So this one's a bit of doozie. A lot's happening in this and I hope I can get the pacing right for this.
Regarding last chapter, I'm not shipping Audrey with New Guy. Hell to the no. I can see WHY one guest thought so and I give my sincerest apologies for that. Incest isn't something I'm comfortable with as well. I'm also not a fan of huge age gaps. New Guy's around 25 in this and I made Audrey a year younger than Mal, so that's an 8-9 year difference. NOPE NOT GONNA HAPPEN FOLKS. YOU CAN PUT YOUR PITCH FORKS DOWN AND END YOUR CALL WITH THE FBI. WE ARE NOT HEADING DOWN THAT ROAD.
Anyway, that aside, let's begin this chapter folks
Chapter 14: Return to the Isle of the Lost
Jay never quite took Snow White to be this stubborn.
The rest of the lunch was postponed, unfortunately, upon hearing of Grimhilde's demise. It seemed that trip to the Isle would happen sooner rather than later.
Which was what brought them to this argument.
" Snow, you can't go to the Isle!", Evie argued.
Snow huffed, hand on her hips as she glared at her step sister," And why not? Grimhilde is my mother as well. I don't see why I can't join you", she argued back.
" The Isle is filled with thugs and dangerous lunatics! That's no place for a queen", Evie said.
" That's hardly a good reason", Snow said crossing her arms.
" We don't even know how strongly the villain's will react to you there. Both you and Nova!", Evie said.
Snow wasn't the only one who wanted to tag along. Nova expressed interest along with Ivy. Carlos had immediately shut down Ivy's request and Malevola had surprisingly backed him up.
" You have week until you enter your third trimester, Ivy. There's no way you'd be able to safely cross to the Isle", was Carlos' argument and that had effectively shut Ivy up.
Mal hadn't spent much time and energy on arguing with Nova, since she wasn't too worried about her aunt's wellbeing and how she will take to the Isle. Nova was a fairly intimidating woman, despite her soft features. And Mal would bet on her future crown that the villains are aware of the Blue Fairy's relation to Maleficent. So there wasn't much to worry about if she took everything that could go wrong into account. Worse case scenario, Mal would just ask her dad to keep her aunt company if things did turn ugly.
Evie, however, was not having Snow's stubbornness.
" The Isle is dangerous"
" And yet you're going!", Snow argued.
" I have to! She's my mother!", Evie yelled.
" She's my mother too and the only mother figure I ever had!", Snow yelled back.
Evie was taken aback," You-"
" My own mother died at child birth and Ferdinand's mother died two years before I met him of lung cancer. I have been surrounded 80% of life by men and Grimhilde was the only female I ever considered my mother. Now she's gone. I, at the very least, want to say the goodbye I've been deprived of saying for the last 20 years to her", Snow said frowning deeply.
Mal winced, had she not had that dream she had, she may not have known what Snow was talking about.
" ... I don't see why she can't tag along", Jay said quietly.
" Jay...", Evie said carefully.
" Look, I know the Isle, maybe even a little better than all of you. Which is why I have a... kind of solution. Snow and Nova, if you two are willing of course, can stick with my mom. She's got immunity among the Islanders because she's physically weak and my dad will go ballistic if he finds out someone hurt her. She's a big safety net and a lot more saner than Cruella. You'll be safe and still be in good company", Jay explained.
Everyone was silent as they stared at Jay who looked back at them with confusion," What?", he said.
" Jay, that is literally the smartest thing I've ever heard you say", Carlos said in awe.
Jay scowled and gave Carlos an annoyed smack behind his head, which the shorter boy laughed off.
" So it's the four of us, Snow and Nova", Mal said as she counted.
" Not quite", Malevola said as she turned to Carlos," While you and Ivy were busy squabbling, I took the liberty of asking your father to accompany you to the Isle".
" Ma!", Carlos exclaimed in embarrassment.
" To be fair, you did tell him the next time you head to the Isle, you'll go together", Ivy said shrugging," Besides, we De Vils feel a lot calmer around our lovers. It's the curse's weakness".
" Not that again...", Carlos muttered.
His friends looked at him weirdly for his reaction to what Ivy said.
Malevola huffed," Well, we should get going, Ivy. Carlos, your father will be here to pick you all up in a minute. Come, Ivanna", she said exasperated.
" Have fun, Carlos! And tell Auntie Ellie I said hi!", Ivy said cheerfully.
Carlos sighed," Will do...", he said tiredly, as he watched them leave.
" What was that all about?", Mal asked.
" Just an old family tale", Carlos said exasperated," Take that last thing Ivy said with a pinch of salt".
Mal took a glimpse at Nova to her side and saw her aunt merely shrug. That didn't sit well with the teen.
" At least we get to meet your dad. Is he nice?", Evie asked.
Carlos smiled," Yeah, he's really great. Like Jay's mom", he said fondly.
Evie pouted," Okay! How have all of you seen Jay's mom and not me?!", she said crossing arms with a huff.
Ben fiddled nervously with his hands under his desk in his office at his family's castle.
He was meeting with the King of Wasteland.
Wasteland, despite the name, was a rather prosperous kingdom bathing in riches. The king was a stubborn man with a temper that could rival his father's.
But that wasn't what intrigued Ben. What interested Ben was Wasteland's rather successful villain rehabilitation project.
During the unification of Auradon's kingdoms, there were plenty of kingdoms who rejected unifying with Auradon. And Wasteland was one of them. Instead of imprisoning their villains, Wasteland sought to help villains reintegrate into society as more 'neutral' members at best.
That project could possibly help speed up the process of bringing more Isle kids to Auradon. And if proven successful... then Ben could perhaps move on towards the villains. Perhaps starting with the ones who were locked on the Isle due to association like Mr Smee...
" Such a deep thoughtful expression for a boy who's only been king for a few months"
Ben looked up in surprise at the appearance of the middle-aged man before him.
" My arrival was announced but you were so deep in thought, you hardly noticed, young king", the man said cheekily, bowing forward a little," King Oswald Iwerks of Wasteland".
Ben smiled sheepishly as he stood and bowed too, than proceeded to shake Oswald's hand," It's an honour to meet you, sir", he said respectfully.
" The honour is all mine, King Ben. I've been looking a bit forward to this meeting myself", Oswald said smiling.
A little white lie had never hurt anybody.
Oswald really wasn't looking forward to the meeting.
It wasn't that he despised Auradon with a boiling hot passion like his younger brother, who would shout and scream that Auradon was messing with the very laws of magic itself but later turn somber as he remembered he technically helped Auradon become what it was currently. No, Oswald didn't hate Auradon, he merely felt that the place was... unnatural.
Oswald was raised around magic and so was all his siblings, friends and his friends' friends. His brother had an actual apprenticeship with Master Yen Sid for Kahl's sakes! Though they were much different from typical wizards or sorcerers, magic ran through their body like blood. Oswald was taught both the arts of light and dark magic and reached an honorable skill level and later learned to fuse magic with technology. It was his one of the greatest moments of his life.
And Auradon thought he'd toss that all aside... for what? His heritage was practically built on magic, his kingdom was based and laid with magic- heck he and his brothers were made with magic. Auradon thought they'd toss all that away... for unification. Yeah, no. Wasteland was not unifying with any kingdom any time soon. And much to Oswald's delight, he was not alone. Arendelle and Motunui had rejected the offers.
Then there was the place itself. Auradon was drastically different from Wasteland. In ways Oswald felt were more disturbing than intriguing. In Auradon, people were polite, too polite to the point it felt fake. The pastel colours of the houses, the clothing, the public areas in general was an eyesore. And though it may look like an ideal society, Oswald could see the magical residents got the short-end of the stick. The population of Neverland fairies had dwindled through the past twenty years.
Professor Von Drake had told him if the rapid population decline remained the same in the future, then the idea of Neverland fairies going extinct wouldn't be impossible, which meant the seasons would stop changing.
' Is there anything Auradon hasn't messed up with yet?', Oswald thought bitterly. Then he snorted,' If the emperor of Fantasia were here, he would've blown a gasket', he mused.
Which was true, Emperor Ezekiel Magne wasn't known for his rare mercy nor his patience.
While there were things about Auradon that unnerved Oswald, it's new king is making rather bold decisions that, in his eyes, looked rather promising. So who was Oswald to deny the kid at least a meeting, even if he was going to deny the offer of unification.
Though as Oswald looked at Ben before him, he could've sworn he'd sense something... magical inside the boy.
" You must have been cooped up in this office for quite a while. Perhaps we could go outside, take a walk in the garden as we discuss things", Oswald suggested.
Ben agreed and got up from behind his desk. Both kings walked out of the room and headed towards the castle gardens. Oswald eyed him critically from the side. It seemed like this meeting would be interesting after all.
Evie needed a distraction. She needed something to distract her from her mother's death. And she hoped meeting Carlos' father and maybe Jay's mother would offer good ones.
She felt her excitement and nervousness grow as Carlos pointed out one of his family's limousines heading in their way. Excitement for meeting someone new and nervousness as she realised the time to see her mother was drawing closer.
" So how many limousines does your family own, 'Los?", Jay asked.
" Only 4. This one specifically belongs to my dad", Carlos pointed out.
Jay whistled quietly, impressed.
" Exactly how wealthy is your family, Carlos?", Mal asked.
Carlos shrugged," Uncle Vendetta said we're in the top ten richest non-royal families in the world, so we're rich", he said.
" Whose the richest family?", Jay asked.
" You have an uncle named 'Vendetta'?", Mal said confused.
" Vendetta's not his real name. It's a moniker. Everyone in the family has one. His real name's Vincent. Jay to answer your question, it's some Scottish guy from Wasteland. I think his name is Scrooge...", Carlos said as the limo pulled up in front of them.
The door of the driver's seat opened and a well-dressed old man stepped out. He grinned at Carlos," To and return trip to the Isle of the Lost, Master Carlos", he said teasingly.
" Hi Mr Reginald", Carlos said returning the grin.
Reginald smiled," Your father is waiting. He's rather excited to see your mother again", he said.
Carlos chuckled," I'm sure he is. I just wonder what her reaction'll be when she sees him", he said.
Reginald smiled reassuringly," Well, I can say for certain she won't be angry with him or you, that's for certain", he said confidently before opening the back door," Your ride, ladies and gentlemen".
They all thanked the man gratefully before getting into the vehicle.
When everyone got in, the teens were greeted by a middle-aged man. The resemblance to Carlos was immediately recognized, freckles sprayed all over his face. His hair was a dull auburn with small gray hairs starting to kick in, similarly to the short beard on his face.
" Huh, I thought you'd look scarier", Jay said thoughtfully.
" Jay!", Evie exclaimed mortified while Nova, Snow and Carlos laughed in the background," I am so sorry, mister. I'm sure Jay didn't mean what he said, right Jay?", she hissed out the last part.
The man waved it off," It's fine. Most people who meet me think the same thing, he's just one of the few to say it out loud", he said snorting," You three must be the Evie, Jay and Mal my son likes to talk about. Harold De Vil, it's a pleasure to finally meet my son's best friends. Hopefully I'll meet his girlfriend next", he said side-eyeing Carlos who looked away sheepishly.
" It's nice to meet you, Mr De Vil", Mal said with a smile
" Please Lady Mal, Harry is fine. Mr De Vil is my father-in-law", Harry said pleasantly.
" You took Cruella's last name", Evie said surprised.
Harry smiled," I did. I preferred hers over my own", he mentioned.
" Doesn't that give you a lot of problems?", Jay asked curiously. While he personally saw the name De Vil carry a lot of power, being connected to a villain also meant a lot of problems
Harry grimaced," It does bring a few problems. A lot of people are quite vocal about how they feel about my marriage", he said.
" Sometimes they get a little more than vocal...", Carlos said with bitter anger.
It happened for a short second but Mal could've sworn Carlos' eyes flashed red before turning to normal when his father squeezed his hand.
' That's new', Mal thought. She would ask him about that later. Mal turned to her aunt to notice her expression soured. And Snow White didn't look too well either.
' They know something', Mal thought inwardly.
" Malevola informed me the news about Grimhilde. My deepest condolences for loss, ladies", Harry said as he addressed both Evie and Snow.
" Thank you. It's much appreciated", Snow said gratefully as did Evie.
" I met her once. During my time on the Isle. Had a couple of things to say about my scruff", Harry said chuckling," Cruella had shut her down immediately. Told her her 'hubby wasn't something to brag about. At least I had my good looks'", he said.
" When was that?", Mal asked.
" Roughly about 17 years ago. I remember Gaston's first daughter being born that same day", Harry said thoughtfully," I think you three were already born around that time".
" So you've lived on the Isle before?", Evie said.
" How else would I have Puppy over here?", Harry said messing his son's hair .
" Dad!", Carlos said with a pout.
" But yes I have. I stayed there for about 10 years before Auradon fished me out of there because my birth family demanded my bail", he explained with slight bitterness," They thought with Cruella out of the way, I'd finally get around to marrying 'a true upstanding lady' instead, so I told them to sod off. Beast wouldn't let me go back to the Isle so I had decided to stay with my in-laws and run the business side of House of De Vil for the family".
" So what happened with your birth family?", Evie asked curiously.
Harry shrugged," Cut off contact with them. And everyone made sure I was never in the same area as them. I believe they eventually moved to Agrabah for business", he said calmly.
" Coming onto the Isle of the Lost, Mr Harry", Reginald said from the front.
" Thanks Reginald", Harry replied.
Snow bit her lip nervously as she stared out the window at the darkness around them as they moved past the barrier. She was beginning to feel rather nervous.
The limousine came to a stop to what looked like one of the old warehouses that lined up near the wharf. The car doors unlocked and everyone climbed out.
" What is that horrible stench?", Nova asked with a grimace.
" Probably the weekly barge. This is one of the warehouses near the wharf if I'm not mistaken", Mal said as Reginald opened up the trunk of the car.
" Does it always smell bad here?", Nova asked.
" Well it's kinda a variety, I guess. Town Square has a more expired food smell while the Huns camp smells like the dead, the wharf has a rotting bad fish smell all throughout the year and I'm pretty sure the underground smells a lot like urine and possible mercury remnants", Mal said as she remembered.
Snow grimaced at the descriptions. Nova was correct in her exclaim, it smelled horrible here.
" You can stay in the limo if you'd like", Evie said.
Snow shook her head," I've come this far, it would be useless if I stop now", she said as she stood her ground.
Evie smiled," Okay, that's fine. But I have to warn you, it's all down hill from here. We're gonna be surrounded by villains", she said.
" I'm not afraid", Snow said confidently," I will handle this with the exact amount of faux confidence Grimhilde ingrained in our heads".
" Right", Evie said grinning.
Nova chuckled, it was easy to see they were raised by the same person.
" So where to first?", Harry asked as Carlos wheeled him away from the car in a wheelchair.
Jay, Mal and Evie did a double take at Harold in a wheelchair but quickly brushed it off like they haven't been caught off guard.
" My father's junk shop is a good place to start. Mom's always at home so we can hop over there before heading to Evie's", Jay said.
" Alright then, let's get to it", Mal said with a clap of her hands before the group made their way out into the streets of the Isle.
End of Chapter 14
If you weren't aware, Mr Harry De Vil is an actual 101 Dalmatians character. He appeared in the original book under 'Mr De Vil' and in the musical, he received the name Harry. It's also true that he did indeed take Cruella's last name. In the book, he is considered evil, but in a cowardly kind of way as he was on the same level as Jasper and Horace, a minion if I'm not mistaken (Like the Le Fou to Cruella's Gaston). But I made some significant differences: 1 being that Harry is now more neutral than evil, he's not at all afraid of Cruella and is wheelchair-bound (why, you'll find out later).