Chapter 33: Coronation

Compared to what had already transpired, the remainder of the day was exceptionally quiet. With the royal fairies all back in the Fairy Kingdom for the moment, Clover, Raxtus and Geminus had conducted a search-over of the entire preserve, just to ensure that everything was as it should be.

And it was. According to Clover, all of the creatures had been accounted for, and were occupying their designated claims of the land. Clover also discovered the warp point from which Murdred had been able to use to enter Fablehaven from the Demon Domain, presumably planted there by Helwic. Needless to say, Clover destroyed it.

That evening, everybody had been seated at the dinner table. Before anybody could start helping themselves to the salad, cut-up vegetables or buns that had been placed on the table, Grandpa tapped his glass of water with his spoon.

"Before we begin," said Grandpa, "I think we all need to give a proper apology to Ingrid." He then turned to face Ingrid herself. "Although our actions towards you were done in the name of good, in the end, they were... wrong. Please forgive us. We're deeply sorry."

Everyone else chimed in by saying "Sorry", nodding in admittance.

Ingrid sighed. "I understand. And if Sarah, I mean Helwic, disguised herself as me, I can see why you all acted the way you did."

"If there is anything we can do to repay you..." said Grandma. "You said something about wanting your own home? Perhaps we can arrange to find a foster family for you to live with."

"Yeah, like we did with Lance," said Seth.

"Wouldn't that be for the best?" asked Grandpa. "You're welcome to stay with us for now."

"What I wanted..." said Ingrid, "was to have my family back. "And now that those instruments of eternal power are gone, that dream may never be possible."

"I know what you mean," said Dale. "Warren and I are orphans ourselves. And with the instruments no longer with us, I only feel like we've lost even more."

Clover nodded. "We've had a rather... eventful day. The Fairy Queen is gone..."

Warren placed his arm around Clover's shoulder. "It will be okay. I'm sure Brillia will make a great queen."

"I know," but it's just such a shock," said Clover, giving Warren a hug.

"I feel sad, too," said Kendra. "Not just because the Fairy Queen died, but I feel like a part of me is missing."

"As her handmaiden, you were spiritually tied to the Fairy Queen. Whatever happened to the Fairy Queen, you felt it. All of us fairies did."

A moment later, the doorbell rang.

"Who could that be?" asked Ingrid.

"It's probably Bright or Bracken," said Dale, as he got out of his seat and walked out of the dining room. "I'll get it."

Kendra and Seth could hear Dale opening the front door from the other room, and as he greeted a female visitor. He then returned to the dining room, followed by Shiara, presently in her full-bodied fairy angel form.

"Shiara," said Grandpa, nodding. "How is everything?"

Shiara took in a deep breath. "There's a bit of a frenzy over in the Fairy Kingdom. With the disappearance of the Fairy Queen, her children and the other keepers all have their hands full. Which is why I was elected to come over here."

"So... why are you here?" asked Seth.

"I'm here to make a delivery," said Shiara, as she held up three identical pink envelopes, all of which contained a white wax seal. "Tomorrow we will be holding a coronation for Brillia as the new monarch of the fairies."

"Cool!" said Seth. "Who gets to go?"

"The coronation is only open to fairies, as well as humans with fairy tendencies. Clover, here is your invitation."

Shiara handed one of the envelopes to Clover.

"Since you're not only fairystruck, but the husband of a fairy angel as well, here's one for you, Warren."

Warren accepted the second envelope with a smile.

"And last, but certainly not least, Kendra Sorenson. Handmaiden to the Fairy Queen, and fairykind."

Shiara then presented the final invitation to Kendra. Kendra examined the envelope, and saw that Kendra had been written in beautiful calligraphy on the front using some kind of sparkling ink.

Seth rolled his eyes as Kendra, Warren and Clover all opened their invitations. Yeah, this is really fair, he thought to himself.

Kendra pulled out the card that was inside. It was fairly short, and she opted to read the following aloud:

Kendra Sorenson,

Tomorrow will be the crowning of the new Fairy Queen. We would be honored if you would attend. The coronation will be held at the Royal Fairy Palace at 10:00 AM.

"Ours pretty much say the same thing," said Warren. "And you can bet we'll be there!"

"How could I say no?" asked Kendra.

"Great," said Shiara. "I look forward to seeing you there tomorrow. Goodbye!"

Shiara then vanished in a cloud of pink sparkles.

"Well, this will be interesting," said Kendra, looking over her invitation again.

"Ehh, big deal," said Seth. "Even if I had been invited to this thing, I'd be best off not going. I'm sure all the fairies there would just gang up on me or something."

"Look, Seth..." said Warren.

"Just go," said Seth, feeling somewhat rejected. "Enjoy yourselves."

"Don't feel so bad, Seth," said Clover. "This isn't a party. It's probably going to be more of an assembly than anything."

The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful. After dinner, Seth watched a movie in his bedroom, accompanied by Kendra and Ingrid. However, nobody sat together throughout the entire film. Ever since the fairies had gone rogue on him the other day, Seth could feel himself growing more and more distanced from his sister.

The next morning, Kendra woke up and ate a light breakfast, consisting of one hard-boiled egg, along with a slice of grapefruit. She then got dressed up in a fine white gown; it was the same one that Bright had created for her back when the family had visited the Fairbanks back in September.

Once nine-thirty had rolled around, Kendra met up with Warren and Clover in the front hall. Warren was wearing a tuxedo, while Clover was wearing a splendid green gown.

"We should probably get going now," said Clover. "I know this thing doesn't start until ten, but there's nothing wrong with being a little early."

"You all look wonderful," said Mrs. Sorenson. "I hope you have a good time."

"Yeah," said Seth. "Have fun."

Clover then received the Translocator from Warren, and proceeded to twist it. Kendra and Warren then placed their hands onto the artifact, and it immediately pulled them through from the mortal world into the Fairy Kingdom.

Kendra examined her surroundings. The three of them appeared to now be in the front hall of the Royal Fairy Palace. Dozens of small fairies appeared to be passing through the open front door of the castle and flying down one of the hallways.

"Kendra!" said Opal, who happened to be standing nearby. "Clover, Warren! Welcome."

"Good morning, Opal," said Clover, as she gave her fellow fairy angel a hug. "How is the royal family?"

"They're all right. Although they're very sad right now, they're taking the loss of Her Majesty fairly well. But preparations for the coronation ceremony are complete. It's being held in the courtyard. You're welcome to go ahead. I need to wait here to greet the rest of the guests, but I'll be joining you in time for the event."

"Thanks, Opal!" said Kendra, as she, Clover and Warren walked down the hallway, following the other fairies.

As they walked through the hallway, many of the smaller fairies flew up towards Kendra. Some of them even perched themselves upon her shoulders and in her long, glossy hair, which had been styled up with mousse less than an hour ago. Kendra noticed that even Warren had a few fairies sitting on him, but not nearly as many as she had herself.

Soon they passed through an archway and stepped outside into a large courtyard. There was a large fountain with a fairy statue in the center, surrounded by well-tended flower beds and hedges. In addition to the hundred of small fairies that had already gathered around, Kendra could see Bracken, Bright Brillia, Bravia and Brook all standing towards the far end of the courtyard.

"Kendra!" said Bracken, waving over to her. Even though she was wearing her long gown, Kendra darted through the courtyard and over to where Bracken and his sisters were standing. Bracken was wearing a silvery tuxedo, while his sisters were all wearing gorgeous gowns.

As soon as she reached Bracken, the unicorn placed his arms around Kendra, lifted her off of her feet, and gave her a hug. All of the fairies who had been sitting upon Kendra immediately fluttered away. Kendra then hugged Bracken back, as he placed her back down on her feet.

"Good to see you again," said Bracken, kissing Kendra on her lips. The touch felt incredibly magical.

"Welcome," said Bravia. "Please, feel free to take a seat over there."

Bravia then directed Kendra over to a row of plush chairs that had been arranged in front of the stage, which had been set up along the far wall of the courtyard. Kendra and Warren seated themselves, and took some time in speaking to the royal fairies.

Before long, more and more fairies had arrived, as did Raxtus, Geminus and Vanessa. Other fairy angels, including Opal, Tiara, Shiara and Ariel all sat down on the seats near Kendra.

It wasn't long until Brillia stepped up behind the podium in the center of the stage. Her four siblings all stood behind her.

"Good morning," said Brillia, speaking in a voice that had undoubtedly been amplified by magic. "We have all gathered here today to witness the coronation of the new ruler of the Fairy Kingdom. My kin and I have elected to not hold a funeral for our mother, for we are... uncertain of her status or location at the moment. She may still be alive. She may not. Out of respect for the Fairy Queen, we have elected to not hold a potentially false funeral for her. However, we do need to address the issue of her new successor."

Brillia then held up an envelope in her hand. "In here is the Fairy Queen's living will. It contains her own personal instructions as to what she wishes for us to do in a situation such as this in which she is not available. Nobody besides the Queen herself has seen what has been written, so we're all in for a surprise here."

Brillia tore open the envelope and removed the paper that was inside. She then unfolded the paper and glanced down at the written side. Brillia proceeded to read the letter aloud.

My dear children,

If you are reading this, it means that I am no longer with you. Do understand that I will always love each and every one of you, and that my heart will always remain with you, even if I no longer am.

As the Fairy King is currently in no condition to reign, I have chosen my successor, who is to rule in my absence if she is so willing. This honor goes to my personal handmaiden, Kendra Sorenson.

Kendra dropped her jaw in awe, as everyone in the courtyard gazed in her direction. Her heart was beating intensely. Everybody was speechless.

"Holy..." said Warren, speaking in a very light voice. His hazel eyes were open wide.

Kendra placed her hands over her heart, praying to herself that she wouldn't somehow have a heart attack. Goosebumps dotted her arms. "How did this happen?"

Brillia took in a deep breath. "Let me continue." She then looked back down at the paper.

Kendra, although you are young as of the time I am writing this, I get the impression that you will blossom into a wonderful woman. Although you are not the child of myself or the Fairy King, and even though you are not a true fairy, I feel that this position is well-suited for someone such as yourself. You are valiant, kind, caring, honest and I have always been able to sense the pureness that radiates from your heart.

Best wishes to you,

Sylvia, Queen of the Fairies

Brillia then folded up the note. "That's all she wrote. Kendra, would you please step up onto the stage?"

"This can't be for real," said Kendra, as she stood up and walked up onto the stage, where she stood next to Brillia. "Please, may I read the note for myself?"

"Of course," said Brillia, handing the note over to Kendra. She then unfolded it and read the note with her own eyes. It had been penned in flawless cursive, and signed in a signature that Kendra was unable to recognize, but could sense had been the Fairy Queen's very own.

"So... I'm the new Fairy Queen?" asked Kendra.

"According to Mother's will... yes. All we need to do now, is make it official. Bravia, Elegance please."

Bravia then presented a long sword with a golden blade and many jewels encrusted into its hilt over to Brillia. The shiny sword did not look like it was intended for combat. It looked like something that belonged in a museum.

"Brillia," said Kendra, holding up her hands as the fairy angel raised the sword straight up into the air above Kendra, "what are you doing?"

"Relax, Kendra," said Warren. "She wants to dub you queen. Not saw you in half."

"But, why? I'm not ready for this. I know that this is what the Fairy Queen wanted. But, I'm not even a fairy!"

"You will be once you're officially declared Queen," said Bracken, smiling at Kendra. "Upon declaration, you will transform into a unicorn."

"A unicorn?" asked Kendra, now feeling even more intimidated.

"A unicorn is a sign of fairy royalty," said Brook.

"Are you ready?" asked Brillia. "It won't hurt."

Kendra winced her head from side to side. "STOP!" she blurted. "Please stop!"

"Kendra?" asked Bracken, placing his hand on her shoulder. "What's wrong?"

"I don't want to be the Fairy Queen!" exclaimed Kendra, as Brillia lowered her sword.

There was a lot of murmur going on between the fairies in the courtyard.

"Kendra," said Brook. "What do you mean? You should be honored for the Fairy Queen to have chosen you as the heir to her throne."

"I am honored," said Kendra. "But... I don't feel that this position is right for me."

"Well, what's the matter?" asked Brillia.

"The truth is, I don't feel that I'm ready to be your ruler. Look, I know that the Fairy Queen put a lot of faith in me, and I do appreciate and respect her decision. But I myself, as an individual, do not feel that I'm prepared to go through with this. Unlike most of you, I am not a fairy. I'm a human being. I have a life outside the world of fairies. I'm young. I haven't even grown up yet. I need to let myself mature."

"What are you saying?" asked Bravia.

"I'm saying that while becoming the new Fairy Queen does sound intriguing, that I'm not prepared for such a duty. It would be such a tremendous responsibility. I'd have to give up my life at Fablehaven. And I'm already happy there. It's where my friends and family live. Look, I know that this was the Fairy Queen's decision, but if I've been declared her successor, then my first order of business is to resign."

"I understand," said Brillia. "Would you consider becoming the Fairy Queen at a later date?"

"I really need to think about it," said Kendra. "Even if I were to become queen, it probably wouldn't be for several more years. I want to enjoy my life as a human. I know that human life may seem mundane to some of you fairies, but it's my life."

"That's all right, Kendra," said Brillia. "If you ever do change your mind about this, please let us know. It would be wrong to deprive you of what it rightfully yours. You may be seated."

Kendra then got down from the stage and sat back down in her seat. She felt as though a huge weight had suddenly been lifted off of her. Warren placed his arm around Kendra's neck and patted her on her shoulder.

"In the interim, us fairies are still in need of a ruler. Being the eldest child of the Fairy Queen, I have chosen to elect myself. Any objections?"

The entire courtyard was silent.

"Very well. Bravia, since I cannot crown myself, I'd like for you and Brook to do the honors."

Brillia then knelt down in front of everybody, facing the crowd of fairies. She then passed Elegance over to Bravia.

"Brillia," said Bravia, holding up the golden sword. "In the name of Sylvia, and at the request of her handmaiden, Kendra Sorenson, I hereby dub you as the new Queen of the Fairy Kingdom."

Bravia lowered Elegance down and tapped each of Brillia's shoulders with it, then backed away.

Brook then held up a golden tiara, encrusted almost entirely with gemstones. It bore a striking resemblance to the one that the Fairy Queen wore. Brook walked up to Brillia and lowered the tiara onto her head.

Brillia then stood up, and accepted Elegance from Bravia.

"Presenting... Her Royal Highness, Brillia," said Bright. "The new Queen of the Fairies!"

"Long live the Queen!" shouted Bracken.

There was an eruption of cheers amongst the crowd of fairies. Everybody applauded in delight, while fairies began singing in harmonious, chime-like voices. Fairies were shooting colorful sparkles and streaks of light into the air, to the point where Kendra couldn't so much as see the sky above her because too much fairy magic was blocking it out.

"Long may she reign!" said Kendra. As happy as she was to see Brillia become the new Queen, Kendra couldn't help but wonder. What had happened to the previous Queen? And the instruments of eternal power? Nobody knew for now, and there was no indication that they ever would know.