The young woman opened her eyes, and looked up into the green eyes of the redheaded enchantress smiling down on her.
“My baby?” the woman whispered.
“You have a son, Mrs. Fletcher,” Aura Lockhaven replied. “He’s in the next room with your husband and the midwife. He’s a healthy boy. Based on his size, I’d say he grows up to be even more strapping than Mr. Fletcher.”
With tears flowing down her cheeks, and her weak stomach shaking with laughter, Mrs. Fletcher said, “I have a son? I have a son!” With what strength she had, she lifted her hand and grasped Aura’s. “Thank you, Lady Aura. Thank you!”
Aura squeezed Mrs. Fletcher’s hand. “It’s always a pleasure. Well, you lost a lot of blood. I don’t have a spell or potion to replace that. You’ll have to do that on your own, and we’ll start with some broth. I’ll fetch it and send for your husband and new boy.”
Aura slipped her hand from that of the exhausted patient lying in bed. With a smile, she stepped out into the hall. Then, she collapsed against the wall.
Twenty-two years ago, the town of Hartshorn didn’t have a village witch, much less an enchantress. When Aurora Lockhaven burst an artery in labor with her baby, she began to bleed to death. The apothecary told her that he could save her or her baby, but not both. Aurora made her choice. That baby now leaned against the wall, with her own tears trickling down her own face. That baby just saved Mrs. Fletcher from bleeding to death in childbirth, holding back the blood long enough for the midwife to deliver the child, then sealing the ruptured artery with an intense healing spell. Hartshorn didn’t have an enchantress twenty-two years ago, but it did today. Mrs. Fletcher did not suffer the same fate as Mrs. Lockhaven. Today, the hopeless had hope.
Aura stared at the C shaped scar on her left palm. Sometimes that C stood for Careless or Clumsy. Today, it stood for Compassion. She clenched her fist, feeling the stiffness of the thick tissue. That boy will know his mother! she thought. This is why I trained!
Wiping the moisture from her face, Aura stood up straight, and said, “Well, I best fetch that broth.”