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(Story) A Family Reunion (part 1)
Adri prime
adriellyn


Waking in the wee hours, Asmerglis dressed and wandered downstairs and into the kitchen, noting that the hall was, for once, not occupied by anyone awake.  After brewing up a pot of mint tea, she took a tray with the pot and mugs out to sit on the hearth.  Sipping slowly at her tea, she found she didn't have long to wait.

A second night elf, dressed in comfortably-worn but protective leathers, came traipsing down the stairs, making good progress yet somehow being nearly silent in her passage.  The sight of the green-haired druid made Asmerglis's breath catch in her throat.  She'd meant to say "Good morning", but only the barest gurgle came out.  Even so, that tiny noise was enough to catch the other's attention.

Asmindla spun in place, peering at the figure half-hidden beyond the embers.  "Hello?", she asked uncertainly.

Swallowing to recover her breath, the death knight leaned forward a bit to catch more light, while softly addressing the druid in their native tongue.  "Good morning, Asmi-heart.  Would you like some tea?  I made mint."

The younger woman slowly came down the stairs, and started toward the other, her usual grace almost abandoning her, as she seemed to be in shock.  After getting a better look, she shook her head crossed her arms, holding herself, and started pacing back and forth, maintaining her distance.  "If I hadn't already heard, I'd be after you as a revenant!" she hissed, though keeping her voice down in awareness of her surroundings.

With a nod, the older woman dryly observed, "If I didn't know that you'd heard, I wouldn't be here waiting for you."  She sighed, then, and switched to the common tongue.  "I didn't want," but she was interrupted.

"You were just going to leave me thinking you were dead?!?"

The death knight sighed heavily, looking down at her mug before looking back up to face her sister.  "I don't know whether I would have done so, had I known you lived beforehand."

"What do you mean?" the druid asked sharply, still pacing.

"I looked for you, back when, Asmindla.  No one knew what had become of you.  I thought you were as dead as the rest, whose bodies had been found."

The younger sister sighed, slowing her pacing.  "I guess we both made the same assumption, then, so I can understand that.  But if you didn't die at Mount Hyjal, what happened to you?!?"

Shifting uncomfortably on the hearth, Asmerglis pondered briefly with a distasteful grimace before answering.  "I got an attack of the stupids, and I gave into despair.  I had lost everyone that had mattered to me, was bereft of immortality, and I was sure that we were all doomed when the next invasion came, which it surely would."

Shivering in reaction to her thoughts, Asmindla shook her head, and finally asked in disbelief, "You're telling me that you voluntarily became a death knight?"

Sighing with a reluctant nod, Asmerglis hoarsely answered, "Unfortunately, yes."

"I should hate you."  The druid resumed her pacing, rubbing her arms.

"I will understand it if you must."  She sighed sadly, then gave a hopeful half-smile.  "At least it appears you've not quite yet decided that you do.  That's better than I had dared hope."

Asmindla looked down at her toes with a sigh, then looked up as she slowly approached closer.  "I guess I'll take that tea, then, while you tell me why I shouldn't hate you."

With a slight tremor in her hands, Asmerglis poured out the tea and slid the mug toward her sister, then sighed.  "It is only for the sake of what I was before Mount Hyjal, and what I have become now since being set free again, that I have any hope there.  What I was in between can only be hated."

Taking the tea, the druid murmured, "Go on."  She started sipping at it as she listened.

"There are other Kal'dorei, at least some of whom are druids, who would be happy to tell you that you should hate me, even.  The best I can say about that is that Keeper Remulos was as cordial to me as to anyone else who comes to see him."

Nodding while listening, the druid was brought up short.  "You went to Moonglade?  Why?  And what if he had not welcomed you?"

With a slight shrug, she explained.  "I had found something out which needed his attention, and I was the only handy possible courier.  Even so, if I weren't in some doubt myself as to whether the Light should have spared me when it freed me, I might not have gone, but found another messenger."

Asmindla's face betrayed curiousity through her reserve, at least to someone who knew her so well, but she kept her peace.

Nodding to what she saw, the death knight continued.  "So, just in case, I wrote out my findings, so that they'd have what they needed to know from my remains, and I went on in.  The wardens were rather cold toward me, but apparently knew that I didn't have to be Scourge, at least, and didn't have orders to kill on sight.  The Keeper himself... as I said, and to my great surprise, he treated me as he would have back when."

The druid glowered at her sister sourly for a moment.  "That's a pretty dilemma you've set me, you know.  I can stand with the Light, like the Quel'dorei, which will earn me no love from the Circle, or with the Keeper, which may, or with these other druids you mention, which also may."  Frowning at herself, she heaved a sigh.  "So, what do these other druids say, hmm?  Do they give any reason for hating you?"

The reply came after a mirthless chuckle.  "They don't exactly give me explanations.  But what they've said about me while making sure I could hear.... 'She's a walking corpse! An affront to Nature!'  Or, 'A murderer.'"  She sighs with a dejected look into her tea.  "I do breathe, and can drown -- but then I get better.  I never lost consciousness when I became what I am, but I can't guarantee that I didn't die.  And thanks to what the, erm, 'recruiting' process is like for someone who's stupid enough to want to be a death knight -- well, I can't deny the charge of murder.  Again, my only hope there is from Keeper Remulos, and that his lack of rejection means something."

Giving an angry glare to her sister, Asmindla half-growls, "You're not making this easy!"

"Should it be easy?"  The reply was calm, but sad.  "It shouldn't be easy to deny a sister.  It's not easy to deny a son of Cenarius, or other druids.  The fact that at least one of those is inevitable means I can't make this easy for you.  The best I could have done would have been to keep you from knowing about me -- and I'd been not giving out my full name just in case.  Yet here we are.  I'm sorry that I've failed to make it easy."

The druid glared at her sister again, the look starting to edge toward petulance from anger.  "Why do you have to be so blasted reasonable!"  She shakes her head and grimaces at herself.  "All right, so it's not going to be easy."  She finished her tea while fidgeting, various hints of reactions flickering across her face.  Abruptly, then, she set down her tea and stood.  "I'm going to have to think on this."

An answering nod came.  "That's all I can ask."

Sighing heavily, the druid strode off toward the door, pausing there to look back over her shoulder.  The look was 3 parts anger and one of longing, before it was hidden as she stepped out into the pre-dawn twilight.

The elder sister fought back sobs as she finished her tea and cleaned up, fumbling as tears kept obscuring her vision.  Finally, after a longing look past the door, she murmured, "Hate me though perhaps you must, yet will I love you, my sister."  Starting to give into the sobs, she made her way blindly back up to her room.

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