"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will."
-George Bernard Shaw
The ward had become a little bit sentient.
That wasn't normally the case, of course. As a rule, magic lacked a thinking mind; left to its own devices, it was simply energy: inert and subject to the predictable, stable laws of the universe, both magical and mundane. No messy emotions involved. But, when you added life—added magic-users—that reasoned and learned and felt, things got tricky. Fast.
Protective enchantments were usually an exception.
In all actuality, they were rather dull in this respect, constantly doing what was expected of them and no more.
It was, normally, the most reliable area of enchantment to be found in practice today. They were, normally, considered a constant mainstay in any magic user's arsenal. Normally, the only independent action taken by such wards was to fade. Normally, a ward acting independently beyond their explicit function was impossible.
Blood Wards, however, had never been normal.
And the Potters had always possessed a talent for the impossible.
The Childe was endangered.
This was not new to its Protector. (Danger had dogged the Childe's path for years—)
The threats had been many, over time, from the malice of the ignorant and small-minded, to those actively seeking to do the Childe fatal harm. Some of had been small pricks of the side of the Childe's Protector, but many, many more had been larger, and stretched the Protector to its very limits.
Most wards, unattended like the Childe's Protector had been, would have faded long ago in the face of it all, yielding as even magic eventually must.
But the Childe would have been left alone against the darkness.
And the Protector's Creator had cared-worried-for- loved the Childe very much.
So, the Childe's Protector had stayed. Helped the Childe as much as it could, directing the Childe towards partners-guards-allies-friends, guiding it as much as its Protector could through the years, saving it from cruelty, harm, and black magic—!
The Creator's anger-born-from-love echoed through the Childe's Protector again.
That had happened often as the Childe had begun to grow into its heritage. As it had become both ever more connected to those who would help if allowed, and ever more alone.
Ever more hardened.
Alas, the Childe's Protector, for all its inherent power found in blood rituals and family magic, could only follow the imperative laid down by the Protector's Creator: Protect the Childe from danger. (Keep her safe)
A short directive, but clear nonetheless. Act in defense only when there is a threat to the life of the Childe (No matter how much it feels), to do all it could to remove the danger to the Childe and its well-being. All within the laws of magic.
Like the Childe's protector could do anything else, as always. Except . . .
The Threat was back. Again. (And taking. Always, always taking —)
The Threat was coming.
Fleeing, from a death it so richly deserved.
The Childe did not know. Not yet. But its Protector did. And it . . . considered.
Not think, of course. (That was impossible, after all. Wards did not feel, did not imagine, and did not think) The Childe's Protector merely . . . considered its options. Or rather, it considered why it waited before making an action now, when before, flaring first and considering later had protected the Childe perfectly well.
Well, it was always the Threat, was it not? Always creating the most danger to the Childe. But that was nothing new. (There was the anger again; it felt different. More real. How peculiar—)
There was something, though. Something—different. More genuine. Larger than before. Less the consecrated remnants of a broken shadow, more the forging of a new one. A stronger one.
And that storm was coming for the Childe, emerging from the flames of a goblet like a phoenix reborn.
How dare they —
The Childe was the Protector's, the Creator's —
They could not have her.
Emotions. That . . . would be useful, actually, the sentient ward considered.
The Childe's Protector could not fend the storm off alone with magic. Alone, the Childe would perish, facing the Threat. And that was unacceptable, a failure of purpose. (Of family, of love—)
The original enchantment was insufficient. It did not dictate how to outmaneuver a threat, let alone the Threat.
Something more would have to be done. But there was no ready answer within the Protector's original enchantment. More would have to be done
Within the rules of magic, there was no allowance for the Childe's Protector to reason, to will a way to protect the Childe. Bound by the rules, it could only react, follow orders. (Like a good little soldier—)
It was a good thing the Potters had never particularly cared for rules.
Lily Marie Evans had cared even less, when it suited her.
And who better to protect than those who did not allow themselves to be bound by rules?
Emotion and magic were a tricky combination. The Creator had known this, the Protector considered; where there was hatred and magic, there was little that could not be done, could not be willed.
But where there was love and magic, there was nothing that could not be done.
And so the Childe's Protector reached out. It willed.