|| Freedom — Isn't it funny to realize that you are the warden of your own prison?
A bank heist isn't exactly the ideal place to first meet your soulmate. It's not a good first impression either when your soulmate gets you arrested. Gabriel Siemens had always hankered after the elusive, mysterious types. So when the stunning thief escaped her magic-proof constraints and held him hostage for a good week, he fell right into the pothole of love. It mattered not that this woman had stolen data worth billions from the family business. Many will claim to this day that Gabriel was fooling himself with the idea that she could ever love him back, but reality will beg to differ.
That night at the museum, the majority of those present were shaking their heads at what was presumed as an advanced progression of Stockholm Syndrome. Gabriel had indeed dismantled the security measures of the entire building without even being prompted. The general public was not unaware of the promising young man's romantic heart. His many, uninhibited affairs with women had caused a fair bit of trouble within his family. Later on, Gabriel's defense was that "it was a silly idea to make the second floor a bank." No one was willing to point out the irrelevance of this admittedly true statement.
Several months had passed before the entire fiasco was cleared up "officially." That was only if you were gullible enough to believe what the government said. The perpetrator had fleeced over ten billion dollars from the bank and disappeared without a single trace. "Nayeli", as she was known, had a nefarious INTERPOL record. Those of her own caliber went to great lengths to not oppose her. Her few and scattered associates tended to vanish at the most convenient of times, and none could claim that they knew her personally. Once she had breezed through a country, she never looked back. The authorities' search in Australia ended, but they overlooked one significant detail.
|| Truth — Pain is the essence of honesty.
Against her better judgment, Nayeli remained in the country. Gabriel awoke one humid night to the sound of utter silence. At the foot of his bed, a feather rested. It was the exact same shade of Nayeli's hypnotic blue eyes — the very eyes that XYZ would claim ownership to. They met at the discussed rendezvous the night after, under the watchful eye of the stars. Nobody could say this odd couple didn't have the flair for the dramatic. It was a shame that their daughter didn't inherit it.
Having had her fair share of lovers, it was a surprise to Nayeli herself to realize she had taken a serious liking to the man she had once taken hostage. She found something endearing about Gabriel's quirky charm. Their whirlwind romance continued in secret for nearly eight months; it was by far the longest relationship either one of them had been in. Commitment was something neither party had ever experienced. In Nayeli's line of work, you couldn't exactly manage a relationship when you were on the run. Her compulsive lying was of no help either. On the other hand, Gabriel was more than familiar with one night stands. He had admitted to himself that he loved the rush, not the women. He of choice; her of circumstance.
Many do not comprehend that secrets are a game of chance. When Gabriel proposed on one fateful morning to Nayeli, her flight risk nature revealed itself. He truly believed he had lost her forever. There was little he could do to ignore the fact that yes, Gabriel Siemens the playboy had fallen in love and gotten his heart broken in the process. Classic bad girl meets rich boy, you think? Hold your judgment, because the shit has yet to hit the windmill. That day, Nayeli's would-be plane crashed and reportedly left no survivors. Gabriel was out drinking his sorrows away when the presumably dead woman appeared out of nowhere and dragged his not-quite-sober ass out of the bar.
Telling the truth is sometimes painful, but perhaps it wouldn't be a stretch to analogize it to a Cruciatus curse in Nayeli's case. In the very same place they had met — Gabriel's family's museum slash bank — the torrent of all the truth she had hidden and ran from poured from her heart. The reason why she was always on the move, the reason why she was a criminal, the reason why she had to leave him, and the truth that she knew her reasons didn't justify any of her actions. Behind those sparkling orbs belied the iridescent greens of the forest. The facade of humanity she had taken up so long ago dissipated into dust. Nayeli was one hundred percent not human. She was a child of the earth itself.
Sober or not sober, Gabriel made it clear he didn't care. As petulant as his So what?! sounded, it rang with all the force of truth Nayeli had feared. Beneath the shimmering light of the stars, XYZ was conceived. It was at that point that Nayeli's fate was ascertained.
|| Family — Tolerance of your own blood is a luxury you cannot afford.
Bliss and happiness tagged along dutifully for the following year. Nayeli and Gabriel had a private ceremony and life was officially a bed of roses. The Siemens family had enough contacts and resources to cover up Nayeli's identity, and the obvious change in Gabriel sparked many a rumor. While the general public rarely ever caught a glimpse of the remarkable woman who had tamed the Siemens' capricious son, they were inclined to believe that she was a good person. Morally ambiguous or not, Nayeli was a sure anchor in Gabriel's life — an anchor he needed.
Aurore Siemens wanted nothing to do with Nayeli. Her son had always been particularly unscrupulous with his choice of women, but this was the last straw. She schemed endlessly to be rid of the daughter-in-law she so despised, but all her efforts proved fruitless. The pregnant ex-con artist was simply too protected by her fretting son and his doting cousins. However, she persisted with a vengeance. The matriarch of the Siemens family had a reputation for being ruthless, and like hell was she giving up.
Over time, Aurore effectively dismantled the disruptions that formed the barrier around Nayeli. The day XYZ was born, Aurors stormed the hospital where Nayeli was. As soon as she was discharged, she was whisked off to an Unplottable top security prison. Gabriel and his newborn daughter never saw her again. Emptiness overtook the once jovial man, and his spirit was too broken to try and get Nayeli back. He could never quite look at his daughter, who resembled her too much. Not a single trace of him was evident at first glance. Hope diminished as time waned on.
Clinging to the slim chance that her granddaughter wouldn't be as freaky as her name proved ridiculous. At the age of three, XYZ had started exhibiting "unsatisfactory signs." The truth was, Aurore couldn't handle seeing so much of Nayeli in her. On the spot, she decided to extract her from the equation. The news struck the one remaining chord in Gabriel, and in an act of rebellion, he did everything within his power to keep his daughter away from the monster that was his mother. Shooed off to an overwhelmingly boring location, five year old XYZ was confused as to why she couldn't play in the pretty gardens anymore. Not half a year later, the stronghold that served as her home was infiltrated. The last thing the confused child remembers is her cousin Malena standing in front of her, slatternly and afraid, and telling her four words: "Aunty hates the trees."
|| Acceptance — When you are restrained by your own existence, peace will forever be a semblance and nothing more.
Memories are fluid, and the rapidly expanding neuro-reaches of the human brain doesn't help in stabilizing them at all. XYZ's next recollection is sitting on the orphanage's porch. The alienation came next. She doesn't like dwelling on it. She never has liked dwelling on things. Her time at the orphanage was emotionally erratic. Her times at the foster homes were downright traumatic, but somehow bittersweet. Whether or not the world was out to get her, things kept happening. Weird ones.
Frostbite isn't exactly the first thing that you'd wish on someone in a blistering hot afternoon, but XYZ isn't exactly the most mainstream person ever. She's still not sure if the poor schmuck from school had to get his toes cut off after his socks froze over. He hadn't even done anything too bad — just made a disbelieving comment on XYZ carrying her ice skates to school. Any outward displays of ferocity from the brunette were limited to her fists and her magical outbursts.
Take the bully on the flagpole story as you will, but there's no denying the truth of it. The fire department had to be called, honest. XYZ could barely hold a straight face and nobody could really blame her. As gross and humiliating as it sounds, getting trapped by your own underwear is a funny sight to behold. XYZ can safely say that the bully's dignity was so damaged that he never dared look her in the eye ever again. Cowardice often followed excessive amounts of bravado. That much she knew.
Eight years after she lost her home, XYZ was granted a taste of family. This time it involved nobody dying (hopefully and so far.) Her last foster guardians knew the Wildes. They managed to figure out her nymph heritage by following the bread crumbs (aka lots of poking around while she stayed with them.) Knowing she was bound to be persecuted once this came to light, they called up the unconventional family. The day was going horrible: one of the bullies had locked her in the chimney, she missed breakfast, another bully wrecked her mini garden, and another kid unintentionally ripped her favorite shirt. Now she thinks it was so worth it — she was adopted that day and whizzed off to England, away from all of it. It's a potential Patronus memory for her, and it's one of the few things about her she's not afraid to say. The Wildes are the best thing to ever happen to her.
In order to get up to speed, she was homeschooled for her fourth year. Being a quick learner in all but social affairs helped. Not a month after she arrived at Britain, her Hogwarts letter arrived. By some miracle, XYZ clumsily built up relationships with her new siblings. She smiled for the first time in front of Nathan within three months of her stay. Her powers made themselves known around the fifth month. As September 1 drew closer with its surreal promises, she opened up more and more to her siblings.
Maybe feeding her milk addiction helped.
There was a warmth in XYZ's chest when she stepped on the train. It was very much welcomed this time.