|Once and Always|
|Book: Once and Always, Chapter 8|
Chapter 7: Love Between Wind and Water
Chapter 9: Identity and Reason
Chapter 8: Hope and Desires
"Hurry Drako, hurry!" said Hermione as they ran to Agnès's room in the academy
"Slow down Hermione!" said Drako, struggling to keep up "I'm not as young as I... what am I talking about?"
"If we don't hurry, we'll miss it!" said Hermione
Less than two weeks have passed since Suzuka and Guiche Jr. started going out. Already they had shared a few more kisses, but today may very well cause them to think about the future of their relationship. With Suzuka, and several friends beside her, Agnès was about to give birth at last.
"At last! We're here!" said Hermione when they go to the outside of Agnès's room. Guiche was already waiting outside the room with his father next to him
"What happened to you?" Drako asked, seeing Guiche wasn't looking too good
"He was told to check Agnès's progress. When he did, he fainted like and old lady within a minute." said Guiche Sr.
"Like you're one to talk father. Mother told me that you fainted during my birth." said Guiche Jr.
"Ahem.... Anyway," said Guiche Sr. "sounds like you missed it." a baby's cry was heard from within the room, and Hermione and Drako walked in.
Henrietta, Suzuka, Saito, Louise, and Montmorency were standing around Agnès's bed. Agnès was lying in bed, with her crying newborn in her arms.
"We did miss it." said Hermione disappointed
"No matter, you get to see her now." said Agnès
"'Her'? Its a girl?" said Drako
"Yes, it is." said Henrietta
"Now come over here you two, come get a better look." said Suzuka, who was sitting on the end of Agnès's bed
"She's adorable." said Hermione, when she and Drako got closer
"I believe so too Hermione." Suzuka thought to herself "Not only that, she looks like Agnès. It kinda makes me want to have one with Gui... Oh, what am I thinking?! We're still just teens!"
"Agnès, you know this means, you really will have to take time off for a while." said Henrietta
"I know." said Agnès " But a couple of things need to be settled this moment. To start with, Suzuka."
"Yes?" said Suzuka
"I'm appointing you her God-mother."
"No. It's just a little sudden."
"Alright. And Saito."
"Yes?" said Saito
"I want my daughters name to mean something. So, I want you to give her a Japanese name."
"And I just happen to have one in mind.... Yuki." said Saito
"Yuki Milan." said Henrietta "That sounds perfect."
"Agreed." said Agnès "Yuki it is."
"Wait." said Louise "Is her surname 'Milian'?"
"I was wondering that too." said Montmorency
"It is." said Agnès "I never married her father, remember?" Agnès then looked really tired all the sudden
"Alright, everyone out. Agnès needs her rest." said Henrietta, and Agnès willingly handed Yuki to her "I'll take 'little Yuki' to the nursery we prepared."
"Rest well Agnès." said Saito as they left
"'God-mother Suzuka'. said Guiche Sr. when they closed the door "A real honor."
"Thanks Mister Gramont." said Suzuka, and Henretta, Louise and Montmorency set off for the nursery "You sure know some unique names dad."
"Thank you. Guiche."
"Yes?" said Guiche Jr. and Sr. together
"The old one. I need you for an Order meeting." said Saito
"Right, but for the record, I'm not that old!" said Guiche Sr. as they set off
"What next in this exciting life of ours?" said Drako
"We just need to wait and see." said Suzuka "Only time will tell."
"And maybe you and Guiche will have your own baby in the future." said Hermione, causing both Suzuka and Guiche to blush
"That's just crazy Hermione!" said Guiche
"Yeah, childish nonsense!" said Suzuka, she and Guiche left a second later
"What did I say?" Hermione asked
"And I call several students here 'simple minded'." said Drako
Within a couple of days, news that Agnès had given birth was school-wide knowledge.
"I know a new life is big news, but you'd think people had other things to talk about." said Guiche Jr. one morning at breakfast with Suzuka, Drako, and Hermione.
"I know." said Suzuka "A hundred things she could ask, and all Tina asked me is if it's true that my father named Yuki. Hardly anyone seems to know that I'm her god-mother."
"She's less than three days old, and already we find it dull." said Drako taking a sip of coffee
"Don't say that." said Hermione "I think it's a real treat to have a baby in the academy."
"Well Yuki's not the first child to be born in this school." said Suzuka "Mom said that I was born here as well."
"Really? I'm so jealous." said Hermione
"Jealous of that?" said a voice nearby that turned out to be Erlea "I'd feel jinxed, don't you agree?"
"What do you want?" Suzuka asked coldly
"Oh nothing. Just wondering how you and mister Gramont can still stand being near each other."
"We've been going out for more than two weeks." Suzuka said proudly
"It's true." said Guiche
"Then I've just confirmed that you have very bad taste in girls." said Erlea "I'd be a much better girlfriend."
"A snob like you? I don't think so." said Drako
"Then I have to ask, have you two 'done it' yet?" Erlea asked, and Guiche spat out the water he was drinking right in Drako's face "That's gross!"
"You're gross!" said Guiche
"Who do you think you are, asking something like that?" Suzuka demanded as Drako wiped his face "Your toads right there, just so you know." she pointed to Erlea's familiar, but Erlea didn't flinch
"His name is Ping, and I'm over my fear. So, what do you have planned next for your so-called 'relationship'?" said Erlea
"Go away, and leave us alone." said Hermione, and Erlea picked up her familiar and left without another word
"That girl is one piece of work." said Drako
"The perv, asking us a question like that." said Suzuka
Later that night, Suzuka awoke to the lighting of the lantern as Hermione got out of bed.
"Where are you going Hermione?" Suzuka asked sleepily
"I was just going to watch Yuki sleep for a bit." Hermione answered with her hand on the door
"This late at night? No way. Go back to sleep."
"Please Suzuka." Hermione said making her famous Puppy dog eyes and face.
"(sigh) Puppy gets me, every time." said Suzuka, and Hermione giggled "But I'm coming with you. You shouldn't be out this late at night."
They walked toward the nursery where Yuki slept for several minutes, but too late noticed that they took a wrong turn.
"Here we are." said Hermione opening what she thought was Yuki's room. Inside were a few spare desks, and what appeared to be a large mirror "We're not where I thought we were."
"You think." said Suzuka walking into the room "This is a strange mirror. I've never seen one like it."
"Forget the mirror." said Hermione appearing on Suzuka's left and looking into the mirror "Lets get to... Oh my!"
"What is it?" Suzuka asked
"In-in the mirror I see myself.., performing magic. I'm the best in the academy. It's what I dream of so often."
"Dream of? Then what will I see?" Suzuka thought to herself. She looked in herself and let out a gasp of surprise.
"What do you see?" Hermione asked
"I-I'd rather not say." Suzuka replied. What she saw was beyond what she had pictured. She was wearing a wedding dress, and Guiche Jr. was standing next to her in black wedding robes. Suzuka's left hand bore a wedding ring.
"I've had my fun, I'm going to look for Yuki." said Hermione, who turned to leave.
"Hermione, wait for me." said Suzuka as she followed her, but not before taking one last look at the mirror.
The following night, Suzuka went looking for the room with the mirror again, seeking to know more about it, and found it with some difficulty. Once she was inside, she looked in for a few moments and saw what she saw last night. She and Guiche as a wedded couple.
"Back again, Suzuka?" said a voice behind Suzuka that turned out to be Henrietta, and Osmond was next to her
"Aunt Henrietta. Headmaster Osmond." said Suzuka "How long were you...?"
"I think in your haste to get in here, you failed to notice us." said Osmond "I see that you, like so many before you, have discovered the delights of the Mirror of Hearts."
"We trust you know by now, what it does?" Henrietta asked, but Suzuka just shook her head "Let me give you an overview. It shows us nothing more, than the deepest, most desperate, desires of our hearts."
"You mean... that it shows us what we want, what we truly want more than anything else in the world." said Suzuka
"Precisely. It showed young Hermione as a mage, the best mage in the academy. And It showed you, married to Guiche Jr."
"How did you...?"
"You and Hermione are too easy to figure out, my beloved niece." said Henrietta
"The down side, is that this mirror give us neither truth nor knowledge." said Osmond "People have wasted away before it, or else driven mad. That is why, it will be moved to a new home tomorrow."
"And I must ask you, not to go looking for it again." said Henrietta
"I won't aunt Henrietta." said Suzuka
"That's a girl." said Henrietta, she then kissed Suzuka on the forehead
"Aunt Henrietta, what do you see when you look in the mirror?" Suzuka asked
"I see myself married to the man of my dreams, and with a child of my own." said Henrietta "Speaking of which, I'm not sure you know this but, since I adopted your mother as a sister, that puts you in line to the throne behind me, should I fail to have an heir. Now that's enough for one night, off to bed with you."
Suzuka obeyed and left the room.
"Something tells me you weren't entirely truthful when you said what you saw in the mirror." said Osmond once Suzuka was gone
"Well, it was a personal question." Henrietta replied "I'll admit, I wasn't entirely truthful, but I didn't lie either."