Generation 7, Chapter 11
The giggles and shouts from outside broke up my private reunion with Dad. I suspected Katara had told him about the children when she'd called him. "You should meet your grandchildren." I said, pointing toward the backyard.
He reached out for my hand but I pulled back. "I'll be out in a moment - I'll just put this book back." I said. Truthfully I was trying to figure out what to say to the children about all this.
He didn't interrupt their playing, only watched them from the porch with a smile on his face. Katara had told me about the pictures in the history books so, in an odd sort of way, they'd known the children existed even before we returned. "It's good to see them for real though." he said as I came up next to him.
"Children!" I called after another moment. "Come here please." With a lot of noise and chatter, the five of them climbed down from the playground and stood before us. At first they were breathless from their play but soon quieted and looked at Dad curiously. "This is your grandfather. Dad..." and I introduced him to each of the children in turn. The girls were a bit shyer than the boys but soon warmed up to him - especially after he mentioned getting them some new clothes.
I wasn't ready to expose the children to the modern world - or have to explain everything - just yet so Dad and Katara made a run into town for some new clothes while I tried to answer all the questions. "When I was a little older than you all, I went through a machine like the one we all went through and it took me from here to the village outside the castle..."
It took a long time for them to understand that I hadn't only traveled over space but through time itself - as time travel was a foreign concept to them. "What about Percy?" Godric asked quietly.
"Percy engaged the enemy when we went through and I lost my hold on him." I shook my head quietly. They were all silent as they reasoned with the implications of this. It had been more than five hundred years since that particular battle and whether Percy had died in combat or some years later - the fact remained the same, he was dead now. I fielded a few more weak questions but I could tell they were all emotionally exhausted so I set about cleaning them up for bed. Dad and Katara returned while we were in the midst of baths so they had clean pajamas to change into as I tucked them all in. Bellatrix and Rowena had taken Katara's room but she assured me that she'd be fine and left after saying good night to everyone.
Hermione's Point of View
There weren't enough beds for everyone in the house so Mother and I shared an oddly decorated room that first night. During our baths, my siblings and I had whispered madly while we had the opportunity. We wanted to know more about our new situation but we could all tell Mother was tired earlier. I waited until I heard her breathing slow and her eyes drooped completely shut before I shifted quietly out of the bed.
The stairs creaked a bit as I descended from the attic bedroom - Mother said it had belonged to her brother before. I wondered how many Aunts and Uncles I had now.
In their own room, Bellatrix and Rowena were also climbing out of bed. According to Aunt Katara - she and Azula had shared that room when they were children. Katara had stared at Bellatrix a lot before she left but didn't say much.
Godric and Draco were already sitting up in bed, books in their laps, when we came in. "Come on!" Godric whispered, motioning us into the room quickly. I let the door close as quietly as possible before joining Draco and Rowena on one bed. Bella and Godric were sitting on the bed across from us.
"Adam Stewart, King. King Adam the First's rule began in darkness..." Draco skimmed through all the details we already knew about how Godric, Bellatrix and Rowena had all been born the same night the King had died. "Oh here it is!" Draco exclaimed. Rowena shushed him and he dropped his voice to a whisper.
"While battling the Border Wars, an assault was made on the castle by the exiled Prince John and his mother, Queen Azula, King Thomas's second wife. The royal family was moved deep within the castle in order to assure their safety but Azula and John knew the passages as well and were able to penetrate the outer defenses. It is believed that Queen Suki and all the children were killed in the attack. Only Percival, the adoptive son, survived the day. The bodies of the royal family were never found."
"They think we're dead?" I asked with a choking sound. Rowena put her arm around me and pulled me closer to her.
"What about Azula?" Bella asked quietly. She'd always been a sister to the rest of us but Azula was her real mother.
Godric looked up from his own book with a grimace but she urged him to speak. "Queen Azula was killed in the attack on the castle, along with her first born son Prince John. It has long been assumed that Percival dealt the killing blow on at least one of them." Bellatrix was silent after that for awhile.
"Messages were dispatched for the King immediately following the attack. For years afterward, he was despondent and the country was primarily run by the Council. Under great pressure to produce an heir..." Draco paused and looked over at Godric - who was the heir to the throne. "...to produce an heir, he was induced to marry Princess Genevieve, a long time family friend. The new Queen was with child quickly but both she and the child, a daughter, died in childbirth. The king never recovered from this second tragedy. He often wandered the woods alone and one day, some years after the loss of his family, he never returned. The woods were searched but no trace of the King was found. It is assumed he was attacked and killed by bandits. The throne passed to King Adam's cousin, Edward of Astria..."
Suki's Point of View
The weeks following our return were quiet. The children showed little interest in the modern world at first, preferring to stay at the house. I didn't want to push them so we fell into a familiar routine of lessons and playing for awhile.
My fingers trailed over the keys of the piano slowly. I thought of all the times I'd played in the throne room and all the times I'd played as a child. I thought of the times I listened to Aunt Eowyn play and smiled. At least now I knew where I'd learned. "Dad..."
"Hmm?" he looked over from the laptop.
"How is Aunt Eowyn?" I asked.
"Oh, she's fine. She's married and has a nearly grown daughter now." he said. We sat and talked about all the family after that. Katara, who had moved out shortly after our return, was happily living with her boyfriend and their daughter. Sokka and Zuko hadn't settled down just yet but seemed to be happy as well. And then there was Azula..."At least we have Bella now..." Dad said when we'd come to Azula.
"I'm still trying to figure out how it all happened..." I said.
"Well, after you disappeared, she spent even more time studying that blasted time machine. I think some was pressure from me - to find you. Sometimes she fell asleep out there in her notes but she seemed no closer. I don't know how many times she went through those doors but she always came back more frustrated then before. And then she left home - she packed up everything and walked out. I tried to keep up with her, sometimes through other people, but even that failed after awhile. She'd disappeared completely and I thought maybe she'd finally succeeded in finding when you were..." he said, his face looking sad. "I suppose she was very close - only about a decade or so too early. I don't know exactly what happened from there but she never came back."
"She married Thomas, had John and became Queen for a time." I supplied, though all that was in the history books. "Adam told me she was a comfort to the King when his first wife died, and from there, the relationship grew."
I talked about the children a lot after that, telling him everything I had experienced that I could recall. I skimmed over the broken heart I got from George and just about everything pertaining to John - he didn't need to hear about that and I didn't want to relive it.
After supper, I pulled on a new sweater and scarf as it was chilly outside. "I'm going to go see Mom." I told Dad. He nodded, understanding me and agreed to put the kids to bed for me.
I was standing at the foot of my mom's grave when I felt a particularly cold chill on my neck. I shuddered but tried to ignore the fear creeping into me at that moment.
"Suki?" his voice was deep and unsteady. Hearing it triggered a flash of memories to play across my mind but I thought my ears must be playing tricks on me.
I spun around and stared at the pale figure in front of me. He eyes were glowing in the darkness and his flesh was as pale as death but other than that, he looked almost exactly the same as he had the day I'd said goodbye to him. "Adam?" I whispered, tears instantly in my eyes.
"It is you...after all these years..." In a blink of an eye he'd closed the gap between us and touched my cheek. His hand was like ice and I started to pull from it in surprise but he held me fast. "I've been looking for you for a long time, please don't pull away now..."
"How?" I managed to ask. I leaned against his chest, eager to me close to him now that the shock had worn off.
"Percy told me what really happened to you, the machine - which I now know was a time machine - was gone but there were notes all over those rooms. I gathered they were Azula's. They made no sense for the most part but there were dozens of dates throughout the notes and it was the first time I had some sort of hope. I didn't understand how or when or where you all were but I had to believe you were alive at least." Adam said. "Are you repulsed by what I am now?" he asked after a moment of silence where I'm sure I'd stared at him.
"What? No!" I said quickly. "I just....this all...it's a big shock...." He nodded, accepting my answer and pulled me back against him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed my lips to his.
"So when you went into the woods..." I said it quietly, afraid I'd trigger some sort of painful memory. I'd read the books eventually so I knew how he was supposed to have died. We were sitting on a bench now, our arms wrapped so tightly around each other I wasn't sure we'd ever let go.
"I met this frail woman...she said she was hungry so I gave her some food from my pack. She was grateful and said she wanted to give me a gift as well. She beckoned me closer and then she bit my arm. It hurt for a bit then surprisingly not at all. At least until the transformation completed. I thought I was dying and part of me welcomed it - I'd lost you, the children, even my second family. I felt so broken all those days in the woods - even with the hope that you might be alive."
"But you didn't die..." I said. "Obviously."
"I did, in a way. I was changed to be sure. I started seeing Taffity graves appear in the cemetery awhile back and I remembered that that was the name Azula had put on your arrest warrant. So I waited..." he seemed to be remembering back through the years. "It was very bizarre actually - especially when I saw you as a child the first time."
"Oh wow! Speaking of children! Let's go home!" I said, taking his hand. He was nervous to see the children again - afraid of how they'd react I think - but he followed me inside and stood quietly by as I stirred them from their beds.
"Father?" Hermione squeaked quietly.
He needn't have worried though as all the children embraced him that night. For us it had only be a few weeks since we'd come here and even before that a few years of separation for the war - nothing like what he'd gone through.
Faromir's Point of View
I dreamed of Tes a lot lately. I'd never been the same since her death - I couldn't imagine anyone could be the same after their love died really. For years I'd been lonely and aching for her again but I knew I had to keep going for the kids and eventually it was easier to get up every day and go through life. She came to me in my dreams which made those days easier.
So seeing her standing at the end of my bed was not particularly shocking that night. What was shocking was how much like an actual ghost she looked this time. Usually she looked about the same as always, though a little transparent maybe. Not tonight.
"Faromir..." she said softly. "It's been awhile....you look old." she said, cracking a smile at me.
That's when I knew it wasn't a dream at all, she was really here. "You're here, you're real."
"In a manner of speaking anyway." she said. She looked at an old picture of the kids I had sitting on the desk and tilted her head. "You did good with them...sorry I wasn't here for that.."
I stood up and walked over to her, after touching her cheek to be sure I wouldn't fall right through her, I pulled her closer to me and we hugged for the first time in years.
"I was sent...so you'd be ready." she said softly.
"It's time?" I asked. Even before Suki had come home I'd been feeling my age - hard not to really. But I'd wanted to see her again and I had to believe that I would.
Tes nodded. "Hard to explain but I fought as long as I could for you. I knew you wanted to see her again..."
"Thank you." I said, holding her hands. "I think she'll be okay now."
"She will, she'll hurt for a bit but there are people here to comfort her." Tes said as the tingling sensation that is death started. She looked on sadly.
Suki ran in with Adam after that - I wasn't sure what she'd heard to attract her but she looked on the scene with sadness and horror. "Mom?! Dad?!" she sputtered looking between us.
"It's alright Suki." Tes said. "It's just time."
"But I just...I didn't get any...." she dissolved into tears and my good natured acceptance of death slowly broke down.
I said my goodbyes quickly, Tes told me there wouldn't be much time to linger so I had little opportunity. After rounding through the kids and Suki, I turned my attention to Adam. Though I wasn't thrilled about the father of my grandchildren being a vampire, I knew he'd always be able to protect them now. "You take care of them." I said.
"I will." Adam said with a nod. "Always."
"I'll hold you to that." I said with a ghost of a smile.
When it was time, Tes took my hand in hers and we disappeared together. The sobs began anew after that..
Adam's Point of View
Suki collapsed into my arms after the two ghosts - her parents - left the house. I held her close and soon all the kids crowded around as well.
We cried as a family for nearly an hour before the kids started to succumb to exhaustion - both physical and emotional. Suki got up to help but I knew she was still on the brink of tears as well so I laid her on her father's bed while I ushered the kids to their own rooms. Since I'd come back Hermione had been sleeping in the room with Bella and Rowena but space was snug on one of those small beds. That was the night rooms got rearranged a bit. Godric moved into the attic bedroom, and Rowena and Bella took the boy's old room. Though the last bedroom was a little girly for Draco's taste, I could tell Hermione didn't want to sleep alone so he took the other bunk.
After they were all tucked in, I returned to Suki to find her sound asleep. I crawled in bed next to her and wrapped my arms around her.
After that, the room became our own. Suki grieved for some time of course but I held her when she needed holding and did whatever I could for the kids. As long as I stayed indoors during the daylight hours, the sun was not a problem so I saw them off to school from the front door and I was there when they came home chattering about how different modern day "lessons" were from their own lessons back home. It took them all some time to adjust but they were young and able to absorb everything with surprising ease.
My heart felt lighter the first time Suki smiled at me after her father passed away. "Thank you Adam, for taking care of everything..."
In all the chaos of transitioning to our new life, we very nearly forgot about the encroaching birthdays of Godric, Rowena and Bellatrix. At least until Godric reminded me one day while working on his homework. "So, if I was born in 1486...does that mean I'm going to be over five hundred on my birthday Dad?" he asked with a grin.
"Um..." I considered the answer. "Not really. Because you sort of skipped most of those years Godric." I said finally.
"How old are you Dad? You didn't skip those years..." he continued.
"Five hundred something." I said. If it weren't for history books I'd probably have forgotten my own birthday by now.
"Wow!" Godric said in awe. "That is so cool!" he said and with that the subject was dropped.
We waited for the weekend to have the small party. At first Suki had started setting things up outside - their family tradition - and then looked over at me and grimaced. "Sorry!" she said. I assured her it was fine and she moved the cakes back inside before calling the kids down.
Being teens opened up new avenues of hobbies, especially after Suki and I spent a long day sifting through some old stuff in storage. I guess it had been tucked away long before as no one was using any of it anymore but now there was a household of people to entertain.
Bellatrix took up sculpting at first but lost interest when her clay turned to a pile of...well clay. Her real passion, and talent, seemed to be in the guitar. After breaking the strings on the old one several times, we presented her with a new one.
Godric sat down at the drafting table a few times but never seemed to come away from it satisfied with the results. I don't think his talent was of an artistic nature. As there was a perfectly good set of drums in his room, it was no surprise that his next creative outlet was the drums.
Truth was he seemed to be able to play any instrument he could get his hands on. After years of listening to Suki and even his sisters play the piano, he sat down at it one afternoon and started to move his hands across the keys. Within an hour it sounded like he'd been playing for years.
He tried his hand at the bass as well but we don't talk about that day...
Unlike the others, Rowena didn't seem over musical - which was odd to me as she and Bella had played the piano back home. She did try though. After a lot of begging for a bass, we'd relented and bought one but she gave it up after a few lessons - which is how it fell into Godric's hands. After that failed attempt, she turned her attention to the inventing table.
I couldn't understand why the table made Suki so nervous until the night I heard Ro fire up the blow torch! My fourteen year old daughter was wielding a blowtorch! In the garage! None of this seemed like a good idea...
Suki's Point of View
Birthdays birthday birthdays! There were always birthdays! And each one was a reminder that I was getting older. I was. Just me....well and the kids but I'm sure they weren't worried about that. I remember how excited I'd been about my thirteenth birthday - and the insanity that followed. But the point was that while I was getting older, Adam was not.
Oddly with everything that had happened, we really hadn't talked about this fact. "I want you to change me." I said, effectively breaking the silence on that subject.
"Okay." Adam said without argument. Well that was easy.
Of course it wasn't that simple, Adam had never turned anyone so there was a good deal of guess work involved. And we were both scared of what might happen if it went wrong. He turned to the only place he could think of for information - the internet. Of course it took weeks to weed through all the crap. There's a lot of vampire "fiction" out there. By chance he stumbled upon one website that looked promising. Mostly because it was so well fortified and he couldn't get past the login page. There was no option to register...
Even without that website, one night after the kids were in bed we put the plan into action...
When I woke up - a week later - my skin was pale and ice cold like Adam's. My eyes had a new glow about them and I was insanely thirsty. I tried some water and quickly threw it back up. "You need something else silly." Adam said, holding out a funny blood red fruit to me. It actually seemed to be pulsing...
"What is it?" I asked.
"It's called Plasma fruit. I don't know where it comes from but it seems to have a long shelf life and should tide you over for now..." he said.
I sank my fangs into the fruit and some of the juices rolled down my chin as I lapped up the thick contents. "For now?"
"It's full daylight Suk - can't go out." he said. "The kids are at school now, they'll be happy to see you up and about though..."
After the plasma fruit, I felt sated and mused about my new condition. I'd known I wanted to spend forever with Adam but I don't think I'd fully considered the implications before taking the plunge. Just before the kids came home I felt the overwhelming feeling of nausea again and bolted for the bathroom....I got there A LOT faster than usual. One moment I was standing in the living room, the next moment I was in the bathroom.
First use of vampire powers to throw up...nice!
The first month of vampirism was probably the most difficult. Adam kept a fresh supply of plasma fruit on hand - I didn't ask where it came from until I discovered the small patch of dirt by the shed was actually being used. He had a few plants growing with the stuff apparently. At night we went out hunting - it sounded horrible to think we were hunting our neighbors but they didn't remember any of it. After a couple weeks and no one came after us with pitch forks and torches - hunting got easier. "I don't remember you hunting before..." I said alluding to the time since he'd joined us but before my turning.
"I don't have to as often anymore, the older you are the stronger you are and all that." he said. "I did it only as often as needed and then there's the fruit in a pinch."
I nodded, and then had to throw up again effectively ending the conversation. "Is this normal?" I asked.
"Er...no..." Adam said frowning, "Wasn't for me anyway..."
I didn't have much time to think about it though as the twins birthday was coming up. I couldn't believe I'd soon have five teenagers in the house! This time there was no thought toward an outdoor party though.
Draco's Point of View
I don't think I could really be LESS like my twin. Aside from the obvious physical differences, our personalities were different. She was sweet and I was - well not. She was dedicated and I was pretty lazy (unless it benefited me anyway). She was artistic and I couldn't really draw a stick figure. She was shy and I love meeting new people (because I wanted to use them somehow). We were just different.
We shared one trait though - we were both competitive. It started with a game of chess. One game turned into dozens as we were evenly matched and constantly trying to out maneuver the other. Then there was that silly game outside. Even without knowing all the rules, we picked it up quickly.
Mom thought it was disturbing how much we fought against each other.
Dad thought it was good for us or something.
Hermione and I? We just liked the challenge!
"Oh yuck! Why are there bags of blood in the fridge?" Hermione asked with a grimace. "I know you two are vamps and all but seriously? Are we a blood bank now cause I didn't sign on for that..."
"Hey Hermione!" I said hopping up on the counter next to her. "I'll drink one if you do..." I grinned thinking I'd finally found something that would turn her stomach - something I could single handedly beat her at.
Hermione narrowed her eyes at me and for a second I thought she'd say no. Then she pulled out two of the bags of blood and tossed one to me. I barely caught it I was so surprised.
Watching each other carefully, we rummaged for straws and were poised to thrust them into the bags when Dad swooped in and snatched the bags from our grasp. "Are you two crazy?! These are for your mother!"
"Sorry Dad." Hermione said quietly. She elbowed me in the gut and I mumbled my own apologies before we went upstairs.
Fact was, Mom was sick...actually she was pregnant but seeing as no one (in this house anyway) had any idea that vampires could even GET pregnant she may as well be sick. The baby seemed to be draining her dry from the inside. It wasn't uncommon to come home and find her passed out on the floor.
Dad had returned to the internet and even tried looking up the woman who had turned him all those years ago but he found she'd met her final death about a century or so ago. The only thing he knew to do was give her more blood - real blood, not just the plasma fruit. As she was too weak to hunt, I guess he'd raided the hospital blood bank every few weeks so we constantly had some. He rationed the blood very carefully because he knew if he raided the bank too often they'd bring more attention to our weird little family. At least one meal a day had to be mixed with some plasma fruit just to make the blood last longer though.
When the internet had proved to be a bust again, he could only distract himself with caring for Mom - and considering she seemed to be sleeping most of the time - doing odd things around the house. He fiddled with the inventing table a lot, I think the blowtorch made him feel better - like he was letting off steam.
Suki's Point of View
I had to be four months along when I figured out I was pregnant finally. It's not like I could just pee on a stick now. Besides - I was a vampire! I shouldn't be able to get pregnant!
But all the symptoms were there - the nausea, the back aches, the tenderness. It wasn't until I felt the little monster kick that I put the pieces together. Of course by then I was throwing up almost everything I ate and growing weaker by the day.
Adam ordered me to bedrest - I wonder if he became a doctor any time in his five hundred years? I didn't fight him because I lacked the strength. He brought me breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed every day for four months. I wish I could say it was romantic...but it wasn't.
Finally, in the eighth month, it was like the baby finally decided he or she was done torturing me. I could stay awake for more than an hour at a time and I felt human...er vampire...whatever! I felt alive-ish again!
"Can you stop giving your momma such a hard time little one?" Adam asked, feeling the baby kick for the first time that I could remember. The baby seemed to settle under his touch and he smiled up at me. "I'm glad you're feeling better. You had us all worried love."
"Well I had me worried too." I said with a laugh.
I walked downstairs for the first time in months and smiled at my family. They all looked at me anxiously, afraid I would fall down at any minute.
While I didn't fall down, the calm before the storm ended as pain ripped through my middle. Looked like the baby finally let up for a reason! He or she was ready to be born!
There was panic and chaos of course! The kids argued amongst themselves about what should be done..."we should take her to the hospital!" "how can we take a vampire to the hospital?" "would you just do something USEFUL?!"
I couldn't pinpoint where all the voices were coming from because I was too absorbed in my own pain at the moment.
I was going to be a mother again! And then I was absolutely sure this baby would kill me in the process!