MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! For the love of Merlin's scarf, I beg you, finish reading The New Order of Merlin: The Gathering (book 1) before reading this chapter. MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!
Chapter 7: Raven's letter
To Hogwarts Witches and Wizards.
I believe that your school houses two children who belong to me. I will come tomorrow to collect them. I trust you will not prevent a reunion of a mother with her children.
Beira finished writing her letter and blew on the ink so it would dry faster. While waiting, she admired her slender hands.
She got back from the Well of Youth just a few days ago and so her skin was young and beautiful again. In just a day, she would be able to absorb the power of the twins and keep this youth for at least a decade.
She had never taken back magic of two children at the same time. Would her powers get an extra boost or would her youth last twice as long? She would find out soon enough.
While she felt most confident in the winter months, there were complications. If she showed up at that school as an old crone, it would be difficult to explain that she was truly the mother of the twins. Besides, she didn't know what would await her there. She could be greatly outnumbered by witches and wizards and any sort of fight could turn ugly. And so she weighed other options.
She traveled to Diagon Alley, a place where the wizarding community liked to gather, and found that they were buried in deep bureaucracies, and when it came to family matters, the issue was often simple. All she had to do was tell the wizards that her children ran away from home and they would be returned back to her. If the school refused to release them, she would use their own authorities with their measly laws against them.
And so Beira waited the whole winter, and once young and beautiful, she prepared her letter and gave it to her trusty raven to deliver.
She entered the school grounds with the help of her hammer which carved a shortcut right up to the cliff where the castle was located. The wards did not hold her back as they were not designed to prevent someone like her from entering, but she felt their strength when coming through and felt a smidge of respect for this institution.
She didn't have to look long before finding the witch to speak with. Her children sensed her presence and came without a fight. This was even easier than she thought.
She appraised the puny humans her children tried to blend in with. If the twins knew who they were, maybe they wouldn't feel the need to associate themselves with these ants, but once she was done with them, she didn't care who they associated with.
"Are you Beira Nix?" the witch asked.
Nix? Where did that come from? Was that a name her children made up for themselves? She supposed it was fitting since it meant "snow" in Latin. She was not in the mood to point out to this witch what lying sneaks her children were, and so she kept it to herself.
"Yes, you received my letter then. Let's get on with this. I don't have all day."
As the witch led them to her office, Beira felt a presence follow them. She turned to face the aura and broke through. Surprisingly, it was Old Magic, one she did not expect to find here. When she touched the mind of the one responsible, she understood.
Merlin? How rude.
What could this puppet be doing here? Why Triple Goddess chose a human to do her bidding was a mystery. Beira didn't want to engage with him, unsure how his Goddess would react and so she let him go without a fuss. She willed him back into his body, wherever the immortal sorcerer might be hiding, and entered the office the witch invited her in, wondering what other surprises awaited her in the old castle.
At least this place was fairly civilized. The room did not smell like a hag's bedchamber although it was cluttered with unnecessary things like pictures, books or sentimental memorabilia. Humans and their possessions were pathetic.
She got comfortable, as comfortable as she could get on a rigid chair and appraised her children.
"And so here you are."
"Yes, mother," Elsa answered quietly, her eyes on the floor.
She decided to create a little scene for the witch.
"You made your mother worry," she scolded. "I did not know what happened to you. You just disappeared, didn't even leave a note. I worried that someone kidnapped you or that you got lost and needed to be rescued."
"We should've left a note," Elsa admitted, biting her lip. "I'm sorry."
Next to her, Jack raised his eyes and locked them with Beira in defiance like Angus used to. She had to get this over with.
Beira sighed and admired the smoothness of her slender hands. "Is there anything you need from me? I'd like to take my children now."
She raised her eyes to Minerva to communicate that she expected them to be handed over without a fuss.
The witch straightened up in her chair. "Mrs. Nix, you don't wish for them to finish the school year?"
Beira laughed in a melodious chuckle. Being addressed as Mrs. Snow put her in a good mood. "They don't need this… education."
She was planning to strip their memory anyway. If she simply took back their powers and left them in the human world, they could seek her in revenge. They were too old now and too resourceful. It was the only way.
"I want to stay," Jack said and Beira wanted to slap him across the face for speaking without permission.
"You will be quiet. Adults are speaking." She addressed the witch, "So, is there anything you need from me?"
The witch pursed her lips and looked between her and the twins. Was she planning something?
"We need to get the approval of the Headmaster."
Beira rolled her eyes at the predictable love of bureaucracy and waved her graceful hand in dismissal. "Get on with it then."
The witch walked up to the door where she hesitated. "Jack, would you come here for a moment?"
The boy shot up from his seat immediately, tripped on the rug and fell into her, proving yet again what an embarrassment he was.
"Sorry, I'm such a clumsy-head," he mumbled. "It's these shoes."
Elsa audibly gasped in her seat and looked at him with wide eyes.
"What is it?" the witch asked her.
Elsa cleared her throat. "No. Nothing. I just remembered something."
But it wasn't nothing. Some kind of resolve formed in the girl's eyes.
After the witch stepped out with Jack, Elsa said with trembling lips, "Will you forgive me for running away?"
Beira sighed. It did not matter whether she forgave them, but if she would blame anyone for the trouble they put her through, it would be the boy.
"I'm sorry," the girl whispered. "I… I just wanted to see the world. I wanted to know what it was like out there."
"And do you know what it is like now?"
Elsa looked back at the floor. "There are good things and bad things."
"You're not going to run again, are you?"
Elsa shook her head. "My place is with you, Mother. I know that now. I don't belong here."
"Excellent." At least one of her children had some sense.
"But Jack will not come with us."
Beira chuckled, she did not care if the boy wanted to come or not.
"We need to leave him here, Mother. He will always try to escape. He will never rest, he will always fight you."
Beira did not care about "always." She planned to strip their powers as soon as she got home.
"He's such a stubborn Gryffindor," Elsa said with a smile.
The word sounded distantly familiar.
"That's the name of the House he's in. The Houses are named after the founders of this school: Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw - that's my House, Helga Hufflepuff and Salazar Slytherin."
And Beira remembered. She heard all of those names a long time ago when she was still a goddess.
This changed everything! Beira quickly reassessed her situation and decided that she needed time to properly plan. It was liberating to realize that she didn't have to deal with the stubborn boy and could leave him behind.
Jack returned to the room and Beira knew what she had to do.
"As you wish, my dear daughter," she said sweetly and got up. She did not feel like waiting for the witch to return and so she stepped out. Elsa followed her obediently. "It's time to go."
"We're waiting for Professor Dumbledore," Jack said stubbornly.
Elsa hugged him and said her goodbyes. Their sentimentality was testing Beira's patience. She had to get the girl to learn how to move on quicker. The boy was a lost cause but maybe she could still make a proper child of Beira out of her.
Elsa finally let go of her brother and took Beira's hand.
As they walked away, Beira felt hope for the first time in centuries. This school could be the solution to all of her problems.
She led the girl to the cliff where the magical shortcut tunnel awaited. Beira had a last glance at the ancient castle before disappearing inside.
"Mother?" Elsa spoke hesitantly while they made their way through the darkness. "Will you let me come back to Hogwarts next year?"
But Beira was too lost in her daydreams to hear the question, already imagining what it would be like to be her old self again, though she only scarcely remembered it.
She could already taste it. She would finally claim back what was taken from her. She was going to be a goddess again.
A/N: Hehe. Beira's got new plans. Hmmm. What could they be?
Unfortunately, I won't be able to answer this question until the plot of Book 2 Cursed catches up. Thank you for your patience.