AN: Hey y'all, thanks for the support. This chapter is dedicated to my dad who unexpectedly passed from this world on September 29, 2008.
'MIONE TO THE RESCUE
The great unicorn stood somewhat impatiently as he waited for the young witch of the light and her mate to arrive. His lush silver tail swished as his fathomless black eyes spied a young human female. She was standing at the bottom the grand staircase staring at him. Her mouth hanging open in shock. She looked familiar to him. Perhaps a relative of the witch of the light?
'What is your name?' He sent.
Dawn Granger nearly wet herself. Standing here, in Minerva McGonagall's entry hall, was a unicorn.
Her mocha eyes widened as she heard a deep, yet soothing voice echo in her mind. Surely the unicorn did not speak to her? Surely not! She looked around. Seeing Dumbledore standing in the doorway of the living room, she whispered, "Santa?"
The elderly wizard's blue eyes twinkled as he smiled behind his long white beard. He strode towards the young woman, stopping in front of the grand creature. Bowing deeply, he stated, "It has been a long time Odaan."
Dawn almost passed out when she saw the unicorn bow to Dumbledore. His great horn glinting slightly.
'Indeed it has. Tell me, does the young one speak?'
Chuckling, Dumbledore gestured for Dawn to approach, "Come Dawn. Odaan wishes to meet you."
With courage worthy of a Gryfindor, the youngest Granger hesitantly approached the elderly wizard and the unicorn. "Only in my dreams..." She whispered with the awe of a sixteen year old who, as a child, dreamed of unicorns dancing in the firelight. She stepped close to Dumbledore, feeling his arm wrap around her trembling shoulder.
'I will not harm you, young one.'
She heard the gentleness of the Grand Sire's thought in her mind and felt his velvety soft muzzle sniff at her cheek. Odaan then nuzzled her short cropped hair. The unicorn blinked as he "read" Dawn.
'You are kin to the Witch of the Light'
Dawn looked to Dumbledore for an explaination.
The older wizard smiled and whispered, "He means Hermione."
The younger Granger turned to the unicorn and nodded, "Yes, she is my sister." Frowning, she queried, "What do you mean by "Witch of the Light"?"
The Grand Sire sent a gentle laugh to the youngling and replied in her mind...
'Hermione Granger is a very powerful being. Her magic has yet to reach it's apex. She has chosen to serve the light by offering her power to the healing arts. Very noble of one so young.'
Dawn nodded, proud of her older sister. Something the unicorn had said prompted another question, "What is the light?"
The unicorn shook out his silver mane and sent to her...
'The light of goodness. The light of wisdom. In your sister's case, it is the light of love.'
The Grand Sire pawed at the marble floor impatiently. Dumbledore frowned and asked, "What is it Odaan?"
Jean Granger gazed awestruck as the great unicorn sniffed at her daughter. Only in her wildest dreams had she ever imagined such a thing. Even then, she dismissed those thoughts as the whimsy of a young girl. Yet here, in this magical place known as McGonagall Manor, had all her dreams become realities. A unicorn was standing in the entry hall. A beautiful, white creature with a silver mane and tail. Something out of a fairy tale. She felt a gasp escape her lips and a strong hand on her elbow. She looked up into the spellbinding emerald depths of the woman who was going to marry her daughter. A woman who was the very embodiment of the magic surrounding this place.
An understanding smile made it's way over the bruised, yet still amazingly beautiful features of Minerva McGonagall as she said, "Come, meet the Grand Sire."
Jean nodded as her daughter came up behind her and whispered with a sly grin, "He can read your thoughts." Hermione's mother felt her eyebrows crawl to her hairline.
The three women descended the grand staircase catching the dark eye of the Grand Sire. He moved to meet them at the bottom of the stairs.
'You are needed young witch.'
Hermione frowned and stepped near to him, "What's wrong?" Minerva stepped near as well, leaving Jean standing in a daze.
'It is Alora. Her time has come, yet something is wrong. She cannot deliver my grand foal without your kind of help.'
Hermione understood immediately and swung around facing the second floor and shouted, "Accio medical bag!" Seconds later, the bag she summoned came floating down the stairs and into her hand. Again, Hermione had done this without her wand. This time Dumbledore noticed as well. His wizened blue eyes met Minerva's emerald orbs. An understanding smile passed between the two long time friends...
Hermione Granger's powers were growing.
The young witch nodded to the Grand Sire, "Are we going to the meadow?" The great unicorn blinked his deep black eyes.
'No. Alora is hid. Climb upon my back and I will take you. Your mate may follow from the air. We might need another to assist as well. Your hands are much better than hooves in this matter.'
The young witch moved to the unicorn's side. She looked up at her fiance and asked, "Would you help me up?" Minerva nodded and boosted Hermione onto the Grand Sire's back. She tucked her bag against her chest and looked towards Dumbledore, "Where is Molly?" Thinking she would be able to assist with this.
The elderly wizard frowned, "She and Arthur, along with Harry, Ron and young Ginny left after dinner last night. You were a bit.... indisposed."
Hermione's chocolate eyes glazed slightly as she noticed Rolanda's absence as well, "Where is Rolanda?" The young witch turned her attention to her mother, noticing a deep blush make it's way over Jean's lovely features.
"She has some business in London. She said she'd be back later." Jean replied, ignoring her daughter's cheeky grin.
Hermione nodded, not choosing to tease her mother. Instead, she shot a smile at Minerva and said, "Take my mum on your broom and follow us."
Jean Granger's chocolate eyes were wide as saucers. She clung to Minerva tightly. Her arms locked in a vise-like grip around the slim waist of the woman her daughter loved. She tried not to look down too much, but she was concerned for her daughter. Far below, Hermione Granger rode on the back of the great unicorn like she'd been doing it all her life. Jean smiled proudly as she spied the exultant expression on her daughter's beautiful face.
Hermione was in heaven. Riding the Grand Sire was pure joy. He practically floated as he galloped across the lush, green meadows of the Manor. Surprisingly, she felt no fear. A sense of power and confidence flowed into her soul. It wasn't coming from Odaan, though. She recognized the source of it. It was Minerva. She was using their bond to boost her love's sense of strength and confidence by sending Hermione some of her own. The witch raised her gaze heavenward where her fiance was pacing Odaan with her broom. Minerva looked magnificent in the morning sun. Her long legs curled gracefully, her posture was perfectly erect. Jean, however looked a little green. Hermione chuckled at her mother's discomforture as she clung almost desperately to Minerva.
'Behave. Your mother is new to our world.'
Hearing the chastizing tone in the great unicorn's thought to her, Hermione threw her head back laughing and let the breeze take her thick wavy mane and flow it out behind her.
Minerva McGonagall had never seen anything more beautiful. The love of her life astride the great unicorn. Hermione sat upon the magical creature like she belonged there. A look of divine joy on her lovely face. Her hair streaming behind her was glorious. Like a luxurious chestnut cape waving in the breeze. She almost forgot she had a passeneger until she felt Jean Granger squeezing her waist convulsively. Concerned, she turned her head and asked, "Are you alright."
"Fine." Came the short, clipped reply.
Frowning, Minerva gazed hard at her passenger. Jean was ashen from fright. The older witch patted the interlocked hands at her midriff.
"Keep both hands on the wheel!" Came a terrified screech from behind her.
Grinning, Minerva said, "This is a broom. There is no turning wheel."
Jean huffed, "Big deal! Just drive with both hands... OK?"
Minerva grinned as she brought the broom a bit lower. She could see a lush copse of trees directly ahead and assumed that to be their destination. Sure enough, she saw Odaan head directly towards the dense grouping of thick pines and conifers.
As he approached his destination, Odaan startled his passenger by letting out a loud whinny. Almost immediately, the approaching group saw several unicorns appear at the edge of the wood. Odaan trotted up to the group, who stepped closer to him.
'I have brought help for Alora.'
Onara, Odaan's mate stepped forward and gently touched her horn to his flank. She fastened her gaze upon Hermione, who was still as a statue; not wanting to frighten the herd. The beautiful mare sniffed at the young witch and sent...
'Alora cannot deliver her foal. It has not turned.'
Immediately Hermione recognized the problem to be a breach birth. "I can help." She said as she slid from the Grand Sire's back to the soft, grassy earth. The sound of a broom descending caused her to turn her gaze to her fiance and her mother as Minerva landed nearby. Turning back to Onara, she said, "Show me where Alora is." Beckoning the others to follow, she trailed behind the stunning white mare who proceeded to lead the group deep into the wood. Odaan brought up the rear, gently prodding Jean with his horn to hurry her up.
Some long minutes later, the group came upon a thick overgrowth. An overturned English oak, felled years ago by lightening lay against a group of large boulders. Thick ferns and ivy covered the ancient oak creating a comfortable natural bower. Hermione could see the distressed mare lying on her side. Her belly greatly distended with her unborn foal. She was wet with perspiration and her pain was obvious. She hurried over to the mare's head. Kneeling, she gently stroked Alora's muzzle. "It's going to be ok." She whispered, trying to reassure the frightened creature.
The approaching sounds of hooves could be heard as the remaining herd gathered around the women. Donatu, Alora's mate stepped close to his mare and gently nuzzled her. He gazed up at his sire, silently pleading for help.
Minerva felt her lip quiver as she felt the strong emotions swirling around the group. She knelt next to Hermione and asked, "What do you want us to do?"
The young witch had opened her medical bag and retrieved her muggle stethescope and her potions kit. Minerva and the unicorns watched in fascination as Hermione closed her eyes and threw back her head in concentration. Using her magic to locate the unicorn's heart. A small smile graced her features as she found the spot and carefully placed the listening device against Alora's heart and listened. Frowning, the young witch opened her potions kit and proceeded to mix up a combination calming draught and pain reliever. She ran a hand through her unruly curls and muttered, "I'm counting on this concoction to work. It does on humans, hopefully it will on a unicorn."
Jean moved cautiously to Alora's head. Gently scratching behind the mare's ears, hoping to sooth the laboring unicorn. She eased the mare's head into her lap. Careful of her sharp horn. Softly, she began to hum a lullaby. A tune that, years ago, her grandmother had soothed her with. The same tune the she had soothed her own children with. The calming tune which now quieted the frightened young mare.
Hermione smiled to herself as she listened to her mother do what mothers have been doing for eons. Offering comfort to distressed younglings. Quickly and efficiently, she mixed up her potion. As she finished, she turned to her fiance and stated, "I need you a transfigure a container that I can use to administer this potion to Alora."
The elegant older witch had been watching her young love with awe shining her inquisitive emerald eyes. Hermione was brilliant. Simply put, the most brilliant witch she'd ever encountered. Hearing her fiance's request, she picked a twig up from the forest floor and muttered, "Transfiguro altis." The twig blurred briefly, then morphed into a beaker with a large lip. Glancing at the young witch, she asked, "Is this what you mean?"
Chocolate eyes gleamed as the young healer-to-be replied, "Perfect." Standing, she poured her potion into the container. Moving to kneel next to her mother, she addressed Alora, "I need you to drink this. It will help ease the pain a bit." She heard a soft reply in her mind...
'I will drink. Please help me.'
Minerva's head shot up as she heard the heartfelt plea. She focused on Jean Granger, who'd also heard. Great tears flooded the muggle woman's dark eyes. An anguished whimper from behind her caused Minerva to turn and see Onara snorting and pawing the earth. Odaan stood beside his mate. A single crystal tear queezed out of the corner of the stallion's ebony eye.
Hermione gently offered her potion to Alora, watching as the young mare swallowed the concoction. Almost immediately there was a noticable difference in the mare's breathing. It began to even out a bit. Hermione took a deep, relieved breath and moved to the unicorn's hind end. "I'm going to check and see where your young one is and what it's position is." She directed the statement to the young mare, but meant for the others to hear as well.
Alora let out a sigh and sent, 'It would be a "he". Only a male would be this difficult.'
There was a sense of strained amusement that swept through the herd as Alora's statement was "heard" by the others.
Hermione smiled softly as she knelt at the mare's backside and gently removed her engagement ring. She handed it up to her fiance, who looked at her in disbelief.
"Why did you take off my ring?" Minerva asked, horrified. She didn't understand what Hermione was doing.
The young witch fixed her chocolate eyes on her love and replied, "I don't think you'd like me to loose it in the vagina of a unicorn would you?" With that, she scourgified her hands and gently inserted her hand into Alora's hugely dialated sex. There was a slight squeal from the mare as Hermione proceeded to reach in up to her elbow.
Jean leaned down and kissed Alora's horn whispering, "Shhh. It will be alright." She gently stroked the mare's cheek.
Minerva's jaw dropped. She gazed at her fiance in disbelief. Flabergasted at Hermione's statement and actions.
The young healer-in-training didn't pause to ponder her companions reactions. She focused on seeking out the foal inside Alora. After a moment, she muttered, "Ah ha. There you are... you Lourdane."
Minerva's head shot up at Hermione's use of the Scottish word for "ruffian". She smiled proudly as her fiance continued to probe gently; deep inside the unicorn.
After a moment, Hermione said, "Yup. Backside is coming first. The legs seem to be tucked up underneath him." She muttered a quiet spell and after a moment stated, "He's breathing, but it's labored." As gently as she could, Hermione pulled her hand out of the mare. It was covered in silver unicorn blood. She looked up at Odaan and said, "It's time. I'm going to need a stong person to help me pull the foal out." She indicated Minerva. "My mate is the only one strong enough to do this."
The implication was clear. If Odaan wanted his grandfoal to be born, he would have to allow Minerva to assist Hermione. Despite the fact that the older witch had taken lives. It meant life or death and the entire herd knew it.
Donatu stepped to his sire and sent, 'Please father. Allow this. My mate and my foal's lives are at stake. I do not care about what the Warrior Witch has done. If she can help, then please allow this.' The young stallion's coal black eyes pleaded with his sire.
Odaan shook his silvery mane. He knew his colt was right and at this moment in time, all he cared about was saving lives. He focused on Hermione and nodded his head. His great horn glinting as filtered sunlight danced through the leafy bower.
Minerva McGonagall had many regrets in her life. The taking of lives was a major one. Her heart ached at the fact that her past was cause for concern. Her beautiful, yet bruised eyes clouded with unshed tears. Gazing into the understanding face of her wife to be, she said, "What do you need me to do?"
Hermione indicated that the older witch kneel beside her. As the latter complied, the young witch scourgified her hands again. This time including Minerva's elegant hands as well. She frowned as she instructed, "I need you to gently reach inside Alora and feel for the foal. When you feel him, slide one hand under to grasp his legs, holding them tight against his belly. Then with the other hand, slide around his rump to grasp his back. You're going to gently pull him out when I say."
Minerva's eyes bulged as she realized that she too was going to have her hands inside a unicorn's vagina. "Oh Merlin." She whispered shaking her head and taking a deep breath.
Hermione smiled slightly, her eyes reflecting her mirth. Then she pointed her wand at Alora's sex and said, "Engorgio Vaginalis!"
The body part in question promptly doubled in size much to the surprise of the herd. The various unicorns snorted and pawed in amazement. They did not interfear however.
Alora felt the same momentary stinging pain that Minerva had experienced when she and Hermione had used a similar charm. The young mare twitched and grunted.
Jean Granger's eyes were wide as saucers as this was happening. What an incredible introduction to the magical world she'd received this weekend! She watched as her daughter and Minerva both proceeded to reach inside the mare.
Hermione's deep brown eyes focused intently as she grasped the unborn foal's short tail. She felt Minerva's hands moving into position. Alora was groaning painfully. The young witch gently patted the mare's rump with her free hand and said, "When I say push, you push. OK?"
'I will push as you say.' Was sent to her mind.
The strength of the thought was weakening, so Hermione turned to Minerva and asked, "Are you ready?"
Nodding, she said, "Push Alora!" As she felt the mare bearing down, she said to Minerva, "OK, now gently pull him out."
The two witches assisted the unicorn. Pulling the little creature towards his new life. A moment went by, then Hermione's hand appeared grasping a tiny tail. She released the tail and helped keep the legs of the little one tucked up under his belly. Hermione felt Alora relax a bit and said, "No, not yet baby. Push. PUSH HARD!"
The young mare complied, crying out her pain. The herd surrounding her, snorted and cried with her.
A small rump slowly was pulled from Alora. Followed by a small body, a longish neck, gangly front legs and finally a small head capped with a tiny nub that would grow into a horn someday. The baby wasn't breathing.
"Shit! He's not breathing!" Hermione exclaimed. She grasped the slippery youngling in her arms covering herself with unicorn blood and fluids. She didn't care. Pushing two fingers into each of the the foal's nostrils, she cleared the nasal passages of any obstructions.
Meanwhile, Alora, having heard Hermione's cry struggled to rise.
"No! Stay where you are!" The young witch ordered forcefully. She motioned for Minerva to keep the mare down saying, "Keep her down, she's still connected and hasn't delivered the placenta."
Minerva nodded to Jean and together the two women calmed the mare, while Hermione proceeded to breath into the foal's nose. Anxious moments passed as Alora delivered the placenta on her own and then struggled to her feet. Finally the young foal grunted and squealed. The little colt began to struggle in Hermione's arms as Alora came to the young witch and began sniffing and licking her baby.
Grinning madly, Hermione released him and nodded to Odaan, "You have a grandcolt." She waved her wand and severed the cord. Muttering a spell under her breath, she cauterized the tiny bit still attached to the foal.
The Grand Sire stepped close to Hermione and gently licked the blood from where her lips had come in contact with the youngling's nose. There was a sense of deep satisfaction swirling around that part of the forest as the small herd gathered near to inspect the newborn.
Odaan finished cleaning Hermione and glanced to where Minerva was standing with Jean. They were watching the colt nursing at his mother's side. Donatu had moved to inspect his colt. Sniffing and licking the baby's silvery white coat. He paused at the black smudge on the colt's back. There were corresponding black marks on the foal's hind legs as well. The young stallion gazed up at Minerva who's lovely, but still bruised face took on a mournful expression.
"I'm sorry." The older witch lamented sadly.
Donatu snorted and sent, 'There is nothing to be sorry for. You helped save his life and the life of my mate. I am grateful. We shall consider these marks to be badges of honor.'
Jean leaned in and asked, "What are those marks?"
Minerva shook her head, "They are where I touched him."
Jean didn't understand. "Why are they black?"
A single tear rolled down Minerva McGonagall's soft cheek as she replied remorsefully, "Because I have taken lives." She glanced over to where Hermione was gathering up the placenta and added, "A unicorn newborn is the purest creature on earth. Someone who has touched the darkness, like me, would leave a mark like that on the newborn. That's why unicorns stay away from people the way they do."
Jean placed a comforting hand on the older witch's shoulder, "Some things can't be helped. You did what you had to do. Never be ashamed of your life... Never." She looked to where her daughter was finishing collecting the birth material. "My daughter would never be attracted to the darkness." She gently squeezed the powerful shoulder that quivered beneath her hand and added, "Only to the light".
Hermione sealed her stasis pack which she'd just filled with the unicorn placenta. This particular organic material would allow her to create potions that she couldn't otherwise do. Unicorn material was extremely expensive and very hard to obtain considering how shy the magical creatures truely were. The Grand Sire not withstanding. He was a rarity. She suspected it was his relationship with the McGonagalls that allowed for the contact that they now enjoyed. She planned on taking advantage of this resource in the future.
'Very wise of you.'
She heard in her mind. Grinning, she saw Odaan standing behind her. "It is impolite to eavesdrop on unsuspecting thoughts you know." She said with her characteristic "cheshire cat" grin. Patting her stasis pouch, she added, "This will help cure alot of different ailments."
The Grand Sire nodded and sent, 'Because you are only thinking of helping others, young witch, I will allow this. Had you been seeking profit, I would not have allowed you to take the life blood.'
Hermione nodded solemnly, "I understand and I thank you for allowing me this priviledge."
The stallion before her snorted and pawed the soft earth, 'Come. I will take you back.'
Minerva had been standing nearby with Jean listening to the one sided conversation. Curiously she watched as Hermione whispered something in the Grand Sire's ear. She saw him turn his beautiful head to her and fasten his compelling eyes on her. After a moment, the great unicorn approached the older witch and sent to her...
'I owe you much... come here.'
Cocking her head quizzically, she leaned close as the unicorn directed. Standing perfectly still, she gasped as she felt Odaan's tongue gently swipe over her bruised eyes.
The great beast snorted when he was done and stepped back. He watched as the bruises on the older witch's stunning face slowly disappeared. Again he focused his fathomless onyx eyes on the older witch and sent to her...
'Would you place your mate upon my back?'
The sun was setting over McGonagall Manor casting odd shadows and coloring the sky magnificent shades of red, oranges and pinks. It's waning tendrils stretched to the newly transfigured hammock resting in the beautiful gardens behind the kitchen of the great estate.
Two lovely witches lay intertwined with each other cocooned in the comfort of the gently swaying lounge. Two witches vastly different, yet amazingly similar, softly touched lips together and whispered sweet nonsense that occasionally caused a snigger or two.
"You were truely amazing today." Minerva stated, pulling Hermione closer.
The young witch raised her head and planted another tender kiss on her fiance's lips. Smiling she said, "So were you." She gently stroked the newly healed area around Minerva's sparkling emerald eyes. She was thankful that Odaan was in her debt and had so readily agreed to heal Minerva's bruises. She didn't want her love walking around looking like a racoon any longer than necessary.
Minerva sighed and closed her eyes. Hermione had only been at the Manor two days and already so much had happened. She wondered what the rest of their lives together would be like. A shiver traveled down her spine as these thoughts flooded her mind.
Hermione felt her love tremble. Concerned, she asked, "Are you o.k.?" A small frown made it's way across her brow.
The older witch opened her eyes to see the concern on Hermione's beautiful face. She smiled mischieviously as she replied, "I was just considering what our life together is going to be like. Based on the events of the last two days."
Comprehension appeared on the young witches face as she considered Minerva's words. Slowly a matching sly expression appeared, then the "cheshire cat" grin. "And I haven't even begun to explore the library." She muttered, kissing her fiance deeply.
Coming up for air, Minerva grinned and pulled her love close.
AN: Thanks y'all. It's been wicked fun. Thanks for all the support. See ya soon.