“Whoa! So Aai is a Dark Witch?” Parvati gaped in wonder, her eyes gleaming in the crackling flames of the fireplace of the twins’ bedroom. “So that explains why she was quick to dash to the kitchen the moment you stepped in! She didn’t want you to discover any of the Dark Arts stuff, isn’t it?”
“Not so fast, Bahin. I had initially thought along those lines too. But no, we are wrong,” said Padma, sounding almost like a detective.
“And what makes you so sure?” Parvati challenged.
“Her top priority in life is to make sure her daughters don’t get thin like reeds,” smiled Padma.
“Ah, we need to thank her for our sexy curves,” winked Parvati slyly, earning a stern glare and a dramatically hurled pillow from her older-by-a-minute twin. “On a more serious note, coming home is like coming to a food festival!”
“We’re deviating from the topic, sis dearest, though I do agree with your last…”
“Hush,” interrupted Parvati, suddenly hurling her blanket aside.
“What’s up?” whispered Padma, sitting up in a flash.
Parvati quietly pointed towards her parents’ bedroom. Snippets of a mysterious conversation started drifting in.
“It’s all right, Narayani. It isn’t your fault, so stop blaming yourself.”
“But it is, Vitthal! I shouldn’t have given her the herbs in the first place. At least she wouldn’t have died then!”
“Come on. Alumni of Mayavati don’t use magic unless they have to. I know that. My parents were there too. And your intention was to save, not to kill. Why, just think of the herbs you gave her… Okay, let’s first take Mruta Sanjeevani… She restores life to the dying. She’s basically equivalent to phoenix tears. Vishal-… ”
“Vitthal, please try to…”
“Vishalyakarani is next,” continued Vitthal animatedly. “She removes all weapons from an injured body. Then comes Suvarnakarani. She restores the normal hue of the skin to any affected body part… apparently removes even the Dark Mark as Padma discovered. And last but not least is Sandhani. She heals bony injuries like the Skele-Gro Potion.”
“There’s no ‘but’ here. You can’t blame yourself for giving her those life-saving herbs. Just as I can’t blame Snape, Heer herself or the unknowingly made Unbreakable Vow.”
“I should have been more careful. At least I should have known something about the vow,” Narayani sounded as if she were in tears.
“Take it easy, Narayani. At least we know tonight that Heer didn’t die due to Dark Magic.”
Pause. Silence. More tears.
Finally Narayani spoke. It was her usual voice—calm and composed.
“She consciously sacrificed her love, and ended up sacrificing her life. All for the sake of a man who doesn’t even know all this yet,” she sighed.
“There is still a chance,” Vitthal suddenly sounded hopeful. “While we can’t bring back Nauheed Cama, the least we can do is to make sure her sacrifice doesn’t go in vain.”
“What are we going to do? Tell Snape?” Narayani asked sarcastically. “Who is going to bell the cat?”
A/N: Mrita Sanjeevani might look familiar, but Mruta Sanjeevani? If you are wondering that, by any chance, allow me to clarify... I had to get the perfect Marathi pronunciation!
And yes, Vitthal LOVES the herbs. So a herb is a 'she', not an 'it' for him!