"Oh ow..." I groaned as I rolled over on the bed. Wait? Bed?! Wasn't I...? I tried to think back to the last thing I could remember. The gate was locked and the sun was beating down on me...yeah I definitely remembered THAT.
The blanket! Someone had covered me with a blanket!
To my relief, my body seemed to have mended itself for the most part in the course of...how long had I been here? And where was here?
"Oh good you're awake." his voice was familiar to me somehow but my mind didn't seem to be working as well as I'd like because I couldn't place it. I turned toward it and my eyes widened in surprise.
My brother's face looked back at me steadily. "Hello little sister." he said with a quirk of a smile.
"Draco...what? How? Huh?" I fumbled over the questions trying to battle their way out.
"Was there a question in there?" he teased me.
"You're a vampire! Since when??"
"About five years. We can talk about all that later though..." he seemed impatient to proceed with something but I cut him off.
"Where am I? Were you the one who rescued me? Why are you a vampire?"
"As to the first, you can see for yourself in a moment. Yes I was the one. Why I'm a vampire is unimportant..."
"Unimportant?! You're a vampire!" I shouted.
"Luna! More important things!" Draco grabbed me by the arms and held me firmly. "Can you sense me...at all?"
"Huh?" I stared at him blankly. Slowly his words sank in and I realized, with fear, that try as I might I couldn't sense any vampires anywhere - not even Tempy, who I always felt connected too. "Tempy!"
Draco nodded as if his suspicions were confirmed. "Come on..." Before I could protest or ask questions, he was steering me through a labyrinth of dark stone passages. Finally he stopped and I whirled around to face him and demand answers but my eyes caught on the window - the only window I'd seen in this place.
"Is that a pyramid?!" I cringed a bit as my voice echoed all around us. "Draco...where are we?"
"The root and cradle of all things - at least as far as I've been told. Egypt." he replied, almost casually.
"But...But I was in France..."
"I know. And I brought you here to heal. Unfortunately it hasn't been enough apparently." he frowned. "Long story short, you nearly died because of the sun and you'd just given birth and the whole fire thing - it's a wonder you're still here at all. I've been in touch with people - while you were recovering.."
"While I was recovering...Draco, how long have I been here?!" I asked reading more into his words than he'd intended.
"S-Six months. It's taken you six months to heal to the point of waking up Luna." he looked at his hands as he said it. "You were very very broken Luna..."
"Six months...Tempy...Annaliese..." my mind was reeling as I tried to take in everything he said and didn't say.
As I stood in front of the great Sphinx I tried to recall all the instructions Draco had given me but my mind just wasn't working as well as it should. "Probably one of those vampire powers I no longer seem to have." I muttered.
I felt awkward and clumsy as I navigated the innards of the beast. Several times I ended up at dead ends and cursed out loud before turning back to reorient myself. "The Sphinx is the equivalent of a "cure all" in the supernatural world" Draco had told me before I set out. He'd followed it up with a list of directions from the entrance to the room I'd be looking for but all of them had fled my mind before I'd even stepped inside.
"I think I was supposed to go left..." I frowned and spun in a circle trying to figure out which way was up.
Just follow me Luna.
"Jared!" I very nearly jumped for joy at his unexpected presence. I hadn't felt him at all since waking up and I was sure he'd finally perished with fire or maybe my attempt at sunbathing. Though I couldn't see him, he guided me directly to the room I was trying to find.
The air was thick was some sort of ethereal fog or steam but through it I could make out the shape of the Sphinx statue and the eternal flame it held. "Well then...what exactly am I supposed to do?" I mused aloud as I circled the statue. It looked like just another statue at it's core but then there was the fog - THAT wasn't normal. "Are you here still Jared?"
"Okay then..." I re-positioned myself in front of the thing and nodded once for my own comfort. "So, Great Sphinx...I need help..." Of course nothing happened. I looked around warily and wondered, again, why Draco wasn't here with me or why he hadn't given me clearer instructions.
With a sigh, I sank to the floor and stared at the statue. Warmth spread over me and through me from that vantage point and I closed my eyes to absorb it.
What do you seek children of the night?
My eyes fluttered open in surprise and I looked around frantically before I realized the voice was in my head, much like Jared's always was.
"I-I was injured and need healing." I fumbled.
I waited anxiously for a response but none was forthcoming until I felt like someone was inside me, poking around my mind. On instinct I tried to fight the presence but it did no good.
Then the green glowing fog was swirling all around me and the ground literally fell out from under me!
Those who are bound by blood will share each other's fate.
The words slammed into my like a ton of bricks - the blood bond! Death. "No! No please! I...we have a daughter, please..." I didn't know what else I could say or if it was even within the Sphinx power to save me from death's door.
The Sphinx cannot harm, only heal and mend. To mend you, young child of the night, let the magic be done.
"Magic? What magic?" I stammered. "Sphinx??" My only answer was a near blinding flash of light and the ground meeting me in a most painful way as I tumbled back down. "What have you done?!"
"Luna?" Jared's voice sounded more real than ever. It comforted me even as I tried to determine if my vampire powers were restored. At least he was still with me.
"I can't feel her...I still can't sense her..." I started to panic as I tried, in vain, to reach out for Tempy or even Draco! "I'm not fixed!" The fog was still thick as I started to stand and move from the spot, desperate to wake up the blasted Sphinx again.
"Luna..." Jared said my name again, closer this time. "I can't see through this fog - where are you?"
"Jared?" I asked, reaching my arms out into the fog. As I did so, it started to clear up slightly until I could make out the shape of another person. "Is that you..." My voice cracked and I moved closer to him. "It's you...it's really you...in the flesh...how?"
He shook his head, clearly as stumped as I was. "I have no idea."
"I don't care!" I threw my arms around him and all but jumped into his arms to assure myself that he was entirely real.
After several minutes of clinging to him, he started to casually protest until I pulled away slightly. "I can't believe you're here!" I reached out to touch his face in awe and that's when I realized something else. "And..." My face must have fallen because he frowned.
"And what?" he asked, his words full of concern.
"You're human..." I said finally, gently stroking his warm human flesh.
"Luna - so are you." he said carefully taking hold of my arms, as if afraid I might faint at the revolution.
I instantly felt my own face and looked at my hands in shock. They had none of their usual pallor and I knew - whenever I found a mirror - that my eyes would no longer hold their glow. "How?"
"I really have no idea..." Unburdened by the hows and whys as I was, he pulled me into his arms and I was absolutely positive he would never let go again.
"There's one thing I want to do before we leave Egypt." Jared said once we were back in Draco's labyrinth (I don't think it was really Draco's but Draco didn't say one way or the other and I chose not to ask.)
"What's that?" I asked. We were both eager to get out of here so we might track down Temperance.
"Fulfill a promise." he said cryptically.
The whole wedding was simple - being as it was arranged in just twenty-four hours it ought to have been. "This isn't really necessary" I tried to argue. My last wedding had been a disaster and a tiny, irrational, part of me was afraid this one might follow suit.
"Luna - this is necessary and long overdue." Jared had said, sealing the whole conversation. A couple hours later he'd produced formal clothes and told me everything was arranged.
"I could just as soon get married in my swimsuit." I said as I fluffed the dress again. It wasn't really my style but I didn't tell him as much. "In fact...we're human now...let's go down to the banks of the Nile in swimsuits..."
But this was NOT the Nile and I was not in my swimsuit. For all my mild protests, I didn't really mind Jared's plans. We were together through some crazy magic and that was all that mattered.
"Luna! Before you guys leave! I got word from a friend from Annaliese!" Draco ran up to us and then paused to fish out a piece of paper.
"Hidden Springs?" I read the address on the paper twice, committing it to memory. "That's all...?"
"Thank you Draco...for everything. You saved my life...literally." I said, pulling him into an embrace. Draco had never been much for hugs - he was more the scare the living daylights out of you for kicks type - but he returned the hug.
"Just, be careful. Both of you. You may not be vampires anymore but..." he trailed off, probably thinking of his own dealings within the vampire world.
I nodded. "You too big brother. You sure you won't come with us?"
"Thanks but no...I have things to do here with..." I looked at him expectantly, wondering if he would inadvertently answer one of many nagging questions in my mind. "With friends."
"Right." I hugged him again. "Well thank your friends for all their help as well, I don't think we'd be here without it."
It was a lot easier to get to Hidden Springs as humans than it would have been as vampires. Jared and I spent as much time as possible in the sun and stared out the windows of the plane in mild fascination. "How do you think it happened?"
"Which it? A lot of stuff has happened?" I asked with a chuckle.
"All of it..." he prompted.
"Well, Annaliese said my being pregnant at the time of the bond might have saved me. Maybe Tempy was unknowingly part of the bond as well - she's part of you anyway." We were silent for a time as we both considered the possibilities.
Maybe we'd never have the answers.
"This is it?" Jared looked over the large house in surprise. "I thought she was at a school..."
"You must be Temperance's parents!" a bubbly, green person was on the stoop as we came closer. "She's told us so much about you all and Annaliese called to let us know to expect you...you're a bit more human than I expected..." she blinked several times in confusion.
"Yes well...we're a bit more human than we expected as well." I said with a grin.
"Right..? And you..." she looked hard at Jared and cocked her head to one side. "You're more alive than I expected. I thought you were a ghost by the way Tempy talks about you..."
Jared and I shared a look. Who was this person?!
"Oh! Right! I'm Ash! I bet you were wondering who the crazy green girl was eh? I'm a sort of teacher here...well I'm new to the teaching part, I was a student here though." she babbled on and on about the school.
"Ash - I'm very interested in the school and all but we'd like to see Tempy..." I said slowly, afraid of offending her.
"Oh of course!!" Ash smacked herself in the head as if she'd just had a 'duh!' moment.
She looked around absently for a few moments before her eyes settled back on us. "I'm not sure exactly where she is right now..." I'm sure my eyes were as wide as saucers as I considered the fact that this school may have lost my only child. "No no no! Not like that! I only mean...I don't know what teacher she's with...she's fine, I'm sure she's fine..."
"Do you suppose we might go ask someone else then." Jared prodded carefully.
"Yes! Good idea! Bravo ghost man!" she said and actually skipped a few steps. "Come on, come on!"
Jared squeezed my hand reassuringly as she led us around the house toward the back where a decent sized garden was growing.
"Oi! Oaky!" she called out, leaning over the edge of bridge we were on. She waved her arm frantically at the man tending the plants until he looked up, rolling his eyes at her. "We're looking for Tempy! These are her abnormally living, human parents!" she motioned toward us as if there were other people around.
"Ain't seen her!" he called back before turning back to his plants and ignoring every other attempt by Ash to get his attention.
"He's not always so grumpy..." she paused and was deep in thought for a second before frowning a bit. "Actually he is. Guess it's just him. He's a good guy though, used to give me candy when I was good in class..."
"Ash...isn't there someone else we can ask? A headmaster or principal of some sort?" I prompted.
"Right right! Sorry, I get a little distracted at times but...here! Here is the lady with the answers..." she threw out her arms and pointed behind us. "Our headmistress, Ms. Calico."
"You must be Temperance's parents." Ms. Calico - who reminded me very much of a cat - looked over at Ash sternly and she scampered away. "My name is Ms. Calico. You are Luna and Jared Van Allen yes?"
"Taffity actually." Jared piped up. "Circumstances as they are, we felt it best to cut ties with that side of the family."
"Of course!" she nodded as if she understood everything. How much had Annaliese told her? How much did Annaliese even know? I hadn't spoken to her at all but Draco had gotten word to her somehow. "If you'll come with me, Temperance's class is by the lake right now."
"Oh thank goodness." I breathed a sigh of relief as my earlier fears were finally calmed.
"I should warn you, the oddest thing happened a few days back..." I tried to pay attention to her but Jared's attention waned and he was walking several paces ahead of us, his focus fixed on the figure by the lake.
"The oddest thing?" I said, trying to see beyond Jared.
"Well, she was swimming in the lake with the other children and she was a vampire when she went in...that much was clear..."
"And now she's not?" I said, not terribly surprised. In fact, it reaffirmed the thoughts I'd had about the odd blood bond.
"No! How did you know?" Ms. Calico was studying me carefully.
"Just a theory." I said, turning my attention to Jared now.
"Tempy?" he ventured, after having watched her fish for several moments.
Her eyes went wide and she turned toward his voice. Completely forgetting the fishing pole, it dropped from her hands. "Daddy?" she squeaked. "Daddy!!!"
She bounded towards him and threw her arms around him. Even though she'd never truly met him, she recognized him right off.
After clinging to him for what seemed like hours, she spotted me and the all scene played out again. "Mommy!!!" she screamed as she ran for me. "I knew you would find me! I just knew it!"
"Of course I would Tempy!" I said, enveloping her in a hug.
Ms. Calico seemed to be wiping a tear from her eyes when we finally turned back towards her. "Why don't I bring you all lunch here - you can have a picnic together." She smiled fondly at Tempy. "Wouldn't that be lovely?"
"Yes!" she shouted, bouncing up and down between us.
"Well then, you all stay here and I will see to it." she smiled and disappeared back in the direction of the school. Tempy filled in the span of time with constant chatter about the school, the other children, how she was human now and every other topic she'd encountered in the last six months so we barely had time to think about the food before it was brought to us by Ash.
"How did Daddy become real?" she asked while we were eating.
"Honestly? We're not entirely sure - though I think you were the key all along." I said with a smile.
"Mmhmm, you see you are part of me and part of Daddy and you were there when the bond happened so you kept Daddy tethered to us all along." I said, it was all theory but it was all I had to go on.
"But how did he come back to life?!" she pushed.
"The Sphinx healed me...all of me, including my broken heart, in the only way it could without doing any harm." I said.
"Those who are bound by blood will share each other's fate." Jared said quietly.
A/N: They will never know for sure how it all happened but since Luna was pregnant with Tempy at the time of the bond, she was sealed as part of it as well. She was also a part of both her parents and kept them both "alive" in the strictest of senses - enough to confuse the magic anyway. All the vampire of Jared died due to the transformation but there was still his human spirit. The Sphinx recognized both Luna and Jared as being there and the only way it saw to heal everyone without harm was to restore Jared's human spirit to life and all those in the bond share the fate of each other. It's all magic after all, anything can happen. ;)
I also finally made banners for every generation. You can check out the others on the Taffity Legacy page but here's Luna's :P