Disclaimer: I don't own that, nor do I own this.
if I owned Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, there would be a lot more Hookers and Blow.
Beta Reader: Prongslover77, the real MVP
October 31st, The Forbidden Forest.
On the night of the full moon, Lily Potter nèè Evens finds herself on her hands and knees in a forest clearing right outside the school she had graduated from almost 3 years ago.
She was on her hands and knees bathed in the light of witch-fire and moon because she was inspecting the ritual circle in the middle of the clearing.
She went over the details for the third time and ensured she had everything right, everything perfect because this had to work. It had too, and like last time, everything was set and perfect. She sighs in relief as she stands and brushes the dirt off her pants.
Her eyes turn to the full moon, a whisper of a prayer on her lips, as the forest around her fills with sounds of the late-night hour. A crash from the underbrush has her jumping out of her skin, spinning around, wand in hand with a curse on her lips.
"James!" She cried out after seeing her husband pick himself up off the ground where he had fallen in the clearing. "You had me jumping out of my skin!" Her heart rate lowering, she hops over her circle and makes her way over to him. "Are you okay? Did you get the wards set up?" She asks with worry as James brushes off the dirt from his Auror robes, for he had come directly from training to Hogsmeade to help Lily with this.
"Sorry, Lils, I'm fine; it's just me and some vines which had a disagreement; it looks like they won." He says with a crooked smile and a laugh.
"But the wards are all set, followed your instructions to the letter. Nothing should be bothering us for a little while, at least." James tells her because he was absolutely pants at charms and runes for all his skill in Transfiguration and Defense. Thankfully he had Lily's big beautiful brain to compensate for those shortcomings.
Lily snorts at James' joke, it could be in the middle of a life or death duel with the Death Eaters, and James would still have a joke or a pun ready to fire off just as quick as his spells. But then again, that was a part of his charm and one of the reasons she loved him, so with a smile and a quick kiss on his cheek that got him grinning hard, she turned back to the middle of the clearing.
"Good, everything is set on my end too, the circle, the sacrifice. Can you recite the chant from memory?" Lily asks with a little worry line forming on her forehead.
James smiles and says "Klaatu barada nikto, right?" His eyes gleam with mischief in the moonlight.
"James Potter! Don't even joke about that!" Lily yells, regretting ever bringing James to a muggle movie theater to see any type of movie as James laughs his full-body laugh at the look on her face.
"I'm sorry, Lils, I couldn't help it." He says, wiping away a stray tear as he smiles. "But I've been practicing it under my breath for the past two weeks; I memorized it as well as any other spell I know." He says in a more serious voice and with a soft smile.
Lily shakes her head as she turns back, a small smile on her lips; she walks back to the circle and prepares the small bronze bowl full of different herbs and animal parts. The ritual required nothing rare or expensive. Things that one could pick up in any potion supply shop, really. Then James spoke up in an uncharacteristically severe voice.
"Lils,..." He pauses for a moment as Lily turns her head to him; seeing the look on his face worries Lily; it's quite unlike him to look like that, all pressed lips and frowned brow.
"Are you...Are you sure about this, Luv?" He asks as he hops into the middle of the circle with her. "We don't have to do this; Sirius is checking through the Black library for whatever curse was used. He just needs more time, and even if it's too late to undo it, there's always that muggle thing you suggest invitro-whatever."
Lily looks at him, hurt in the Emeralds that were her eyes, and she opens her mouth to rebut James. He quickly explains.
"I'm not saying that I won't do this, Lils, because I WILL do this with you. I'm just saying that we don't need to, we don't need to do a ritual that you found in an old book that you half understand to take care of this. I know you're scared, Luv, I'm just saying, and I can't believe it's ME saying this; we don't need to rush into this."
James' worried tone paints his words with broad strokes, his eyes a hazel of uncertainty and careful consideration for her.
It almost breaks her heart to see the usually carefree man like this. She almost reconsiders, but everything is already all set. There was never a more perfect time to do this, placing a hand on her lower stomach and sighing. She gathers the courage that Gryffindors are so known for she looks James in the eyes.
"I...I know, James, but we don't know what the long-term effects of the curse are; it could be on a time limit or has already taken root. This is the only thing I've found that could circumvent it; we already have everything set up; it's the perfect night to do this." She sighs once more, "and...and if this doesn't work..." She shrugs as she shakes her head before leaning in, placing her head on James' shoulder as he embraces her.
"Then we'll wait; we'll try something else, I promise," Lily says just above a whisper. She feels James nod as he squeezes her tightly as if he is trying to wring out all the worries never being a mother causes her.
As they break from their embrace Lily asks him if he is ready, all James could do is nod and ask, "so, how much blood do we need to um,...sacrifice?" He looks queasy as he says the words as if the mere mention of a blood sacrifice involved a whole human worth of the stuff.
Lily smiles before reassuring him, "Not as much as you're thinking, dear, just a drop from each of us, no more than a paper cut." Lily smiles at him as he nods his head, looking much more comfortable until Lily pulls out the silver knife.
She takes his hands and cuts the bottom part of his palm, just below the pinky finger, and as he hisses in pain, she does the same to herself, wincing in pain as she does. They both looked each other in the eyes and nodded; it was now or never.
Pressing their palms together over the bowl at their feet, they began to chant. The ancient Magic of the forest begins to stir, their words giving meaning to the spell, their will shaping it, and their intent together broadcast it out into the world.
The bronze bowl that had caught their blood and all within it ignites into silvery bluish flames, casting shadows from the circle into the deep woods; unperturbed, the two lovers continue their chanting, using words of power from a civilization that had Magic before wands were even a thing.
As the chant reaches its crescendo, the fire dies. They stood there, in the moonlight, both praying.
Lily prayed to a God she wasn't sure existed anymore, begging for this to work, as James asked the witch father and mother Magic for Lily to be alright.
A minute passes before Lily's sob breaks the quiet; James wraps his arms around her, pulling her close, whispering words of comfort to her; the ritual, to them, had failed.
As they stood there under the full moon, one crying as a failure and the other comforting the woman he loves, a deep primal sense began to perk up in James.
James had long ago accepted this sixth sense of his; it came from what he was, an Animagus. Ever since his 5th year, he has felt like a prey animal when it knows danger is about and has saved his ass on more than one occasion. Which is why now, he listened to it, his eyes narrowed and scanning the shadows for danger. His wand arm leaves Lily's waist as he prepares to snap it from the holster on his wrist and drag Lily behind him.
That's when he noticed something that sent a very human chill down his spine.
The forest was quiet; he could only hear Lily's soft sobs as she cried into his shoulder. No small animals in the underbrush, no bugs chirping, not even the trees of the Ancient Forest made a single sound; it was the eyrie quiet one would hear right before a predator descended upon its prey. He could only hear Lily's soft sobs as she cried into his shoulder.
As James was about to open his mouth to tell Lily they had to go and go quickly, a new voice had cut through the woods; it sounded young but stern and full of anger.
"Do you have any idea how insulting I find this?"
The two lovers turn to the voice; James, already on edge, had snapped his wand into his hand as he turned to the...girl?
They both stared, almost gawking at her; she couldn't be older than a first-year at Hogwarts. Her long black hair pulled up into a high ponytail to keep it out of her face, her skin a deep olive-brown, she was wearing muggle clothes, denim jeans, a silver blouse and a pair of trainers, she had a leather bomber jacket that, to Lily's eyes, seemed to be spray painted silver and to complete the entire look, a silver bow slung across her right shoulder.
But it was her eyes that put James on edge.
A deep glowing amber, her pupils split like a cat's eye. They radiated age and power of the likes James had never seen, and he has looked into the eyes of Voldemort himself. She also looked angry and outraged; it was like looking into the face of Professor McGonagall after he had saved Snape from Lupin; James swallowed the lump forming in his throat as he heard Lily gasp next to him.
"Oh my..." Lily whispers, shock and excitement painting her features, "James, it worked! Well, kinda. But we did it! I can't believe we did it!" She was giddy, her drying tears soon forgotten as she hugged James; it was at this point she noticed he was stiff as a broad; everything was coiled to either run or fight. Lily was confused at this; she could see James looking into the eyes of the Maiden like a deer caught in the headlights of a car.
"James..." She whispers, shaking him; he doesn't move. She grabs his chin and turns his head to break eye contact. "James, are you okay?" She asks as James blinks before opening his mouth "what? Uh, yeah, Lils. Yeah. But umm...I don't think she likes us right now." He says before nodding to the still waiting divine in the circle, still glaring, still looking very unhappy.
Lily turns to the small divine-like girl and bows her head. "Forgive us, Maiden, we did not mea-"
Lily is cut off as the tiny angry goddess snaps at her.
"Did not mean to what? To insult me? To summon and bind me during a fertility ritual ?" The Goddess hisses through clenched teeth at Lily, her eyes glowing with anger. "You are a very foolish girl Lilly Evans; you should have known better than to even think to do this. If it wasn't for the ritual binding me to nonviolent acts, I'd have killed you both here and now for this."
Lily was shocked at this reaction; looking into those ancient amber eyes, she could feel the ages of this Goddess weigh on her. She could feel the sheer magnitude of power; Lily was like a hare caught in a wolf's jaws and about to be torn apart.
That is when James did something very brave but also very stupid.
James steps in front of Lily, raising his wand to point in between the eyes of the angry Goddess.
"Now hold on, no one threa-" James begins to say, shielding Lily from the Wrath of the Goddess before him. Unfortunately, it was not a good move to make; before he could even finish his sentence, a sharp crack echoed throughout the woods, and instead of James Potter standing protectively before Lily, now stood a stag.
The amber-eyed Goddess scoffs, "boy's, always foolish.", before turning to look at the horrified face of Lily Evans. "Now, for you, If it wasn't for the fact that I'm bound by your spell, and I have to listen to your proposal, I would have summoned my hou-" the Goddess stops in the middle of her threat. Before her eyes, something happened that she'd never seen before.
James Potter turned back from a stag to a man.
Everyone in the clearing stood still, no one making a move or saying a word. One feeling confusion, another shock, and the last one fear.
Confusion because he didn't know how Prongs came out without him willing it.
Shock because a man of all things reversed a divine curse.
Fear because she knew precisely what the Goddess did, and she couldn't do the same as James.
It was James and the amber-eyed Goddess who broke the silence, both speaking simultaneously and saying the same thing in shock and confusion.
"How did you do that?!" They both said, eyeing one another with their own respected emotions. With a glare from the Goddess, it was James who answered first.
"Do what?" He asked in his confusion, "turn into a stag? I've been able to do that for a while now. Since my 5th year, turning back isn't all that hard when you get the first part down."
The Goddess looked at him, her face turning from one of a shock to one of curiosity. "And it's always been a stag?" She asks him
"I mean, yeah." He shrugs, "There's a whole ritual involved and a spell; you have to keep a mandrake leaf under your tongue for a month; honestly, that's the worst part. Tasted bloody awful." James rambles on before Lily elbows him in the side and gives him a look.
"I'm an Animagus; I can turn into Prongs, the stag, at will and back again." He says as the curiosity on the Goddess's face turns to a more calculating look as if she was trying to figure out a riddle for which she almost has an answer.
The Goddess walks around the outer ring of the circle, inspecting the symbols and the ancient Greek that formed the Magic that had summoned and bound her. The spell itself was one she knew of but had never been the target of.
It was a parley between the divine and mortals. The premise of the spell was simple, using symbols that align with a God or Goddess, you could summon them and bind them to the spot to ask for a Boon. However, the God or Goddess was only forced to listen to them and could not be compelled to act in one way or another.
If, at the end of the parley, the mortals who summoned the God swayed them with their words, then the God would grant them the Boon they sought; if not, the God could either leave or curse the mortals for wasting their time. It was a gamble for the mortals, and one was often made as a last resort. As the Goddess walked the circle, she had found the symbols she was looking for, spelled out in Greek "childbirth."
James and Lily watched the Goddess with trepidation as she inspected the symbols upon the ground; the amber-eyed one finally asked a question as she looked around the clearing they stood in.
"Where are we?" Is all she said, and it was Lily who answered her. "It's called the Forbidden Forest, right outside our alma mater. The ritual said we needed a place where ancient power ran deep. The forest was around before the school even existed and is thought to be one of the last purely magical places left in all of England."
The Goddess scoffs at this before taking a hand and rubbing the bridge of her nose. She turns to Lily with a sigh and asks an odd question to Lily "Who do you think I am, Lily Evans?" The Goddess asked.
Lily thought this was an odd question for the fact of who she summoned should be answered enough. Still, she complied nonetheless, "You're The Maiden, one of the aspects of the triple goddess, The Morrigan, Mother Magic." After a slight pause, she adds, "right?" With a look of confusion and hesitation on her face.
The amber-eyed Goddess looked her in the eye before giving her an answer she didn't want to hear.
"No, Lily Evans." The Goddess says, "I am a maiden, but I am not the Maiden you speak of." Even with the look of defeat and despair on Lily's face, the Goddess continued, " My name is Artemis Phaesporia, The goddess of the moon, of the woods and hills, of the hunt, of maidens, and of childbirth."
With Artemis' true identity now revealed, Lily's face dropped, her eyes wide in shock, and her mouth opened in horror as she finally realized just how bad this had turned out. After opening and closing her mouth a few times, the only thing she could say was, "oh…".
"Yes." Artemis says back flatly, "Now you're figuring out just how bad you've messed up."
James, a bit confused about who Artemis was, looked at his fearful and shocked wife and summed the situation up as really bad.
"I'm sorry, but if you aren't who we were trying to summon, how…did you end up here?" James asks, trying to figure out where the spell went wrong, seeing that Lily was right in just about everything regarding the theoretical side of Magic.
Artemis looked at James with the face of someone trying to decide whether she should answer a child's stupid question. Should she be as mean as possible or not? She simply replied, "it was you, boy." With a frown.
James is taken aback by this; he was undoubtedly no Maiden, nor was a hunter unless you count dark wizards. Even still, he barely knew who Artemis was, let alone how to summon her.
It was Lily, like always, that cleared it up for him.
"Prongs, dear." Lily says, "The Stag is considered to be Lady Artemis' sacred animal, and with your Animagus form thrown into the ritual, it wouldn't be a huge jump to think she would show up, but I didn't even think of it."
"Oh!" James said, his face turning sheepish as if he was caught in the middle of a prank by one of the teachers. "Sorry..?"
He makes it sound more like a question than the statement it should be.
"This was not as… intentional as I thought it was. But I still do not take slights like these…kindly." Artemis says, narrowing her eyes at the couple.
"So your explanation as to why you were trying to parley with a goddess for fertility reasons better be a good one, or I will be hunting two animals to feed my wolves before this night is done." Threatens the still upset Goddess.
Lily swallows, shaken by the looming threat to their lives by a being that very much can and will do it as myths in ages past have told. So it was James that began, and he told the Goddess of the civil war that was happening in their world.
On one side, the pure-blood supremacist, descendants of old family names tracing their lines back to the times of the founders and the dark wizard and self-proclaimed dark lord, Voldemort. How they wanted to kill and/or enslave the muggleborn witches and wizards of their world because they believed that they were unworthy of Magic, and how Lily was one such muggleborn.
And on the other side, wizards and witches that didn't believe in the pure blood Supremacy, that fought for the inclusion of all those with magical blood, muggleborn or not. And how they were led by their old headmaster of all people, Albus Dumbledore.
It was when they got to the why they did the ritual that Lily took over.
"About six months ago, during a Death Eater raid on Diagon Alley." Lily begins, "We had just got there and were helping people evacuate and distracting the Death Eaters so they wouldn't focus on the civilians that it happened. I was dueling one of them; I think it was one of the Lestrange brothers, but they had their masks on, so I couldn't tell. Anyway, while I was dealing with him, I had him on the ropes and about to finish him off; I was hit in the back by a…a curse." Lily looks down at this, her hand pressing against her lower stomach.
"It had knocked me to the ground and felt like my insides were getting put through a grinder, I…I blacked out from the pain," She admits in a quiet voice; her husband pulls her close and into an embrace before she continues, "When I had awoken I was in Saint Mungo's curse ward they,...they told me the curse had shredded my lower intestines and reproductive system. Curse damage is incredibly hard to heal, even for the most talented healers. While they rebuilt everything, they told me…they told me…" at this point, tears flowed freely down Lily's face.
"That the chances of her having children were now nonexistent." James finishes in a dead tone of voice, frustrated and saddened that he could not help the woman he loved.
Lily sobs at the truth of his words, "Then, while researching esoteric magic for a thesis I was writing for Charms Monthly, I came across this ritual." She admits, wiping away her tears. "We didn't mean to summon you, Lady Artemis, I swear, I was trying to summon The Mother aspect of the Morrigan, I…I was hoping she would be able to help us, to use her power to maybe fix me, or give us a chance to have a child…, We're sorry, My Lady."
"I am not your lady, Lily Evans." Artemis answered the last part in a curt tone, "I have not been your lady for a few years now."
As the couple explained their reasons behind summoning her, Artemis prowled around the outer ring of the summoning circle, taking in and judging their words and the truth behind them. While it does not shock Artemis that they fighting in a war, mortals are always fighting over one stupid thing or another, just like her family.
What does shock her is the truth behind their words.
They didn't mean to summon her, but they did; that in itself wasn't a crime, merely insulting to a degree. They were indeed remorseful for this accident and meant no offense by it; they were also not asking HER to have a child but asking for help to fix the problem they had no way of resolving themselves.
She was also impressed by Lily Evans; to recreate a ritual that had not been done in over a thousand years just by reading about it while studying esoteric Magic was a feat in and of itself.
But what they were asking for, however, was not something Artemis thought of much. Due to her oaths, she couldn't have a child, but she had been curious about if she did have one.
Not to break her oaths, but how would they turn out? She had seen many Demigod children; some had even joined The Hunt. How they acted like their godly parents, had seemingly random powers from their parents, and had inherited the flaws of those same parents.
Apollo, her brother, could go on and on about his own children, how proud he was of them, how much he loved them. It wasn't like Artemis couldn't feel pride for something else; her hunters were proof of that. But love? That was almost a foreign concept to her.
She likes her brother and honors her father, but that was it.
And there it was, that simple little word. But. But what if she did have a child? Would they be like her? What gifts would they get from her? What flaw would be passed on to them?
Her oaths stopped her from having a child herself, that and the fact that she thinks she could never be a good mother, a leader, yes. But a mother…, no. She could never feel like that for something else, someone else.
What if she didn't have to break her oath? Her sister Athena, another sworn Maiden, had children all the time due to the idiosyncrasy of her own birth, her "thought children," as she calls them.
What if she didn't need to be the mother? She had one right behind her, who had summoned a divine to help her be one.
If the fates had a hand in this, then maybe she should go along with it, so Artemis did something quite unlike her; it was more like how her twin brother would act; she decided to do something…on a whim.
As the Potter's tale comes to an end, the Goddess of the hunt asks them just one question where she had been quiet before.
"Is It that you can not conceive a child, or you can not carry one to term?" Artemis asks.
Lily is caught off guard by the question, one she didn't expect to be asked and that she honestly had no answer to. So she answered as such, "I…I don't know." She watches as the Huntress breathes out a sigh before looking up at the full moon for a moment. At that moment, the mortals can't help but wonder what will happen next. Was this the night that they would die? At the hands of an angry god, and not by the hands of a would-be one?
"Listen, and hear me, mortals, for I have made my decision." And as Artemis spoke these words, the ritual circle that had offered protection against the wrath of an angry God fell, and the parley was over. Now the Goddess will do what she willed to them.
When Artemis looked from the moon to them and took a step forward, James' grip on his wand tightened; he would not die without a fight.
When Artemis took a second step, coming within touch of the Potters, Lily's back straightened; she would not die a coward, begging for her life.
When Artemis looked up and into the eyes of Lily Evans, she couldn't help but smile.
"This a shame we had not met a few years ago, Lily Evans; you would have made a fine huntress."
Artemis says Before she places her hand on Lily's lower stomach, and the grove where they stood filled with the moon's silvery light, more intense than ever before. Pulling her hand away and slipping it back into her jacket pocket, her eyes locked on the Emerald orbs of Lily Evans. She tells her, "You will have one chance, and only one chance Lily Evans. If you can't carry the child to term, or if it is born still, then you must accept the fate that you will never have children yourself, am I understood?"
Lily is stunned at this, her eyes wide and her mouth begins to work, but no sound comes out. So she opts to just nod her head as James relaxes his grip on his wand.
With a nod from Lily Evans, Artemis turns on her heel and begins walking into the forest's shadows; she is done here.
"But!" Lily calls out to the Goddess, "But what if I do carry to term? What if I give birth to them?" She asks in a worried voice fearing old stories about how the gods would steal away their children for the mortal parents.
Artemis stops, looking back over her shoulder, her amber cat eyes glowing like the Predator she undoubtedly is in the dark of the night.
"Then Lily Evans." She states, "Then I will come before you once more, and we will have a conversation about what you should expect when raising a Demigod child."
Artemis watches the worry on Lily Evans' face melt to relief as she heads into the shadows of the woods and vanishes as if she was never there.
The sob of relief and the kiss between the Potters was one shared in private. They had somehow done it; they summoned a God and gambled with their lives only to come out the other end unscathed; Godric Gryffindor would be proud.
It would be another six weeks until Lily, in tears, tells James she is pregnant.
At the end of her first trimester, Lily Potter would retire from active duty with the Order of the Phoenix but stay to help heal her injured comrades.
At six months, unable to hide it, Lily and James break the news to their friends and loved ones and ask Sirius Black to be the godfather.
At eight months, Albus Dumbledore is told a prophecy while interviewing for the divination position at Hogwarts, about one who has the power to defeat the dark lord, one who is born as the seventh month dies.
Nine months to the date, Harry James Potter was born on July 31st.
Three months later, The Potters would go into hiding, and a Huntress would come calling on them, as they did with her.
So,...that was something.
I wrote this because I've had a bug crawling around in my head for yeeeaaars after reading a story called Harry Potter: tides of war.
if you're going to go read it, it's incomplete so prepare for disappointment.
anyway, read, review, and then go do something constructive with your life, idk I'm not your mom.