Summary: Lucy Heartphillia is thrown into a deep slumber meant to last until she is rescued by her "prince charming", she is left in a tower guarded by a fearsome dragon. Somehow, things don't go according to plan. Natsu/Lucy + multiple other pairings

A/N: AU(ish) fic, set in a world of magic but it's not necessarily the "Fairy Tail" world okay? Erm, I hope you enjoy ^_^

The Dragon's Ward

Chapter 1

Charles Heartphillia swirled the brown alcohol in his cup, debating the decision proposed to him by the older man before him. This was his big chance, he knew he'd never get an opportunity like this again.

"Well, what is your answer Charles? Do we have a deal?"

Charles hesitated before raising his glass to his lips and downing the bitter substance, he coughed before speaking, "you're offering me the money to start my company, that is over £2 million I hope you know…"

The man chuckled darkly, taking a swig of his own alcohol, "I know Charles, I know, but how long have we worked together? I like the sound of your business idea, and I trust you. I know you won't let me down".

Charles frowned, "but still, this is an awful big deal you're offering me. What do you get out of it, partnership? Money? What is it you want Hades?"

Hades smirked, "so you are interested in my proposal?"

His frown deepened, "you're being evasive now Hades, this type of behaviour may work on your more foolish clients, but I've worked with you for almost 10 years now, your tricks don't work on me".

"Ah, you are a clever one aren't you Charles, I knew it was a good idea to pick you as my apprentice all those years ago. Now, back to your previous question…what do I want from you? Asking for money right now would be a waste…"

Charles blushed and ducked his head slightly, he hadn't grown up in the best conditions and even now money was still tight for him, hence why he had approached Hades about a loan.

"…though I suppose once your business is up and running you could pay me back…though there would be no profit for me. Hm…I wonder…"

"What is it?" Charles asked, sounding sceptical as he stared at the devious look on his mentors face.

"Your first born child. In return for me fronting you the money to start the business, I want your first born child!"

The silence in their small booth was painful as Hades stared at Charles expectantly, it had taken all Charles' restraint not to spit his drink into Hades face.

"E-excuse me? My first born child? Isn't that…a bit…medieval?" he said, wondering what on Earth could cause him to ask such a ridiculous request. Hades merely waved his hand nonchalantly,

"I have my reasons Charles, either you give up your first born child, or you forfeit the money to start your company. The decision is yours".

Charles leant back in his chair, not even believing that he was seriously considering the offer. Giving up his first born child was a big request, but, he reasoned with himself, he wasn't in a relationship. He had no immediate plans to have children, and even if he suddenly found himself in a relationship he would simply make it clear to the woman that under no circumstances were they to have children. He had never been a man to fall in love and the idea of meeting a woman that would make him fall so hard was preposterous to him. Besides, if he didn't accept the money from Hade's now, he probably wouldn't have another chance. He grinned to himself as he extended his hand to shake Hade's, this was perfect, the way this was going he wouldn't have to owe Hade's a single penny!

"You have yourself a deal Hades old friend!"

Not two years later Charles Heartphillia fell in love. Not with one of his secretaries. Not with the woman who checked him in at the hotels he stayed at. Not any of his neighbours. He fell in love with a Princess. Layla Princess of Fiore. It baffled him, but for some reason she fell in love with him as well. All thoughts of the agreement he made with Hades was pushed out of his head. They were married within 6 months of meeting each other. Two years later, Layla fell pregnant and like an ominous crack of thunder, Charles suddenly remembered the agreement and he felt his whole world crashing down on him.

Shrouded in a cloak of darkness, the terrified King and Queen clutched the sides of their carriage as it pulled them precociously up the rickety and unstable pathway to the small hut at the top.

"Charles…" the blonde Queen whimpered slightly, grasping onto her husbands hand as their carriage hit a large rock and lurched forward ominously.

"Hush Layla," Charles responded, gently stroking his wife's hand in a soothing manner, "we'll be there soon". She pursed her lips and looked forward, her eyes drifting towards the small child sleeping soundly on the seat in front her of. Tears welled up in her eyes as she thought about what they were about to do. Charles winced in pain as he watched his wife begin to tear up, this was all his fault and it was causing both her and their daughter needless pain. He felt sick.

After a bumpy ten more minutes, the carriage came to an abrupt halt and they found themselves parked outside a smallish hut. It was wonky and had smoke coming out of it's crooked chimney. Charles frowned as they exited the carriage, with Layla carrying their still sleeping child, he had heard rumours about the person they were visiting extravagance, but really…this hut did not look safe. He had been about to demand they turn back and find another solution to their problem, but his child stirred in Layla's arms, moaning something and he knew this had to be done today. The door to the hut creaked open as they walked up the weed cluttered pathway. With a small moment of hesitation, the couple stepped into the hut and closed the door behind them.

"I've been expecting you two for a while now, take a seat", and elderly man nodded towards them and indicated two comfy looking armchairs in his cluttered living room. He was sitting cross legged on a rickety stool smoking a pipe.

"You're Makarov?" Charles said as he and his wife took a seat on the chairs, with Layla clutching their child to her chest. The elderly man nodded,

"And you are King Charles and Queen Layla Heartphillia of Fiore of course. I must admit I was a bit shocked to find out that you two would be paying me a visit. Does the Royal Family not have their own Mages to deal with their problems?"

"We do but…we found them unsatisfactory with this problem", Charles explained.

"Then, please enlighten me with your problem".

For the next 10 minutes Charles and Layla spoke of their problem, they told Makarov of the deal Charles had agreed to years before he had met Layla and fathered her child.

"I see…" Makarov said when Charles had finished telling him the story, "and how old is the child now?"

"She's four", Layla mumbled, clutching her daughter to her chest, "it's her birthday in…in…in a month", small tears started trailing down her cheeks, "please Makarov, please tell me there is something you can do to help us!"

There was a silence for a moment as Makarov pondered their request, "this isn't really a problem that requires magic to be solved is it? I would think you would pursue a lawyer or something or the sort, not an elderly Mage".

"I have!" Charles snapped, getting angry that Makarov didn't think he had done everything he could to help his daughter, "but they've told me I've signed a legal contract and cannot back out of it. It's barbaric, she's a child! She's our child, and the courts tell me we have to give her to him!"

"But she is four, almost five, and Hades has not come after you for her yet, what makes you think he ever will, perhaps he has forgotten about your agreement?"

"He hasn't, I know Hades…I worked with him for over a decade. I don't know why he's biding his time, but I can assure you he hasn't forgotten", Charles explained bitterly.

"We're tired of living in fear, everyday I wake up and run to her room to make sure she hasn't been stolen during the night", Layla spoke out, biting her lip to try and still the tears that were threatening to fall, "Charles made a mistake but our daughter shouldn't be punished for it, please Makarov, is there nothing you can do? Erase Hade's memory of the deal? Anything!"

Makarov chuckled slightly, "I cannot erase his memory, Hade's is also an accomplished Mage and the magic would do nothing but anger him-"

Charles and Layla sighed in exasperation, that had been their last hope, they were certain there was nothing Makarov could do for them now.

"…however, there is a spell I could place upon your daughter to delay, and perhaps entirely stop, Hades taking of her. I will place her in a coma like state, she will then be transported to a castle guarded by a dragon. Only a man capable of slaying the dragon will be capable of awakening your daughter. She will be kept in this slumber until said man can wake her up".

"What kind of help is that?" Charles spat angrily, "Hades could simply walk up and slay the dragon and steal our daughter from us!"

"Ssh, Charles, let him finish explaining", Layla said sharply as she saw Makarov raise a hand in the air to stop Charles from speaking.

"Thank you, I will place a protective enchantment around the castle that will stop anyone with the blood of Hades running through their veins to enter within 15 miles of the castle. I have also factored in problem that he may send one of his henchmen to take your daughter so I will place and enchantment that will stop anyone with an affiliation with Hades within the last 10 years from entering within 15 miles of the castle. Unfortunately that also includes you, King Charles…you will be unable to enter the castle, though that may be for the best, the dragon will be instructed to slay anyone who attempts to rescue your daughter. Can you deal with that?"

Charles and Layla stared at each other for a while before nodding, "yes…we understand", Layla mumbled, knowing that soon she would not see her daughter for a long time.

"Both enchantments will end once the dragon has been defeated and your daughter has awoken and Hades will be free to take your daughter. But," he stressed as he saw the way Charles was beginning to get angry, "the man who has rescued your daughter will have defeated a dragon, I think it is safe to assume he will have no problem defeating Hades. Do we have an agreement?"

"Well…it does all seem rather…like a Fairy Tail, is this really the only solution you can think of?"

"It is I'm afraid. I have faith that my plan will work though if you'll just trust me!"

"And what would you want in return?" Charles said, already having a bad experience with deals with older men, that was what had got him into this situation, "how much is this going to cost us?"

Makarov smiled, "not a penny. I don't want anything in return. You have made a terrible mistake King Charles, but I do not think you should have to suffer anymore. Think of this as my service to the country if you will. Now, I would like to do this as soon as possible to avoid Hades attempting to take her. I know this may seem harsh, but I will need you to say your goodbyes…" he bowed his head slightly and began fidgeting with some books on the table next to him to show them that he was attempting to give them privacy.

Layla sighed sadly and shook her daughter gently to awaken her from her nap, it took a few minutes but eventually she stretched her tiny arms and blinked to get the sleep out of her eyes,

"Mummy?" she yawned blearily as she stared into the face of her crying mother, "Mummy what's wrong?" she outstretched a chubby arm and cupped her mothers face, "did I do something bad?"

"No, no of course not baby", Layla laughed and squeezed her daughter tight, "but…but I'm afraid that mummy and daddy have to leave you for a little bit…"

"Why?" she looked horrified and turned to find her father stroking her back gently, he had never been extremely emotional but she knew he loved her in his own way.

"Hm, do you remember that story I told you about Sleeping Beauty?"

Her eyes lit up immediately and she grinned, "yup! She was sleeping for ages and ages and then a handsome Prince kissed her!" she giggled at the mention of kissing, "and she woke up and got married!"

"Good girl, you're so smart aren't you? Well, that's what you have to do. Y-you," her voice began to break, "you have to go sleep for a long, long time…"

"W-wh-why? What did I do? I didn't prick my finger on a wheel!" tears were flowing down her cheeks, "p-please mummy, p-please daddy, don't leave me! I promise to go to bed early every night!"

Charles and Layla both smiled, "we're not leaving you sweetie, this is for your own good. A bad, bad man wants to take you and this is the only way we can protect you!"

They were all crying, though Charles attempted to hide his tears, when Layla finally managed to soothe her daughter and hand her over to Makarov to place the sleeping enchantment on her.

"Goodbye Lucy, know that we love you very much and when you wake up come and find us straight away. We love you!" they both said as they watched Makarov raise his hands high in the air and lower them across her forehead. Within a few seconds her large eyes fell shut and Lucy Heartphillia fell into a deep slumber.

The Heartphillia's had just left his home after they had watched him magically transport their sleeping daughter to a castle far away where a dragon would be selected to guard her. He felt sorry for them, he truly did but there was no helping it. If they wanted to save their daughter from whatever evils Hades was planning with her, then this was the only course of action. And he was sure Hades had an evil plan for the young Heartphillia Princess. They had once been friends, Hades and Makarov, but along the way Hades had been corrupted by evil and their friendship had abruptly ended.

"Hades old friend, what are you planning?"...

:) Review please?