She moves 'spell can create non-extinct species' up her priority list. Someday, when it's safe, there can be more sphinxes.
She tells the owner of the Avalon magic shop that she's testing some experimental new healing spells and to let her know if anyone is interested. She pretends to be violently protective of "her spell" and insists on secrecy in spell casting, and only accepts those whom medicine could not otherwise help. 'Cancer curing spell' is less suspicious than 'spell nearly exactly duplicating sphinx magic' anyway. And she lets Isabella heal them, carefully, one at a time.
Vivian and Gianna continue to see each other. Gianna continues to be sweet and funny and fiercely, protectively loyal and just generally adorable, and Vivian is crazy about her. Work starts 'coincidentally' sending Gianna to San Francisco more often. When Isabella notices how much time Vivian and Gianna spend together, Vivian uses her questions as an opportunity to explain a few things. Isabella's reaction turns out to be, "Oh. Okay. I like her all right," before returning to her latest magical project, which makes Vivian giggle. How very like her daughter.
Life proceeds reasonably comfortably for the new few years. Isabella makes acceptable progress in school and astonishing progress in magic, or rather, she does whenever she can be lured away from 'casting healing spells' with Vivian. Vivian herself blows up a few beetles but eventually manages to create non-extinct species. Vivian claims a newfound interest in traveling to her friends, and periodically bundles Isabella onto a plane to go 'be a tourist' somewhere. Panda bears and Florida panthers start mysteriously, coincidentally increasing in numbers.
Gianna is still wonderful but she refuses to come out to Ilario, which Vivian... is upset about, but deals with. Reluctantly. It's not her place to say how and when Gianna comes out, if she does at all, but she hates feeling like a secret. The long distance becomes more of a sticking point. Vivian can't move to Italy or Gianna's friends would Find Out; Gianna won't move away from her brother. When Isabella is eleven, Vivian and Gianna reluctantly admit it's time to break up. It's about as amicable as they can manage under the circumstances, but Vivian still spends a couple of weeks sadly eating chocolate. Isabella is quietly soothing and spends a lot of time hugging her, which Vivian appreciates. Sphinxette snuggles are the best snuggles.
She throws herself into her work. She successfully creates a baby pegasus for a pegasus couple struggling with infertility, and suddenly finds herself with a second source of income. Critter couples hoping to adopt have very few options if they want a child of their own species- or they did, until Vivian. She charges more than the adoption centers, to encourage parents to take home existing children, but there's occasionally someone willing to pay. She contributes the bulk of her earnings to Isabella's college fund and uses the rest to reduce the amount of time she spends making charms. More time for Isabella, more time for magic research, more time trying to locate dragons. (She has been wildly unsuccessful at this task so far and she finds herself regularly heaping swearwords on runecasting's inefficiency at information gathering. This does not help.)
She dates a few more women, but nothing nearly as long as her relationship with Gianna. When Isabella is fourteen, she explains to her mother in her serious Isabella fashion that she thinks she likes women. But also men. Vivian tells her that being bisexual is totally okay, she will always love Isabella very much, and yes, it's time for the sex talk now.
More time passes. Vivian and Isabella continue to travel, mostly to China. They speak the language, they can visit Vivian's relatives in Wuxi, and people love Isabella. They ask her for pictures, they want to pet her hair, they tell her how beautiful and pale she is, they exclaim excitedly over her wonderful Chinese. Isabella's not wild about travel in general, but she likes China, and Vivian just laughs and takes advantage of it. The Chengdu research base is confounded but delighted.
Isabella is seventeen when Vivian overhears some interesting gossip in the Avalon. Someone turned up a wyvern in Toronto of all places, isn't that odd? A brand new one too, just found her medallion by accident. Who knew there were wyverns in Canada anyway?
Vivian didn't, that's for sure. Her friend Helen is roped into babysitting Isabella, and Vivian catches the next flight to Toronto.
Time to meet this wyvern.
"All right. Sphinxette, anything interestingly magical there? Otherwise I won't bother."
"Nah. It's two tiny apartment buildings and a cafeteria and a general store and a schoolhouse, that's about it."
"I think I can live a full and happy life without visiting. I'd rather worry about your... coming out, so to speak."
"We didn't do it there today, but it might be a good trial run. May doesn't live here most of the year, and it's just a few people."
"Do you want to start near where you live?"
"Tiny Avalons in general are going to be inconvenient to get to, so if we want to start with a tiny Avalon, this one is good."
"I suppose if you aren't here most of the year..." Vivian says doubtfully. "Do you know who's in charge, May? We did discuss letters."
"A white stag fellow named Joel. We can write Joel a letter first and see how he takes it."
She has never been one to put off letter writing.