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Bill and Hermione-.
Meet the Family- The Waiting -
It happened fast, one second Hermione was walking towards a large group, the next minute she was being held, kissed, squeezed, and touched by different hands; and they all had something in common, namely: all dressed in elegant traditional robes, everyone had curly hair, and all looked rather Pureblood.
"Helena, you are alive and Hermione is your child. I told Maurice more than once that you must be Helena's child, but he said you were a Mud, err, a Muggleborn." A thirty something witch talked excitedly.
"You are so pretty. You look a lot like your great grandmother Begonia, just like her. Except your eyes are darker, hers were unusual, nearly yellow, the color of gold. She always wore her hair on a tight braid around her head, she hated the curly hair." An older witch laughed and touched her face.
"I am your grandmother young lady, do give me a kiss." And she offered her cheek to Hermione. Hermione was amazed, this older witch looked a little like her. She felt strange but loved; she really had relatives.
Hermione looked around, there were several young people, but she didn't recognize any from Hogwarts; gods, she could see they were kin, darn.
Maurice noticed, "They were all sent to study abroad; after my sister left, we fell out favor with the Death Eaters; and the family thought better. We sent your cousins to study across the pond. Eventually, we all left, and your cousins will be going to Hogwarts next year, hopefully." He explained.
The older wizard, who had a stiff face, had been introduced as her Grandfather, was not a very warm individual. At least not at first, but he also gave her a reserved hug ending with holding her closer, and kissed her head a few times, while rubbing her back. He inhaled her scent as if trying to memorize her.
"Forgive me my dear, I was a stupid stubborn wizard, how I wish things could have been different. My child, you look exactly like my grandmother I kept telling your uncles to check you, but they told me I was foolish." His eyes were wet which made Hermione strangely happy.
Hermione returned his hug, her emotions ran high. She had grandparents. Perhaps not what she expected; nonetheless, it made her glad; now, if they only would accept Bill.
He looked at Bill, "And what is your relationship with my daughter and granddaughter?" He thought Bill too young for Helena, she was nearly 36 years old, and too old for Hermione since Maurice had said he had gone to Hogwarts with him.
"And before you answer, I knew some Weasleys, they married into the Black family long ago. I haven't heard from them in a while. And your hair is rather familiar." He looked at Bill with disdain.
"My father is Arthur Weasley, and you are right, he comes from those Weasley. As to my relationship with your family, I hope to marry Hermione when she is done with her studies." Bill answered, taking Hermione's hand into his.
"Mr. Elm, pleasure to meet you," Bill stretched his hand, "William Weasley."
Lord Elm did not stretch his hand, "Weasley, the Blood traitor, I remember. Your father was a Black's poor relative." He said haughtily, but at Helena's reproachful look, he backed up, "not that really matters, I remember that you were first of your class, the Head Boy, a smart wizard. Nevertheless, you are too old for our girl. She has to take her place in our society and meet young wizards her age. She is a hero, and an honor to our name. I'd imagine many distinguished families will want their sons to have a chance to such match."
He ascertained, and most the adults, to include Maurice, nodded their heads in agreement.
Hermione felt ill at the words and looked at her mother for support, but her mother wasn't going to fight this battle for her. She thought Hermione was too young to be attached, and while she wasn't against or for Bill, not really knowing him, she agreed that Hermione needed to meet more wizards, and time to learn about her family.
Bill was pale and looked aghast, and before he was able to do much, he was separated from Hermione, who was quickly surrounded by both male and female relatives. There was a witch maybe a year or two younger than Hermione, with blond hair and amber eyes, a little taller than Hermione, but you could see they were relatives; she hooked her arm with Hermione and gave him a dismissive look.
They all did the same, thus the message was clear, 'She is not for you; it is our turn, go away.' He swore they raised a lip as if in a snarl; of course, the later must had been his imagination.
You fool, they are stealing her from us take her now. They don't like you and I can tell. She is our mate and I miss her. TAKE HER you coward. Lobo kept screaming inside his head, and what he'd said, Bill already knew. He could feel her far away from him already.
The witch who was a couple years older than Maurice was a first cousin, her name was Artemisia, and apparently had lived with them for a long time. It wasn't long before he knew their names.
The younger relatives were sons and daughters of Helena's siblings; Maurice, a widower, had a ten year old that just joined the crowd, and the others ranged from 8 to 19 or so. They were two brothers and two sisters. Helena's other brother Hector and his twin sister Begonia, after their grandmother, were gone on family business.
"Hello, Arga here," Arga peeked out Hermione's pocket, she had moved from Bill into Hermione's pocket.
Maurice had already mentioned her, and the next half hour was spent touching and playing with Arga, but Bill wasn't allowed to get any closer to Hermione, who would look at him. He could tell that she felt trapped. Before the evening was over, her mother agreed to move into the large Manor, that was nothing inside as it looked outside.
From what Bill could see, it was a smaller scale of Malfoy Manor, and no different from other wealthy Pureblood homes he had visited. They had at least four house-elves, and the walls were covered with portraits going back to who knew when.
He was feeling discouraged, and he was coming to the conclusion, that her new family would care little about a bond with a werewolf. And his heart ached and bled with the pain of separation.
Maurice came to him, "Bill, let's go and see the bracelet."
Ah the bracelet, some curses took days, he smiled.
''Maurice where are you going?"
It was Lord Elm.
"Father, Bill is the Master Curse Breaker at Gringotts."
His eyes shone with interest.
"I have always been fascinated with curse breaking, but it takes great skill and powerful magic. So…"
The three of them walked to the Library. When they got there Bill's eyes nearly went out of their socket. He had never seen a library this size. It was almost as big as Hogwarts, it went on for several rooms.
"Maurice smiled at Bill's expression, "Yes, we all like to read. I think I heard that Hermione is a bookworm; it runs in the family, I should have known. Many scrolls here are over 1,000 years old or older. She will be right at home here. Come to think of it, you also liked to read a lot."
Lord Elm coughed, he preferred not to hear about his precious grandchild and Bill, not even their names in the same sentence.
They finally arrived and stood in front of an old door, and Maurice pulled his wand and whispered a command. The door open. Bill heard some of the words but not all of them, he supposed it was an incantation to release the room protective wards.
The room was a vault. The walls were lined with shelves. Several held boxes, probably to store jewels. Along with porcelains, scrolls, even bars of gold. All sorts of silver and gold ornaments, a few vitrines with Tiaras. Many silver artifacts were stored behind glass, which he found it odd.
The room contained many treasures, and Bill had just realized how rich the Elm were. Not enough, that he would give up his witch. Gold wasn't love, besides he had a job that paid extremely well; and he had made a fortune while in Egypt when he had unearthed a cursed solid gold and jewel statue. He had received, from the Egyptian MoM, a fortune being paid in yearly installments, hence, he would be able to give her much.
They stood in front of a vitrine, on top of a black pillow sat a gold bracelet. He came close to look at it, and pulled out the bag under his robe a pair of shielded gloves, and goggles with magnifying lenses.
He reached to touch it, and the walls seemed to vanish for a second.
He felt ill, a desire to vomit overcame him. He noticed the two Elm Wizards reacting the same.
"We found it in one of my mother's coffers. It didn't get burn during the fire in hunting lodge where my parents were staying." Lord Elm explained.
"Strangely, none of us can touch it but anyone that is not related to us can. For example, Hector's wife, who found it, didn't have any trouble. Not right away, she died days after... never mind. When we brought it here, no one, except for my wife, was able to touch it without any side effects. '
"It must be a blood curse. Except that I have the same problem. There must be a common factor that I'm missing." He looked around for anything out place nothing was apparent.
'If it is affecting the house, why haven't you try to take it out of here?"
"That is the problem, if anybody tries to take it out this room, its painful magic stops the effort. We have tried. And we need to do it soon. It is affecting all the wards around the house. As can see, the house is no longer unplotted, and we don't know what to do, we have have tried everything. it has been over two years when she first found it."
He came closer on the bracelet, it was a thick rope with two heads, two wolves. Looking closer there was an small engraving on each head. DG "Who is DG?" Bill asked.
Maurice answered, "No one we know, we already talked about it, right Father?"
Bill notice Lord Elm's reluctance to agree, "I said I am still looking into to it," and that is all he said.
"I don't have all I need. I would like to see where you found it. Meanwhile, it should be covered with a silver box. You have some around. " Bill was more than reluctant to recommend it, didn't want to be asked, he knew how his skin would burn, without the special gloves he didn't carry with him.
"We have tried some of the same with gold, but our magic doesn't work when we try. It just refuses to let anything close. Maybe a house-elf should try."
Bill was grateful he hadn't been asked, in any case he would need to get too close in any case, gloves or not.
Lord Elm called a house-elf, and when the elf directed the vase with his finger, the elf was hurled against a wall and fell unconscious. Lord Elm took care of him. He was not injured badly, and soon, he was taken away.
"It isn't cursed, it is possessed. It defends itself. I need to do some research. Keep looking in your family books, maybe you will find something. I will be back in a couple of days. I suggest to let Hermione help, as you know she is very smart.
Lord Elm seemed about to say something but when Bill looked, he turned the other way.
Bill was certain the Hermione's grandfather was hiding something.
He is hiding a piece of information, there is something familiar about him. Maybe he just looks like our mate, not sure.
When Hermione looked around she didn't see Bill and worried. Where had he gone?
He was talking to her grandfather and to uncle Maurice coming from another direction.
"I want to say goodbye to Bill," she told her mother.
"Say goodbye here, just for today, please darling." Her mother begged, and after seeing her mother happier, she decided to go along but not without pain and regret.
She already missed Bill and was beginning to understand how difficult their relationship was going to be. Although she would fight against their unfair decision, she would play along just for a short while just for a few days.
Hermione walked him to the door and one of her older relatives, a great aunt stood nearby. She gave him a chaste kiss on his cheek, "I miss you, sorry for the last weeks." She whispered and touched his cheek lightly.
"Come with me, we are bonded practically married," Bill seemed desperate.
Maurice walked towards them, "Bill, you are too old for her and be fair you are my age. Let her be, if she still wants you in a few years, you can ask for her. Our family has suffered much, please let her go."
His voice was compassionate, yet, Hermione wasn't deceived, it had an edge of steel and hardness. If they found it that Bill was a wolf it would be all over. Hermione already knew it, and she wasn't going to like this new life, not one bit.
There was a small hope in the horizon, she was going to Hogwarts for her last year and would find a way to be with Bill. Of course, there were a couple of matters to consider; whereas she really didn't want to be married at her age, she wanted to study. All true, but not being with Bill wasn't in her plans either.
What to do?
She whispered, "I will send you an owl, or will send Arga to let you know where to meet."
He whispered, "I can do better, I am here in a couple of days. Tell Arga to be in the look out."
When Bill left the house he saw the crows, they seemed gloomy.
He walked towards the place where he hid his broom, when he saw something flying towards him, one of the crows caught it in midway with his beak, the other flew in the direction where the arrow had been fired.
The arrow vanished before the crow could drop by Bill, the other crow flew back apparently nobody was in the wooded area surrounding the Manor. Whoever had done had Apparated away.
Bill thought he saw a big wolf, but then he laughed when he saw a hound coming towards the door.
'"Yes a wolf, indeed." He needed to check at the Malfoy library when he went to work and ask Lucius about the Elm. Something was not right. Besides he would ask Lucius for counsel. Maybe he had some ideas. He couldn't lose his witch.
The wolf sat hiding behind a concealing charm, he'd nearly caught the would be assasin, he had smelled wolf, but no from his pack.