Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Harry Potter or A Song of Ice and Fire. That's George R.R. Martin and J.K Rowling. And though I know George Martin has mentioned that he dislikes fanfiction, but he's always so supportive of a 'what if' situation as another fanfic author so kindly puts it, and this is one of them! So please don't sue, I'm not making any money from this!
The first thing Seraena, once called Gabrielle, Gabrielle Delacour in another life, remembered was warmth.
In this new world, many things would be different. She didn't have to see the unfamiliar faces gazing down in awe, and gasping at the sight of her, and feeling them lift her now-tiny body into the air to know that.
Gabrielle could not voice those words out loud as she felt her entire body being lifted into the air. She assumed that some dark or bizarre magic, at least, was occurring, placing her consciousness within the body of some poor infant, causing her to possess the innocent child. After all, what other explanation could there be?
It must've been the amulet. She could have cursed out loud. Gabrielle had gone to Egypt, with Fleur, her beloved, much-adored older sister, Bill, her wonderful brother-in-law and their precious children Victoire, Dominique and Louis. She remembered going to the House of Life, and Ancient Egyptian fortress base for practitioners of ancient magic. The head mage or the Chief Lector as they called him, who looked even older than Albus Dumbledore (was that even possible?) the late headmaster of Hogwarts, had given her that amulet.
When the invitation handed by her sister and brother-in-law came, Gaby was excited. It wasn't the prospect of gawking at rotting corpses, partially bandaged or grotesquely mutated, or digging out ancient treasures meant only for the deceased. No, what she really wanted was to go to the House of Life, the ancient order of magicians which had stood ever since the days of the pharaohs.
Now, she regretted it.
Gabrielle's eagerness for new knowledge and adventure outshone her usual shy self. She had been stuck at the hospital, brewing everything from Wolfsbane, Skele-gro to Blood-replenishing and Pepper-Up potions. She had treated countless patients and was eagerly looking to get away for the summer. Of course it was sweltering hot in Egypt, but it was a small price to pay for new knowledge and adventure.
But no price could ever compensate for taking her away from the ones she loved the most and the only life she had ever known.
She had no fears of curses and unnatural hexes and jinxes as she knew Bill was an excellent curse-breaker. But she wasn't looking for gold or mummies.
"Just what do you want with the Chief Lector?" Bill asked, confused. "I want knowledge," Gaby said, sounding surprised. "I want to learn. There are things that the Ancients keep to themselves. I want to find them out."
Bill shook his head. "Should've been in Ravenclaw," he muttered.
Gaby didn't know what he meant, but soon they approached Heliopolis, the ancient city.
"I want to learn everything the ancients kept," she explained. "Everything wizards and Muggles forgot. The ancients had magic the likes of which we can't imagine. So powerful, so raw, so..."
"Dangerous." Bill and Fleur both said, bluntly.
"Yes. But more than that." Gaby said. Bill shook his head again. "Gabrielle- you do realise that magic practiced by the ancients- and the House of Life- is like trapezing on a rope over a five-hundred foot drop with fire? It's volatile, and dangerous-"
"And yet there have always been witches and wizards who could do it," Gabrielle said evenly. "The wand is a European invention, and witches from Asia, the Americas and Africa have always been able to do magic without one. Or with a staff, or a sorcerer's ring."
The headquarters or First Nome of the House of Life, lay in Heliopolis, which had been concealed from any Muggles and unwelcome outsiders. The Chief Lector eagerly complied and answered all their questions (unusual since they did not usually permit outsiders to see their wonders), but throughout the meeting, his eyes kept shifting back to Gaby. As if he saw something.
Just as the acolyte was about to lead them away, the Chief Lector grabbed Gabrielle's arm. "Remember, child." He whispered. "When Winter approaches and the Long Night comes, the Dragons will be reborn in fire and blood. When all hope seems lost, let this be your protection." He placed an amulet in her palm.
It was a curious thing. A dragon of silver, in different style and design than what she had seen and read about in most cultures, including Egyptian, curling itself as a chain so that it would coil comfortably around her throat, holding a carved red jewel like a huge drop of blood, from which another dragon framed it.
Dragons, Gaby thought.
Bill's younger brother worked with dragons- and adored them. She rarely ever saw him, but on the occassions that they met, he did his best to answer every question she had about rearing, breeding and training dragons, as well as healing their various ailments. She had written down every word he said and memorised everything. She even learnt how to brew dragon tonic- by combining one feather from an eagle owl, three feathers from a peacock and three warts from a giant purple toad in a cauldron.
But why did he give her this amulet?
She stared at it throughout the tour of the tomb. It was better than seeing the grotesque skeletons of tomb robbers hit by various curses, jinxes and hexes.
The Chief Lector said that that would be her protection- and salvation- whatever he meant by that.
It was dark in the tomb. It was dank and it was nasty. The stone-cold smell of damp, heat and death filled her nostrils, and Fleur kept a strong hold on her children. It was too dark.
Then suddenly, a strange sound emerged.
Gaby curiously looked away.
"Did you hear that?" She asked Fleur in French. Fleur looked at her strangely. "Hear what?"
Gabrielle frowned. "It sounds like... Hissing."
Fleur looked at her even more strangely.
"We have snake-repelling charms, so don't you worry about it." She replied, brushing it off, though Gabrielle could easily see her uneasiness.
Gaby frowned further, but decided against it. Still, the hissing was loud. And she couldn't help but feel as if she was being... Watched.
She tried to shrug off the feeling.
Victoire and Louis tried to chat amicably with their father, who attempted in vain to keep their spirits up. Dominique snuggled closer to her mother. And Gabrielle... Gabrielle still felt uneasy.
"The tomb's that way." Bill pointed his lit wand up ahead.
Fleur frowned in the darkness. "Just how deep does this go?" She asked, peering in the dark.
Bill tried to reassure her. "Only a few more metres. No more of those skeletons."
Gaby tried not to shudder. The tomb robbers that grew an extra arm, or an extra head, or other grotesque deformities... She had best not to think about it. Gabrielle preferred healing and defensive magic. She suspected that while the children might be fascinated, they would be having nightmares for at least a month.
She clutched her amulet and her wand.
The hissing persisted.
Then she couldn't stand it anymore.
As if by an unknown force, she turned to the right. Ignoring Fleur, Bill and the children, Gaby saw another corridor.
"Lumos." She whispered. Her wand up ahead, Gabrielle ventured towards the tunnel.
Strange, she thought. She hurried down the short corridor.
Then, she saw a mass of... Something.
No- leopards. Leopards feasting on. Her hand flew to her mouth.
A human corpse.
But that wasn't all. The leopards raised their heads, and Gabrielle nearly screamed.
No, she did scream, which was a mistake.
They were two creatures. She'd been mistaken because their heads had been placed together while they ate. Their lower bodies were all leopard, but their heads and necks were snakes.
Serpopards, the House of Life mage called them.
"Get out of here!" Gaby shrieked. The serpopards hissed and lunged, but she managed to blast them back with a shield charm. They hissed.
Gabrielle didn't waste any more time. She turned, running.
"Gaby?" Fleur gasped. "What's wrong, what's-"
"Serpopards- we need to get out of here!"
Bill's eyes widened. "Everyone- the exit is that way!" He said, pointing. "I'll deal with them."
"No!" Fleur gasped. Dominque cried out. "Daddy!"
"Go!" Bill wasn't taking no for an answer. The serpopards came rushing back but he shot a nasty hex at one of them.
It barely registered. Hissing, their snake-eyes full of hate, the serpopards advanced.
"Wait!" Gaby shouted. She ran back, ignoring Fleur's screams and placed her hand at the amulet.
Whenever you need protection, it will be there, the head mage said.
Gabrielle was desperate. She didn't know what she was supposed to do, but she clutched the amulet. The hieroglyphs on the wall seemed to glow strangely as she ran past. As if sending coded signals that she didn't understand, that she didn't have time for. Bill was putting up a valiant fight but even he wouldn't be enough. It seemed the serpopards were immune to most defensive magic.
And suddenly a red beam of light shot through the air, and blasted the serpopards back. The pyramid began to shake.
She barely registered Fleur screaming out her name, and Bill's shouts, when blocks of heavy limestone fell on top of her.
That was the last thing she remembered. Everything had went black.
Some protection. Gabrielle would scoff if she could.
Somehow, she was a baby again. Once this magic wore off, or she found another way to reverse this, she would never again trust those mages!
Furiously, the now-newly born baby that contained the mind and spirit of Gabrielle Delacour struggled in her baby blankets and squirmed.
Her new name was Seraena. Seraena Veltaris. She learnt that when she first opened her eyes. To a new life. A new world.
When she came into the world, she realised she was wrapped up in blankets and felt very warm. Gabrielle had tried to groan. Was she in hospital?
Where was she?
She tried to move, only to find that she wrapped tighter than she normally would have thought. This can't be right.
Had Bill and Fleur managed to get the children out? Was she now in hospital?
She tried to squirm, only to flail helplessly.
"She's breathtaking," a woman whispered. Gaby tried to ascertain the source of that sound, but the light in front of her was too bright. She was shocked at how sensitive her eyes were. How long have I been out?
A sharp inhalation was heard. "It's true. I've never seen an infant as beautiful as this," the woman whispered. "Look at her. She glows!"
Gaby wanted to retort. She glows, indeed! She was a Veela-witch after all. But wait, why was the woman calling her a baby? What was going on?
Gabrielle wanted to scream when she felt something shift, lifting her from beneath. She felt weightless, as light as a feather, and the hands holding her were gigantic.
Something was definitely not right.
Then Gaby's eyes made out the blurry image of a woman, whose face was right above her. She was stunned.
She was a very lovely woman, beautiful in a way which really reminded Gabrielle of her grandmother's people. Well, not in the same level, but very close. Anyone who had never seen a real Veela would think she was the most beautiful woman they had ever seen, with her pure silver hair and eyes of... Violet?
Gaby blinked. Whoever heard of violet eyes...
"Lord Ayrmidon must be told, my lady." someone else spoke from beside her. "He will be pleased no doubt. This is his first daughter."
That was when Gaby realised that this lady was not only right above her, she was larger than her. Gaby felt... Small. When she tried to open her mouth, to ask who they were and what was going on, but all that came out of her mouth was a whine.
What in the world?!
"Yes, by all means, tell the lord." She sounded weary. "And tell him that her name shall be... Seraena."
Gaby opened her mouth again- in shock. She felt herself being shifted again and a sense of vertigo entered her. It felt worse than the first time she tried to fly on a broomstick. Only this time whatever was holding her felt much larger.
"Seraena." The woman whispered, planting a kiss on Gaby's brow. "My beautiful sweet daughter." She glowed with pride, grinning with enthusiasm down at Gaby. "You will be the most beautiful woman in the world. And you will be the greatest woman, my love." Her eyes shone fiercely with pride and determination. "I will make sure of it."
And Gabrielle's mind went on overload. And she screamed.
It was a nightmare. Somehow Gabrielle was a baby again.
And she could not reverse this… Whatever it was.
The first person she had seen in this new life, was the woman who must have been her host's mother. She vehemently refused to call this woman her mother. Apolline was her mother!
Yet this woman, loved her. No doubt about that. And Gaby, weak, pathetic as she was at this moment, craved the love and comfort of her mother.
And Apolline was gone.
She had no way of contacting her parents, her sister or brother-in-law, or anyone she knew. Not for a long time at least.
She was fed, changed and bathed like a baby. They rocked her and sang her to sleep. It was months before she could taste solid food again. As a baby she rarely cried, much to her caretakers' relief.
Another individual in her life, was a black haired, amber-bronze skinned little girl, who had the loveliest eyes, like molten gold. She often saw the little girl bustling about like a House-Elf fanning her with a silk or feather fan above her cradle which was being rocked to gently rock her to sleep. She also tidied the nursery, wiping by hand, the window-sills, changing tables, the heavy chest in the corner. She brought toys for Gaby in the crib, and dusted the curtains or drew it so the light wouldn't disturb the baby. But she was no House-Elf. The lack of magic proved that much.
Why was a child doing servant's work? Gaby thought, alarmed.
And no magic? None whatsoever, not in the little girl. That was to be expected. Even in underage mages, their powers had not fully manifested and were not in their total control. But the other individual, a plump, ebony-skinned woman who changed Gaby and fed her (that was beyond disgusting. She would've taken a bottle for goodness' sake!), dressed, bathed and rocked her to sleep, was clearly her nurse- her wet nurse. Ugh.
The woman with silvery hair who reminded her painfully, heart-breakingly of Apolline, her real mother, was nearly always in her nursery. Fussing, crooning, singing and beaming down at Gaby. To her surprise, Gaby found that the new mother had quite a nice singing voice. She always insisted on holding and rocking, playing with and dressing her (or at least supervising her dressing), and brought countless new toys or clothes for Gaby to wear. She didn't know why. Babies often outgrew their clothes. She should've saved her money.
But there were others too. The first was a man whose eyes were a shade of lilac which she found surprising, just as she was surprised at her mother's violet eyes. Real purple eyes.
He had looked down at her in awe and joyful delight when he had seen Gaby in the baby's body for the first time. But he could never replace or be Antoine, her real father. Never.
The others? Three youths.
Boys with silvery hair, one who insisted on keeping his hair short and even kicked up a fuss when they tried to curl it. Another who had the lushest silver curls she had ever seen and lilac eyes that were almost violet. And another who had real platinum hair who was too short to be able to see high enough.
Brothers, she refrained herself from sighing. She did try to amuse them by giving them smiles, and indulging in their little games. Gaby did feel bad for the family. She was not the daughter they had expected to have.
Her new parents constantly enthused or marvelled at how beautiful their daughter was. Gabrielle saw them beam and glow with pride, but her heart was unbearably broken. She was distraught, grief-stricken, devastated.
Lady Saera, was a sweet, gentle-hearted woman who adored her child. Lord Ayrmidon was a warm-hearted, proud, strong man who loved her deeply. Yet it was never the same.
The images of Fleur, her mother and father, her nephew and nieces filled her mind, and she couldn't believe, couldn't comprehend, that she was now far away, forced to be someone else's baby. She wanted nothing more than to go home. She wanted to hug her mother, listen to her fuss over her hair and the state of her clothing, get crushed in her father's embrace, listen to his booming laugh and his enthusiasm and zest for life, his warmth. The smell of the coffee hot chocolate, and pastries, and the daffodils and roses in her mother's kitchen, the warmth of the sun... Even the hospital potions smells she craved.
How in the world am I supposed to get back home? To France?!
When and if she does get back- no more travelling for her. Not for a long time.
Fleur's cheerful excitement to see her once again, her enthusiastically greeting and fussing over her as only a second mother could, eagerly ushering her into the kitchen at Shell Cottage for a cup of tea and some biscuits, chatting away about the latest fashions... Her warm and loving kisses and embraces…
At these times Gaby could weep. And to her frustration and embarrassment, her infant self did weep.
But she could not afford to waste her time. She needed first, to find out where on earth she was. And why so many had silver hair and purple eyes.
To the untrained eye, Gaby knew that while these people appeared heartbreakingly beautiful, they weren't as devastatingly, inhumanly lovely as real Veela.
She just wondered if she was still as beautiful as she was before or if her appearance had changed. If her family's looks were of any indication, she would have silver-gold hair and purple eyes.
Where am I?
When Gaby had started to walk, her 'mother' brought boxes of new clothes for her. And jewels. Was it supposed to be wise to give a baby jewels? Gabrielle knew by experience, from her own nephew and nieces, that babies tried to swallow such things, or at least stuff them in their mouths.
And then she had been bathed. She was dumped into a basin of warmed water, rubbed with oils and butters as fragrant as could be, gently scrubbed and massaged, and dried with a fleecy towel. Lady Saera stood by, meticulously supervising and inspecting everything.
Once she was rubbed dry, a comb was pulled through her hair and Gabrielle was unceremoniously dumped in front of a mirror.
Barring the fact that she had baby cheeks, a baby's body and short hair, she looked exactly the same as she did in life.
Except for her eyes. Her eyes were pure violet, richer, more vivid and yet more clear and bright than amethysts. Her hair was more metallic-like, more silver than blonde, but other than that she looked exactly the same! The same Veela complexion, hair and eyes, the same delicate features!
She looked like her own baby photos. And her mother, Apolline, had plenty of those when her daughters were just babies, so she would know!
And so the facts slammed Gabrielle hard in the head and stabbed her deep within the heart. Her soul, her consciousness wasn't trapped within another individual's body by dark magic.
She had been reborn.
Reincarnated into another life.
Gabrielle Delacour had died in Egypt, leaving behind her parents Antoine and Apolline Delacour, her sister Fleur, her brother-in-law, Bill Weasley, and her nephew and nieces, Victoire, Dominique and Louis. And her friends in the hospital, and a life, short and incomplete, abruptly ended as it was.
And so Seraena Veltaris, formerly Gabrielle Delacour, became the first and only person ever to scream in despair at her own reflection. A face which would become cause for awe, admiration, astonishment and more who felt like they were looking upon a goddess.
It didn't matter to her.
Gabrielle Delacour was dead.