As you may have heard, I'm working on a larger piece with Fairies and Finds creator Tanager Haemmerle for Drawlloween! If you're on Facebook, I update each of her art pieces with a little story information.
Today's story is a sort of prequel to our bigger piece. You will learn a bit of information about the little heroine and her family! It's also a palate cleaner after my last two stories. It's short but I hope you enjoy it.
The birth of a new member of a witch or warlock's family is always heralded as a special occasion. This is especially true if your family lines are quite revered in magical circles.
For Veda, the expectation of her first grandchild was greater than any addition to the magic world. Since her own retirement from witchcraft, she had longed for a little one to spoil and teach her trade secrets as she had her own children. Veda always wanted a very large family but, after the death of her husband, she never remarried. She loved her two sons greatly, but longed for little ones who were always so full of life and magic of their own.
It wasn't surprising that Veda had become a very celebrated instructor and her family had been supplemented by generations of magical, and a few non-magical, students.
Now, Veda sitting in very comfortable leather armchair, smiled at the expectant parents and stroked Ahmose, who had served her faithfully as familiar during her practicing years. Ahmose, a very regal and self-important black cat, now worked with her eldest son, Xavier. Both Veda and Ahmose hoped the newest addition would also be worthy of the great familiar's attentions in years to come.
Xavier and Elspeth, Veda's daughter-in-law, were well in their 'first baby frenzy', trying to choose just the right color for the baby's room to promote calm and find the perfect wood for the crib to aid their new little one in sleep and strength. Veda gave suggestions now and then but mostly kept to herself. There was no way to logically explain to the two that no calamity would befall the infant if they chose sage over lavender or if the crib was birch over ash. She remembered her own frantic need for perfection when she was expecting Xavier.
There was still a good six months before the baby was due but the parents wanted everything done long before then. Veda had offered to move in temporarily to help out in any way she could. She realized this might seem an imposition to some, but Elspeth and Xavier welcomed her and her wisdom in with open arms.
One thing the couple did agree on was the names chosen for their new arrival. 'Abigail' if it was a girl, which was Elspeth's grandmother's name and Alaric, Xavier's father's name, for a boy. Veda thought both wonderful choices but had counseled them to have at least two names of each gender, or one more gender neutral name so they were not caught unawares like Veda's own surprised parents had been. Unlike much of her advice, Xavier and Elspeth disregarded this piece.
Veda did not push the subject as it was not her way to impose her will upon others. If there was one thing Veda had decided early on in her famed career, it was that she would never impose on free will. She had a commanding character and her power had little rival, but Veda was, at heart, a kind person.
"Could I be wrong?" Veda asked Ahmose as they sat in the chair together. The black cat chirruped in a way that comforted the older witch. The two had worked together since Veda was 23 years old and could communicate despite the language barrier.
"You agree then?" Veda ran her hand down Ahmose's smooth back. "But should I say? Would they even believe me?"
Ahmose made a noncommittal noise and jumped down from Veda's lap. The witch watched her son and daughter-in-law pore over the newest catalog of baby furniture aimed at expectant magical couples.
The woman smiled and shook her head. There would be no harm in keeping her little secret and telling it may cause more stress for Elspeth. Too much stress could cause the baby to be born without magical abilities, as the mother's own magic stores unconsciously intensified and essentially 'blew a fuse' in the new baby, ensuring it could never draw on magic. Veda did not wish to be the cause of any such trouble.
Veda began hum a lullaby she had often sung to her own children as she took up her knitting. She had already finished one layette the day before imbued with calming magic in every stitch. Though she was not a fast knitter, she had plenty of time to knit an identical set, just in case.
My lofty dreams of being a famous & brilliant writer were literally smacked out of my head. Now I plan to fill the void with copious amounts of subpar writing!