Finally, the group arrives at the edge of a clearing, where there is a carved statue of a beautiful woman on one side, and directly across on other side of the clearing is another statue of a Veela in her transformed form. The group halts at the edge of the clearing and parts neatly in two with the men standing on one side and the women on the other. The men's side is tiny when in comparison to the long line of females.
Ethel's silver, golden hair glints in the moonlight and almost seems to glow. Bowing reverently to the statues, she respectfully says in the Veela native screeching bird- like language, "Honored Hawk Mother accept the humble homage of this lowly daughter of yours and her offspring."
There is an almost a bird-like cry that is heard the woods causing them to wizards and witches to grow still every single time. Moving forward, Ethel removes a bottle from her pocket and pours the wine onto the ground in homage, but this time looking up at the sky. "We the children of the forefather of the Sky, we ask thee on this night to remember us and grant us thy power."
Despite it being a cloudless night suddenly a faraway thunder can be heard. Satisfied by the two responses, Ethel motions for her descendants to move forward and offer their gifts to the Veela foremother and their Elemental Sky forefather. The witches and wizards humbly move forward and offer gifts of meat to their Veela foremother, and wine to their forefather.
As they do so, Ethel begins to recount the tale of ages long ago past. "Many eons ago, when mankind, the magical folks, and magical creatures still lived side by side, and the Spirit and Mortal world had yet to divide into two the Spirits still walked upon the surface of the earth. One day a fierce hawk caught the eye of a Spirit of the Sky, so very much so until he intently desired her. He followed for her many days and nights attempting to sway her to his side, but a Hawk will never allow herself to be captured, and so she furiously flew until she reached the edge of the world.
Left with nowhere to run, she fiercely fought to no avail until at last she was forcefully captured, and he took her for his own. Our Hawk Mother wept to the heavens in rage and fled after the foul deed had been committed. Seeking a human with magic, a witch, the Hawk Mother asked to be forevermore hidden from the lecherous eyes of the Spirit of the Sky that had forcefully taken her.
The witch agreed to do so for a certain price, but in exchange, Hawk Mother would forevermore lose her gift of flight and be trapped in the form of a human. However, her wrath was far too great and so she instantly agreed to the witch's bargain. Hawk Mother became the first-ever Veela, a beautiful woman without any parallel, but even with the witch's magic her hawk nature was not completely lost. For you see her hawk nature still remained and would always appear when she was enraged.
After that Hawk Mother left and made her way into the world. But as the seasons passed her belly grew larger and larger until she one night she felt a fierce belly ache. Crouched on all four's, she pushed and pushed until she bared three daughters in a forest cave. And just like Hawk Mother, her three daughters were all beautiful, fierce, and strong. And from these three daughters, we, Veela's are their descendants."
"Hogwash," Mordecai grunted under his breath. It was merely a children's fairytale. Or at least that is whar he tended to tell himself, but it is a bit hard to discredit a loud clap of thunder heard in the distance when there isn't a single cloud in the night sky.
With everyone having finished making their offering to Hawk Mother and the Spirit of the Sky, Ethel strides exactly to the center of the clearing. Turning to them she says, "Daughter's come forth." The golden-haired women's hair glitters in the moonlight as they all stream forward to form a circle around the matriarch of their Greengrass family branch.
"Sons come forward and protect thy sisters," Ethel instructed as the small group of men moved forward and placed themselves evenly around the circle as best as they can.
Satisfied, Ethel begins to chant in Veela again, "Hawk Mother, I thank you for your many blessings, and appeasing the curse of my mate's blood that is cast upon our daughters. However, I have felt the chains of evil finally fade away and wish to confirm that be true. Please, I beseech you!"
A golden like aura fills the circle for a brief moment, before fading away as tears pour down Ethel's face. Bowing deeply, she whispers, "Thank you, honored Hawk Mother," before straightening back up. Her descendants all stare at Ethel with worry as none of them could ever recall her crying not even at her own husband's funeral!
Wiping the tears of joy from her face, Ethel loudly announces the good news, "The Maledictus Curse upon our family is finally gone!"
There is a long pause of silence until Edna, the daughter of Mordecai, patiently says, "Grandmama, I know that you want to believe that this silly little ritual removed a curse that is upon all the women of the Greengrass family, but it's simply not possible."
Ethel narrows her eyes at her narrowminded descendant. "It is not a silly little ritual," she growled as her eyes began to glint birdlike and her nose seemed to be growing longer by the second. "And I did not say the ritual removed the curse merely that it has been removed."
Seeing that grandmama is about to explode and possibly begin to throw fireballs willy-nilly, Benedict hurries forward to diffuse the tense situation. "Well, if that is indeed the case, we do have a healer here to confirm it for us. Sweety, why don't you perform a spell to check the curse on your sister."
"Yes, father," dutifully replied, one of the married daughters of Benedict named Henrietta. Mumbling under her breath, she chants the incantation, before pointing the wand at her nearest sister. Her mouth flops open at seeing a golden like aura surrounding her sister.
"Well, is the curse gone?!" Snapped, Edna triumphantly at her cousin.
"I can't believe it," Henrietta whispered in awe. "The curse is truly gone."
"That's just not possible!" Edna exclaimed. "The one who cast the curse in the first place would have to remove it, and we have been cursed for centuries. It's impossible for that witch or wizard to still be alive much less remove it!"
"Or a descendant," Benedict thoughtfully interrupted his niece, his brother's daughter.
"But why now?" Edna cried out.
"I don't know," Benedict said with a shrug. "And I really don't care as long as I can now rest easy knowing that all of my precious girls are all safe now." Turning towards his grandmama, he says, "We should inform the other Greengrass branches as well."
"Yes," Ethel tiredly said gesturing for him to aid her in returning back the way they came. However, not before first bowing to Hawk Mother and giving her thanks one last time.
Trudging back across the icy path, the group is filled with hushed whispered conversations. The fiercest among them is that of Mordecai and his children, Salinger, and Edna.
"I'm telling you that it shouldn't be possible," Edna fiercely whispered through her teeth.
"Well, I for one agree with my precious daughter," Mordecai dotingly said earning a sweet grin from his favorite daughter.
Salinger much more solemn and composed than his father says, "Well, I hate to say this, but I think you are both wrong and are only trying to make a point. Henrietta is many things, but she is not a fool, and is a rather talented healer that she wouldn't make such a rudimentary mistake."
"How can you take someone's side over your own sister?!" Edna wailed in anger.
"Because you are wrong, but your pride just won't allow you or father to admit such a thing," Salinger drily stated out loud.
Turning to her father, Edna pouts and says, "Daddy!"
"There, their pumpkin," Mordecai consoled his daughter shooting his son a dirty look. "Daddy will get to the bottom of everything!"
Salinger manages to refrain from rolling his eyes in exasperation just in time. He knew that there was no point in arguing with the two of them. They would just end up earning grandmama's wrath for good reason. At least after Grandmama finally lectured them, they would thankfully behave themselves for a month or so.
Still, what could he do? They were family. And we don't always get to pick and choose, who we would like.