This is the final chapter of retelling Descendants 3.
Thank you to everyone that has reviewed, favorited, or followed this story.
Our special guest makes her final appearance.
Or . . . is it?
One week later, Mal and Ben's engagement party was in full swing on the multi-leveled terrace overlooking Auradon's Bridge Plaza. In contrast to the Isle's dilapidated Bridge Plaza, Auradon's was a magnificent tree-lined court with four decks connected by blue carpet-lined stairs. It was the ideal setting to celebrate the joyful occasion.
Mal was the picture of grace in a metallic-orchid dress, elbow-length lilac gloves, gold peep-toe booties, and her black tiara with purple and blue gems. Ben also looked dashing in a sharp three-piece blue suit sans tie. He took Mal's arm in his, and together the gorgeous couple walked through the tunnel and into the party in progress.
"There they are," Evie announced, who gave off an air of sophistication in a structured midnight-blue gown of her own design. She looked at Doug, who stood by her side in a mint-green suit and blue shirt. Mal and Ben weren't the only ones in love.
Mal and Ben grinned at their friends, then at each other as they took in the festive scene. Uniformed waiters circulated throughout the plaza, balancing silver trays piled with gourmet food. Jubilant party guests in chic cocktail dresses and stylish sport coats mixed and mingled.
Dizzy, dressed to the nines in a black-and-moss polka-dot frock, spun between Squeaky and Squirmy, who both wore blue-and-white-striped tailcoats. The swanky event was a definite first for the impoverished Isle kids.
Mal waved to the guests, then smiled kindly at Audrey. It was Audrey's first public appearance since her recent touch with evil and darkness. She looked herself again in a beaded pink off-the-shoulder dress and her demure bluebird necklace.
Ben kissed Mal's hand, then escorted her up the stairs to the plaza's balcony. The king clinked his crystal punch glass to get everyone's attention. "Lady Mal and I want to thank you for celebrating our engagement with us today," he told the crowd, before turning toward his future bride. "I couldn't be prouder or happier to call you my queen." With a wide smile, he looked back at the celebrating masses. "So, raise your glasses to our future queen of Auradon!"
The guest all raised their glasses high in the air. "To our queen of Auradon."
"Speech, Your Specialness," shouted Carlos, all dressed up in a black-and-white paisley jacket and skinny-cut black pants. Smitten, Jane stood by his side in a cornflower lace midi-dress and her one-of-a-kind Jarlos necklace, her birthday present from Carlos.
"Speech, oh fancy one," Jay yelled, laughing. The gold embroidery on his sport coat reflected the glow of the twinkle lights. With his hair tied up in a tidy bun, he clapped for Mal. She deserved all of it.
Mal looked at the expectant faces that surrounded her, especially those of the villain kids. She shook her head. "I can't," she denied. "I can't be the queen of Auradon. Not yet."
The audience stirred. Evie gasped. Ben's face dropped as he stepped closer to her. "Mal?"
"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I can't turn my back on the Isle."
She addressed the crowd again. "The Royal Council is in the midst of deciding to close the barrier. We are only one vote away from closing it off for good. The idea was admittedly mine, but it was wrong. I've learned that you can't live in fear, because it doesn't protect you from anything. You never know where the bad is going to from and you never know where the heroes are going to come from, either. Without Uma and her loyal pirates, Auradon would be gone. And without Hades . . . my father—"
Of course, the audience gasped at the new revelation, muttering to one another in surprise. "Audrey would be gone too," Mal added. "We are all capable of good and bad, no matter which side of the barrier we come from." She raised her head with clear insight and strength of a leader.
But a leader reveals everything about a situation. It was time the world knew the truth.
"The same goes for the light and darkness inside a person," Mal continued with more confidence than before. "Due to certain unfortunate circumstances, you all know that King Ben has darkness inside him, yet he was born in Auradon. I, the daughter of Maleficent and the daughter of Hades, born on the Isle of the Lost, have only light inside me. I have no darkness. My father spent almost all my life begging King Beast to let me live in Auradon so my light wouldn't fade away, but the retired king believed he was lying. I don't, no . . . I won't rule a kingdom where half the population is ignored!"
Mal turned to King Ben with conviction and determination. "I can't be the queen of just Auradon. I have to be queen of the Isle too." She smiled knowingly. "Ben . . . I want to remove the barrier too."
"You can't do that," Beast argued, alarmed at the mere suggestion.
Ben stood shoulder to shoulder with his beloved and looked at his father. "It's up to us, Dad. In case you already forgot, your stubbornness almost costed the life of my future queen. I won't let it cost the life of anyone else."
Ben adverted his attention to their audience. "I chose to be a king who moves forward. It's time for forgiveness. It's time for new beginnings. The barrier will come down!"
It was an official royal proclamation. Auradon and the Isle would finally be united as one.
"Yes!" Carlos exclaimed with unabashed glee. "Woo-hooo-hoooo!"
Doug, Jane, and the crowd hooted and cheered. Evie, Jay, and Carlos were ecstatic and moved by the historic event. Even Chad, Audrey, and Queen Leah, who had a new empathy for villains, applauded.
Ben smiled proudly and gave the honor of dismantling the barrier to the future queen of the United States of Auradon. "Bring it down, Mal."
Fairy Godmother stepped forward to offer Mal her wand, but Mal raised a hand to stop her. "I have another way, a different way, to bring it down," Mal reassured, before gazing down at her three friends. "But I will need the help of my friends. After all, they are my power."
This honor wasn't hers alone; they had achieved the opening of the Isle together. Jay, Evie, and Carlos joined her up on the balcony. The four original VKs stood together with pride.
Mal took in a deep breath to calm her nerves. It was the moment of truth. Was she worthy?
Extending her arm out in front of her, she held her breath as her hand was enveloped in a bright light. When the light faded, she now grasped the famous Keyblade known as the Way to Dawn, the very weapon she adored as a child thanks to her father.
With a smile gracing her lips, Mal began, "To make the world a better place . . ."
"We have to do it face to face," Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos declared in unison.
Mal's eyes briefly flashed green as her body became surrounded in a layer of her light. Grasping the Keyblade with both of her hands, Mal pointed it at the Isle of the Lost, a beam of light emitting from the edge of the tip. With a crackle, the barrier, which for so long had separated the Isle from Auradon, began to come down. It popped, shattered, then exploded into a brilliant shower of emeralds that rained into the sea.
The divider between the two lands was no more.
With a grateful smile, Mal used the Keyblade—her Keyblade again. She moved her hands to create a dazzling bridge that stretched from the Auradon City shore to the Isle of the Lost. It was a bridge anyone could cross at any time. The island was no longer a prison.
All the VKs of the Isle were free.
On the dilapidated Isle streets, elated villain kids celebrated. They'd been liberated! Without the barrier to act as a shade, rays of sunshine broke through the gloom and shone down on the Isle.
Uma threw her arms out wide and spun around triumphantly. "My plan," she claimed, and it was. Ben had been right: Uma was part of the solution. "Yeeesss!" she exclaimed as she bounded up the stairs.
Uma stood on the balcony above the Isle's Bridge Plaza and looked across the sea at Mal, who stood on a parallel balcony in Auradon. From Uma's perspective, Mal had done right by the Isle kids in the end. The dragon girl had redeemed herself.
Mal looked back across the sea and smiled at Uma with utmost appreciation. When Mal had been in her most desperate moment, Uma had stepped up and helped. For that, Mal would be eternally grateful.
Evie, Jay, Carlos, and Ben surrounded Mal on the Auradon terrace balcony while Harry, Gil, and Celia rallied around Uma on the Isle. Both groups frolicked, danced, and paraded toward the center of the bridge. There the two crews abandoned their irreconcilable differences and formed one indivisible team.
Everything went quiet once the Isle kids reached Auradon. King Ben stood before the people of Auradon, looked at Mal and the throngs of villain offspring behind her, and took a knee before the Isle kids. The Auradon citizens followed his lead and bowed to the VKs.
After a moment of utter disbelief, the VKs swarmed the plaza in jubilation, whooping, hollering, and living it up. With Auradon and the Isle united at last, everyone—whoever they were, wherever they were from—threw their arms in the air and danced and sang with unbridled happiness.
Mal threw her arms around Dizzy and Celia, then watched as they grabbed Squeaky and Squirmy and ran to hug Dr. Facilier, Lady Tremaine, and Smee.
Mal and Ben searched the crowd for a certain someone. They got a certain surprise when a white ink-like blob crawled up Mal's leg and manifested into a creature in her arms. That 'creature' was a Heartless called a Shadow, but this one had white skin with purple, green, and now blue designs all over it—her body.
"Halo!" Mal greeted happily as she held the Heartless closer to her. "I've missed you!"
"I hope you've missed me too, Princess."
Mal jerked her head up to see her father, who was hard to miss with his blue hair. Halo jumped out of Mal's arms to stand next to Hades, changing form into a Neoshadow—the 'adult' version of a Shadow. Hades automatically leaned against her for support.
Although he was weak, Hades smiled warmly at his daughter. "Am I invited to the wedding?" he teased.
Mal ran to Hades, bridging the difference, and, for the first time ever, publicly hugged her father. She no longer had to fear her mother's wrath for doing such a thing. At first, Hades stood with his arms stiff at his side. It had been so long since he has been on the receiving end of an embrace, almost fourteen years. Instinctively, the villain raised his hands and hugged his beloved daughter back.
Once they pulled away, Hades's smile grew. "I'm sure you'll be very happy together," he insisted.
Mal turned to her fiancé and allowed him to wrap her up in his arms in a loving embrace. Over Mal's shoulder, Hades gave Ben the I'm watching you gesture. Ben smiled, unsure if the god of the Underworld was kidding. After seeing what he had done for his daughter, Ben had no doubt that Hades would do anything and everything for his princess.
"Welcome to Auradon," Ben greeted kindly.
Hades glared at the king, still showing that he was threatening him. This relationship was going to take a little bit of getting used to. Okay, a lot of getting used to. But it would be worth it, to marry the girl he loved with all his heart.
There would be a lot to do with a wedding to plan.
And thanks to Yen Sid, there will be a few special guests to watch the ceremony—
Which you will see in November 2019.