“Lilian Potter! Are you mad? I can’t just…ask your husband to sire my child!” Narcissa Black-Malfoy hissed in a scandalized whisper, glancing around nervously to see if anyone was eavesdropping.
“Relax.” Lily said, green eyes sparkling with laughter. “I put up a privacy charm right after we got our food. It’s why I requested a booth in the corner. No one will bother us, and no one will overhear.” She took a sip of her coffee, closing her eyes in bliss as Narcissa’s lip curled slightly. “Don’t say it.” the redhead warned without opeing her eyes. “I can be British and still enjoy coffee more than tea. Coffee is what got us through our magic medical boards last year. Do not insult the coffee. And don’t be bitchy because you might actually be considering my suggestion.”
“Cheeky bint.” Narcissa muttered, but there was no venom in her tone. “Why do I associate with you again?”
Lily opened her eyes just enough to give a slitted, smug cat smile. “Because we are complete opposites, so we somehow balance each other out, nd everyone else in our cohort are all idiots and wankers anyway?” she replied sweetly.
The other woman rolled her dark brown eyes, but let a tiny smile curve her lips. “True.”
Although, there were still moments where she seriously questioned her sanity and how she had come to this crossroads in her life. As a pureblood witch, Narcissa had grown up with wealth, prosperity, and the absolute idealology that her blood status put her in a higher class – socially, magically, and politically – than those born with Muggle, or non-magical parentage. Her blood family, the Blacks, could trace their lineage back to Morgana le Fey herself! Lily, on the other hand was the only witch in a house full of Muggles, which put her socially somewhere just above the common rabble. She had enough magic in her blood from somewhere, though, to be accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the most premier magical school in all of wizarding Britain.
Narcissa had been a Slytherin, and Lily a Gryffindor, which was the British version of the Capulets and Montegues when it came to long standing feuding, hatred, and rivalry; not that she and Lily were doomed star crossed lovers or anything, even if the comparison was apt. At Hogwarts, there had been an abundance of prank wars, bullying, and other sly tricks from both sides to the other, especially between their mutual groups of friends, but the women themselves had mostly stayed out of it.
Somehow they had survived Hogwarts relatively unscathed, and would have gone their separate ways, but for a mutual interest in the medical field. Narcissa originally was due to marry Lucius directly out of school, but she had prettily appealed to her father to be allowed to train as a mediwitch before committing to starting a family. She had cited wanting to know what to do herself for the inevitable problems that happened along with pregnancy and through raising children, to which her father had immediately blustered and hastily agreed, mainly in order to forestall a possible description of some of those problems.
Lily had also married almost immediately after graduating Hogwarts; her husband was James Potter, now and Auror in coarge of his own unit, for all that he had been an arrogant little prat for as long as Narcissa had known him; nearly all her life. James was a pureblood, with a lineage and heritage nearly as old and powerful as her own. For that reason alone, he had been briefly considered by her parents as a potential match for her, before Lucius had made his own offer.
It was just as well; James had ran in the same social circles as she had as a child; inevitably becoming best friends with her favorite cousin, Sirius, so it was only natural that she would consider James to be an annoying cousin as well. Which they might well be anyway, distantly, with Sirius as a common factor perhaps. And it was for that reason – one of many, though she couldn’t think of them – that she couldn’t possibly consider Lily audacious suggestion. No matter how desperate she might be.
She said as much out loud to her companion. “Lily. James is your husband. Sirius’ best friend. Possibly my fifth cousin, second removed or some nonsense like that.” She began.
“Yes, and he is very definitely pureblood, which is your husband is also, and fertile, which your husband is most definitely not.” Lily finished, placing a gentle hand on Narcissa’s arm. “You ran the tests and did the diagonstics, ‘Cissa. You know I’m right. Lucius is a Death Eater. He may keep his Mark covered with a glamour, but he has willingly bent the knee to the Dark Lord, and accepted his touch. Therefore, he has been rendered sterile. ”
“We don’t know if there is a correlation between the two!”
“Dammit, Narcissa, listen to yourself! You are running out of time! Your marriage contract, which you and Lucius both signed, states that you agree to producing a magical pureblood child by the end of your third year of marriage! We graduated in 1976. Two years of medical school, and an year of interning. It is now May of 1979. You have less than a year to successfully get pregnant and carry to term.” Lily said levelly. “How many times have you come to work and stayed late, doing research on sex magic and fertility rituals and potions? Yet nothing has worked!”
“He is not sterile because of the Mark! The Dark Lord wouldn’t punish his faithful like that!”
They both pressed their lips tightly together and turned away, avoiding the other woman’s gaze. Though they had spent many hours in philosophical and ideological discussions, this was the first time they had truly directly and verbally insinuated their allegiance to one side or the other.
“Beliefs – all else aside.” Lily said quietly after a moment, her eyes still closed. “The Dark Mark is a symbol of death and dark magic. Creating a child is one of the most powerful and magical acts and ancient symbol associated with love and life and light. It is not magically possible to willingly accept and go through a rite of darkness and death, and then try to create the complete opposite. The balance of magic itself won’t allow it. I’m so sorry, Narcissa.”
The blonde sat perfectly still for a long moment, her eyes closed, though her body vibrated with tension. A single crystal tear fell from her eyes, down her pale cheek to drip off of one too sharp high cheekbone. Dashing it briskly away, she breathed deeply, pushing the emotions down, down.
Ladies don’t cry, Narcissa.
“very well. What reasonable solutions do you suggest, then? And please don’t bring up that dreadful Muggle method, or James again–!”
“Just listen.” Lily scolded. “Muggles have advanced their technology to the point where they can help any woman increase their chances of getting pregnant – without actually having sex!” She took a sip of her now cold coffee, and grimaced. “I need a refill, probably with a dash of something stronger. You want anything? This could take a while.”
Narcissa mutely shook her head, her mind whirling. How could a person get pregnant, without having sex? What magic was this, that the Muggles of all people had discovered?
When Lily returned with her iced coffee, Narcissa had more questions ready, which she shot at the redhead like a cannon.
“If I were to agree to this,” she said crisply. “I would want a contract with James as well. Pending his agreement in the first place.”
“It was his idea.”
The blonde’s jaw dropped. “What?”
The other woman sighed again, more than a hint of exasperation in her voice. “I may be a lowly Mudblood, Narcissa, but I’m not stupid or blind.” She snapped. “I am still the wife of the Potter heir, and all it entails. Technically, according to old wizarding law, our marriage is not recognized; I am considered to be James’s mistress, or the equivalent thereof. He requires a pureblood witch to be Lady Potter, so that he may fully inherit all of the holdings that are keyed to the blood wards.”
Narcissa nodded slowly, her mind whirling. She had not truly considered the position that James had deliberately put himself into by marrying a Muggleborn witch. The laws and rites that Lily referred to were of the most ancient, dating back to the age of Merlin and Camelot. That Lily knew about them at all meant that James’s parents or grandparents did not approve of his choice, and was doing their best to make sure that any child they had would not inherit the Potter lands and wealth.
“So…how exactly would this work?” She frowned. “I am already married, by blood and magic.”
Lily smiled grimly. “You are not the only one who has been pouring over marriage contracts the past few months. Lucius voided the terms of your contract when he pledged himself to the Dark Lord before you and your family. So technically, you are still a Black, not a Malfoy. He also forfeited your dowry and holdings back to you, as well as what ever additional penalties you may ever want to take from him.” She cocked her head. “You could, if you would like, leave him completely peniless and without reputation, and be well within your rights. All I ask of you is that my child remain the Potter heir. As soon as you are pregnant, you become the proxy for the presumed Malfoy heir, as well as your own Black family.” She shrugged lightly, lifting her glass in a toast. “As the current heir is still technically Sirius, you would have to work out the details with him. And from what I know of him, he has always been a terrible negotiator.”
Narcissa met her smile with a chilling one of her own.
“I believe, Mrs. Potter, that we may have an accord.”
“I believe, Lady Potter, that you may be correct.”