A/N: I know. I know. It's been months. I tried to finish this chapter last week, but couldn't before my birthday on the 20th and then I completely ignored my laptop. So so sorry this is so late, but I wanted to get this part out of the way. There will only be a few more chapters, like 2-3, before I skip towards the reunion which I know is probably the only reason you guys are still hanging around.
Anyway, let me know what you think of this chapter and I'll get working finishing the next one so I can update sooner.
"My mother went here?" I whisper in shock.
"Yes, both of them did at one point, actually. How much do you know of your birth parents?" Professor McGonagall asked.
"Not as much as I would like to. I know they were the Queens of my race and that they sacrificed themselves in order to defeat Voldemort. I know that I am essentially the last of my family and that there are some other members out there, but have been hidden for years." I replied as I thought back to all that Isabelle had informed me of.
"That is, unfortunately, correct, dear. Before they were Queens and their sacrifice was made, they were just two young women who had come to Hogwarts as a part of a foreign exchange program. We could not send witches or wizards to the angel realm as that was a revered place that only those with close ties could enter, but they wanted to know the world that they were to protect.
I believe that they were bonded before they came here. I knew them well actually. Your mum was named Gabriella and your mother was Artemis. Unlike you, they did not have last names. Not something your race was big on." Headmaster Dumbledore stated.
I smiled as I learned their names for the first time. I knew they were written in the books given to me, but I had not found the strength to open and begin the path to truly knowing and understanding what I was. As I thought of it, the wave of pain I'd come to associate with my separation from Fleur lessened.
"Thank you for sharing that with me, Headmaster and Professors. I am tired from the day, however, do you think we could continue this tomorrow?" I asked.
"Of course. You have a free period before your day ends tomorrow. Please come as a see me anytime between then and curfew." Headmaster Dumbledore replied as he turned to leave and Professors McGonagall and Flitwick smiled before they followed.
Turning back to the door that would be the entrance to my home for the next 7 years, I felt a wave of familiar magic pulse and envelope me before the door opened with a flourish.
As I walked inside, the door closed behind me unexpectedly, I turned in shock.
"Do not worry, little one, it is spelled that way." A soothing voice said behind me.
I turned in shock and before was a fireplace and a large portrait above it. Standing to the right was a small house elf.
"I'm sorry? Was that you?" I asked the creature.
It squeaked in reply and I heard a twinkling laugh, looking at the portrait, there were two women looking back at me.
"Uh …. Who are you?" I asked as I stepped closer and continued, "What do you mean, "It is spelled that way"?"
"We are Artemis and Gabriella, your birth parents. The door, it is spelled to close automatically when you enter and exit. It is also spelled to only open for you or your mate." One of the women answered with a heavy accent as she sat on the arm of the chair.
I stepped closer and took both of them in. I could see right away that I took after the shorter of the two women. She was seated on what appeared to be a throne rather than a normal chair as the other sat next to her with an arm wrapped around her shoulders.
"Which of you is which, please?" I asked as I stood in front of them.
The seated one answered with a smile, "I am Artemis and this is Gabriella."
"Thank you for clarifying. I am Hermione, though I believe you know that." I stated.
Gabriella laughed and replied, "Aye, we do, lots of fighting surrounding that choice."
"Oh?" I questioned.
"Yes, but a story for another time, little one. I am very happy to finally see you and in such good health." Artemis said as she stood and step to the edge of the painting before continuing, "Having to place you within this realm was the hardest decision we've had to make since the war originally broke out."
"I can imagine." I stated sadly as I studied the edge of the mantle in front of me intensely.
Thoughts of the loss of so many people I never knew, but should have filled me. Thinking of the war and the sacrifice my birth parents made; Knowing that they would never be able to hold me again afterwards saddened me greatly. I love my adopted parents and could never regret them as I met my Fleur because of them, but I also imagine how different my life would have been.
I was startled from melancholy thoughts by a small hand grabbing mine.
I looked towards the arm attached and suddenly remembered the elf that was standing near me all this time.
"Please don't be sad, Mistress. The world has a way of righting the wrongs done. We can only follow our path and do what we feel is right while on it." The small creature squeaked.
I gave her a small smile and squeezed the hand within mine and replied, "Thank you. Of course you are correct. Wait! Mistress?! I am your Mistress?! How is that possible? I have never seen you before."
"We can explain that. Little Lucy here is great granddaughter of the house elf that was gifted to me by your grandmother when I started the program and ended up residing in this very room with your Mum all those years ago when we came to Hogwarts during our 6th year." Artemis stated with a smile before continuing, "So in that spirit, I called upon Valentine, the house elf I was given, and asked if there were any within his bloodline that were ready to take on a charge and little Lucy was brought to speak with us and we advised what her role, should she accept, would be."
I looked at the small elf and saw she was wearing a sash across her body that seemed to flow into a skirt. I knew about house elves from my parents. We did not have one as I felt it was a kind of slavery; Even after my dad explained that they were indeed paid, I never felt comfortable with having one. Now I was being given one without my consideration and I wasn't fully comfortable with. Paid or not, it did not seem like Lucy was certain about this either.
She stood with her hands clasped in front of her, but wasn't really looking at us.
"Who said I wanted an elf? Who said this is what she really wants? She does not look comfortable being here." I questioned as I sat down on a chair near the fireplace.
"Lucy is nervous, Mistress. Lucy has heard of the royal family and been taught how to interact with you, but Lucy never imagined she would be the one selected of all her family for this task." She squeaked out as she stepped towards me and continued, "Lucy is honored to be here with you, Mistress. Lucy promises to always take care of her Mistress and to ensure her Mistress and the family of her Mistress are safe."
"You mean that? You really wish to be here?" I asked to clarify.
"Oh yes! Lucy has never believed she would have such a blessing." She replied as she nodded her head to emphasize her agreement.
"Alright then. I do not want to take away anything that would seem to make you so happy." I replied back. "I accept you as my house elf, Lucy."
As I spoke those words, a sky blue light enveloped us both and Lucy began to giggle.
"Are you alright?" I asked once it faded.
"Lucy is perfect, Mistress. Lucy can feel the magic of her Mistress and her Mistress' family through our bond." She replied and smiled at me.
"Very well, then. It is rather late, though, so currently there isn't anything I have for you. I should actually be getting to bed." I said more to myself as I stood.
"Of course, dear. We will talk more tomorrow, after you speak with Dumbledore." Artemis said.
I nodded absently as my day caught up to me and I began to feel even more tired. I removed my shoes and quickly changed before I laid in bed.
I didn't even notice Lucy draw the covers over me as I drifted off.