AN: Another one! Although I love the idea of Eragon and Arya eventually getting together and having a family and everything, all the other series I've read have pressed the fact that human and elves either can't or shouldn't have children together. This is the later.
Dislcaimer: I do not own the Inheritance Cycle. CP does.
It was spring when her child, her son, was born, beautiful and perfect in every way she could dare to think of, despite his mixed blood that many of her kind would have called a blemish.
The curling mass of brown hair, so foreign to her kind, was quick to mark him for what he was, though his eyes shone with keen intelligence many would say could only come from an elf. She had spent many of the past months fretting over him, keeping his coming existence a secret from the one who had the greatest right to know, for the knowledge would do nothing more then add another trouble to his already heavy burden that his duty as the leader of the Riders forced on him. She had also kept him away from the elves, only allowing a select few that she knew she could trust with the information that had plagued her, the ones that had done their best every day she had waited for him to help her through the process of childbearing. She had convinced herself that there would be more then enough time after the birth to inform those who needed to know what had transpired, for surely, with both parents of magical means and makes, their child would be similar in lifespan and abilities. She had believed she would have the time to once again gain her mate's trust after their child was born and they were finally a family.
Because she was the only one she would allow into the nursery where she spent most of her days, she was the first to notice that her child wasn't quite as perfect as he had appeared when she had first held him in her arms.
By the time the new growth of spring gave way to the sweltering heat of summer, a dozen of her best spell casters had been sworn to secrecy and brought under her direct command, all of them looking for a spell that could fix her child. Day after day, thousands of scrolls were scanned in a seemingly futile attempt to find something, anything, that could even begin to describe what was happening to their prince. She, more then useless in this endeavor, a proclaimed hinder that was banned from the vast libraries that might hold the answers she needed, instead spent her days coaching her nameless son through the motions of crawling, his awkward, almost adult body difficult to maneuver with his still infant mind. Her hope was still fresh within her that her people could find some spell that would either pause or entirely reverse the advanced aging process her child had for some reason been forced to go through, though the later was only whispered in her most fevered prayers to gods she had only just started to tentatively hope were real. At the most, she was hopefully for time, time enough to allow her child's mind to catch up with it's body, a dozen or two years for her son to learn to control his wild magic that seemed unbound by the ancient language. If she could just have this, she knew she could teach him to control himself, just as her soft voice and comforting words were already helping him through his struggle to move. Then, then, she knew thing would finally be okay.
Summer was swift to fade into fall, every unsuccessful day mocking her, killing off a little piece of her wish for the future with each moment her son aged.
The aging had started to slow, she couldn't help but realize one day as she watched her middle-aged child struggle to push himself to his feet, his body swaying unsteadily even as a broken tooth grin split his face. Not so much that her time would be granted, yet still enough so that her heart was no longer broken with sight of a new batch of the wrinkles that lined his face that had become so prominent over the past few weeks. He now towered a full head and a half over her, his body lined with magic made muscles that, on anyone else, would have been deemed attractive, though they make an unnerving pair with his vacant eyes and the line of drool that dripped from his lip. It took all her strength to catch him as he tottered just a bit too far forward, his joyful grin that perfectly mirrored his father's giving way to a distressed cry that wrenched at her heart. Gently lowering him to the ground, she couldn't help but glance longingly towards the tree that housed their scrolls, now empty of those that just a few months ago had denied her hope. For all their knowledge, for all their skill and wisdom, even with Firnen's help the few times he had felt the magic unleash from within him as they tried to cure her child, nothing they had done had succeeded.
Wincing slightly as a thin line of wetness soaked through her shirt and onto her skin, she was slowly pulling back to shift her grip on her son when she saw them. Her hand shaking as it rose to brush itself through his hair, a sob tore itself from her throat as she examined the sprinkling of grey that marred her child's long brown locks, a testament of age that should never have been his to bare. Drawing him closer to her chest, for the first time since her child had been born, she allowed herself to cry.
Amazingly, snow fell in Ellesméra that winter, the first dusting that had been allowed to land within the confines of their woodland home for many years. Although she had seen snow many times before, there was something about this year's fall that struck her hard within her heart. Perhaps it seeing her home so barren and dead, or perhaps it was the fact that the snow matched the color of her son's hair perfectly, but winter brought nothing more then a renewal of her tears.
Her son could no longer walk.
It had happened quite suddenly one day, while he had been chasing after a toy one of her enchanters had made for him. A simple wooden, painted butterfly, magic had been carved into the swirling designs on its wings, keeping it aloft for him to follow when he wished to play. Without warning, his legs had given out from underneath him, forcing a pained cry from him that had stopped her heart, freezing her blood within her veins even as she raced to find him. It had taken but a moment to realize where the problem lay, and from that moment on, he had never taken another step, instead remaining confined to a chair within her rooms, watching through the window besides him as the world began to change. The aging had quickened once more, tearing away at his body even as his mind fought to make sense of the cruel world around him. The council made most of the decisions for her people now, for she couldn't bare to leave her child alone in this state, fearful of the thought that, while she was away, he might have passed into the void.
The night the snow fell, her child, her son, her little baby boy, spoke his first word, Momma, and died in her arms.
It was spring again when she next saw her mate, his head held high and his smile wide as she and Firnen approached the island that was a two day flight off the coast of Alagaësia, the perfect home for the dragons as they recovered from their past wounds. It had been months since she had buried her son under the Tree of Sorrows, his entire life lived in a single year before he was even old enough to make sense of it all. Her heart still ached as thought of the fragile soul she had born into the world only to watch it wither before her invaded her mind, and she could tell from the look on his face that her love knew something was bothering her. Although his face remained overjoyed that she had returned amongst their friends, she could feel the questioning brush of his mind against her own, a soft touch that almost brought her to tears once again. Forcing herself to smile, she brushed away his mind as she and Firnen landed.
"What is wrong Arya," Eragon asked in a whisper as he pulled her close, giving voice to the question that she had brushed away.
"It is nothing love," Arya croaked softly, her eyes squeezing shut as she tried to hold back the tears that were already beginning to form, her mind still revolving around a crooked grave where golden lilies had begun to grow and a wooden butterfly still fluttered. "It is nothing more then a very trying year."