Mrs. Lefay was the godmother of Andrew Ketterley who was known to be of fairy descent. Though she passed away long before travel began between Earth and Narnia, she did play a vital role in starting it off.
Little is known of Mrs. Lefay's early life, other that she had fairy blood in her veins.
In her life, she was made the godmother of young Andrew Ketterley, a member of a family she was apparently associated with. This privilege did not apparently stem from any fondness between her and the Ketterleys, as she was not talked about in their family, and she and her young godson were kept separated as much as possible. Nonetheless, Andrew's 'fairy godmother' appeared to make a strong impact on him.
She was known to have done some 'unwise things' (probably related to magic), which led to her being sent to prison.
Soon before she died, Mrs. Lefay was released from prison to die in her own home. In her final days, she allowed few people to see her aside from young Andrew Ketterley. Just before dying, she told him of a small box she had hidden, of magical origin, and gave him specific instructions on how to destroy it. Her death occurred soon after, around 1850.
Unbeknownst to her, Andrew had chosen to follow in her footsteps. In direct disobedience, he kept the box and it's contents, and used them to embark on a long magical career. That very box would later lead to his greatest accomplishment; the rediscovery of travel between worlds.
- "I bet she was a bad fairy."
- ―Digory Kirke (Chapter 2) [src]
Mrs. Lefay was regarded as a disgrace by much of her family. She was very open about her magic, and considered herself, as a fairy, to be above normal, common humans. She was probably not opposed to using her magic to hurt people, as long as it advanced her own position, a view her godson Andrew grew to embrace. In all ways, it appears that young Andrew (who grew to be an unsavory character himself) was a reflection of the godmother he so admired.
Mrs. Lefay was described as an old woman who wore a bonnet, and who didn't have a very nice face at all.
Mrs. Lefay is believed to be an allusion to King Arthur's half-sister, Morgan Le Fay (lit. 'the fairy'), who was an enchantress of Arthurian legend.
A character with the same name appears in C.S. Lewis unfinished first attempt to a prequel of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, called The Lefay Fragment. This Mrs. Lefay, in contrast, appears to be a kindly fairy godmother.
in this unfinished novel, Mrs Lefay visits the house of her godson Digory Kirke and is described as being the opposite of prim Aunt Gertrude. She has a rabbit named Coiny, who she introduces to Digory when they are alone and gives hints that she knows about Digory's strange gift to talk to trees and animals, as well as the fact that he has lost it. However, just before Mrs Lefay tells Digory her address, the fragment ends mid-sentence.
There is much unknown about Mrs. Lefay. Some things can only be speculated upon.
- It is unknown for certain whether she was actually related to the Ketterleys, or an honorary friend. Andrew referred to her later in life as his godmother, but it is strongly suggested that the two were also distant relatives.
- It is also speculated that toward the end of her life, Mrs. Lefay bore a change in heart, leading to her instructions to Andrew to burn the magic box. It may be that she did not want him to live the life she had lived. If this was her intent, it was not carried out as she had hoped.