Five Years Later

The moon rose high that night, full and bright; most of the monsters staying in the Hotel Transylvania were already awake and cheerfully starting their night with a stroll downstairs to breakfast.

Two tiny figures were running down the corridors, giggling and panting: both of them had a soft toy clutched underneath their arms. One - a tiny dark-haired girl - clutched a brown bat plush, while the other - a red-head - clutched a white and pink unicorn.

"No fair, Mina!" The red-haired girl, who was the younger of the two, complained half-heartedly. "You can run way faster than I can because you've got vampire powers!"

Mina gave a small laugh. "It's not my fault you were born human, Lily," She stated, putting her hands on her hips. "Besides, you can do things I can't - like go out in the Sun! I can't do that."

Her younger sister brightened up considerably at this. "Did you hear that, Mister Unicorn?" She asked her toy excitedly. "I can do something that Mina can't!"

"And I can do this," Mina proclaimed before turning into a bat; her Martha-bat fell to the floor with a soft thump! next to the red-head.

Lily pouted. "That's not nice, Mina - Mommy said so! Stop it!"

The older girl laughed and changed back, bending to pick up her bat toy. "Alright, fine, be like that... I'm starving anyway."

Lily grinned mischievously. "Race?!"

Mina beamed and gave a nod. "Race."

As the two proceeded to run down the corridor as fast as they could, once again laughing, they narrowly missed colliding with two older red-haired vampires who were taking a short stroll and holding hands as they chatted.

"Whoooah... Kay then!" The older one - a male - exclaimed, chuckling nervously to himself as he turned to face his girlfriend. "You know, this place just got twice as dangerous with two of them running around."

Lucy grinned. "Try living at our house - it's an actual achievement if you can make it through the whole night without being injured in some way."

Freddie sent her an amused look before they turned their heads to watch the two small girls. "Lily's gotten big...bigger than I would have thought," He said quietly. "It's weird to see her that big because she's only five."

"I know," Lucy admitted, looking somewhat sad. "Still, I suppose you could argue that it's better than a whole decade of a crying and screaming baby..." She paused, counting the numbers in her head. "I think she only did that for two or three years."

"And how does the lil' bat get on with her?" The waiter asked, using the nickname he had affectionately given to Mina. "Judging by what I just saw, I'd say pretty well."

The teenaged vampire gave him a crooked grin. "Yeah. You could say that. In fact," Lucy leaned in closer, as if admitting something very top secret and important. "You know that unicorn that Lily carries around? Well, you know how she's been obsessed with unicorns since one visited the hotel last year, so Mina got her the toy as a present."

Freddie grinned. "Huh. And here was me feeling hurt because my Lil' friend wouldn't play with me anymore."

Lucy rolled her eyes at him good-naturedly. "You know, the last time she wanted to play a game you told her that you were busy with me... It's not like you don't get attention."

"Yeah, that's true..." The male red-head agreed slowly, giving her a wide-eyed and loving look. "So, apart from the two of them nearly killing everyone - as usual - what else has been up since last month?"

"Not a lot really, apart from trying to prepare for the birthday party tonight." Lucy looked around, as if worried her little sisters would show up again at any minute. "Even though five doesn't seem like a lot to us, we know that every year counts for her."

Freddie nodded in agreement. "I can't even begin to imagine how your parents - and you and your siblings, of course - have managed to stay sane and calm about it."

"We have to," Lucy muttered. "We don't want to upset Lily, so we don't talk about what her being human means just yet. Besides-" She brightened up. "At least her birthday parties give us an excuse to come and visit more often, right? Because - being technical - coming here means spending more time with a certain guy..."

Freddie smiled, looking somewhat embarrassed. "Hehe...yeah..."

She wrapped her arms around him, pressing a kiss to his cheek. "I love you."

And then they both froze at those words - neither of them had technically said them before, especially not in the way that Lucy just had. The waiter stared at her with large brown eyes, utterly shocked and surprised: Lucy, meanwhile, pulled away and started to stutter.

"I...uhm...well...I mean...I just-"

"I love you too," Freddie interrupted softly, giving her a bright smile as he laced his fingers with hers. "Feel like a special breakfast made specially by the chef?"

Lucy grinned. "Well, duh!"

"Ooh! Grandpa! Grandpa!"

Dracula chuckled as he bent down to greet his youngest granddaughter. "Yes, I'm rather pleased to see you as well, Lily."

Lily gave him a large bright smile; she'd lost a tooth recently, and her gap-toothed grin was rather cute when added with her dimples. "Guess what day it is, Grandpa!"

"Oh, I wonder," Dracula pretended to ponder, giving her a sly smile. "Perhaps... Hanukah? Christmas?" She shook her head, practically buzzing in his arms with excitement. "No? Well must be something important..."

"It's my birthday!" Lily stated, giggling at him. "Guess how old my Daddy said I am? He said I'm five!" She held up her hand to show him. "See?"

There was definitely no doubt that she was Johnny's daughter, Dracula would think: from her bright red messy hair and slightly lanky frame to her brown eyes and freckles, she was certainly a miniature version of the ex-human.

Not to mention that, like her father, she had a certain love of being fun-spirited and adventurous - there were many a time Dracula would find the tiny child somewhere where she really shouldn't have been.

"Ah, of course!" He laughed, pressing a kiss to her forehead. "How could I forget, baby wings?"

It was with both sadness and curiousness that he was watching his youngest granddaughter age; while he hated seeing her age so quickly, he was also intrigued by how humans aged, having never actually seen it for himself. It was somewhat interesting to make comparisons to her age against a monster's.

"So, where are your Mommy and Daddy?" Dracula asked, looking around the hallway. "Are they in their rooms?"

Lily shrugged, clearly unsure. "I dunno. I was playing with Mina but then she flew away to see Freddie." She made a face. "He's Lucy's boyfriend, not hers." When Dracula merely raised an eyebrow, she elaborated. "I like him! He's fun to play with and all...but, eww! I wouldn't go out with him or anything!"

It is amazing how a child's mind works sometimes.

"I'm glad to hear that," He laughed before standing up straight so that he could look down at her properly. "Well, Happy Birthday my little ghoul - I shall see you later, but for now I have business to attend to."

She raised an eyebrow, but he couldn't tell her - it was for her birthday surprise, and of course he wasn't going to ruin it for her.

"Okay," Lily agreed slowly, still clutching her unicorn in her hands. "Can I go and find Auntie Eunice? I want her to do my nails again."

Oh, I'm sure Eunice will love that; already corrupting her, I see. "Of course you can," Dracula agreed, giving her a small nod. "After all, it is your birthday."

As she raced down the corridor, Dracula could only watch after her wistfully; she really was aging too fast for his liking. He still wished, even five years later, that he could have done what he had intended to do, so that she could have lived a long and normal life fit for a monster such as their family - but life was unfair, as he had realized over the past few centuries, and there was nothing that even he - the famous Count Dracula - could do about it.

But Lily was definitely happy as she was, and that was all that mattered in his opinion.

Safe to say, the party was a success; Lily seemed greatly enamoured by the different fireflies and fireworks making up displays and messages for her (including a picture of a unicorn), and she seemed more than happy to run around with the other children staying at the hotel while the music continued to play.

"She's gotten big," Wayne said to Johnny, quite surprised. "She looks thirty already." Johnny just shrugged. "Well, doesn't it bother you?"

"Ehh...I guess," Johnny admitted. "But...I dunno, I kinda know how humans age already so I kinda know what to expect... Bonus is that she isn't still awake at night crying and screaming like the others were at her age."

Wanda peered over the red-head's shoulder at the older three children and gave a small sigh. "They've all gotten so big; seems like only yesterday they were crawling around like Mavis was."

Frank nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I mean; look at Lucy. She's gotten herself a boyfriend and everything!"

"Hmm...well," Johnny muttered, looking in the direction where his eldest was dancing; she was, of course, with Freddie and the two had their arms tightly locked around each other. "We're still seeing how that goes-"

"After five years?" The voice of Griffin asked suddenly, appearing out of nowhere. "They seem pretty serious for just, 'seeing how it goes'."

"They're zings," Wanda agreed.

The red-haired vampire frowned to himself. "She's still only a hundred and nine, guys, and he's a hundred and thirty five," He mumbled rather bitterly. "There's still loads of time for her to grow up."

"Someone's got a bad case of, 'Overprotective Daddy Syndrome'!" Frank snorted, much to Johnny's displeasure.

"You're turning into Drac!" Griffin chuckled, glasses shaking with laughter (or was he shaking his head? Johnny couldn't tell). "Who'd have thought, hey?"

Ha ha. It was ironic, Johnny thought, that the truth was he could see now why his father-in-law had been so overprotective of Mavis: although, what parent seriously wanted their daughter dating an older dude?

Certainly not Johnny.

Meanwhile, Mavis had been across the room and rejoicing in the chance to catch up with her Uncle Murray and Auntie Eunice.

"God!" Eunice exclaimed loudly, causing a few guests to look at them. "You don't look a day over two hundred! And that's after four kids. How do you do it?"

Mavis just smiled modestly. "I honestly have no idea - maybe I just age well."

"With Dracula blood in your veins," Murray commented, grinning to himself. "Hell yeah!"

Eunice shook her head, still looking rather baffled. "But you've had four kids - and a husband who acts like one! Are you on an aging potion or something, because if you are I want it."

Mavis opened her mouth to answer that, but was cut off by the mummy speaking. "So, how's Lily been? Still aging quickly?" She didn't need to answer because Lily ran past them at that minute, giggling as she chased after Mina playfully. "Right."

"Doesn't if bother you that she's human?" The flesh-golem woman asked her, somewhat confused.

The dark-haired woman shrugged. "I...It doesn't really feel like she's human, really, apart from the aging: she's just like Mina is right now, and she's so normal that we don't even notice it."

Of course it bothered her still - what kind of mother would she be if it didn't bother her? But nowadays Mavis tried not to dwell on it too much, knowing that there wasn't anything to do about it now and what would happen would happen.

"Hey, there's the birthday girl!" Mavis beamed, picking up Lily as she ran towards her. "Happy Birthday, Lils! Having a good birthday?"

Lily nodded giddily. "I really like the unicorn image that the flies make, Mommy - it looks just like mine!" She pointed across the room to where her two eldest siblings were standing and talking. "Lucy and Jack told me that if I'm good then the unicorn may come back and visit me. Do you remember him, Mommy?"

"Oh, yes," Mavis agreed, laughing at how happy she was. "He was a very nice one too - a very good friend of Granpda's actually. And," She added for extra measure. "I know that he enjoyed getting to talk to you too."

Lily went bright red with pleasure, eyes wide and mouth hanging open. "Really?!" When Mavis nodded, she grinned even more. "Awesome! I've gotta go and tell Mina - she has to believe me now!"

As the red-haired girl went running through the crowd to find her sister, Mavis watched after her quietly, not quite sure what to say or do at that moment.

"Mavis, sweetie," She heard Eunice say loudly, voice nasally as usual but somewhat softer. A nailed hand rested itself on her shoulder. "She still has plenty of time left, even as a human - don't worry too much about it."

Deep down, Mavis knew that Eunice was right: it didn't make it any less difficult, but just thinking about it would be a start.

Jack really hadn't wanted yet another sister to have to share his home and family with; but in the end, he was just pleased that she was happy and healthy - even if she was a different species to him.

Of course he had attempted to try and find a way to change her so that she'd live longer, but so far there was nothing: dark magic was irreversible, and he soon realized that trying to fight the inevitable was nothing more than a waste of time.

Still, his research skills weren't completely useless: since Lily had been old enough to talk, she'd loved demanding stories - and who better to tell a story than her bookworm older brother?

"I want..." Lily paused to yawn before continuing. "I want the one about the special princess and her pet unicorn?"

This was, of course, her favourite story to hear - boring for him to tell all of the time, but entertaining for her.

"Alright, fine, one more time". He would always say that: but they both knew that 'one more time' really meant 'again and again and again.'. He didn't mind too much: some of it was guilt, knowing of how short her life was... But it was mainly because, deep down, he really cared about her.

Not that he was about to admit that out loud, of course.

"She's out cold," Johnny muttered as he returned to their bedroom. Mavis was on the bed, flipping through the latest copy of Monsters lazily and relaxing. "I think she's had a pretty good birthday."

"She always does," Mavis agreed, smiling to herself. "What kid wouldn't, though, in this hotel? It's like heaven for a small kid like her, human or monster." She closed the magazine and looked up at her husband. "I saw the way you were looking at Lu's boyfriend at the party, you know: you couldn't make the poor man feel any more nervous or shy, could you?"

Johnny held his hands up defensively. "Hey, when he's dating our daughter I have a right to make him feel like that, okay? Besides," He snorted. "At least I haven't threatened to suck his blood out like your Dad did."

The dark-haired vampire just sent him a bemused look, shaking her head at him good-naturedly. "Freddie is a really nice guy from what I've heard, you know: he's really good with Mina and Lily, and the way he looks at Lucy..." She smiled reminiscently. "I think it's clear he thinks the world of her."

"Yeah, well," Her husband muttered as he flopped backwards onto the bed. "Lu's still only a hundred and nine, and until she's an adult I think we should keep an eye on that kid...just in case."

Mavis rolled her eyes but didn't comment further. "Do you think Lily enjoyed her birthday?"

"Well, if the puffs of smoke-unicorns we made were anything to go by, then yeah: definitely," Johnny agreed, suddenly cheering up considerably better. "It's weird, though, knowing that this is the last time we'll celebrate a kid getting to this age..."

"You are not seriously considering it," Mavis said in disbelief.

He shrugged. "Nah, not really. It's just weird, you know, 'cause I'm so used to all my brothers' birthdays and all that...Just weird," He repeated uselessly. "Besides, you said that we can't-"

"I said that we probably wouldn't be able to," She corrected. "It's not definite, you know... Why?" She sent him a look, quite intrigued. "I thought we agreed that three was enough until Lily came along. I don't think we can handle anymore, Johnny."

"I know," He admitted, nodding his head somewhat sadly. "But that's cool, I guess. You can't get any better than perfection when it comes to the kids, right? I guess I was just thinking 'what if' really."

Mavis sighed. "I know. I think that sometimes too - which is weird because I don't particularly want to go through it all again. Maybe it's just a small thought plaguing my brain."

"Same," Johnny agreed, wrapping an arm around her.

They smiled at each other, glad to have reached a mutual agreement on the matter: honestly, four children were more than enough for them, and they wouldn't have had it any other way really.

No; with four children and each other, where could they go wrong?

French exam = over! = I'M FREE TO WRITE (apart from crappy h/w I've got to do :/)

The sequel to this should be up soon: it's going to be a little oneshot series, kind of like A-Z of a Life I guess, concentrating on Lily growing up and what have you. I suppose it will be random but I'll make sure to put a timeline of some kind in there so that we don't lose the plot about what happens when.

Thank you guys so much for your support, and I so look forward to seeing you all again soon! :')