contemplating the perilous journey ahead of them, Hermione headed back to a relatively safer topic.
“This villain. What’s his name?”
The pale teen blushed. “I don’t think I should say.”
“Oh, great,” Hermione muttered. “Another one whose name must not be said.”
“It’s not that,” Bella said quickly. “It just… shouldn’t be said. It’s not exactly the most subtle name.”
“…You’re not sending me to face Beetlejuice, are you?”
“Who?” She shook her head. “No. That name’s very subtle in comparison to… well…” She leaned over, and whispered the name into her ear.
Hermione blinked a few times. “Oh. Wow.” She looked over to the embarrassed teen. “I suppose there’s a fascinating story behind the name?”
“Not one I’m interested in hearing,” Bella said quickly, shaking her head wildly.
“You’d think after what you were moaning in that hotel room, you would have no trouble saying his name, now.”
The ebony-haired beauty looked at Hermione with a semi-serious expression. “You say it.”
“The old me would have had a serious problem with this sort of language,” she chuckled, “But that was a long time ago. Arguably, better times. Now,” she smiled, her eyes firmly set on the road, “pardon my French, but what do you say we go help out, team up and vanquish The Motherfucker?”
Bella fully recognized herself as an adult. However, even she couldn’t help but laugh – something the pale teen hadn’t done much of in a very long time, but was now able to do regularly. “I guess that sounds like a plan.”
“See!” Hermione squealed with joy. “It’s not so bad!”
“Says the witch who would entrust her life to a broomstick!”
Bella’s once untrustworthy truck, having run through several states on pure magic, covered a new terrain when they hit the snowy mountains – and to Bella’s chagrin, it wasn’t snow.
“Come on! Don’t you trust me at this point?”
She looked up from her hiding place – under the dashboard in front of her seat – and scowled at her relatively new lover. “Don’t test me, Granger! I trust you. I trust gravity more.”
The brightest witch of her age smirked. “And yet, we’re flying. And pretty well, I might add.” She forewent telling her that this was the first time she had done this. “And sit up! Just because you can’t see what’s happening doesn’t mean it’s not happening. We’ll still be flying, whether you’re down there or not!”
“I’m not good at facing reality,” she deadpanned, still from under her seat. “My almost boyfriend was a vampire, and it took me nearly three months.”
“In your defence, your world’s version of a vampire was drastically different from the classic definitions of our own catalogued in the books you’ve read – you couldn’t have known.” Hermione quickly charmed the windshield when it began to frost over. “Trust me, you were clueless when it came to far more things than that.”
The straight-haired brunette poked her head up. “About what?”
The curly-haired witch smirked. “You think I’d tell you while you’re down there? Strap on your seat belt, it’s not safe.”
The girl mumbled something unintelligible as she trembled up to an upright position, her eyes closed tightly as she fumbled for the safety strap. “You’re incorrigible.”
“And you’re cute when you’re scared. Last time you were this terrified, you said… it wouldn’t fit.”
Normally, it would take a lot to make Isabella Swan blush, and even more difficult in the snowy mountains. But the insulated heating made it easier for her cheeks to noticeably warm up, incidentally letting go of the seat belt before it could connect. “Shut up.”
“Imagine your surprise when it did.”
She refrained herself from clenching. “Shut up.”
“And I didn’t even need lube the time after that. You were absolutely soaking with – ”
Her breath was caught as her head was forcibly turned to the side and her mouth was assaulted by Bella’s tender lips. Her hands gripped the steering wheel tightly as a finger gently flicked against her clothed nipple, sans bra.
It was hardly the first time this had happened during their road trip, but Bella’s forcefulness surprised her, nevertheless. Her tongue swiftly began sliding against her teeth, and she, not even on a road to pay attention to, allowed the heavy distraction.
Bella’s hands forced themselves under her loose shirt, tracing up her toned stomach, and Hermione’s immediate physical reaction would have had Bella almost blame it on the cold weather if her magic weren’t so impeccable. Even so, goose bumps rose on her skin as her lover’s nails grazed against her, on her way to what Hermione quickly perceived a while back were Bella’s favourite play toys.
The pale beauty showed little restraint, pulling one hand out of the bookworm’s shirt in favor of cupping the side of her chin, getting in a much more comfortable position. Confirming that her girlfriend’s face was as heated as her own, she smirked into the kiss as she gently, suddenly, pulled on her right nipple.
When Hermione moaned, the pale teen broke up the kiss. “Who’s soaking?” she whispered innocently, the smirk still present.
The witch took a moment to steady her breath. “I didn’t say that was a bad thing,” she defended herself, still feeling Bella’s ghost touches on her breast. “That’s one way to tell me to shut up.”
Bella pecked her on the lips once more. “It’s been proven to work before.”
“It’s also been proven to be a good distraction.” She nodded her head towards the front. “We’ll drive on ground for a bit if you still feel uncomfortable.”
Her rich, brown eyes widened in response, and closed again. Seconds later, she felt her hand enveloped in a comforting squeeze, and looked down to see a hand wrapped around her own.
“Don’t tell me I have to get you to assault me again to take your mind off of things,” Hermione let off a soft laugh, looking over at her, her eyes shining.
Bella looked back down at their conjoined hands. “No,” she breathed, forcing her eyes to look forward, and finding herself entranced at the oncoming sunrise over the horizon. “This is good enough. For now.”
The pair sped on, Hermione subtly swerving through the air with the steering wheel, anchoring their speed and velocity with the fingers of her left hand. The other stayed firmly in the grasp of her newest confidante and partner, tethering onto her with dear life.
Not a moment had passed where she didn’t think about her spiritual other half. And having a distraction was what truly kept her on the sane side, so far. But even she could admit to herself, that Isabella Swan was so much more than a temporary solution.
It was time they had a talk; about the future, their future, and if she were so lucky, the future that should come to pass.
There were very few times in the past that she had ever doubted Luna’s predictions, and for good reason. But out of the thirty-two possible outcomes the blonde presented, there was only one she was interested in fulfilling.
And for what was next to come to fruition, they’d have to crash into the mountains she was currently hovering above. Intentionally.
And Bella couldn’t know about the plan, of course. That part was crucial, Luna had insisted. According to the unusually serious blonde in their last conversation, it was pertinent that their next ‘accident’ would attract the attention of someone who could be very valuable to their cause.
A survivor. Just like her.
However, she was beginning to doubt her own survival instincts, hesitation rampant within her as she tried to consider her options.
It was when she began to steel her resolve and promise herself that she was ready to do what was needed, that a simple hand squeeze from Bella caused a slight blur in her vision. Blinking rapidly, she looked over to her lover.
“Let’s land,” she muttered quietly, her hand grasping the girl beside her tightly. “I have a feeling we’ve got a lot in store for us tomorrow.”
“Hey,” the pale girl looked deep into the girl’s watery eyes. “You okay? Am I squeezing too hard?”
As soon as her hand began to loosen, Hermione reaffirmed her grip. “Of course not,” she assured the older girl, returning the stare. “I can handle much more than that. You and I… we can handle a lot together. I think we’re going to need that soon.”
Swan tilted her head. “That was somewhat foreboding. What? Something I need to be clued in on?”
“Absolutely. But I don’t think I should tell you until we land; for reasons that will become very clear after we land.”
Luna was going to kill her for this.
Author’s Note: The ‘World’ of Kickass Confirmed, yes. But who do you think the other one is on the way? A blatant keyword in there.
Thank you for reading, and please review.