A Phoenix and a Raven
Summary: Unrelated one-shots and short stories about our Raven and his Mistress. Anything and everything may make it in here from fluff to drama. Maleval, of course. I will update as I write on this one.
Disclaimer: All characters and settings belong to Disney, I am just playing around with them for a few.
A/N: I did a fiction similar to this with another couple from OUAT and it was pretty fun, though somewhat frustrating. Twenty-six 100-word snippets of Diaval and Maleficent- little bits and pieces of their partnership and possible future. Not all of them turned out the way I wanted it to, but I did enjoy it for the most part. I didn't have a variable "x" word, so I found one that ended in x and went from there. Happy reading.
Being a young raven searching for a mate in his parent's territory never led anywhere. He did as all ravens must: joined a small unkindness and continued his hunt. Aerial tricks perfected and beautiful feathers preened, he was ready to find her. His problem? No attraction was held for the she-ravens that showed interest. After leaving his unkindness, he was caught in a farmer's net. A wisp of magic turned him human and he looked his savior in her wild eyes. Something stuttered in his chest. Something that made him wish she was a raven who felt attraction for him.
When Maleficent became queen of the Moors, her throne grew a branch so that he was in reach should she want to smooth a hand over his feathers. A Rowen tree branch stayed empty for him when he came back from spying. He thought it strange that there was no special branch at the nest. Most nights he was in the nest, just above her right shoulder. She reached for him during nights she was lost to her night terrors and he calmed her with gentle clicks. Those nights he was content to be without a branch to perch on.
Maleficent once had all the confidence in the world. Confidence in her curse, her revenge and that her decisions would protect the Moors. Until she began to listen to her raven. He questioned her decisions, made her think longer before she acted and always had a pesky way of not fearing her. He confused her greatly. From the way that he smirked at her attempts of intimidation to the way he would fly off to tend to the Beastie. All of this should enrage her, but she couldn't help but feel confused at the warmth that spread in her chest.
After Stefan fell and Aurora was safe in the Moors for the night, Maleficent found her raven on his perch by the throne. She didn't sit on the throne, but at the foot of it. He jumped down and she turned him into a man to sit next to her.
"You are free," she whispered.
Silence passed between them for the first time that she could remember.
"You're dismissing me?"
"Your vow is fulfilled."
He turned to her and looked into her eyes, "And if I choose to stay?"
"For whatever you need."
Many in the Moors and in the Perceforest Kingdom believed Diaval to be nothing but Maleficent's servant. A common raven that was gifted the forms of many other beasts at the whim of his mistress. Truthfully, he had started out as such, but now his voice carried weight with both his mistress and the young queen that now sat on both thrones. He brought an unobstructed perspective and insight untouched by human greed or fey fear. He was the one who calmed their fears and heard their views before any council. In more than one way he was always equal.
It was hard for him to name. His raven side wanted to call them an unkindness, a familiar group in want of survival. His human side didn't feel that was right. They were more than a group in search of the same things. Maleficent, Aurora and he were something greater.
"Mistress, what are we?" Diaval asked as the three of them took a rest at the one of the Moors many lakes.
"What a silly question," Aurora giggled before Maleficent answered and looked at the both of them, "We're a family."
He knew then nothing described them better.
"What's this?" Maleficent asked from her nest, a pendant in her hand.
"I found that," Diaval answered, "Thought it was particularly shiny."
"It is," she turned the polished gem in her hand, "Where did you find it?"
"Perceforest after checking on Aurora," he smirked as he saw her eyes shine at the dark green color.
"Why would you give me a gift?"
Diaval thought it obvious, "You need to learn more about ravens."
Her head tilted in question.
He answered with a kiss to her cheek before she turned him back into his feathered self.
Diaval had many skills and talents, even when he was in his raven form. He was an excellent flier, his smaller wings kept up with her in the air easily- even with his added flips and twirls around her. Outside of her god-daughter, he was the only one able to comfort her with a rub of his feathered head against one of her cheeks. But the true blessing that Maleficent thanked the gods for each day was the humor that he brought to her life. If it wasn't for him, she wouldn't know what it felt like to smile again.
There were nights where he would sit and wonder about things. He did so mostly as a man as humans often thought on more things than ravens. He thought on his fledgling and her blossoming relationship with the young Prince Phillip. He imagined her future and how they would possibly bond to one another one day. He imagined the little ones that would follow after- little blonde headed prince or princesses. He then imagined other little ones with black wings and silky chestnut hair. He shook his head as his eyes landed on his mistress. Imagining things could be dangerous.
Human faces became familiar in the Moors as some made supervised trips for trade with the fair folk. One lord came to see over his servants and became acquainted with Maleficent. Diaval noticed the stories they shared with one another and it felt like he wasn't there. At the end of a visit, Diaval was particularly moody.
"Don't be jealous," Maleficent stated.
"He has never given me anything shiny or shown off his flying abilities for me to accept," she gave his cheek a kiss as his eyes widened, "Unlike a handsome raven I know."
Even when he considered himself a servant, he never had to kneel to Maleficent. Other fair folk did as she passed, but he was never required. He bowed to her when he gave his vow and she never asked for anything more. He paced at the base of the Rowen tree and fought with conflicting thoughts. At the sound of her wings, he turned to face her. She landed and raised her brows at his presence.
He instantly knelt before her, "I'm not a fey, I'm not even a man... but I love you. With every fiber of my being."
The thought of having a lover never came to Maleficent's mind after Stefan's betrayal. She promised herself that she would never trust another that deeply. Yet, here she was, wrapped in Diaval's arms, her head on his chest, ear pressed against him to hear his heart beating. Her wings surrounded them both and sheltered them in the afterglow of their lovemaking. Her fingertips floated over his scars as her hand traveled up to run through his hair and pull herself closer.
His lips touched the top of her head in a soft kiss and she whispered, "I love you, too."
It baffled his mind. Maleficent chose him as her mate despite the many others that would have died for the honor. He asked her once as they laid together in their nest, "You need to help me with this mystery. Why me?"
She leaned over him, her chin came to rest on his chest to level her eyes with his, "Answer me this: Why not the one who never failed me? Why not the one who calmed my many fears? Why not the one who chose to love me despite my sins?"
Instantly, the mystery was solved with her kiss.
The day had been long with the disputes between the new Dark Fey and how they were settling into the Moors. All Maleficent wanted was to curl in her nest with Diaval and sleep into the late morning of the next day. She landed at their nest on the cliff side and her brows furrowed at the sight. Her mate draped over the side of the nest, his hand held one of the many trinkets that he had given her over the years. Their nest was covered in the little mementos. She never saw anything more beautiful.
Maleficent couldn't believe how small Aurora's daughter was. She held the bundle gently and hesitantly as she didn't want to harm the tiny babe. Diaval came to her side and looked down at the babe in patience for his turn. Maleficent shifted the baby and handed her to Diaval as she went to tend to Aurora. He eagerly tucked the babe into his arm. Maleficent and Aurora both watched as he rocked the child with practiced ease. Then Maleficent couldn't help but wonder what he would look like holding a child with darker colored hair and two tiny black wings.
Diaval and Maleficent flew through the Moors in search of some special blooms to bring with them to Princess Rose's christening. They landed in a glen and a forest Dark Fey came from the side with flowers already in hand.
"Those are perfect!" Diaval shifted human and took the flowers.
"She didn't need her servant to take flowers."
"Partner," Diaval corrected.
"Mate, love," Maleficent further corrected, "Those flowers are perfect."
She then flew off and Diaval flashed a smirk to the stunned fey before he was back a raven and in the air after his partner.
Diaval never assumed to call himself a hero or much of an adventurer. He loved his peace and quiet in the side of the cliff, wrapped around his mate in their glorious decorated nest. But he loved his mate even more. So when she began to ask for her favorite berries in the early morning hours before the sun crested the hills, he didn't question it. He shifted, found the berries and came back home. There would be another quest waiting for him and he accepted it as an honored duty. If she wanted mulberries, who was he to argue?
As a young raven, he never would have thought that this would be his reality. He didn't shift into his feathers too often as before, but she was worth every moment that he was without his wings.
"What if I told you that things were changing?" she asked. He looked down at her and waited for her to continue. She took one of his hands and laid it over her stomach. His mind raced over what she really meant and what she was telling him.
"Is- is this real?" he smiled.
"Very," she smiled back, "Very real."
Months flew by in quick succession as Maleficent's stomach grew with the life in her. They moved down from the cliff to reside in the Rowen tree nest until she gave birth. There was too much at stake for her to test fate. Aurora stopped by with Rose to hear news of her sibling. The still young queen laid her hands on her mother's growing stomach and smiled at the kicks from the life inside. Diaval would lay down his life for his family. Any who dared to try to cause harm would be putting their own lives at stake.
It was after the sun set that Maleficent noticed something was different. With a grip at Diaval's arm and a look of subtle fear in her eyes, he knew it too. With a yell down from the Rowen tree a Dark Fey midwife flew to the tree and helped to bring Maleficent down for the birthing. Diaval didn't leave her side, despite the threats of slow death by magic from his mate during the hard portions of labor. Then in the twilight of the evening their daughter was born, her cry echoed over the Moors.
"Hello, Selene. Welcome home."
Maleficent cradled her daughter in her arms as she walked around one of the lakes of the Moors. She watched as Diaval worked with some of the mushroom fairies with their harvests on the other bank. He had taken on more responsibilities after Selene was born. He wanted Maleficent to rest and able to bond with their daughter without the stress of Moor business. He would bond with Selene in the evening and every time he had a free moment. The time he gave her by sacrificing his own showed her that he understood her better than anyone ever would.
"I don't understand why we need the veil," Maleficent said as she looked at the cradle where her daughter laid in the plush blankets. The babe blinked up with wide, hazel eyes as her tiny black wings fluttered at her back against the blankets.
"It is extra protection should the sun cut through the windows," Aurora explained and balanced Rose on her hip, "Anything to protect my sweet, little sister."
"She will be beyond spoiled between you and your father."
Diaval walked into the room to look at the cradle and tilted his head, "Why the veil?"
The early morning found Maleficent in the clouds, the wind cutting through her hair as the recently risen sun warmed her skin. Her feathers stretched to ride the wind current and she heard the small gurgles under her chin. She pulled the wrap down from her daughter's face so she too could feel the wind on her face. Still much too young, her wings too underdeveloped to even try flying under her own power, this would have to do. Diaval shot through the clouds under them and cawed as he circled the two of them as they rode the wind.
The whole situation was irregular. The last descendant of the mighty phoenix was mated to a raven and had offspring who was now trying to teeth on every fair folk who came too close to see her. Diaval had to wrestle a few mushroom and hedgehog fairies from the grip of the baby even if she couldn't even sit up on her own yet.
"I bet she gets this from you," he chuckled at Maleficent and plucked a hat from his daughter's grip, "Sorry, miss."
"She got her wings from you, that's all I could have asked for."
Diaval picked up Selene from her spot between him and Maleficent at her first cry. He hushed her and pulled her to his chest as he looked over his shoulder to see that Maleficent was asleep.
He got to his feet and wrapped her tight in a blanket. He rocked her as they paced the side of the nest. Slowly the crying subsided and he moved them back to the nest.
"You don't need to take her every time."
"You get her in the day, it's my time with her," he yawned, "Energy is wasted on the young."
Maleficent sat with Aurora at the same lake that they had frequented when she was still just a child. Rose ran as fast as her legs could carry her with Selene toddling after her, black wings flapping haplessly behind her. Both Diaval and Phillip ran after their children through the shallow waters. Aurora laughed lightly and looked at her mother as Maleficent watched content.
"So, tell me. Do you have any regrets?" Aurora asked and looked back at the children and their fathers, "Now knowing this is how it all worked out?"
Maleficent smiled at Diaval and Selene, "Zero."