A/N: Hey all! I'm trying to be good and update consistently because as I reader, I hate when my favorite stories go without an update. I am going to ATTT, but this is where my muse has me focused right now, but I am determined to finish it if I can. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this chapter. Let me know what you think and I hope you're enjoying the long weekend.
The last few years have breezed by so quickly and inched by all at the same time. What should have been my fourth year at Hogwarts is beginning in just two days and the pull I've been feeling since I last saw Fleur 12 years ago has been far worst this last week than just about anything I've felt.
I knew this would be the year that everything finally came to a head and couldn't help think of some of the key moments that have happened.
Flashback … One Week before End of 1st year Term
I've been rigorous in maintaining my training. I had finally read the books Isabelle was able to find out about my kind and from the many conversations with my birth parents, I knew that this upcoming summer I would undergo my transformation. After having been afraid of the transitions I would be experiencing, I've just begun to become excited about it all.
Headmaster Dumbledore and Professor Flitwick have been allowing me greater access than that of my peers, which hasn't gone unnoticed and has been the cause of more than one scene with Ronald and Draco primarily. Most of my time is spent training within the Forbidden Forest and the Black Lake. The centaurs and the Giant Squid have been a tremendous help in building my endurance and with my archery.
Today, I've decided to work on my cardio. Running has never been a difficult undertaking and it takes even longer for me to grow tired. Luna and Kiyoko are sitting under a tree as Luna speaks with her magical creatures, Kiyoko has a timer, pad and quill to keep track of my progress.
I paused my stretching when I realized there was a lot more people hanging out in this section of the courtyard than usual. A group of 7th years was watching me near the entrance and the rest of the years seemed to be spread out across the lawn mixed together, regardless of their year. I continued to looking around and walked towards Kiyoko.
I kneeled next to them and whispered, "Why are there so many people out here today? I figured everyone would be busy studying for finals; That's why we're doing this now."
Luna was the one to reply in her typical nonchalant way, "You're drawing people to you."
"What? I'm not doing anything!" I exclaimed as softly as possible. I was just trying to get some last minute training in.
"Not intentionally, no, but as your in angel begins to arise, it calls to those you are meant to guard. I was talking to you moms the other day and they advised me this would happen. You aren't human, Hermione. The creature within you is meant to guide the wizarding world. It is meant to be a beacon of hope, in its' purest and most natural form. People all year have been looking to you, not that you've noticed with your head stuck in your books, but they have." Kiyoko answered in her normal no nonsense tone.
I stood and looked around again to the students that had amassed and though they were all being subtle, I could see my best friends were correct.
"Well, what do I do about it? It's weird." I asked as I completed my stretches.
"Nothing. You continue on as you always have." Luna stated with a small laugh.
In lieu of answering, I simply nodded to Kiyoko who started the timer and I ran off.
Flashback end …
That was the first moment I had with other people really noticing there was something different than just the way I was born. I remember sitting in my room the night before I would return home speaking with my birth parents about the changes and trying to be as prepared as possible for something that I been terrified of since before I had even stepped into Hogwarts.
Flashback … Last night at Hogwarts
"The change will likely happen by the end of your first week home, so be sure to explain to your adopted parents straight away. There is much that would need to be done and the more relaxed you are going into the change, the easier it will be for you." Artemis said as I sat in front of their portrait.
I nodded my understanding and agreement that my parents would need to know sooner rather than later.
"If you go upstairs to the vault, you'll find some things you should take with you." Gabriella continued. I was used to her directing me to the things within the vault as I needed them so I stood and walked to the second level.
As I made my way over to the vault, my birth parents appeared in their portrait hole. Whenever I've been within my rooms this year, they've always been with me. I've grown accustomed to having them and learning about their time here at Hogwarts and within our natural realm.
"On the column to the right, at the very top, there is a thin box and directly underneath that one, you'll find a short, thin one. Take them both out, please." Artemis directed further.
Gathering both boxes, I made my way to the table that was just to the right of their portrait. Setting them down next to each other, I looked at them for instructions. When none came, I opened them both at the same time.
"Don't touch either of them!" Artemis exclaimed as I reached towards the feather that sat within the thin box.
"Why not?" I asked as I lowered my hand.
"I know you've heard of port keys, lass." Gabriella stated simply.
I nodded as I had done extensive reading on them for an essay in Charms this year.
"Where would they take me?"
"Home." they both announced in unison.
"Home? As in the Angel realm, home?" I asked in disbelief and excitement equally.
Artemis laughed as I stood essentially vibrating.
"Yes, that home." Artemis stated before she continued, "Well, the feather will take you home. The key within the other box is a key to a sacred place you will go in order to complete your transformation."
She paused as she looked at Gabriella and pressed on hesitantly, "There is just one thing you should know."
"Okay? What is it?" I asked.
"Your adopted parents aren't able to go with you. Unlike normal port keys that allow journey to all in contact with it, port keys to and from our realm will only allow descendants and their mates to come and go. The Grangers' will not be able to see it, let alone touch it. That's why they were placed here instead of along with you when we placed you within this realm." Artemis answered seriously.
I was slightly stunned by this.
"If they are unable to come with me, how am I supposed to go through the change by myself?! In less than a week, mind you. I've done everything asked of me by both of you and of Isabelle since I was old enough to hold a bloody bow and arrow and now, NOW, you tell me that's all well and good, but there is going to be no one around to help me when the angel manifests?" I exclaimed as I begin to pace in front of their portrait.
"I was wondering if it skipped a generation, but nope. She has my temper as well." Gabriella murmured to Artemis.
"Oh hush. With us as parents, we both knew it would be legendary." Artemis stated.
"Glad you're finding this situation humorous." I muttered angrily.
"Calm down, little one. No one's saying you will be alone. Far from it, actually. Being dead at home is very different than being dead within this realm. Here the dead are buried and largely forgotten. Within our home realm, even death is reverent. Those within our bloodline especially.
We are not royal simply because we were born to royalty. We are royalty because of key differences in our blood to other angels. In our bloodline, we possess the ability to return to a form, much like a human form, our wings and abilities do not return within us, but key parts of us do. Within this realm, ghosts linger because their souls do not cross over. In the angel realm, the angel within us is the part of us that continues on to what the muggles refer to as heaven.. There is still a portion of us that remains within the angel realm, in a sacred temple, so that we are able to guide those who are able to access it, the only catch is that cannot leave it again after we are dead." Artemis explained.
"So what exactly are you saying?" I asked hesitant to believe she meant what I understood her to say.
"What I'm saying is that the spirit of every member of the royal family for as long as we have been is within the temple. We will all be with you as you begin the transition. Time is another factor that you should be aware of. It does not pass as it does here back home. In what could be a week here is similar to a year passing within our realm." Artemis clarified.
I was unable to speak as I thought of what this meant. I could spend months at a time within the angel realm and it not even be a full week here. I would be able to learn and actually see my whole family within one place; Be able to actually see and speak with my birth parents.
"Hermione? Are you alright, lass?" Gabriella asked as she stepped to the edge of the portrait. I could tell just by looking at her that she wished to be able to take me in her arms.
I didn't want to worry either of them. I was flabbergasted, but elated. I nodded and told them as much.
I watched as they visibly relaxed.
"You are taking in all this rather well. You and you adopted parents don't have much to do as we feared if you are able to grasp all of this without freaking out, as you young people say." Artemis advised with a smile.
Returning her smile, I exhaled. I could deal with this. I would accept my destiny and believe in my birthright. These women, my mothers, sacrificed everything so that I would be able to reach my potential and I would not have that be for nothing.
With that resolution, I closed both boxes and placed them with my pants pocket. I would not either out of my possession until it was time to use them.
A/N: Next chapter will probably be the last flashback chapter before we get to the reunion of our two loves. Again, let me know what you think.