Lily sighed as she closed the book and threw it onto the growing pile beside her. Leaning back in her chair, she rubbed her temples tiredly. Waving her hand, the lights in the room dimmed. She sighed in relief. Her eyes were aching from looking at all those books. She smiled to herself. Magic was really a grand thing sometimes.
As this thought occurred to her, her smile became a frown. I'm a witch, she thought, and I can't even find a fertility spell.
She felt warm arms wrap around her, hugging her tightly. She jumped, but then saw a head of messy black hair behind her. Her smile returned.
"Hello love," James said, squeezing her gently. . "How was your day off?"
Lily turned and kissed him on the lips. She breathed deeply, inhaling his familiar sent. He smelled of wand polish, ink, and parchment. "I didn't hear you floo in," she said, running her fingers through his hair.
Keeping one arm around her, James drew out the chair beside her and sat down. He lifted her onto his lap, causing her to squeak in surprise. "I apparated to the village; then walked up to the house. I thought the night air would do me good. I was stuck in the office all day, and it was such a nice day too; did you go out and enjoy it?"
A slight frown crossed Lily's face. "No," she said, some of the cheerfulness leaving her voice. "I wanted to read these books while I had some time off."
James drew his wand from his robes, and flicked it. A small bottle of brandy flew into the room.
He wasn't as good at wandless magic as his wife was something that she teased him about mercilessly. He pulled the cork out of the bottle, and flicked his wand again, conjuring a glass out of thin air.
Lily frowned. "Have you eaten yet?"
James shook his head, and poured a miniscule amount of the brandy into the glass. "Nope, I wanted to eat with you." He gestured at the books with the hand holding his wand. "I take it you haven't found anything?"
A flash of irritation crossed Lily's face, and she turned away from James so he wouldn't see it.
How could he do that? How could he just speak so casually of something that meant so much to her? She scowled down at the books, glaring at them as if they had offended her, and, in a way, they had.
She had been desperately searching for a spell or ritual for months now. That ritual was her only hope. James just could not understand that. After all, he wasn't the one who would be required to carry the child, and not just any child, but the heir to an ancient and noble wizarding family. She sighed. It may be time to consider her last option. A shudder ran through her. She really didn't want to go there if she could help it. Dealing with Them could be very dangerous.
James's voice pulled her out of her thoughts.
"Lily? Are you listening?"
Lily looked at James startled. She had heard him speaking, but she hadn't registered the words. "What?" she said distractedly.
James stared at her for a moment in silence, and let out a huff of frustration. "That answers my question. I see that you haven't found anything today." His voice took on a gentle tone. "Don't you think we should consider other options?"
Lily flinched at his words. She knew what other options meant, but she wouldn't consider that yet, not when she still had one thing left she could try.
But would James understand? He didn't have to be the one that would bear the heir to one of the most inflooential magical families in Britain. Would he go along with her plan? It would give him a child, but it would be dealing with some very dangerous forces that the wizarding world hadn't had contact with in centuries.
No, she couldn't tell him. The chance of him refusing was too high, but she had to convince him to give her a little more time.
"What other options did you have in mind?" She asked cautiously.
James smiled. She sounded like she was willing to listen at least. "Maybe we could consider adopting. This war is destroying a lot of families, and there are a lot of orphaned children out there that could use a good home. What do you think?"
Lily shook her head immediately. "No not yet, there are still other things we can try."
James let out a frustrated breath. She could be so stubborn sometimes. Why couldn't she just listen? The odds of them having a child of their own were very low, but they could adopt, and there was the blood adoption ritual. Which, when performed, would insure that any child they adopted would be theirs by blood.
"Lily," he said trying to keep his voice calm. "We have tried everything to reverse the curse, but nothing has worked. If we want children, we need to consider other options."
Lily winced at his words. He was right of course. They had tried everything to reverse the curse that was placed on her.
There were many secrets in the world, and James and Lily happened to be one of those secrets.
They were a wizard and witch, respectively, and they weren't alone. There was a whole world of magic that had been around since time began, and the Muggles, 'the humans with no magic,' had no idea.
However, a world of magic was not a fairytale. It had its own dangers. It's most terrifying threat was a wizard named Lord Voldemort, and his followers who called themselves, 'Death Eaters.'
This group of wizards and witches believed that magic should only be kept in those families of pure blood. That meant, according to them, any family that could trace their magical ancestry back at least four generations. They believed that first generation witches and wizards should be exterminated. Unfortunately for Lily, she fell into that category.
She scowled. She'd thought blatant racism would not be present in the magical world, but it was even worse here than it was in the muggle world. To make matters worse, magicals could place curses on each other that made muggle weapons pale in comparison. Such a curse had been placed on Lily.
It had been a routine day in Diagon Alley. The wizarding shopping district had been thriving with life, until the Death Eaters came.
The attack had begun with a bang. Buildings had been set ablaze, filling the air with the smell of smoke and burning. Lily had immediately begun trying to help her fellow witches and wizards escape the alley. At some point during the attack, Lily had been hit in the abdomen with a bright purple curse.
She had felt indescribable agony for a split second, and then it was gone. After the fight was over, she had gone to see a Healer, who had given her the bad news.
The curse that had been placed on her was a powerful sterilization curse. The healer had theorized that it was probably an old family curse.
"Without knowing which curse it is, we can't reverse it and the longer the curse stays on you; the harder it will be to break."
"Lily?" James's voice was gentle.
Lily turned to look at him, and James saw tears rolling down her cheeks. "I just want a child of my own." she whispered. "Is that too much to ask for?"
James reached out and hugged her tight. "No Love," he said stroking her hair. "There is no shame in that. I think every Mother would rather have a child that was theirs. It's only natural."
Lily pulled herself together and drew away from James. "I'll think about adoption," she said wiping her eyes. "Could you give me a week or so?"
James nodded. "Of course, take all the time you need." Kissing her cheek, he stood. "I was thinking of going to the leaky cauldron for some takeaway, is that alright with you?"
Lily smiled at him, and her stomach growled loudly at the mention of food. "That sounds fine."
"Do you have any preference?" James asked.
"No, just get me whatever you have."
James nodded, and left the room after giving her one last squeeze.
When he was gone, Lily let out a sigh of relief. At least she would have a little time to decide whether she wanted to contact them or not. She wanted a child of her own, but she had to ask herself, did she want a child bad enough to contact the fae?
The fae were one of the mysteries of the wizarding world. What information Lily could find on them was scattered and contradictory. The one thing all the texts could agree on was that the fae had the power of Glamour. This was not only the power to shapeshift, but also the ability to manipulate reality around them for a desired effect. They could make swords and spears from pure magic, and some were even said to be able to make whole kingdoms with their will alone. With the power to manipulate reality, Lily hoped they would be able to lift the curse upon her. There was, however, a slight problem. Contacting the fae was expressly forbidden.
Centuries ago, the wizards had started a war with the fae. The wizards believed only they should have magic, and the fae disagreed, strongly.
The fae believed that any creature that was born with magic deserved to have it, and fought in defense of all the magical creatures. Of course, this was not the way the war was portrayed in official histories, but you could tell what really happened during the war by reading between the lines.
The fae were far more powerful than wizards, but were fewer in number. It turned out that the fae bred far slower than even magical humans.
The fae were defeated. The wizards planned to enslave them, but before they could, the nobility of the fae interfered. They gathered as many of the fae as they could and left the mortal world, retreating to their own realm.
The wizarding government, 'The Ministry of Magic,' was furious at the loss of their potential slaves. They forbade any contact with the fae, under penalty of death. They gathered up the minor fae, those that the faerie nobility were unable to gather, and bound them to rich pureblood families.
Lily looked down at the pile of books. That had been centuries ago. Would the 'house elves,' as the minor fae were now known, be willing to help contact their brethren? How much trouble would she be in if she contacted the fae? Surely, the laws that forbade contact with them wouldn't still be enforced.
She stood, and began packing the books away. Even if she could find a way around the law, she had no way of contacting the fae, and no way of forcing them to help her. Sighing, she turned and left the library. She would research the fae. That wouldn't cause any harm. Maybe she would find a way to make a pact with them.
At the door she paused. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. She had the strangest feeling of being watched. She looked back at the room, but it was empty. 'It's just hunger,' she thought. 'I'm starting to imagine things.' She left the room, closing the door behind her.
A figure stood in the corner of the room. It watched Lily intently. She had good instincts. For a moment there, they thought she had seen them. She had definitely sensed them. That meant that she had at least a little fae blood in her. That was interesting. This would be worth looking into a little further. But in the meantime, she would do for what was needed. She was magically strong, for a human, and she would make a good Mother. The only question was when should she make contact? It would not do to make contact too soon. Maybe it would be best to wait for a few days. Let her find out how difficult the wizards had made it to contact the fae, and then, when she was desperate, she would not refuse the deal.
The figure smiled. Yes, this was a good plan. All they had to do was be patient, and patients were something you learned when you were immortal. Stepping back, the figure vanished from the room, leaving no trace that they had ever been there.
Lily slipped into bed beside James, stretching luxuriously as the warm blankets covered her. Lying down on her back, she stared up at the ceiling and thought about the past few days.
When Lily had returned to work, her first stop had been the Ministry archives. She was disappointed to find that the laws were indeed still enforced. Apparently, there had been a wizard in the 1890's who had attempted to contact the fae and been discovered. He had been pushed through the Vail of death the very next day.
Disappointed though she was, Lily was not deterred. She searched for any other instants where the law had been enforced, but found none. She considered. Finding nothing could mean one of two things.
First, either no one else had tried to contact the fay. Lily found this unlikely. When you told someone not to do something, it was more likely that they'd do exactly what you told them not to do.
The second option was the one Lily thought much more likely. Wizards and witches had contacted the fae, and they just hadn't gotten caught, but how did they do it? Try as she might, Lily could not find an answer to that question.
Lily rolled over onto her side and stared at the wall. It might be time to exceed to James's wishes and adopt. There didn't appear to be any way of lifting the curse. She would talk to him about adopting tomorrow. As she slipped towards sleep, she smiled. At least she would have a child of her own, even if she didn't give birth to it.
The figure watched as Lily slipped into sleep. It was time to act.
Lily blinked. She raised one hand to shield her eyes from the sunlight. Wait sunlight? Where was she? She took stock of her surroundings. She could hear gulls screeching and the hissing roar of the ocean. She felt sand beneath her feet. Was she on a beach?
"What do you think of my home?"
Lily spun around and stared. Behind her, stood the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. Every feature was exquisitely sculpted.
She was tall and supernaturally slender, with long auburn hair that hung to her shoulders in soft waves. Golden green eyes stared at Lily expectantly, and soft full lips were parted in a smile revealing perfect white teeth.
The woman stepped forward, extending a slim, long-fingered hand. "Welcome to Avalon," she said, taking Lily's hand and kissing the back of it.
Lily shuddered as the woman's soft lips touched her skin. Tingling warmth spread from the place that the woman had kissed and seemed to infuse her whole body. With an effort, she pushed the warmth away, and cleared her throat.
"I do not mean to offend, but who are you? And what am I doing here?"
The woman chuckled lightly. "You were always curious, weren't you?" She sobered and looked Lily straight in the eye. . "I can help you with your current trouble."
Lily looked at the woman confused. "Trouble, "What trouble are you talking about?"
"The war between the wizards for starters; I also know that you are having difficulty conceiving a child."
Lily started and stared at her. Who was this woman?
The only one that knew of Lily's inability to conceive was James and her healer, and this woman definitely wasn't either of them, so how could she know about it. She was brought out of her thoughts when the woman spoke again.
"I can remove the sterility curse. It can be done right now."
Lily felt as if she'd been struck with a padded hammer. The roar of the ocean and the cries of the gulls suddenly sounded very far away. A warm hand on her cheek brought her out of her shock.
"You need not fear me. Nothing and no one will harm you while you are here."
"Who are you?" Lily whispered, her lips barely forming the words.
"I am Vivienne, the queen of Avalon, and the lady of the lake."
"But, but, she died centuries ago," Lily stammered. "How could you be her, unless. . ."
Vivienne smiled. "Unless I am a fae," she said gently, "An elf to be more exact."
"You are an elf," Lily whispered, "but elves are..." She paused not wanting to offend her hostess.
Vivienne nodded and smiled as if she knew exactly what Lily was thinking. "The elves you are thinking of are what we call 'Brownies', helpful household faeries.
The true elves are the nobility of the fae. We are the only group of fae that can successfully breed with humans. We are also known as the Sidhe in Ireland and the Fair Folk in Scotland."
Lily cleared her throat. This was a lot to take in. She decided to ask another question. "You knew King Arthur?"
Vivienne blinked, and chuckled. "Yes, I knew King Arthur, and let me tell you, he's not the kind and noble king that he was presented to be in the stories."
'What about Merlin,' Lily thought, but did not say.
"Merlin was a Changeling," Vivienne said conversationally. "He had nothing to do with demons. Other than that, the rest of those stories are pretty accurate."
Lily jumped. 'Did she just read my mind?' She thought of asking what a changeling was, but decided not to.
Vivienne smiled. "We used to exchange children with wizarding families. Merlin was one of those children. The elves we left were called Changelings. Would you like to sit down?" She asked when Lily looked a little faint.
Lily nodded dumbly. She looked around for a chair, but saw none.
Vivienne raised a hand casually. There was no flashy incantation, no complicated wave, or intricate motion, it simply looked as if she'd seen someone she knew, and was raising a hand in greeting.
A canvas folding chair appeared on the sand next to Lily. A cup holder with a glass of ice water was attached to the right arm of the chair. Lily stared at it wide-eyed.
She had never seen such an advanced conjuration, and with such little effort too. She looked at Vivienne, and saw she was sitting in a chair too, calmly sipping from her own glass of water.
Hesitantly, Lily sat down, and picked up her glass. She took a sip, and her eyes closed in pleasure. The water was as sweet and smooth as honey.
"The waters of Avalon were always the best," Vivienne said with a contented sigh. "They convey long life, and have healing properties. Do you like it?"
"It's wonderful," Lily said. She took another sip, and stared at Vivienne.
Vivienne looked back at her, an expectant expression on her face. Finally, Lily asked the question Vivienne had been waiting for.
"Can you read minds?"
Vivienne laughed. "No child, I just know that the wizards forbade contact with the fae a long time ago, and I thought you might be curious about certain things."
Lily nodded. "You said you could help me have a child. How can you do that, and why would you help me?"
Vivienne sat silent for several moments, staring into her glass of water. A pained expression crossed her face. "I always wanted a child of my own, you know? But alas, I have no husband to aid me in bearing a child, and haven't in a long time. Maybe I just want to help you, so you won't go through what I have."
"What is the catch? I assume there is one?"
Vivienne shook her head. "Not in the sense that you are thinking of. All I ask is that you love any children that you have. Spend time with them, read them stories, do everything that a Mother would do. If you agree to do that, I'll remove the curse, and make sure you conceive a child. Are we agreed?"
Lily started to agree immediately, but then she hesitated. It was said that the fae could not outright lie, but were the elves, 'as the strongest of the fae,' bound by such restrictions?
Was there some secret motive that Vivienne wasn't telling her about? Did it matter? Did she even have a choice?
If she didn't agree to Vivienne's terms she wouldn't be able to have a child, and there would never be an heir for the Potter family. A voice spoke up inside her mind.
'You know you aren't without options. You could always adopt. James was right. There are a lot of orphaned children because of the war. You could give them a good home.'
Lily shook her head. No, this was her chance to have a child that was hers. She would not pass it up. She sat up straight, and looked Vivienne in the eye.
"I agree to your terms," she said determinedly. "I will love any children I have, and be the best Mother I can be."
Vivienne stood. "Our bargain has been made," she said solemnly. She leaned over, kissing Lily on the forehead. "It is done."
Lily awoke with a start, and sat bolt upright in bed. 'Was that a dream?' she wondered. She felt a cold weight in her right hand.
She looked down, and saw she was still holding the glass of water Vivienne had given her. Placing the glass on the table, Lily lay back down. Thinking of her deal with Vivienne, Lily hoped she hadn't made a big mistake, but really, what could be the harm in loving any children she might have? She would always love her children, no matter what happened.
I own nothing related to Harry Potter. No copyright is intended.
I am blind so bare with me.
This story is dedicated to my girlfriend, Sarah. I love you, Beautiful.