A/N: This is my first attempt at writing for the Maleficent fandom. It might turn out to be a Malora pairing, but I'm not quite sure yet. It's not that I'm uncomfortable with the pairing (quite the opposite, in fact, when it is well written). It is more that I have no experience writing non heterosexual pairings, so consider this an experimental fic as I flex those skills. Constructive criticism is always welcome, and I would love a beta for this.

Prologue

The warm summer air hung like a thick cloud over the Moors. It was suffocating. The protector looked out over the faery realm as she rested in her Rowan tree. She had just gone out on her daily patrol along the boarders. Despite the recent peace between the Moors and the human kingdom, she still felt the need to go on her patrols, and she would continue to do so until the day she died. Her wings twitched as her raven companion fluttered in front of her face.

"Oh fine! Into a man." She flicked her wrist at him, and he turned into a man mid-flight.

"Ack!" He exclaimed as he caught himself on a thick branch. He huffed as he pulled himself up. "You know, I hate it when you do that," he grumbled furtively.

"Perhaps you should stop annoying me then," she replied with a raised brow. "At least I did not turn you into a dog, or a mealy worm." A feint smile met her lips as she thought over those amusing images.

"Oh, that's a trick," he scoffed. "Everything annoys you." She noted how he seemed to ignore her teasing, and found that more amusing than if he had rose to the challenge.

"Not everything." She pursed her red lips in a sour expression. Silence did not annoy her, most of the time. Flying did not annoy her. Her beastie...well, that was a mixed bag.

"You should go see her," he said, and they both knew who he was talking about.

"Diaval, no." She tilted her head back and rested her horns against the trunk of her home. It had been nearly a year since she last laid eyes on the human queen, her beastie. Over the few years she had been queen, her beastie's duties took her farther and farther away from the Moors. As much as it pained Maleficent, she understood. It was all to keep the greedy humans from destroying the tense peace between the two kingdoms. That did not mean that it did not bother the faery. Her thoughts often drifted of late toward her beastie, and she found herself wondering what the queen was up to.

To alleviate some of her worrying, she sent Diaval on scouting missions periodically. His reports were often the same—that Aurora's duties were draining on her, but she was otherwise healthy.

"Oh, come off your high horse! It is obvious that you miss her!"

"Diaval," she growled dangerously. She closed her eyes so that he would not see right through her. Her wings twitched of their own accord, however. She let out a long sigh. "Go check on the little beast. Into a bird." She opened her eyes and watched him flap away toward the human castle.


"I do not want to get married!" The young queen insisted to her council upon their demands for a king for what felt like the thousandth time. "Especially not to the list of suitors you all seem to want me to consider. I will not!" She slapped her hand against the table, as though that made her point that much clearer.

"Tradition states that we are ruled by a king, Your Majesty," said an old man a couple seats to Aurora's left. He looked decrepit, but his age offered wisdom that Aurora could not afford to lose. "Perhaps if we were to host a Ball on your name day, it would—"

"No," stated Aurora firmly. She grew weary of her council's demands, which were growing more insistent than ever. "None of these men are fit to become king." She thought, hoped even that her reasoning would get through to the council.

"Might I remind you, Your Majesty," began another, this one far younger and much more vicious in his counsel, "that as Queen, your duty to the kingdom is to produce an heir and a spare. In order to do so, you must take a King." His smile was wolfish, and it made the hairs on the back of Aurora's neck stand on end. "You are of childbearing age, and that will not last as long as you want to stall the inevitable."

Aurora frowned. She stood, careful not to appear too clumsy. "I grow weary of this discussion. Let us retire until tomorrow morn." She walked briskly from the council chambers and into the solace of her own room before any of them could object.

By the time she reached her chambers, she was exhausted. The muscles on her neck and back were tight and knotted from all the stress her council was putting her through. She threw herself to her bed and released a sigh of relief now that she could be alone to her thoughts.

Marriage was not something she wanted, and no matter how much she voiced her opinion on the matter, or how she said it to the council, they still brought it up. Marriage would mean being sidelined by her husband while she became his brood mare. While she liked children, she wanted to be treated as an equal, but she did not see how she could in a largely patriarchal society.

And then there was the matter of her godmother. She doubted that her faery godmother would accept any man worthy of courting her. Thinking of her godmother brought a twinge of yearning to Aurora's heart. Nearly a year without visiting the Moors was nearly a year too long. She couldn't go though, not without risking the council ripping the rug of her authority from beneath her feet at the first sign of her absence.

A loud knock brought her from her far away thoughts and back to the present. She stood and made herself presentable; something she was loath to do, but human customs demanded it. "Enter."

The door opened to reveal one of her council. The one with the wolfish grin, William. He was tall and broad. His long ginger beard went down to his chest. The hair atop his head was starting to thin and become grey. "Your Majesty," he said gruffly, bowing to her.

"To what do I owe this pleasure?" she asked with genuine sweetness.

His eyes roamed over her, and she felt her skin crawl at the way he seemed to be assessing her like a piece of meat at market. "I must insist that you reconsider the council's request."

"Why?" Aurora's headache was already returning at the mention of marriage. If only her council would simply drop the subject, then she could move on to more pressing matters, such as the kingdom's still struggling economy.

"If you do not produce a legitimate heir, the kingdom will fall into a civil war upon your death."

She frowned. That was not something she considered. "I don't want to marry," she insisted stubbornly. "If I end up not having children, I will indicate a successor in my will."

"Why you wretched whore!" His face was suddenly twisted in rage, but he stayed where he was. "That witch of the Moors got into your head somehow! She wants the kingdom to be without an heir!"

Aurora couldn't stop herself. She slapped William across the face, and the sound reverberated against her chamber walls. While she knew her reaction wasn't the most ladylike, she could not stand idly by while this man insulted both her and her godmother.


Diaval flapped his wings as fast as he could as he raced back toward the Moors. He had to tell his Mistress—no, he could not think of such things now. It would only slow him down, and time was of the essence. He felt as though the wind was against him as it was.

He flapped his wings harder, even through the burn he was exposing his flight muscles to. He had to reach his Mistress...he had to warn her before it was too late... As he flew over the border of the Moors, he let out a desperate caw.

"Diaval!" His Mistress had not only heard him; she flew toward him.

They landed together in a grove near the stream where they used to watch Aurora play with the wallerbogs.

"Into a man!"

He fell to his knees and took several deep breaths. He was shaking; his entire body cried out to him, but none of that mattered now. All that mattered was, "Aurora..."

"What? Diaval! What happened to her?" His Mistress demanded harshly.

"She's in trouble, Mistress... There was—"

His Mistress wasted no time taking to the skies. She hadn't even bothered turning him back to his true, beautiful self. He would not complain this time though. Aurora needed his Mistress more than he needed to fly. Besides, if his Mistress waited for him to keep up, they might be too late. He collapsed, knowing that there was nothing more he could do for Aurora except wait for his Mistress to rescue her.

To be continued...