Milo Miskin, a child prodigy with a flair for maths and science, was in his bedroom experimenting with his chemistry set. Using clippings he had taken from his father's plants, he had hopes of brewing up some kind of botanical health potion.
He was interrupted in this ambitious task by a sharp, sweet melody flowing in from the room next door. Annoyed, Milo put down his test tube, and hammered on the wall with his fist.
"Keep it down in there! I'm trying to work!"
Next door, in her own room, Milo's twin sister Miranda was working on her latest violin piece. A creative young lady with a love of music, her grandfather Montague had bought her the instrument as a birthday present, and she was determined to master it. Occasionally, words would come to her out of nowhere, and she would sing along to the tune she was composing.
Hearing her brother's knocks, she lowered her bow, sighed, and headed over to his room, poking her head around the door.
"What is your problem?" she asked. "I need to practice. You're not the only one around here with a hobby, you know."
"Can't you wait until I've finished my experiment? I'm hoping to win the science fair."
"And I'm hoping to win a place in the school orchestra. Besides, how will I know when you're done? When I hear it blowing up in your face again?"
"That happened once. Once!"
"And Dad nearly took your chemistry set away."
"Look, can't you just go and play somewhere else?"
"OK, fine. It's a nice day. I'll go and play to Dad's plants outside. He says it helps them grow."
"A statement for which there is no scientific basis," Milo thought to himself, but he said nothing.
However, before either of the children could continue with their creative endeavours, they were interrupted again by a shout from downstairs.
"Milo? Miranda?" Mordecai called. "Can you come down here please? Lily and I need to speak to you."
The previous evening.
With Montague and Rebekah watching the children, Lily and Mordecai had gone for a walk together in the park, in the golden light of the sunset. A favourite haunt of theirs, they both adored strolling past the many flower beds and bushes that adorned the area. It gave Mordecai inspiration, and Lily's heart was always lightened by the natural beauty around her.
They had been together for five years.
After walking for a while, Mordecai wandered away from the established gravel path to look at a new set of flowers that had clearly just been planted. Lily, now very used to her partner doing things like this, remained where she was and left him to it. However, when Mordecai gestured for her to join him, she wandered over, intrigued.
As she stood beside him, she watched him as he intently stared at the brightly-coloured blooms. He seemed to be examining them... almost like how Milo, the logician that he was, investigated almost anything he could get his hands on.
"Penny for your thoughts?" she asked him after a few moments.
"Oh, I was just looking at these new flowers," he replied. "They're called calla lilies. They have a rather special meaning."
"Oh? And what's that?"
"Magnificent and overwhelming beauty."
Smirking, he looked up at his beloved.
"Still, from a Lily, I'd expect nothing less."
"Flatterer!" she scoffed. "Still, I must agree with you - they are very pretty."
"Mmm. They're a common choice for weddings. Maybe you could have some in your bouquet."
Lily nodded, absentmindedly... but then ran over Mordecai's words in her head once more.
Mordecai slowly got down on one knee before her. As he produced a shining golden ring from his pocket, Lily gasped as happy tears begin to fill her eyes.
"I love you so much, Lily," Mordecai told her. "Will you marry me?"
Too emotional to speak, the only response Lily could give was to nod wildly. Delighted, Mordecai slipped the ring onto her finger, then lifted her up into an embrace.
As Mordecai gently lowered her to her feet, a sudden and concerning thought came to Lily. Mordecai, noticing the change in her expression, looked at her quizzically.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"I do want to marry you, Mordecai," Lily explained. "I do. Really. But there's something we need to do first."
"So, that's why we wanted to talk to you," Mordecai said to Milo and Miranda, who were now sat with him and Lily in the living room. "Lily and I love each other very much, and we want to get married."
"Your grandma and grandpa are very happy for us," Lily added. "But, the thing that matters most to us both is your happiness. We need to know that you're OK with this - with me marrying your father, and becoming your stepmother. For that reason... we would like your blessing before we make any plans."
Milo and Miranda were usually either cheery little chatterboxes or at each other's throats. However, following this revelation, both of them had been stunned into silence. Lily and Mordecai looked at them, scared that their quietness was a sign of discontent. Imagine their delight, then, when the twins leapt forward into their arms, hugging them tightly.
Milo was the first to speak.
"You're the only mum I've ever known, Lily," he told her. "I'd love it if you married Dad."
"Me too," Miranda chirped. "Then we'd be just like a real family."
"Now, I know you have a real mummy out there somewhere," she said to them, "so it's OK for you two to keep calling me "Lily". I don't want anything to change between us."
Mordecai smiled, but inside, he was nervous. Lily still didn't know the truth about Milo and Miranda's origins - she still believed their mother was some ne'er-do-well who had run away after their birth. She had no clue that the body that had bore them had, in fact, been his.
Then again, it wasn't like she needed to know. Milo and Miranda were fully aware that they weren't human, but they carefully hid it around everyone else - Lily included. They'd never called anyone "Mother", and never felt like they'd gone without - Lily had always been more than enough for them. If they were happy with the way things were, and she was too, then why risk ruining everything now?
Content, he decided to stay silent.
Lily and Mordecai married a few weeks later.
Once again, the entire Miskin family gathered for the celebration. Rebekah baked a cake for the happy couple, and a thrilled Montague entertained the party with a few of his old routines. With his eldest son now wed, it seemed like the curse was finally lifted. Surely nothing bad was going to happen now?
And the good news kept on coming...