Chapter 141 & 142 – Melina
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"I thought you might be here."

"Mm," Cloud opened his eyes, and the first thing he saw was the moon in the sky, its rays falling on him. Not through the windows of his room since he was lying on his house's sloping roof, his head was supported on the palm of his hands, his legs crossed. His bright, sharp blue eyes glanced over to the voice, with a natural glow of life force in them.

"You dislike your bed?"

Cloud closed his eyes without even acknowledging the question.

"I know we are on a break, but ignoring me? It's not like I asked for it," Hermione sat beside him, worriedly looking at her surroundings. At least it was clean.

"Get used to it."

"To you being a jerk?"

Cloud opened his eyes, glancing over again, "You disliked your bed?"

Hermione rolled her eyes, giggling, "What is going on with Natasha?"


Hermione curled her knees, hugging them tightly, resting her chin on her forearm, "Cloud? What is going on with Natasha?"

Cloud kept his eyes closed, trying his best not to open them again, though, after a while of silence, he sighed, "She…uh…she fought with Tifa."

"Right, I know. They aren't talking."

"No, they had a fist fight of a kind. Natasha wanted to prove that she had enough strength and wouldn't be a burden with enhancements and magic."

"Oh, what happened?"

"She was beaten in three seconds."

Hermione tilted her head, thinking back to the fight she saw between Tifa and the Death Eaters, "She went easy on her?"

"Tifa gave her three seconds to attack first."


Cloud put his forearm over his eyes, resting his hand on his palm, "So when Natasha came back and knew she would stay here for a month or so. She wanted to train and get better. I promised that I would do so…but…."

"She asked for that woman?"

"Black Widow Program. She's adamant about completing it, and I agreed, on a note that I get to stop her when I think she is doing too much."

Hermione narrowed her eyes, "I think she's doing too much, and ten times over."

"Yeah, that's the Black Widow Program," Cloud got on his feet, taking her hand, "Well, I was going to meet her. Come."

"Meet who?" Hermione only got on her feet when they apparated, appearing inside a room. It wasn't small, not too big; there weren't any windows and only one door. All the other necessities seemed to be provided for. The only problem was that the prisoner wasn't in the room.

"We should leave," Before Hermione could understand why Cloud seemed a bit flustered and asked to leave, she heard the sound of water. Wet steps came nearer, and she looked back to find Melina standing outside the bathroom, which didn't seem to have a door, with nothing but a towel on her and her naked body dripping with water.

"No, why would you? Stay," Melina looked at Cloud's back and stepped near him, stroking his back, "Did you decide to spend a night with me?"

"Not interested," Cloud turned over without caring that she was naked, "Would you like to get dressed?"

Melina watched him with a smile and sat down on the bed, wrapping the blanket around her, though not entirely. She revealed most of her thigh, shoulders, and breasts (while hiding nipples). She glanced at Hermione, "Did you know that men are more attracted to women wearing revealing clothes than to naked women? Or, sleeping with girls or women that aren't their wives or girlfriends."

Hermione clutched onto Cloud's t-shirt, inching closer to him, blushing with shame for the woman.

She gently blinked at Cloud, "Remind me again, why did you break up with this wonderful girl."

"I am here to talk about Natasha's schedule."

"Hm," Melina curled her lips, "I see. As her father, you are here to talk to her mother. Makes sense, but don't you think bringing the other woman would make me angry?"

Cloud took a deep breath, "What do you want?"

"Can I demand anything from my captive?"

Cloud scratched his head, "Your narrative keeps changing, from girl to woman, father to the captive, and so on and on. I couldn't care less. I came here to talk. I don't mind if you want to talk dressed, naked. Whatever suits you."

"You have zero tolerance for something like this, don't you?"

"For bullshit? Yeah."

"And you think that's ok?"

Melina walked up to him, brushing her fingers on his jaw, staring at his lips, saying softly, "You think it's fine…that you, the one who leads a company with billion-dollar potential and with Super Soldier Serums that allowed you to strengthen Natasha, it could be even higher. In the right hands, the technology, talent, and magic, you could…maybe even dominate a few countries, big ones at that. And you think it's fine…if you have zero tolerance for bullshit…or naked women?"

"What do you want?"

"My research, the one we took from Noth Institute. I want to lead it."


"If you say yes, then not only will I train Natasha, and then Yelena or anyone else you want to be trained, but I will even train you. We will have a lot of sessions where I'll be naked, in your arms, teaching you…everything."

"Take the yes."

Melina patted his cheek, brushing her thumb over it, looking into his eyes, taking a deep breath, "I did. I only wanted to make sure that you knew…what I can offer you."

She didn't give time to answer; turning away from him, she dropped the blanket, "Now, if you both want to spend the night, then you are welcome. Just remember to dim the lights."

She looked over, winking at Hermione, "I wouldn't mind if it were a one-on-one session with you."

Cloud placed his hand on Hermione's shoulder, "Now, can we talk about Natasha's…sessions?"

Melina put her leg over the other, placing her interlocked palms on her knee, "She's fine. Usually, the girls aren't strengthened before, but after. She has been given all this strength, she needs to learn how to control it, and I am teaching her."

"Can't you wait for her to grow up," Hermione finally had the guts to say something in front of this woman. It wasn't that she was scared, maybe a bit, but she felt she was outclassed in every way possible. No, not just her; this one seemed a step above even Tifa and Aerith; how she held herself was something else.

"Ask Cloud."


"Why were you in a hurry to get Natasha into Hogwarts?"

"I…have my reasons."

"Yes. And stop me whenever you like or think I am wrong."

"Now, there is a war going on the other side, and you aren't sure you can be with her all the time. You have the House-Elves; if I am not wrong, you selected two, one to protect Tifa and the other Aerith. Since the Elves can teleport in places where Wizards can't. Now though, each one is responsible for protecting a girl."

Hermione looked over to Cloud, who took the chair and sat down, wanting to hear more of what Melina could come up with.

"I'll take that as a yes. Now, you wanted her to get earlier than her age allowed because it would have wasted a whole year. Now, you want her to get stronger; her potential would be wasted at the end of the day. She'd be good in a fight, won't she? What did you tell her? That's it'd be good for self-defence?"

Cloud looked away, and Melina smiled, "Need some air? Sadly, there aren't any windows here."

"Yeah. It must be uncomfortable. I'll get you a better place," Cloud muttered, "I didn't know you were being kept here."

"I am a prisoner."

"Yeah, well…leave it. Continue."

"Do you want me to leave it? Or continue?"

"If I had a scoreboard…you'd lose a few points from your IQ."

Melina raised her eyebrows, "I am missing something big, ain't I? You are not rattled in the slightest. These weren't the reasons behind your action."

"No. I told Dumbledore as much. Natasha would be helpful to his cause, but you only know as much as your source of information, and here it would be the seven-year-old girl, Yelena, right?"

"Talked too much, did I?"

"She's smart," Cloud pressed his lips, "And she brought you newspapers? What? Did she hide Daily Prophets with the Times and Vogue?"

"You think I would make her do that?"

"For Survival, yes."

"For survival..." Melina closed her eyes, "I am curious. What am I missing?"

Cloud looked at her, lost in thought, and he didn't give a reply for a long while. In turn, Melina wrapped the blanket around her, hiding most of her skin.

"What am I missing?"

Hermione patted Cloud, and he snapped out of his thought, "Right…uh…I was thinking, why did we come here."

"You brought me here," Hermione suppressed her voice, reminding him.

"Right, right…you tire me out," Cloud uninterestedly looked at Melina, "I came here to talk about Natasha. Physically, she can take worse punishment. Mentally…she's a child. Do this in moderation?"

He stood up, "I'll ask for Peggy's permission about your new housing…there would be at least a few windows. As for that research…Shelke will be in contact with you. I want an antidote for it."

"So. You aren't going to tell me what I am missing, are you?"

Cloud got ready to Apparate when Melina spoke, "Can you sleep?"

Hermione darted her eyes between Cloud and Melina, seeing the hesitant look on Cloud's face, and his eyes met hers. He placed his palm on her shoulder, looking away from her to Melina, commenting, "Exhausting."

There was a loud crack, and they disappeared, leaving Melina behind in a daze, "Huh, and here I thought I had him all figured out."

She stood up, letting the blankets slip off as she walked to the light, but when she was near it, another crack sound appeared, and Cloud was in front of her.

He glanced over and looked away right after, "Sorry…you said to close the lights…um…right…sorry."

He closed the light and disappeared immediately, making Melina tilt her head and walk back to the bed, "Oh poor boy. He really can't sleep."

Riverdale, Cloud's bedroom,

"Now you understand?" Cloud said as soon as he and Hermione appeared in the room.

"If I were Natasha. I'd choose her to teach me to be like that," Hermione rubbed her arms. She took a deep breath, "It's scary. If Natasha is anything like that woman? And you add magic on top of that? The thought makes my soul shiver."

"Yeah. She'll be better," Cloud sat down on the bed, turning the lights, "With magic, my DNA, and her training. She'd be much better."

Hermione looked at his back, climbing on the bed. She crawled over, placing her hands on his shoulder, whispering, "What did she mean when she asked you…can you sleep?"

Cloud raised his chin, looking into her eyes, feeling her breath brush against his cheeks, shaking his head, "Nothing."

"Cloud…" Hermione inched closer, lips about to touch him, yet she held back a little. She parted her lips to ask him when he clasped her lips with his. And that was enough to throw all reason out of her mind and kiss him back, much more passionately.

London, Ministry of Magic, Minister's Office.

"How high do you think are the chances that they are…doing it?"

"That's a question in your capacity as the Minister? Or as his girlfriend?" Tifa spread out the papers, with two quills running on magic and one in her own hands.

Aerith leaned back on her comfy chair, "I feel that they are kissing."

"Right, I have a similar feeling," Tifa raised her eyebrows, "Maybe it's the Harem thing? I had this feeling a few times before."

"The Collective Consciousness, huh," Aerith leaned back, blinking, "Anyway. Where were we?"

Tifa stopped, looking up, "You should…um…what was I saying? Right. You should spend more time with Cloud, don't you think?"

"Nah, his life's already too busy. I don't get what that boy was thinking trying to take on the workload of the Ministry?"

"I have an idea. It's called Angeal. Or Argento," Tifa leaned back, "That would have done it, right?"

"Probably, anyway, back to work it is," Aerith stretched her body, "Did you get the report on the Giants? They are divided the last I heard."

"Still divided. There has been no movement; they are protecting their base each."

"I don't get it; why is Voldemort not attacking," Aerith rubbed her eyes, groaning.

"It could be that the Giants, being noticeable as they are—are being told not to move so he could attack secretly."

Aerith took a deep breath, puffing her cheeks before she took a letter and threw it forward. It flew through the seam under the door and waited for a little while.

"Hey, you called? I am swamped here."

Fury entered the room after a while, holding the letter in his hand, "And the blank letter? How would anyone know they should come."

"You knew, right," Aerith blinked, "I won't hold you for long, but aren't you one of those spies?"

Aerith hastily stood up, putting her palms together, curling her fingers, leaving her thumbs and forefingers straight. She turned her mug into a hat, adjusting it, "Bond…James Bond."

Tifa looked the other way, suppressing her laughter while Fury stood there, speechless, "No."

"You aren't a spy?"

"Yes…but no."

"Do you have guns?"


"Sexy cars?"


"With blank tinted windows?"

"I know where you are going with this?"

"Advanced Technology?"

"What did you call me here for?"


"I'll be leaving."

"Ok, fine, fine, fine," Aerith giggled, sitting down, taking a deep breath, "Say. Do you have any views on the matter that Voldemort is not attacking? I was expecting him to attack by now, fighting the final fight?"

"Uh…well, I wouldn't say I know everything. I am not Dumbledore," Fury curled his lips. He had been wary of that old man since he met him.

"Right, we know," Tifa chuckled, "What do you think? You are the only one who has any experience with war."

"I'd say," Fury mulled over his words for a moment, nodding, "Right. It's because you nearly crippled him."


"First, call for Moody. I think he has something to tell you too. We wanted to confirm our suspicion before bringing it to you, but since you called me here anyway, you should call him too."

"Ok," Tifa took a letter, throwing it towards the door, "Please, continue."

"Ok. You took out his Death Eaters, and Malfoy was a prominent one in them. He was undercover and well, using his wealth to sit at the top, to have the Last Minister's ear. That's dangerous. With the loss of his fighting powers, he was already at a disadvantage, and you introduced a new enemy. SHIELD, and with our resources, there's not much he could do on Muggle's side. We'd know. Since Wizards don't have to take care of keeping watch, they can focus more on this area."

Fury took a deep breath, "You have been closing doors left and right for this guy, and he needs to open new doors, but…this was too quiet. So I thought there must be something else he is after."

"Right, and I know what that is!" Moody walked in through the open door, having overheard him.

His artificial eye darted between them, "Or it would be more precise to say…who it is."

Aerith raised her eyebrows, "Sooo? Are you going to tell me today, or will you maintain the suspense for a week?"


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