Not His Type
by Sauron Gorthaur
A/N: Where did Dawn get the stuff to make that boutonniere? It was a question that bugged me for some time after I watched the movie. She wouldn't have had the chance to gather the materials before the goblins took her down to the cell, and there doesn't appear to be anything in her cell other than the mushroom bed. So where did a bunch of flower petals and leaves come from?
Once the answer came to me, it seemed so obvious. Griselda. Of course, it was Griselda.
It also makes sense to me that Griselda doesn't realize at first that Dawn is love dusted. She seems to be totally shipping Dawn and Bog at the end of "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch" and I just don't think she'd ship her son with someone who was dusted. When Bog shouts out about the potion during that scene, the other goblins act like they can't hear him, so I'm going with the idea that Griselda didn't hear what he said, and since she walked in right in the middle of the scene, all she knows is that Dawn is totally into her boy. And that's enough for her.
I also find it interesting that the next time Griselda shows up, she quickly dismisses the idea of Bog and Dawn getting together with the "not your type" line and tries to introduce him to Miss Fly. It seems...odd.
Here's my explanation of all those pieces.
Griselda hummed to herself as she made her way down the winding stairs to the dungeon. My, my, but this was proving to be an interesting night. First, the hullabaloo over an elf in the Forest and Plum getting out and rumors that there was a new love potion loose skies-knew-where. Then her impulsive boy taking off to crash some party over in the Fairy Meadows – though what good he thought that was going to do him was beyond her – and then dragging back a fairy princess here to the Dark Castle.
A fairy princess who, as it turned out, was smack-gob dizzy in love with her son.
Griselda chuckled to herself, clutching the package in her hands close to her chest.
Sweet strains of lovesick song echoed around the staircase, growing louder as the gobliness descended. She hummed along. The girl certainly had excellent taste in music, even if Bog was being a snit about it. Her son and his bumbling minions were still falling over each other in the throne room, plugging their ears with anything they could find and generally making twice the racket as the singing princess. Oh well, let them suit themselves. She for one was going to take this golden opportunity to find out a little bit more about this mysterious fairy princess who was so smitten with her boy.
This just had to be the one. The one who would finally crack through her son's defenses, the one who would show him that his whole ban on love was just plain ridiculous, the one who would convince him to give romance a second chance and bring love back to the Dark Forest.
Bog could growl and snap and snarl and throw his little tantrums, but he couldn't hide the full truth from his mother. She knew he was concealing a broken heart from the world, and she had no plans on going anywhere until she found someone for him who would put those broken pieces back together and give him a reason to smile again. Oh, she missed her boy's smiles. They never failed to remind her of her dear Knoll…
She was going to see her Bog as happy one day as she had been with his father.
He was just going to need a bit of nudging in the right direction.
Which was where Griselda came in.
The fairy girl's song changed. The plaintive strains of "How Deep Is Your Love" drifted up from the dungeons in that sweet, high-pitched voice. There were thuds and muffled yells above from the throne room as the goblins made a renewed effort to find cover from the music. Griselda rolled her eyes.
She was relieved to see that her son's goons had given the princess a proper cell instead of throwing her in one of those over-dramatic hanging cages where Bog stuck anyone who disobeyed his stupid love ban. Still, she hoped being drug off and locked up hadn't hurt the princess's opinion of the object of her affections, but from the enthusiastic trilling coming from inside the cell, Griselda guessed it hadn't.
Griselda rapped on the door that afforded the occupant some measure of privacy. Instantly, the singing stopped and there was quiet rustling from within. "Hello, sweetie pie," Griselda called out in an encouraging voice. "I'm gonna open the door and come in, if that's all right with you, honey?"
There was more rustling. Then a voice came from the other side of the door, laden with love. "Is he with you? Is he coming to see me?"
He will if I have anything to do about it, Griselda thought to herself smugly. "He'll visit you very soon," she replied out loud as she wrapped her fingers around the door knob. "I've brought you something that might help you win his love, sweetie."
She opened the door. The fairy girl was pressed right up against the other side, slender fingers clutching the thorn bars. She had the largest eyes of any creature Griselda had ever seen, pupils huge and dark, irises nearly as blue as her boy's. The sweet little thing craned her neck, rising up on her tiptoes, wings fluttering with some combination of agitation and eagerness, obviously hoping to catch a glimpse of Bog. "Where is he?" she asked in a tremulous voice. "He does like my songs for him, doesn't he? Oh, it seems like I've been waiting for absolutely forever!" She gave a long, lovesick sigh. "I never knew being away from him could seem so long. Will you please ask my love to come to me soon?
"Oh my, my, you do have it bad, don't you?" Griselda chuckled as she pushed up the bars. "Don't worry, my fluffy little dandelion, I'll let him know that you'd like a visit from your sweetie soon."
She waddled over to the mushroom bed in the center of the room and hopped up onto it, legs dangling, and patted the place beside her. "Come on over. I'd love to chat with you a little, honey, get to know you a little better." The girl hesitated, looking back out into the dungeons with that yearning, doe-eyed expression. "I've got something here for you that your lover boy will positively adore," Griselda coaxed encouragingly. "You've got nothing to fear from me, sweetie. Your darling is my son."
That seemed to get the fairy's attention. She fluttered over, huge pink-orange wings unfurling to their full glory, her eyes getting impossibly larger and a delighted expression crossing her face. She plopped onto the mushroom beside Griselda and leaned forward. "You know him!" she exclaimed eagerly, eyes bright with love. "Oh please tell me, is he longing to see me? Has he been talking about me?"
"He's been talking about little else," Griselda answered with a smirk, thinking about the non-stop griping Bog had been doing about the situation since his plan had blown up in his face.
The fairy gave a wriggle of glee and flopped backwards onto the mushroom with a happy squeal. "Oooo, I knew it! He's coming to tell me he loves me, I just know it!"
"And you don't want to be empty-handed when he does, do you?" Griselda said with a wide grin. "Here, let me show you what I've brought for you, dandelion."
Griselda opened the little package and laid it out on the mushroom between them. She hadn't had much time, but she'd been able to grab several flowers and pretty leaves from outside the castle, along with some thin twigs and a vial full of sticky sap. She proudly displayed her finds now. "You fairies have a tradition of showing your feelings by making your love a little posy, don't you?" She said as she arranged the materials. "He might not look it, but my son is an absolute sucker for a nice, homemade trinket. Did you know that staff he carries was handmade by his great-grandfather? Now, why don't you put those cute little fairy hands to work and make him something to show him how you truly feel."
The fairy's face lit up. "Oh, that's a wonderful idea." Without warning, she flung her arms around Griselda's shoulders in an enthusiastic embrace. "Thank you, so much, thank you, thank you so so so much!"
Griselda chuckled and patted the fairy's shoulders. "Griselda. You can call me Griselda, honey. Do you have a name for yourself?"
"Oh, oh, yes!" The fairy released her, putting a hand to her mouth as if startled by her own breach of etiquette. "My name's Dawn. Princess Dawn."
"You certainly live up to your name, don't you, you sunny little thing," Griselda answered with a wide grin. She watched as the fairy began to enthusiastically sort through the collection of petals and leaves, making cooing sounds whenever she found one she particularly liked. "Why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself, Dawn?"
Dawn began arranging the petals and leaves in different patterns, her long fingers working with delicate grace. "I'm from the Fairy Kingdom," she said. "We're not supposed to come to the Dark Forest, my sister says it's dangerous and you get locked away, but I don't think it's scary here at all. My sister would never say things like that if she knew how sweet and kind and handsome my darling kingy wingy is. He would never do something as mean as locking people up!"
Griselda raised an eyebrow at that and glanced at the lowered cell bars. Did she not realize that Bog had brought her here as a hostage? Oh well, they did say that love is blind…
"So you have a sister, honey? Do you have any other family?"
"Well, my dad is the king of the fairies," Dawn said matter-a-factly without looking up. "That's why I'm the princess. I don't remember my mother very much; she died when I was really little." Her fingers worked deftly, attaching two petals with a twig. "Marianne says I'm a lot like our mother, that she liked to sing too, but I don't really remember."
A twinge of sympathy niggled in Griselda's heart. She put a hand gently on the fairy's shoulder. "I'm so sorry to hear that, sweetie. My boy lost his father when he was very young too."
Dawn looked up again, wide-eyed and innocent. "Oh!" she said, as if something was suddenly occurring to her. "Is that why he seemed so upset earlier when I tried to sing to him? Was he thinking about his father?" Her face softened. "I wondered why he didn't want me there with him, why he wanted to be alone, but that was it, wasn't it? He didn't want me to see him cry, did he?" Tears brimmed in her eyes. "I cry too sometimes when I think about my mom, but he never needs to worry about crying in front of me. I'll always hold him and comfort him and tell him I love him, and everything will be all right."
Well, that hadn't been quite the situation, but Griselda didn't have the heart to break it to the girl. "That's very sweet of you, honey. I'm sure he'll appreciate it."
Dawn stuck another petal on with a dab of sticky sap. "Would you like to see my mother?"
Griselda hid her surprise. "Sure, honey, I'd love to see her."
Dawn reached down the front of her dress and pulled out a little gold locket. She scooted over next to Griselda and opened it, revealing a tiny painting of a fairy woman with gold locks and blue eyes, but purple instead of orange wings. "That's my mother," Dawn clarified, even though the resemblance was obvious.
She unclasped the necklace, leaving it in Griselda's hand, then returned to her petal creation. Griselda stared down at the painted blue eyes, frozen in time inside the locket, the little thing still warm from being tucked against the fairy's skin. Griselda wasn't completely sure why, but she felt oddly touched. "She looks very nice, honey."
A pang shot through her chest, something she hadn't felt for some time, as she thought of her own Knoll, gone these last twenty-seven years. Goblins didn't make likenesses of loved ones the way fairies did, but she didn't need a little painting to remember his dear face. Sure, he had been a grumpy old codger half the time, but there had been nothing in the world like seeing the way his face lit up when he looked at her. Oh, if only her son had someone to look at like that…
"You know, sweetie, my grandfather was an elf," Griselda said, setting the locket back down next to Dawn and watching the girl work. "There's not very many in the Dark Forest who know that, but he was. Fell in love with and married a troll girl, he did. And their daughter was my mother." She chuckled softly. "I always said that's where I got my liking for Meadow music and customs. All this nonsense about keeping the kingdoms separate and they never have been, not really."
Dawn continued to fiddle and pick at the petals. She tore off a strip of leaf, tearing it artfully and then arranging it lovingly into her decoration. "Will you tell me more about my love? Has he loved me for a very long time now? And he's very shy, isn't he? He hasn't even kissed me yet! I mean, it's very thoughtful of him to be sensitive like that, but he doesn't need to worry. Marianne is always nagging me about boys, but it's not like I'm a little child anymore! I mean, I can take care of myself! And we're in love!"
Griselda frowned a little. The girl was…optimistic, that was for sure, but Bog hadn't exactly showered her with affection in the throne room. Griselda loved a good swept-off-your-feet romance as well as the next, but realism did have its place. "Well, honey, I'm not sure he quite feels that way about you yet," Griselda hedged gently. "You'll have to work a little if you want to win that heart of his. But don't let his cantankerous attitude put you off. He's a real sweetheart underneath those mean scowls and all that growling, I promise."
Dawn looked up from her petals, and now it was her turn for a little frown to cross those pink, pouty lips. "What do you mean? He's not unpleasant at all. It was so kind and thoughtful of him to think of me and bring me here to visit him at his lovely castle." Her eyes went dreamy. "He's perfect, peeeeerrrrfect."
Griselda's frown deepened. Suspicion tingled in her stomach and toes as she leaned forward and laid a hand over the fairy's. "Honey," she said seriously, "you do know he brought you here as a hostage, right? That he kidnapped you to get the love potion back?"
The suspicion in Griselda's stomach turned sour. "Dawn dear," she said, "do you remember what happened right before my son brought you here?"
Dawn was staring off into the dungeons again, and the look in her eyes was misty and vacant. Griselda cupped her face with her hands, forcing the girl to look at her. "Honey, this is important. What happened right before my son's goblins took you?"
Dawn seemed to drag herself out of the trance. She scrunched her little button of a nose up, picking absently at the leaves and petals in her lap. "It was just the elf festival," she said a little curtly, as if offended that Griselda had interrupted her daydreams about Bog. "I was dancing, with Roland, and Sunny was there and…and…then the goblins… No, Sunny was upset, and when I turned around, he dumped something at my face. It was all bright and glittery, like rainbows, but it stung all terrible in my eyes and throat. And then it went dark. And then, he was there, waiting for me, and he'll be coming down any minute now to tell me he loves me, and we're going to get married and we'll live together in the Dark Forest forever and ever and ever!"
Griselda released her and dropped back onto the mushroom, as the fairy girl continued to gush on and on about Bog. Wearily, she ran a hand over her brow.
She should have seen all the signs earlier, the signs that the girl had been love-dusted. It all made sense now. The girl's sudden love – no, obsession – with her boy, her misinterpretations of everything Bog had done, her insistence that Bog loved her back just as passionately and that he would sweep her off to happily ever after. Of course, it was that dratted Plum's potion.
Dawn was fluttering again, babbling on, blissfully trapped in the glittery, perfect world of the potion. Slowly, Griselda rose to her feet, sighing heavily and making her way to the door. Dawn didn't even notice. Griselda lifted the bars and closed them again, then stood outside the cell, watching the love-dusted creature for several moments longer. Her heart felt heavy for the girl.
Everyone deserves to be loved, but no one deserves this fate.
With a touch of indignant anger, Griselda wondered if this Sunny had meant to dust her all along. Maybe Bog kidnapping her had been a small grace after all, even if Griselda could no longer in good conscience try to encourage a relationship between them.
"It was nice talking to you, sweetie," Griselda said. "I've got some things I've gotta go do now, but it was so nice meeting you. Now you stay safe, and I promise no one's gonna hurt you, Dawn honey."
Dawn landed on the other side of the bars and clutched them again. This time, when Griselda looked deep into her huge, wide eyes, she could see the telltale pink glitter behind the sky blue. "Please tell my love to come soon," she begged, eagerness dripping from her voice. "I love him and nobody else."
"I know you do," Griselda said, patting the back of the girl's hand softly. How could someone have love dusted this sweet little dandelion? "I'm gonna go talk to him right now," she promised.
Dawn beamed. Then she held something up, displaying it to Griselda. "Do you think he'll like it?" she asked, worried and earnest all at once. "Will he think it's pretty? Oh, I hope so so so much that he likes it."
It was the finished boutonniere. It really was a beautiful thing, Griselda couldn't help but notice, but her heart felt heavy. "I'm…I'm sure he'll think it's lovely, darling," Griselda said, forcing a smile. "I'm sure he'll love it."
Dawn spread her wings and fell backwards, letting the air catch her and spin her into a flying loop of ecstasy. "Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes."
Griselda shut the door. Behind it, Dawn began to sing again.
"No, I can't forget this evening or your face as you were leaving…"
Griselda trudged up the stairs, the cogs in her mind turning. As much as she wanted to see her boy finally hitched and happy, this wasn't the right match. Her boy deserved someone who really, truly loved him, not a girl who'd been doused with that cursed love potion. And even if that sweet fairy princess really believed she loved Bog with all her heart, Griselda knew it was nothing but a glittery fantasy.
She'd need to break it to Bog…gently. He was a piece of work when it came to her matchmaking, but she guessed at how much he secretly longed to be loved. Even if he refused to show it, being mooned over by such a pretty fairy girl was sure to have touched him somewhere. She needed to make sure he didn't get his hopes up only to have them dashed by Plum's stunning recipe for disaster.
It was too bad. Dawn really did seem like a sweet little thing. In another life, Griselda would have loved to get to know her better. Such a sweet, sunny, little thing.
"Oh, she's just not your type, son," Griselda rehearsed to herself out loud as she slowly plodded up the stairs, purposefully lightening her voice. "Don't be fooled by that sweet, sunny disposition. Just not your type."