“Why?” The single word question rang sharply through the air of the small Muggle private waiting room.
Lily looked up distractedly from where she had been studying the various medical instruments and gadgets. “Hm?”
“Why are you doing this? Why me?” Narcissa burst out. She should’ve asked the questions months ago, she realized, but she had been so distracted and unwillingly fascinated by her conversations and experiences with the Muggleborn witch that she hadn’t ever really stopped to consider the underlying motivations behind their odd friendship in the first place.
Lily’s green eyes sharpened with interest and mischief as she took a seat in the other chair. “Ah, yes. This is a bit of an awkward place and time for this conversation, but I suppose it is best to have all the cards out on the table, as it were.” She said, leaning back and crossing her legs primly.
As always, she was the picture of elegant sophistication. Today she wore a silk ice blue blouse with slate grey trousers and a matching suit jacket. Her dark red hair was pulled back into a fashionable twist, and sapphire jewelry sparkled from her ears and throat, setting off the diamond wedding ring on her hand. Her make-up was subtle, and only served to further enhance her natural beauty. If Narcissa hadn’t known better, she would have assumed just by physical appearance that Lily was a pureblood witch, and her social and monetary equal, which didn’t make any sense, since she knew how adamant the redhead was about keeping her money and James’s gold separate. So how was she doing it?
Lily smirked when Narcissa’s gaze finally finished her perusal, unperturbed by the frank assessment.
“A bit of backstory first.” She began. “I am the youngest daughter of a former prominent Muggle politician and military adviser; my father, who was quite high up, as far as political hierarchy goes. His military background was in strategy and tactics, so believe me when I say that I understand better than most how dangerous and powerful the pureblood rhetoric truly is. Even at age eleven, I could see the parallels and ramifications to the Muggle world and their own history.” She smiled grimly. “The Dark Lord is not original in his belief that power and bloodlines somehow make you superior to others. Unlike Dumbledore and others, mostly wizards who, in the traditional way of males, are convinced that this as yet undeclared war will be won through sheer magical muscle, no matter the casualties and cost, James and I chose a more subtle method of defiance.” She raised her brows, her gaze knowing. “After all, what more perfect way to quietly defy Voldemort’s vitriol than by having the half sibling of the pureblood Black family heir be the son or daughter of a Mudblood, and also be the Potter heir? And the wizarding world will know that they are siblings, equals, and family. I have not asked anything of you, Narcissa, for the use of my husband’s seed, but this is the one stipulation that I will not yield on.”
The pureblood witch was too busy trying to catch her breath, awed -and quite frankly, a bit terrified – at the simplistic brilliance of Lily’s admission and plan. Of the Sacred Twenty Eight Families, the Potter and Black families were near the top of the social hierarchy, considered to be near magical royalty with family tapestries that proved relations directly to the wizard Merlin Emrys and the Lady Morgana le Fey! And now, those already mighty Ancient and Noble houses would be forever allied and united by shared blood of their father. That would have been a coup for the purebloods, except for two things: first, James Potter came from a decidedly light and progressive family, one who had profited from business dealings in both the Muggle and magical worlds and therefore had a personal stake in fighting against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. If their children were to indeed grow up as siblings, Narcissa had no doubt that James would have an active hand in making sure that his children were well versed and comfortable in both worlds.
Second, and this was where Lily’s sadistically brilliant and simple plan really came into play long term – as she had pointed out, the children would be social equals, despite their mothers being of pure and of ‘mud’ blood. And if – though a better was when, given the magical strengths of their families – the children started to show equally strong magic power, people would begin to talk…and question. The truth of it wouldn’t matter. Nor would the fact that with James as the common element, the argument for basis of power coming from a pureblood was actually strengthened, not weakened. People only saw what they wanted to see, and the British wizarding world was more willfully blind than most. Dumbledore, wily old vulture that he was, would take full advantage and manipulate public opinion in his favor even more.
And all Lily’s child would have do was be himself.
All of these thoughts flashed through Narcissa’s mind like quicksilver, leaving her dizzy and breathless.
“How were you not Sorted into Slytherin the moment the Sorting Hat touched your head?”
Lily threw her head back and laughed. “You mean, besides the fact that I would be shunned – or worse – for the insult to the House of Snakes?” She said drily. “Probably because I asked for Gryffindor specifically.” Her smile faded. “Look, we’re nearly at the point of no return here, but you can still change your mind, you know. We’ll find another way, someone else to sire your child, if you don’t want to agree to my terms.”
Narcissa’s face hardened, and she let the silence stretch to almost a breaking point, before she smiled broadly. “I don’t want to change my mind. Let’s do this.”
“Yes, really. I also agree to your terms, Lady Potter. Should this child be born healthy and whole, he or she and your child will grow up as family…no matter what the consequences.”
“Great!” Lily squealed, throwing her arms around the other woman in a hug. “Oh, I’m so pleased! And just in time, because here comes the doctor.”
Right on cue, there was a polite knock on the door before it opened without prompting.
“Mrs. Black? My name is Dr. Marigold Evans.”
Narcissa did a double take, looking from her to the redhead, who was muffling her laughter, and back again. “Pardon?”
“Lily! Did you not think to mention that she was going to be seeing your sister?” Dr. Evans scolded. “That might have been a bit awkward – !”
“Relax, Mari. It was just a little joke.” Lily soothed. “And Narcissa is a friend from school, so I thought you were the best person for the job. Since you understand both sides of things, as it were.” She raised her brows, shooting her sister a look.
Mari glared back, before turning to Narcissa. “She’s an evil witch for springing this on the both of us, but she does have a point. I am well aware of your particular…talents and inherited traits.” She said delicately. “You are not my first magical patient, even for this particular procedure, so I also have a better idea than most as to how your body may react to our medicines and drugs. However, if you are not 100% comfortable with me as your surgeon, then we will find another solution.”
The blonde studied her for a long moment. “I can see the similarities now.” She mused. There weren’t many physical ones; Mari was tall and slim, with dark hair and deep chocolate brown eyes, while Lily was very much a redhead; petite and pale, with intensely green eyes.
Lily laughed. “Mari is my older sister, by about ten years. Our parents got divorced when we were little, and she went to live with Mum while I stayed with Dad. Then he had to go and get shackled to the harpy and her twit of a daughter, Petunia.” Her voice turned sulky. “I still can’t believe that he found a step-daughter named after a flower…”
“Convenient that you discovered you were a witch, and had to leave for school right around the time he got remarried, isn’t it?” Mari teased, making her sister scowl. “Back to the point, though, Mrs. Black; are you willing to continue on with me as your surgeon?”
Narcissa took the moment to consider, heart, mind, and magic. “Yes. I am willing to continue.”
It was as if a giant invisible weight had been lifted from her shoulders and heart. She knew exactly what she had agreed to with her choice, and which side she had chosen. In every conflict, there is always a third side…I do not follow Voldemort, but nor do I follow Dumbledore’s Order. I will instead follow my own path and heart, and put my future in the hands of the most courageous witch I have ever met…
“Now.” The doctor began briskly. “This is mainly a preliminary appointment, so you know what to expect for the procedure itself…”
Lily settled back to listen, inwardly satisfied. Everything was starting to fall into place, just as she had hoped. She hadn’t been truly worried about Narcissa changing her mind or questioning her motives; only wondered why it had taken so long for the Slytherin witch to ask.
James, on the other hand, had nearly sent the whole plan crumbling down – “You want me to go to some strange doctor’s office and do what?!? Are you fucking out of your mind?!?” – but she had managed to talk him down (and seduce him into compliance and distraction, all in the name of “proper motivation”, as she had laughingly teased). Appeased, he had successfully “made his deposit” at the sperm bank without issue, and standard testing had revealed a high sperm count and no major Muggle genetic illnesses or diseases to pass on, so his part was now complete. Two weeks later, Narcissa had returned after hours, and Mari had done the surgery.
The procedure itself had gone smoothly as expected, and all relevant personnel and staff had been subsequently Obliviated, so there was no evidence. Lily’s father had taken care of any records and paperwork, through Muggle methods and connections (one of the perks of being a former politician; while many knowing looks were exchanged, very little questions were asked when things like this were ‘requested’). Now they were in the most tedious part of the process – the waiting game…