The two close friends stumbled into the basement kitchen, gaping at the sight before them.
“Well,” Molly Weasley broke the silence, “Are you and Hermione just going to stand there?” Blushing fiercely, Harry proceeded to his seat at the head of the table while Hermione took her place at his left.
“Muffiliato,” Harry thought, waving his glowing palm underneath the table, so that only his mentors and friends could hear him. “I have some interesting news, Daernanneth.”
“Is something wrong, my son?” The elf at the boy’s right, inquired.
“Hermione found me in the Hall of the High Elves.” Predictably, Harry’s relation and his other mentors fell silent, and after several, agonizing minutes Celeborn spoke.
“You, Hermione, are an elf.”
“How can that be?” Hermione asked, “I am simply a muggleborn witch.” At that point, Harry who had been thoughtfully caressing his jaw during the conversation, made a startling proclamation.
“All elves know how to keep a good secret.”
“What do you mean?” Ron was growing more and more confused by the second.
“What Harry is trying to say is: Hermione’s parents are elves,” Celeborn elaborated, “You see, when the elves returned to earth, a few of them attempted to teach magic to muggles. Naturally, those elves failed, but instead of giving up and teaching wizards they opted to stay “muggles”.”
“I and my fellow elves, Hermione,” Minerva stated, “Have a good reason to believe that your parents are either two of the “muggle elves” or are their descendants. See, it is entirely plausible that your parents came from the Havens because of the longevity of elves.”
“You’re saying my parents are possibly millions of years old?”
“Yeah, Mione.” Harry replied.
“Wow,” The girl murmured, “Wait, that is not probable, I’m seventeen years old!” Listening to the young woman’s doubts, Minerva laughed.
“Hermione, listen to me, elves are immortal. It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you wed. In fact, since it is better to get married when you are more mature, most elves marry as late as they want. Female elves also grow in beauty as they age, you know.”
“Well then, Hermione’s not an elf,” Ron snorted, ignorantly. “She’s certainly not the most beautiful girl, I’ve ever seen.” Whereupon, Hermione took one look at her friend, and burst into tears while the rest of the group stared at Ron in disgust.
“What??” The redhead was oblivious to the impact of what he had said.
“If you can’t learn how to keep your thoughts to yourself, Ron.” Harry reprimanded, “Then you need to learn how to maintain a closed mouth.”
“It is not my fault, I can’t always prevent food from falling out of my mouth when I’m eating, Mr. Perfect Elf Who Lived.” Ron snapped, slamming his hand against the table, before raging out of the spacious kitchen. An awkward hush came over the group of dining elves, as they watched the human rush out in anger. Suddenly, Elrond broke out in a fit of chuckles.
“I apologize, Harry, it is just… your friend thought you were talking about his table manners!” This outburst of mirth from such unlikely character caused Hermione to cry even harder, and Harry gently placed his arms around his devastated friend.
“Hermione, the elfling began. “You shouldn’t listen to Ron, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Everybody else knows that you have a unique kind of beauty, your own kind of beauty. And, you know what I’ve always loved about you, Mione?”
“My wits?” The girl guessed, sniffling.
“No, you silly elf! I love your eyes… I always have, ever since you fixed my glasses on the train. You have the most brilliant eyes I’ve ever seen… You have true elven eyes.” The young man, then looked the young woman square in the eye, and they kissed, a radiant glow emitting from their forms.
“ They are bonding,” Minerva, breathed, “I have never known two souls to bond at this age. Even James and Lily didn’t bond until Harry was conceived.” Just then, as Harry and Hermione broke apart, a scream came from the other end of the long table.
“HARRY JAMES POTTER!! HOW DARE YOU!! HOW DARE YOU, GO AFTER THAT… THAT MUDBLOOD, THE DAY YOU BREAK UP WITH… ME… ME! I HATE YOU! AND, I HATE THAT FREAK!” The muffiliato spell had apparently broken while the new couple professed their newfound affection for each other, and Ginny was now seething with bitterness. Therefore, for the second time that very day, a Weasley child rudely interrupted the meal before stomping out of the room.
“Well, ahem,” Mr. Weasley began, uneasily. “Congratulations, you two.” At that, Harry merely grinned, placed a kiss on Hermione’s cheek, and recast the muffiliato spell.
“Do you realize, that you and Hermione were glowing while you kissed, Harry?” Professor McGonagall asked, beaming at her grandson.
“Umm, yeah I noticed it.” Harry replied, “Do all elves glow when they kiss each other?”
“Actually, only elven soul mates glow when they kiss. And as a matter of fact, the glowing only happens once, it is to signify that two souls are bonding. This is another reason, why elves do not marry until they are absolutely ready. Bonded elves also have the capability of communicating mentally with each other, which is just an interesting fact I thought you might want to know.” Harry and Hermione glanced at each other excitedly: they could do telepathy!
“Hermione, is that you?”
“Yes, it is I,” The female elf thought, “This is so cool!”
“Yeah,” Harry agreed, “Hermione, I… I love you… I love you with all my heart.” There was silence on the other end, and then:
“Ubi est Gaius, ego Gaia.” Hermione was reciting the traditional Roman bride’s vow! “Where you are Gaius, I am Gaia.” Harry’s heart soared, once he had heard those words, and surprisingly the room was once again filled with light for two had become one. Ignoring all around them, Harry picked up his betrothed and carried her to the Hall of High Elves where they shared reminiscences of days long past, into the night.
A/N: Ubi est Gaius ego Gaia, was a real Roman bride's vow. It means: Wherever you are, I will be. The names Gaius and Gaia were commonly used. I thought it appropriate for our dear, intelligent Hermione to say.