A/N: I do not own anything with the exceptions of any OCs that come out to play. Everything else belongs to Disney.
Thank you all so much for the support for the previous chapter-it really means a lot! Seeing all your reviews, favorites and alerts never fails to bring a smile to my face!
Hope you all are still being safe and taking care of yourselves.
AmethystDragon14: Oh I'm so glad! I loved writing the Bal too! Trust me, I can't wait to see where this story goes-and I'm the one writing it!
Fan: Ask and you'll receive! :D
Katie2001: Oh I'm so glad you like it and I hope you like this chapter too!
estherramsayaa22: I didn't think I posted that quickly :D I try to write a little bit every day as to not allow time for writer's block to set in.
Ayakitten83: Glad you liked it!
Hulffpuffgirl95: Oh I'm so glad you liked it! Trust me I was squealing as I wrote it, my roommate was almost ready to have me committed that's how insane she thought I was :D I think your suggestion for an OC to be the one to train Mal in her Fae powers is a good one. As for the Olympian side, if I'm honest, I haven't thought of that yet. :D
twilightgirl587: Agreed! If only the movies had given us more Bal scenes!
purpleprincess22: Yep! I just wanted to have Bal in the first chapter just because of everything that went down in the previous viewing (you know, revealing that they're TL, etc.)
ShiroHollow96: I'm so glad you liked it!
Grace: Oh thank you! I promise things will be changing though some things may end up staying the same.
Guest: Well we'll have to wait and see, though I can promise it won't be pleasant for Natalie ;D
Tracie: I'm so glad you liked the chapter! Hope you enjoy this one!
Kaybugg1: So glad you enjoyed it! Hope you enjoy this chapter as well! :D
TR Lara Croft: Oh thank you! As for why I'm not letting Blue Fairy or Fairy Godmother train her...in all honesty I forgot about that part. This is why I tend to not do series in my fics lol!
AliceCullen3: I'm so glad!
Stoffe: I'm so glad you've been liking my stories. I can promise there will not be any amnesia regarding Hades. I can promise that when the time comes for them to watch D3, someone who wasn't there in D1 when Hadie spilled the beans will be watching ;D
Hotgirlow: Oh I'm so glad you like them! Hope you enjoy this chapter!
OceanBlueSeaEyes: I can promise I will be doing my take on Cotillion-if only because it's a chance to write more Bal. :D
Neverland: ...what did I say about breaking my brain? lol Neverland's 'Gods' being a manifestation of Neverland itself is a cool concept though, not going to lie.
CrystalKaouri: Oh thank you! I agree, Mal and Ben really need a vacation-and, as the writer, I'm inclined to give them one! Maybe more than one, since I agree Hadie seems to really like Ben and vice versa but right now the little stormcloud is on the Isle. Have to get him off of there first :D As for the fish brained trio as you called them, I can promise two out of the three of them aren't going to try to leave.
LOST MUSES: Oh I'm so glad you liked it! And I'll be happy to address your points! :D 1: First off, I'm glad you liked how I wrote the handlers. Trust me, I'm ready to deal with them myself and I'm the one who created them. 2: Eh, could have been worse. In French History, one of their kings was crowned at 11. 16 is at least reasonably close to adulthood. 3: Yes we can because I really like that idea! 4: I believe I did know that but you wouldn't know it by her performance, the actress does an amazing job! 5: No forgiveness needed! :D
61394: Oh thank you! Stay safe yourself! :D
uma witch: Ask and you'll receive :D
Hope you all enjoy this chapter! Let me know your thoughts! I'm going to try to work on an update schedule as to not leaving you guys hanging for long but if work gets busy or real life gets in the way, I can't make much in the way of promises!
Mal ran her fingers over the cover of the sketch book as she sat on her bed in her dorm. It had been only a couple of hours since Ben had given it to her but already pages had been filled with more sketches than one could shake a stick at.
Whatever entered her mind, she would draw. If Mal was being honest with herself, it was the most relaxed she had felt in months. Even her accidental dragon transformation hadn't gotten a feeling like that.
Probably because I was more focused on the rage I felt toward Uma to even notice any relaxation, Mal thought as she absentmindedly flipped open the sketchbook to a fresh page. Grabbing a nearby pencil, Mal began to sketch the rough outline of her dragon form. Or at least what she had seen in the viewing.
Dragons, or at least their outlines, were easy. You didn't grow up as Maleficent's daughter on the Isle and not know how to draw a dragon. There were multiple discarded ideas for her tags that involved dragons before she chose the Maleficent silhouette behind the words 'long live evil'.
There was a reason, though, that the saying was the devil was in the details. Even a rough sketch of the scales proved to be at least an hour's worth of work. Still, Mal was determined to get this one looking decent at least. Even if it would never see the light of day, she still took pride in her art.
Grabbing an eraser, Mal began gently removing the fine sketch lines so that only the solid outline remained. Then came the fun part—adding in the color and shading. She was so focused, she never saw Evie come in.
"Well, you look hard at work," Evie said gently, trying to not startle Mal. Evie knew what it was like to make a wrong move on a sketch. For her, it had turned a design for a skirt into a design for pants. Thankfully the client had been Mal during the early 'Lady of the Court' prep days so she loved it. Unfortunately her handler had put the kibosh on the design and had insisted it change back to a skirt.
"Huh?" Mal said, lifting her head. "Oh, it's nothing. Just a doodle."
"Mal, you usually don't put in that amount of effort for just a doodle," Evie said as she pulled her own sketchbook out. She wanted to get to work on Mal's new dress since the yellow and blue wouldn't work, clashing with Mal's purple hair. Besides, she only had two days to get it done. If push came to shove, Evie could enlist Jane and change the dress with magic but somehow that felt like cheating in someway.
Besides, this was Evie's way of apologizing too. Despite Mal's insistence that it wasn't necessary and the fact that Evie had apologized during the actual viewing, Evie still felt guilty. Yeah she had been stressed as she built her business but that was no excuse for missing the signs with Mal.
Hmm, I wonder if I could start implementing more of Mal's style into her outfits now, Evie thought. After all, Aladdin and Lord Zeus were at the viewing and they're both on the council according to Ben. Plus, if I'm going to be Ben's councilor too, I would get the same amount of input right? I mean, I'm the one designing the freaking things!
"Hey E?" Mal spoke up and turned the sketchbook toward Evie, pulling Evie out of her thoughts. "What do you think? I mean, it's just a rough sketch but…"
"M, if that's your idea of 'rough', I'd hate to see what your definition of 'complete' is," Evie said in awe, looking at the sketch of Mal's dragon form. It was only halfway colored but the detail Mal had managed to get was amazing. It truly looked like the dragon was ready to leap off the page. "It's amazing!"
Mal gave a small smile before turning the book back toward her, the purple colored pencil already at work coloring the rest of the dragon in.
Mal sighed, tapping her pencil on the side of the sketchbook. "This is going to sound odd coming from me but I want to do something for Ben. I mean, he's done everything for us. He brought us from the Isle, he's working to improve the life for the kids on the Isle, he sees me for me not just as some lady of the court or some Isle hood rat."
"Well what did you have in mind?" Evie asked, looking over at her.
"I don't know," Mal sighed, pushing the sketchbook away and sitting up. "I mean, I thought maybe a painting but then I just think about that stained glass window that's waiting for Cotillion. I mean, he said he worked with Jane and Rapunzel to have it commissioned. How could a painting I did compare?"
Evie sighed. Of course any insecurities Mal felt wouldn't have been eliminated by a simple viewing. At least she was talking about them now—and Evie wasn't going to just brush these aside like she had Mal's Isle question.
"M, it's Ben. You could probably perform Hellfire in front of him and he'd consider it an amazing gift," Evie said gently. "As long as it came from you, he'd love it."
Mal sighed and nodded. "You know he wants to take a vacation after all this?"
"Really?" Evie asked, a little shocked. "But isn't he…you know, the king?"
Mal chuckled. "You know, that's what I said too. All Ben said to that was he was basically under his mother's orders to take a break. He wants me to join him."
"Well, it'll be an unofficial trip so I doubt there'll be any press," Evie said with a smile.
"That won't stop the Gazelle," Mal sighed.
"At least they won't be able to come into the dorms any more, now that Fairy Godmother knows at least," Evie pointed out. "Plus they shouldn't be allowed on campus anyway. Press is only allowed for special events or if there are press conferences scheduled."
"How'd you know that?"
"I'm one of Ben's councilors," Evie said, sitting up in pride. "Or at least I will be if Ben offers me the position."
"You'll get it E," Mal said. "Why wouldn't you? You've got the most knowledge of royal life of all of us after all. Your mom did raise you to be a princess and the Isle does need the representation."
Evie shrugged. "Mal, I don't know. Between council meetings and my business, I wouldn't want my grades to suffer."
"Knowing Ben, he wouldn't ask that much from you," Mal said. "He's been in that position E. He wouldn't put someone else there too."
Sighing, Mal went back to her drawing; adding more and more detail to it until one might think it was an actual dragon.
Hmm, that's not bad actually, Mal thought as she looked at it, rubbing her finger over some of the scales to add a bit of smudging. But it's missing something…
If Ben's going to have a stained glass window of us in human form, then why not a painting of the two of us as animals? Mal thought. I could have the Isle and Auradon in the background?
Mal bit her lip as she considered it. There was only two days until Cotillion and that was a lot to ask of her. She hadn't done something that detailed when it came to her art before, and she still had all her other Lady of the Court things to do. Besides, Ben in a beast form? What if he didn't find it funny or something? Mal was sure that was probably one of the few things Ben's family didn't want to be reminded of.
You could perform Hellfire in front of him and he'd consider it an amazing gift, Evie's words rang through Mal's head and the purple haired girl nodded once. No more doubts, especially about Ben. She was the daughter of Maleficent, the daughter of Hades. It was time she started acting like it!
Well, maybe not all the way but if there was one thing you could easily say about Maleficent, she was certainly confident.
Ben loves you for you, Mal thought as her hand brushed the page of her sketchbook as if reminding herself of that fact. Just keep telling yourself that and you'll be fine.
"E? Do you know who'd have some canvas?" Mal asked as she got up.
"One of the Fitzherberts probably," Evie said, not looking up from her own design. "Money would be on Rowyn though. Rachel is more into baking, Ruby's more into sewing, Robin's more into sports and Rose is more into guitar."
Mal stared at the blue haired girl for a minute. "How is it you know that? I'm the one who spent the holidays with them and even I didn't know that!"
"M, you spent the holidays being pestered by the Gazelle and other media outlets," Evie said gently, looking up at Mal. "Don't forget, I did date Evan for like a week back when I was on the hunt for a prince, before I set my sights on Chad."
"Oh yeah," Mal said with a chuckle. "I'll be right back."
"Take your time Mal," Evie told her and Mal made her way down the hall toward the second eldest's Fitzherbert's dorm. Thankfully, from her time dating Ben, her time in the Learning to be Royal club and the viewings, Mal had developed a reasonable friendship with Rapunzel's daughters and son.
"Hey Raps Jr," Mal said, knocking on Rowyn's door. "You got a sec?"
"Of course Mal," Rowyn said with a smile, brushing a bit of her light brown hair out of her eyes as she looked up from her book. "What's up?"
"I was wondering if you had any canvas I could borrow," Mal said.
Rowyn grinned. "I should have some spare canvas lying around here somewhere. How big were you thinking?"
"Probably a medium size. Something I could paint in a couple of days so nothing too large."
Rowyn nodded and got up off her bed, going to her closet. "Let me check my stash," she said as she went to open her closet and Mal blinked as she saw dozens of canvases leaning against the wall.
"Yeah," Rowyn chuckled. "It drives my sisters insane but thankfully they don't room with me so they don't get a say."
Mal chuckled. "Bet it drives your roommate crazy though."
"Not really, Elle's pretty cool with it," Rowyn said. "Besides keeping them in the closet keeps them off the floor of the dorm. Fair trade in my book."
Mal nodded, that made sense. Plus Rowyn was a bit of a neat freak from what Mal had witnessed over the holidays. Hey, one of Rapunzel's kids had to inherit the 'cleaning at seven in the morning' gene.
"Need any paint?" Rowyn asked. "Or are you going to spray paint it?"
Mal bit her lip in thought. While it would be great to spray paint it, the image she had in her head had so many tiny details the only true way would be to use actual paint. Though, there was no reason why she couldn't use both.
"I think I'm going to do both," Mal said as she looked at Rowyn, who had already gathered up a bag of generic colors of paint, a pallet, some brushes, and a mini easel into a tote bag along with the canvas.
"What?" Rowyn asked upon seeing the shocked look on Mal's face. "You thought I was just going to stand here while you thought about it? At least this way it's all gathered up if you want it and if you don't I can just hang the bag in the closet."
Mal shook her head in amusement. "You LTBR kids are crazy you know that?"
"Well we've all known each other pretty much our whole lives," Rowyn chuckled. "Our insanity was bound to rub off on each other."
Mal smiled at the other girl. "So will I see you at Cotillion?"
"Of course!" Rowyn said. "Though I think Evie's working on a new dress design for you since we've already seen what your dress will look like from the viewing. After all, that's what she did for your dress for Coronation after we all saw what that one would be in the first viewing."
Mal rolled her eyes in fond exasperation toward her best friend. "She doesn't have to do that. Besides, she's worked so hard on the dress that's already made."
"Hey, I'm just telling you what I think," Rowyn said with a shrug as she handed the bag to Mal. "Let me know if you need another canvas by the way. As you saw, I've got plenty of them. Oh, by the way, the art room would be a good place to work on that if you are going to use spray paint. If I remember correctly from the viewing, Evie's basically set up your room as her business headquarters."
Mal nodded. "Right. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to get spray paint on the dresses."
"I'm pretty sure Evie would actually kill you if that happened. Though Kitty might like it," Rowyn said with a chuckle.
"Well, thanks for all this Rowyn," Mal said, putting the bag on her shoulder.
"No thanks necessary Mal," Rowyn told her. "Sometimes you need an escape from all the 'princessey' stuff and I know for me, art's the best way to do that. Besides, as you saw, I've got way too much of the stuff. I'm always willing to share."
"I might take you up on that," Mal said with a small smirk.
"Let me know if you do," Rowyn said with a smile. "Oh, and mom said to tell you that you're more than welcome to visit whenever you want. All she asks is a forty eight window to prepare the guest room."
"My mom said that sometimes, you have to look out for the fellow VKs," Rowyn said softly. "My mom may have been born a princess but she was raised eighteen years of her life as Gothel's daughter. Even if she wasn't biologically her daughter, she was still raised by her and had it not been for the fact that she was reunited with my grandparents, she could have been labeled a VK like you guys. All I'm saying Mal, and I'm not trying to be pushy, but if you want someone to talk to, my mom's a good listener. Plus my dad's pretty good at it too if you ever need a man's perspective."
Mal couldn't help but chuckle a little at that. "Well, tell them I said thank you. I don't think I'll need it right now, not after the viewing we just sat through, but I'll take them up on the offer if I need it."
"I'll let them know," Rowyn said with a small smile. "Oh! Dad said to tell you that the next meeting got pushed back until after Cotillion. It was originally tomorrow but they figured it would be too much stress for everyone."
Mal nodded and hitched the bag up back onto her shoulder as it had started to slip. "Thanks. I think I'll actually be able to attend the meeting this time."
Rowyn chuckled as Mal turned to leave, making her way to the art room and closing the door. Setting up, Mal began to get started on her painting, her gift to Ben.
He had done so much for her, it was only right that she give him something in return.