"A son!" cried the bells.
"A SON!" cried the heralds.
"A Son-!" cried the people.
And a son cried, first breaths streaming through his lips. His royal parents cried too, happy for the boon of tiny pink toes and fingers, and invisibly-blonde hair, and powerful lungs that rang true. There was celebration already, there would be celebration for a long while yet.
The king and queen had been wed for almost a decade, and not a single stirring of her womb until this point. And luck was with them, granting them a strong boy for their heir. He would have all he wanted, for their kingdom was peaceful and prosperous. He wouldn't know war, for the kingdoms about theirs were also peaceful, and prosperous. The stars were writ for long life, and for many children, and for great happiness.
And great happiness it was, for most of the kingdom. A singular witch, of notorious reputation, sat in her hovel, loathing all to do with the new heir, and the esteemed royalty, and the jovial kingdom. She sat, and she seethed, and she recalled when the Queen had been but a starling child, a beautiful youth bred of the sea. The old witch had helped her, then. She had provided the potion that had taken the little fish-girl, and had made that little darling into a maiden who could pursue her dreams on land.
But her toll had been refunded, while the spell had not been. It was always a sorrow, when the cursed learned their path, and reclaimed what had been taken for their gains. Now the little one had her own little one, and none in the kingdom for the wiser of their queen's heritage and deceit.
A rapping at her door drew her attention from her brooding. She grinned, when she saw who it was. Oh yes, this day could end in merriment, after all.
The Queen was a tall, lithe woman. She carried herself regally, her strong shoulders prominent as she strode down the hall, babe in arms. Less than a few hours had passed since her birthing, however she would have none of the coddling that normally beset women of her standing after their first. Sure there was pain, however, she had felt worst in her life. Her hair was long, and spun of purest silver, falling in shimmering waves to the small of her back. It remained unknotted, even after the trial of childbirth. Her eyes were clear, focused, and smokey grey.
The King had been informed she was coming to see him, and was waiting when she entered his office, concern evident in his brown-blue mismatched eyes. His hair was as fine as hers, if more golden, and far shorter. He was not a small man, but he was not weighed down yet by the follies of ale or age.
"You should yet be abed." he informed his lady, standing easily. She looked somewhat sheepish.
"I know, love, but I couldn't remain with those cooing midwifes any longer." She replied gently, shifting their boy in her arms. The king smiled warmly, and kissed her brow gently.
"I know you don't abide by coddling, my dear. But you should at the very least seat yourself, regardless of how much your body pains you." he couldn't, and wouldn't, require her to lay if she had no wish to. She considered, then settled herself in an armchair. It was a temporary thing, but at least she wasn't running around, for that at least he was glad. "How is he?" he asked once she was comfortable.
"See for yourself, daddy." she smiled warmly, shifting the boy again so that the father could inspect his son. The man smiled warmly in return. The child slept now, tired from the birth in the way his mother should be.
"Aw, our little man." he crooned over the child, stroking the tiny one's knuckles softly. "Our perfect little man."
The witch cast the final ingredients to the cauldrons care. The brew flashed, bubbling from murky brown, to the hottest of whites, then simmered into the darkest of blacks. This was a poison, a death, and it was coloured as such. It would later take the colour, texture and scent of the object it was applied to. Namely, the king's lips.
"Your potions had best work." the man in her chair stated.
"Heh heh, you approached me, sire of the sea. And they will. Better than you could imagine." She promised. "Your daughter will return to you, and he who seduced her shall know nothing but the cold sleep of death."
"And the child the townsfolk sing of, as yet?" He inquired.
"I'll see to his case personally. His mother escaped the charm of the seas. He shall not." She delicately spooned her brew into a tiny vial. It instantly took the colour of the glass, and became but water, should anyone look.
"I wish nothing to do with the halfbreed."
"I know. And he wont be your responsibility, sire. But that doesn't mean a bastard son shouldn't know his mother's magic. You can put a lot of strength in the moonlight, you know, sire."
"I know the moon, wench. It's our god, after all." the man stood from the chair. "You'll see your gold when I see my daughter."
"I look forward to it, sire. Kindly close the door on your way out." she grinned, and he departed, shutting said entryway as asked. The Witch was then left to prepare for her regicidal deed. And prepare she did, even with the potion already complete before the eyes of her employer.
It took time, almost a full moon's worth of time, but she wasn't dissuaded in the least. There was gold for her, and vengeance for her, and a new toy for her. He would have his youngling back, soiled by the human nature. She had the better half of the deal, honestly.
She entered the castle grounds when the time came, as silent as a shadow. None cried out warning, none had the chance. She let none see her, as she moved swiftly through the castle – knowing the lesser used passages, and using them to her advantage. There was nothing that could have forewarned the royal couple, as one, two, three crystalline drops took to the kings lips as he lay sleeping. His bride didn't stir until the charm that dragged her from human shape and castle like dropped around her neck, to stay. There was not a noise to be heard, as skin corroded around his mouth as she watched, and the poison potion set to it's task of mummifying the king in bare minutes, killing him before he knew he was dead.
And there was not a sound as she left him to his death, and found the princeling's nursery. The babe slept quietly for the moment, unguarded by watchful nursemaid or knight.
"Hello, darling child." she greeted the tiny one quietly. The babe stirred, but did not wake. "Hello, hello, but what is it that shall bind you? Your grandfather wants you not, so I shall let you to your pathetic human kingdom. But it would be unfair to grant you no chance to your mother's heritage. You are the breed of man, and the breed of magic in unison." her fingers stroked the corn-silk strands; they were paler than snow. "So with the magic of the moon, and the mystery of the stars, you shall know the magic of the ocean, the mystery of scaled flesh. And by daybreak, you shall replicate the familiar sun, the known earth, with the common of paired legs. When, and only when, do you embrace the greatest mystery of them all will you bind your duality to your will. Understand, child?" He slept still.
But he twitched, and then shivered, as magic seeped from within and without, clinging to it's new host. Entrapping him. And then she was gone.
AN: Hey guys. Just... keeping busy. Let me know, hey? I love reviews. Even shorty ones. (I mean, i prefer critiques, but every little bit counts ;D)