A/N: I do not own anything other than my OCs when they come out to play. Everything else belongs to Disney.
Wow, I have to say I'm honestly touched by the number of reviews that keep coming in! This is the third chapter and we're almost to 100! Thank you all so much for your continued support and I hope to keep the quality the same!
Just a brief update: Next week is Thanksgiving for the States-so I'll probably not be updating that week as I'll be with my family. As well I'm going to try to avoid updating the first and last week of the month just because of the monthly glitch. Hopefully for December it's just that reviews are down again but you'll never know.
Bananaboat2009: Oh thank you! I love it when people like the updates! To be fair, I didn't know they existed either until I started writing Choosing Family-I've never read the books, only seen the movies. But I'm glad you like that they're a girl! :D
Tracie: You're so welcome! And yes, I'll be putting the full song Night Fall.
CaitlinMariann: I'm of two minds with Mal-I know she's in the wrong with wanting to close the barrier but I don't think she should be blamed. In my opinion, Belle and Beast were pressuring Mal a little to go toward closing the barrier (and as well Ben was king, if he didn't like Mal's idea he could have said no and given the final veto on that). There was no reason why the monarchs of twenty years should have been looking to the girl who didn't know that it was possible to get off the Isle a year ago! I do agree though that Audrey should have been punished for her actions in canon-like you said, she still went for the crown. I'm glad you liked Mal's use of Harry's name-I'll probably have more instances of that scattered throughout the story!
TheRanger'sDaughter: Oh I'm so glad you liked it! :D Yeah that honestly really annoyed me too when I saw D3-Dizzy honestly should have been over in Auradon when they brought new kids over so another kid could have had her spot. I do like Gil and there needs to be more with Gil in it! He's kinda dumb but it's a harmless kind of dumb not a Gaston danger level of dumb-which is ironic considering he's Gaston's son. Speaking of which-people who've read the books: I know Gil's brothers are Gaston Jr and Gaston the third. Going off of Beauty and the Beast where Belle sings: Madame Gaston, is it safe to assume Gil's brothers' names are Gaston Gaston or am I just overthinking this?
AmethystDragon14: Oh yay! Hey I could have included the proposal in the last chapter but that would mean fewer chapters for the story! :D But I think you'll enjoy this chapter!
Guest: Oh I'm glad!
Roxas Itsuka: Oh thank you! Yeah, having Persephone and Chip call out Natalie and Leah on their nonsense was rather fun to write. I once had a teacher like Leah-hence why I will despise this woman with every fabric of my being. I may borrow some of your guesses for upcoming reactions if you don't mind cause they are good! :D
61394: Neither did I until I started writing the previous chapter lol! As for the ringmaster, I've got no idea why he was on the Isle. Honestly the man had to make a living-the guy who ran Pleasure Isle would have been better for the Isle than the Ringmaster. Stay safe too!
OceanBlueSeaEyes: Oh I hope you enjoy what's to come! :D
DarkVaporeon 23: Oh I'm so glad you're enjoying the series! lol yeah Leah is definitely a dragon witch-hopefully someone comes and stabs her spleen! Yes a story will be posted after this viewing, along the veins of Bridging the Gap and Into the Depths.
danifan3000: You know that is a good point-Evie could have definitely woken Dizzy or Celia if you can only be one person's true love. And Harry could have woken one of the twins who then could have awoken the other. Or you know, give them something to do other than just sleep (though that had to be the easiest paycheck those kids earned). Then again, they tend to forget about TLK in D3-when Mal got turned into a hag why not just go to Ben and do TLK instead of going to get Hades' ember?
OrangeJaw29: So I personally see Sammy being a girl as completely AU as different aspects are changed in the stories between the viewings even if the scripts remain the same. That being said, if you want to read Sammy as transgender, it's completely open to interpretation.
Kaybugg1: Oh I'm so glad! Trust me, that was my favorite part to write of the previous chapter! I also loved Girl Meets World just because Boy Meets World was my childhood (yes, I just dated myself there). I probably won't have NBC characters-I know it's a Disney movie but I can only handle so many characters at a time.
smc-smfan1: 1: Yeah Harriet could have said that out loud but why add more tension to the room? 2: I can definitely see about adding that in. 3: Oh thank you! 4: Anastasia being Celia's mom is a headcanon of mine due to Celia's red hair and the fact that there aren't a lot of female villains with red hair (I think the only other one is Medusa from the Rescuers). Yes Anastasia was a surrogate for her sister with Dizzy but even happily married women have needs.
Nightshock99: I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter! Yeah as much as I love Ben, what he should have said there was 'Guards!' Actually, where were the guards? Unless they were knocked out from the sleeping spell, why weren't they protecting the king? *whacks self over head again* You're looking too deeply into this again Ginny. Look at the attractive Australian playing a French Royal.
medical ranger: I'm so glad you liked the chapter! Hope you like this one!
twilightgirl587: Jade is Jay's canonical cousin from the books. I found her by searching Disney Wiki for more VKs. Trust me, Leah will get what's coming to her. But first more yelling!
Guest: Oh I'm so glad! Writing Chip putting Leah in her place is always my favorite thing!
Slytherin Studios: Oh thank you so much!
ObessesedwReading: Thank you so much! I hope you continue to enjoy!
A Loyal Reader: Oh thank you! The third movie has its issues for me too (a significant lack of Bal when it's the movie where they got engaged-Kenny, you couldn't have given them a duet?) I know it may fit better with canon but I also know Transgender characters are ones that I as an author want to make sure are done right and with respect, not potentially becoming stereotypes. This is why I personally will have Sammy be a girl for this and Choosing Family. That being said, I am not against Sammy being transgender. I just don't think I'm the author to do that justice. If you have an account, I'd be more than happy to talk more through PM. That being said, I hope you enjoy this chapter!
Guest: Oh I love Bobsheaux, especially his reaction to finding out that Hades is Mal's dad. I could possibly look into having that be referenced!
billyandkimfan1994: Trust me, I loved writing that! It was just everything I was thinking while I was writing Into the Depths. Leah, how I despise you! Hope you enjoy the new chapter!
Guest: I don't really have an update schedule since we're about to enter the holiday season (Thanksgiving and Christmas) so I'll be pretty busy. I'll still try to update when I can though!
Guest: I'll gladly slap Wonderboy's eldest for you! :D
LOST MUSES: Trust me, I'm with Harriet on this too! Don't mess with her little brother! Lucas does not come from a fairytale, he just comes from the dark corners of my mind. I did hear about the kiss between Harry and Gil, while I personally don't ship them I kinda wish we could have seen it. Uma is Atlantian but she would see herself more as an Isle kid since that was her home.
Guest: Oh I'm so glad you liked the chapter! Personally I headcanon that all three Hook kids come from the same mom (then again I headcanon that Milah from OUAT is Harry's mom and that Hook looks more like OUAT Hook than Disney Hook) but Sarah probably has a number of kids on the Isle.
Hope you enjoy this chapter! Thank you again for all the support!
[The scene opens on a shot of the castle overlooking the ocean before switching over to the school. We see Mal from afar, dressed in all purple, before a closer shot shows that Mal is dressed in a dress that more closely resembles the clothes she had worn in the first movie.
"Ooh I love your dress Mal!" Dizzy grinned.
"So do I," Mal told her, looking over and giving Persephone a small smile as if to thank her again.
"Yeah it suits you so much better than what you were wearing at the beginning of the last viewing," Rowyn nodded. "Actually, the dress suits you better than what you're wearing now. You look like a Leah in the outfit you're wearing right now."
"You know? A woman who insists her little prince or princess couldn't do anything wrong," Rowyn elaborated.
Mal couldn't help but chuckle while Leah stared at the princess in outrage.
She seemed to be staring at the ocean intently, holding a pair of binoculars to her eyes as if looking for something. Or someone. She was so focused on the ocean, Mal didn't notice Ben sneak up behind her and wrap her in a hug; causing Mal to let out a small scream before laughing with Ben.]
"This just in, there's no way that's Ben," Chip chuckled. "Goofing off, actually running toward his girlfriend and not trying to flee from her very touch?"
"Chip, I know how to goof off," Ben chuckled. "Remember when I was nine and you were eighteen and we built a pillow fort mountain?"
"Was this before or after I watched you, Emir and Akiho and the three of you ate all the chocolate in the castle?"
"You fed us the chocolate! Not to mention you ate as much as we did!"
"…right. I think that's why I was never asked to babysit Akiho or Emir after that."
Lucas chuckled. "At least you tried," he said, gently giving Chip's hand a squeeze.
"That was right after we broke up the first time," Chip said softly. "I wasn't exactly on my 'A' game."
Lucas frowned and gave Chip a small kiss on the lips. "You don't have to worry about that now," he said.
"Now really, could we please keep it appropriate for the children in the room?" Leah scoffed.
"It was a peck you old bat!" Harriet snapped. "No worse than any of the other PDA performed by any of the other couples. Oh wait, is it because this one has two dudes?"
"Harriet, let's not anger anyone," Sammy said softly. "We're still going back to the Isle after all, I'd rather not end up getting stuck on the Isle."
"Fine, fine," Harriet said and gave Sammy a kiss on the cheek. "Oh I'm sorry. I hope that didn't offend anyone," she said, glaring at Leah.
"You're lucky I love you captain," Sammy sighed.
Harry subtly fingered his hook, as if daring Leah to say something. If there was one thing he wouldn't stand for, it was anyone badmouthing his captain or his sisters!
No one noticed Audrey frown as she heard the second part of Chip's question. Ben hadn't tried to flee from her touch! Did he?
"Not a tentacle in sight," Mal told him, looking out toward the ocean as Ben followed her gaze.
"Because I have better things to do than lurk around a school," Uma threw out there with a scoff.
Like break my brother's heart captain? Harriet thought with a frown. Harry had hid it well but there were some things that you couldn't hide from your big sister. Especially when that sister had been a second mother to him since the age of five. The only reason she didn't say anything was because Harriet knew Harry wouldn't want her to make a fuss. Well that and he was still in denial about his own feelings.
"I think if Uma was up to something, we'd know by now," Ben told her.
"Thank you!" Uma exclaimed. "For Poseidon's sake, I'm not always up to something."
"You did escape the Isle."
"So did you technically," Uma shot back, glaring at Mal. "Just because you were invited off doesn't change that fact."
"No, Ben, I know how villains think," Mal told him, looking back toward him.
"Because you are one," Leah muttered to Natalie, who nodded slightly.
"And I don't trust Uma, not as far as I can throw her.
"How far is that?" Evan asked. "And is this as a human or as a dragon?"
"I know I should be worried that this is what you focus on but I'm just choosing to be happy you're not as moody as you were last viewing," Ruby said with a grin.
She's gonna wait until our defenses are down and then, that's when she's gonna strike. I really wish I had time to go do the dragon flyover because I can go so much higher," she said, holding the binoculars back up to her eyes; Ben looking at her in concern.
"Okay, so a: Ben found a girl perfect for him and b: Mal, take a break," Akiho stated.
"Yeah Mal," Jay nodded. "You know, Evie, Carlos and I could have taken watch shifts too."
"Evie's got her business and Carlos was spending the summer with Rodger and Anita again," Mal told him. "Besides—"
"Ah bah bah bah!" Jay said. "I thought we agreed after the second viewing? We were going to help more and you weren't gonna shut us out when you were feeling stressed?"
"…we literally never agreed on that Jay."
"Well now we are."
Mal rolled her eyes but chuckled. No one noticed the slight look of longing on Uma and Harry's faces before the look was wiped away. As if they wanted to join in on the friendly teasing and banter.
"Well, you can't be everywhere at once," Ben told her, putting the binoculars down. "Besides, I've got your back."
"If Mal could be everywhere at once, that'd be kinda cool," Gil said with a grin. "She'd be a dragon with super speed."
"Huh…that would be cool," Ben said, a grin of his own gracing his lips.
"Oh Gods, one dragon obsessed boy is enough for Auradon," Akiho said with a chuckle, shaking his head.
Mal looked up to see the guards up on the roof of the school, looking out toward the ocean with telescopes.
Ben looked back at Mal with a smile before tilting his head slightly. "Now, come on, everyone's waiting for us."
Not everyone, Mal thought, looking at her brother and stepmother with a sad smile. Steph and Hadie had been on the Isle during the proposal.
He went to put his hand over Mal's shoulder but Mal brushed it off.
"See? Is she really the right—?"
"Please think before you finish that sentence Leah," Hades said, a small growl to his voice. "I know it might be hard considering you don't have what many of us would call a functioning brain. How Queen Aurora is related to you is a mystery that would take us years to figure out…..and I mean no offense to Queen Aurora."
"No offense is taken Lord Hades," Aurora stated. "Mother, Lady Mal is worried about the kingdom and you're saying she's not right for King Ben because his arm slipped off her shoulders?"
"You know you really don't have to use our titles," Ben and Mal chimed in causing those around them to chuckle as Leah bristled at the reminder that she now had the same title as Mal.
"Wait. But you're getting more guards?"
"It's Ben," Akiho said flatly. "The fact that he has guards at all is amazing."
"You're not going to start shouting for Ben to call the royal guard every time you think they're needed again are you?" Elle asked.
"You're lucky you're cute," Elle told him with a chuckle.
"First off, I don't always give my guards time off," Ben stated, shaking his head in amusement at Elle and Akiho's flirting. "Second of all, I did that to give Mal peace of mind. Personally I don't think they're needed."
"To answer Lady Leah's question, as the past version of myself stated, if Uma was up to something we'd know by now," Ben said simply. "If she was going to attack Auradon, she would have escaped with more men. It's not a crime to want a better life after all and we can't hold her responsible for the actions of the Uma in the future that will never be."
Mal smiled slightly, that was her Ben. Always seeing the good in others and trying to give everyone a fair shake. The fact that he had instituted the guards at all had allowed her to relax some as well.
She didn't think her cousin would attack Auradon but she hadn't thought Uma was capable of laughing at her while she drowned either. It didn't hurt to be prepared.
"I'm getting more guards, now breathe."
"…Ben is telling someone else to breathe."
"Ben is telling someone else to breathe."
"Ben is telling someone else to breathe."
"Okay, no matter how many ways you say it, it's still going to mean the same thing," Ben said, rolling his eyes at Akiho and Emir.
Both Mal and Ben exhaled, Mal leaning her head back while Ben remained ramrod straight. As Mal leaned back up, Ben went to put his arm over her shoulders again; this time being successful in leading her off.
"Now, come on," Ben told her.
"Okay." Mal said as Ben led her off from the balcony. The scene cuts to the front of the school, in front of Beast's statue where a Jumbotron has been set up and various students could be seen milling around holding flags and signs. Belle could be seen brushing Beast's jacket as a camera man worked amongst the crowd.
"No, no, I'm doing this," Jane said, Carlos holding her hand.
"And you know what that means," Carlos interjected.
"It means Jane's doing something?" Robin said with a small shrug. "I don't really know what you guys are talking about."
"If I had to wager a guess, I'd say we were either talking about my birthday party or what Ben has planned," Jane said with a small smile, not wanting to spoil the scene for those who hadn't been there.
Fairy Godmother could be seen with a golden microphone as Jay stood in the background surrounded by cheerleaders.
"You look at home there amongst the cheerleaders, Jay," Lonnie teased with a small chuckle.
Audrey could be seen standing next to Chad and Leah, the former looking slightly confused while the latter looking rather annoyed.
"Chad, I know this may seem like a loaded question but why are you confused?" Kitty asked.
"When isn't he confused?" Anthony scoffed and Ava rolled her eyes.
"You may be a lord but he is a prince. First in line for his throne," she hissed in her brother's ear. "I know you respect titles more than anything Anthony so how's about you not risk us getting kicked back to the Isle by insulting Chad?"
Chad chuckled at Kitty's comment, having not heard Ava's mini lecture to Anthony. "I was probably trying to figure out what Ben had planned Kat."
Plus he'd had a meeting with Leah earlier that day. He didn't know why but lately he always seemed a bit dazed whenever he got out of those meetings. Maybe he wasn't eating enough before them?
Kitty smiled at the use of her new nickname-Kitty just seemed too childish at this point. Her full name was Katherine after all. She could still keep the 'cat' theme of her nickname but age it up a bit.
"Why is your mother there?" Phillip Sr. muttered to Aurora. "Why is she so close to Audrey?"
"Phillip, if I knew why mother was there, I'd tell you," Aurora muttered back.
"Didn't Grandmother say when we arrived here that she was acting as Audrey's guardian?" Phillip Jr. muttered to both of them.
"Hey, girl," someone said to Audrey who gave a small smile in response.
I…I forgot about that, Audrey thought with a small frown. Was I so caught up with what Grammy was doing that I tuned her out? Who was that girl anyway? It might have been Elle's sister since there aren't a lot of girls with that dark of hair at Auradon Prep but that wouldn't make sense, what with the seaweed in my locker.
"Here they come," Evie gasped as the crowd started to cheer, signaling Ben and Mal's arrival. This seemed to be almost like a cue for Doug to start up the band as the marching band began to play not seconds after.
"Two words Doug. Hair. Cut," Rowyn said, shaking her head.
"Yeah I have to agree," Melody nodded.
"I like it," Doug shrugged.
"It looks weird!" Travis said. "You've had short hair most of the time we've known you, you really think shoulder long hair is going to be something we just accept."
"You accepted Chad's long hair!"
"It's Chad. The less we question the better off we are," Elle said as if that explained everything.
Ben and Mal walked out, with an attendant in front and an attendant behind them.
"Hey, how are you?" Mal said to one of the students, waving to others. Ben was also waving but with one hand, the other firmly encased in Mal's. Belle and Beast looked on, Belle applauding while Beast was smiling.
"Is it just me or does Belle look like she just smelled a fart?" Eugene muttered to Rapunzel.
"Classy Eugene, classy," Rapunzel sighed. "I think you've been spending a bit too much time over at the Snuggly Duckling with Lance."
"All I'm saying is she doesn't look thrilled about this."
"And you could have said that without resorting to bodily humor."
"Touche blondie, touche."
Ben and Mal continued to make their way to a platform where Fairy Godmother was waiting for them.
"Stay," Fairy Godmother said, as Mal was about to make her way down the stairs in front of the platform.
"Sit. Roll over," Hadie chuckled.
"I'm not a dog Hadie," Mal said, shaking her head in amusement.
"Dogs are better trained," Natalie muttered under her breath. "The number of times I had to search for you back when I was your handler…"
"Stay here?" Mal asked, pointing to the platform.
"No, stay in France," Audrey shook her head as she rolled her eyes. "Of course stay on the platform Mal!"
"Well sorry for wanting to clarify the instructions Audrey," Mal shot back.
"Words we never thought we'd hear from a VK," Akiho teased with a chuckle as Mal shook her head in amusement.
"Yes," Fairy Godmother told her as Ben walked up, wrapping an arm around Mal's waist and the two of them continued to wave to the kingdom. Mal giggled slightly as the band finished playing.
"Bippity-boppity, one, two, one, two. Can everybody hear me?" Fairy Godmother asked as the crowd started to cheer once more.
Lady Tremaine scoffed. She'd have rolled her eyes if that was something befitting a woman of her status. She remembered her, the old bat who tried to stop her and her daughters from taking what was rightfully theirs. She has the power to turn back time, to write history in her image and she's content to teach the offspring of lesser men, she thought.
"Yes!" Jane called with a chuckle, her hands wrapped around Carlos' arm.
Lumiere smiled at seeing his daughter so happy. He had gotten the chance to speak with Carlos and he was a good kid. He definitely wasn't someone who wouldn't hurt Jane—at least not on purpose.
"Ben," Fairy Godmother said, handing the teenaged king the mic.
"Thank you, Fairy Godmother," Ben said before switching the mic to his right hand, sticking his left into his pocket. He leaned back slightly, giving a small chuckle. "What's up, Auradon?"
"Ben, you do realize you don't have to rally the crowd right? As king, they'd cheer no matter what you say."
"That's not true Macaria," Ben said. "Watch: I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts!"
"Woo!" Mal and Hadie cheered, causing Ben to shake his head in amusement.
"I bet Mal likes your cocon—ouch, Emma!"
"There are children present Emir!"
"Ben's used to rallying the crowd though," Chad spoke up. "He used to do it at the Tourney games, leading the crowd in a spirit cheer."
"Ah yes, back when all was right with the world," Leah nodded.
"Oh you mean when Ben was miserable and innocent children were being treated like criminals?" Mal asked, her voice sweet but everyone could hear the steel in her tone of voice.
The crowd cheered in response to Ben's question.
"Thank you. Thank you so much for coming out to welcome our new arrivals. They'll be here soon."
Dizzy and Celia grinned while Squeaky and Squirmy clung tightly to their father's arms, remembering the attack from Hades when they were leaving the Isle.
"Not like we had a choice," Leah muttered to Audrey.
"I can't believe you were there at the celebration for the new round of VKs!" Aurora exclaimed, looking at her mother.
"I'm Audrey's guardian for her time attending summer classes at Auradon Prep, of course I was there!"
"Plus King Ben made it mandatory to attend," Natalie added.
"Not that it mattered to you," Audrey told her with a smirk. "Didn't you tell me that you felt it would be unwise for you to attend considering how you parted ways with Bennyboo?"
"Okay that nickname? We're banning that," Ben said flatly.
"Seriously? That's what you're worried about?" Chip asked. "Not the fact that Natalie disregarded one of your orders?"
"Truthfully, after what she did to Mal, I'd be happy not seeing her," Ben shrugged. Especially not at my proposing to Mal, he thought.
"Mother, I don't know what lie you told Fairy Godmother to make her overlook my updating the records but you are not Audrey's anything," Aurora said firmly. "When we get out of this viewing, I will make sure you can't come near Audrey to borrow a stick of gum never mind be her guardian!"
"It worked out pretty well for the first four," Ben said as the cheering died down.
Yeah it did didn't it? Mal, Jay, Evie and Carlos all have the perfect life while those of us on the Isle had to wait to see change slowly come by way of Blue Fairy dragging your ass in here and making us sit through a viewing, Uma thought with an inward scoff.
"Yeah, especially for you," Chad called out before Audrey reached up and snapped her fingers in front of his face.
"I don't know, I got pretty lucky too," Doug said with a smile, taking Evie's hand.
"I did too," Jane grinned, resting her head on Carlos' shoulder.
"…how did I wind up the single one of the group?" Jay asked in astonishment and Lonnie snorted in amusement.
Ben gently took Mal's hands and turned to look at her. "Mal, this is the exact spot we first met not so long ago. I feel like I've known you my whole life. But did I mention, I'm in love with you?"
"You did. Several times."
"There was a big dance number dedicated to it."
"It's still the top viewed video on Auratube."
"I feel we should be worried if you still can't remember that you've told Mal this."
"Chad, are you seriously encouraging their antics?" Ben asked.
"You know that's what they were probably thinking during your proposal Ben," Chad chuckled as Audrey rolled her eyes from her spot next to Chad.
"Aw," the crowd sighed as Doug began to play a very familiar song on his guitar, Evie snapping along to the melody and Carlos rushing to join them. Mal groaned slightly as she put her hand up to the bridge of her nose.
I met this girl
That rocked my world
Like it's never been rocked [Beast, Fairy Godmother, Jane, Jay, and other students joining in on background]
"Seriously you guys?" Mal asked with a small chuckle.
"Yep!" Emma grinned. "I mean, Jay and Carlos were a given. Evie was there because she's your best friend and as Emir always says, being normal is vastly overrated."
"I've taught you well," Emir grinned.
And now I'm living just
For her and I won't ever stop [Ben gently spun Mal around, Mal leaned back and held her arm up as she began to enjoy the attention.]
Persephone smiled at the sight, happy to see Mal relax and enjoy her boyfriend lavishing attention on her.
Hades though stiffened. He'd heard the rumors that this was how Beastie Jr. had proposed but he hadn't seen it as there was no TV in his lair. Just because he had given his permission didn't mean he wanted to see his daughter grow up too fast.
I never thought that
It could happen to a guy like me [Mal gently rested a hand on Ben's cheek as she looked over at Evie and the others.]
If anyone bothered to look over at Audrey at that moment, they would have seen a brief bit of hurt flash across her face. While she knew their relationship hadn't been the most exciting, she had still thought she had rocked Ben's world.
Belle gave her son a small smile. While she knew Ben had known he more than likely would have had to marry for status or alliance due to his position as crown prince, that didn't mean Belle didn't want Ben to have the chance to marry for love.
And now he's doing both, she thought. With Mal being the daughter of Lord Hades, that provides Auradon a powerful ally with Olympus and there's no denying Ben loves Mal and Mal Ben.
But now look
At what you've done [Ben swapped the mic back to his left hand, sticking the right hand into his pocket.
You got me down on my knee
"I have to say, that transition was perfect," Lil Shang nodded. "Very smooth."
"Yes Ben, I have to say that was a beautiful rendition of the song you performed in the first viewing," Snow said with a smile.
"Thank you," Ben chuckled. "It helped that I already had the melody slowed down thanks to the dance we had at Cotillion."
The song ended as Ben sunk down to the ground on one knee, the crowd around him beginning to gasp as Audrey looked on shocked. Ben quickly handed the microphone to Carlos as he pulled his hand out of his pocket.
Ben looked over at Audrey with a small frown. He hadn't noticed at the time, his mind had been preoccupied by other matters such as proposing to his girlfriend, but now he could see there was a look of genuine hurt on his ex's face. How had he missed that Audrey needed help?
Gods I have a track record with this now don't I? First Mal in the last viewing and now Audrey? Ben thought with an inward sigh.
"Mal, it's you and me. It's you and me forever," Ben said and pulled out a box, causing Mal to gasp as did the crowd as they realized that Ben was serious about the proposal.
"I love how everyone gasped softly at first but then once Ben pulled out the ring box, they're like 'holy shit he's serious!'" Hyllus chuckled.
"Or they're just trying to hear what Ben's saying because Carlos has the mic," Jay chuckled as Macaria lightly whacked her brother's arm for the language.
"Ben could be wired for sound under his suit," Jane pointed out, "so the people watching on their televisions could hear him if something happened to the mic."
"Will you marry me? Will you be my Queen?"
"You know I can't believe I didn't notice that you were wearing your ring," Mal chuckled, noticing the ring on Ben's hand. "What, did you have Jay sneak in and steal it that morning?"
"Yes," Ben nodded. "I feel I should be slightly offended you didn't even notice it was missing," he teased.
"I was a bit preoccupied," Mal said, rolling her eyes. "You know, security of the kingdom and all that fun stuff."
"Say Jane…do you remember in that future that'll never be from the first viewing," Neal chuckled. "What was it you said? Something about Ben not making a villain a queen?"
"Technically since it was in the future that'll never be, I never said it," Jane said with a smirk.
Mal gasped in surprise.
"No!" Audrey exclaimed as Leah, Chad and a random student all did a double take toward her.
Someone…someone had heard me? Audrey thought in astonishment at seeing the student's double take. She had figured her grandmother and Chad had but someone not in her circle had heard her exclaim?
Her hand tightened around the scepter. They had heard her exclaim and didn't even come and ask what was wrong? Or why her grandmother was even by her in the first place? Audrey was sure the whole kingdom knew about her grandmother's crimes by now.
"Yes!" Mal said, covering up Audrey's exclamation.
"Take that people who thought they wouldn't last!" Akiho shouted as he remembered the news report from the previous viewing. "Whoever thought that was a hypocrite anyway, considering how many royal/non royal pairings there really are. Aladdin and Jasmine, Cinderella and Kit, Belle and Beast—"
"Your mom and dad," Emir added with a smirk.
Jay smirked and leaned over to whisper in Mal's ear. "From having flirtationships to having a fiancé in what? Four years?"
"You know perfectly well why I had that flirtationship. It hadn't meant anything," Mal whispered back, her eyes looking over at Harry for a split second before looking back at Jay. The only reason she had even had a flirtationship with Harry was to see if there was a way, any way the crew could have had a chance at re-forming after the split. It had only lasted two weeks though; Uma had found her and Harry one day just as Harry had brushed a bit of hair out of Mal's face.
The look of betrayal on her cousin's face was one Mal would never forget, even if they hadn't talked to each other for about four years at that point. Her only regret was really how she ended things with Harry. No explanation or anything, just told him the flirtationship was a mistake and went back to not talking to him.
"Yes, yeah!" Carlos exclaimed as everyone cheered. Bubbles started flying everywhere as Audrey fainted back, Chad quickly catching her.
"Oh my," Fauna gasped, looking at Audrey in concern. "The poor dear."
"Good reflexes Chad," Lucy noted. "Though with the number of years of sword work and Tourney, I'm not surprised."
No one noticed as everyone seemed too entranced with the celebrations. Ben quickly stood up and put the ring on Mal's finger.
"So E…is this why my regular leather gloves were missing?" Mal chuckled.
"The previous viewing proved why our normal gloves with the finger holes were not conducive for wearing rings," Evie shrugged. "You might have lost Ben's ring if you moved your hand too fast. Don't worry though Mal, your regular gloves are actually safe and sound."
"They're in my desk drawer," Ben chuckled. "Jay and Emir came in one day with them and said 'Evie needs us to hide these somewhere Mal will never look'."
"So they picked my then boyfriend's office?"
"It made sense at the time," Emir said with a small grin.
"Oh, my…" Mal said, crying tears of happiness as she and Ben kissed on the platform, Evie squealing with delight and hugging Fairy Godmother. Beast and Carlos did a celebratory chest bump as the students around them continued to cheer.
"I am so sorry," Carlos told Beast, as if realizing what he'd just done.
"It's okay." Beast told him, making sure the younger boy was stable.
"I'm so sorry," Carlos reiterated before turning to Doug and Beast turned toward Belle.
"Smooth Carlos," Jay chuckled.
Anita bit her lip as she watched Carlos fly further back than normal from the chest bump.
"He's alright," Rodger whispered, resting a hand on his wife's shoulder. "See? Didn't even get hurt. And if he had, Beast and Ben would have rushed him to the hospital wing."
Mal and Ben continued to embrace, Ben kissing Mal's cheek as Beast and Belle embraced as well; the latter kissing the former on the cheek.
"Yeah!" Carlos and Jay exclaimed, embracing in celebration. Fairy Godmother applauded in joy.
Mal couldn't help but grin at seeing her friends and Fairy Godmother so happy for her and Ben.
"So not to be the cynical one in the room but we're all happy because Ben and Mal are marrying for love and not because Auradon now has someone who can turn into a dragon on our side right?" Meg asked.
"Now see if I'd ask that, everyone would jump down my throat. Thank you for being the one to ask my little nut-Meg," Hades nodded. "Question's still valid though."
"I can't speak for everyone else but I'm just happy for Mal," Jay said.
"Ditto," Carlos nodded as did the rest of the students and young kids in the crowd.
"…can it be both?"
"What? Ben's obsessed with dragons! Akiho and Emir can tell you that! So Ben having a Queen who can turn into a dragon and who is also someone he loves is a win win. Plus I can be with Audrey so it's a win-win-win!"
"…you have a brain?" Lucy asked, tilting her head.
"A rare occurrence I know but I do take it out on occasion," Chad chuckled.
"Makes our movie nights seem a little tame," Doug said, looking at the image of Ben and Mal on the Jumbotron and Evie quickly turned to face him.
"I love y…Movies."
"Awkward," Rowyn sang.
"Says the girl who still hasn't asked out Conner," Rachel teased.
"Who told you about—Robin!"
"Payback for when you told dad about me and William," Robin chuckled.
Rapunzel and Eugene sighed. "Have six kids they said, it'll be fun they said."
"I'm pretty sure they never said it would be fun, Blondie."
The scene cut back to Ben and Mal embracing on the Jumbotron before the camera panned down to Leah. "A lifetime of plans, gone," the aged Queen said as she turned toward Audrey. "Our family status, gone. Audrey, you were supposed to be his Queen, and you let him slip through your fingers. Your mother could hold onto a prince in her sleep."
"Mother!" Aurora shouted in astonishment. "I know Audrey already told us you had said that but to hear it from your own lips! How could you—no, you know what mother? You're not my mother. Aunts Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were more of a mother to me than you ever were! The fairies you were so dismissive of at Family Day way back before the first viewing!"
"Now really Aurora," Leah sniffed. "You're causing a scene."
"I'm causing a scene?! I'm not the one verbally abusing Audrey Leah!" Aurora exclaimed. "You know what, forget gum. You won't be able to even breathe the same air as Audrey or Phillip when I get out of here! The next time my children are in the same room as you will be the day of your burial!"
"You know Audrey is first in line for her own throne," Merryweather told Leah. "Your granddaughter would still be a Queen when she came of age and Phillip and Aurora stepped down. But you weren't happy enough for that, were you?"
"Merryweather, we shouldn't interfere," Flora told her, dragging the blue fairy back to the group. "This is a family matter."
"And Briar just called us 'aunts' meaning we're family," Merryweather stated and pulled out her wand.
Before anyone could react, a stream of blue light hit Leah and the former Queen opened her mouth to speak. However, before the diatribe could begin, a slug fell out of her mouth. Well, more like was expelled from it.
"…I thought your magic could only be used to make people happy?" Mal asked, looking at Merryweather.
"That made me happy," Merryweather told her as Leah continued to expel the slugs. "Audrey didn't deserve to have Leah tell her that and if I'd been there, I'd have cast that spell on her then and there!"
No one noticed the small smile on Audrey's face or the touched look in her eyes.
"Honestly," the Blue Fairy sighed as she reversed the spell on Leah. "This is the final warning. Please don't make me have to set up a magical barrier in this room."
"As long as she doesn't make it so tempting to spell her again," Merryweather muttered, pointing at Leah.
"Don't you think I feel bad enough already, Grammy?" Audrey asked.
Audrey fought the urge to look down as she was reminded of her last ditch hopes to get back with Ben and get away from her grandmother, how they crumbled into a fine dust as she watched Ben propose to Mal.
She was a villain now after all, she stole the crown. She cast a spell on her grandmother. Villains didn't show sadness.
"You know it may have been in bad taste to propose in front of your ex," Lucas said slowly, as if he thought he may have been overstepping things. "Not to mention there are some girls who don't care for public proposals."
"Ben and Mal are the best. I'm so excited for Mal to be our Queen," a female student said, causing Audrey to whirl around.
"You'd really rather have a V.K. on the throne than me?" Audrey asked the girls. "What is wrong with you, people?"
"Says the girl who just verbally berated two girls for expressing joy about Mal being Queen," Sammy said, her voice dry.
Audrey turned away from the two girls and looked back up at the Jumbotron. Mal and Ben were still embracing and Ben seemed to be saying 'I love you. I love you so much'.
"What do you think Ben's saying?" Jay asked.
"My best guess, King Ben is telling Lady Mal that he loves her," Lumiere stated.
"How'd you get that so fast dad?" Jane asked, looking at her father.
"I was a candlestick for ten years chère. The lack of ears meant I had to get really skilled at reading lips," he said with a chuckle.
"What is wrong with everybody?" Audrey asked, seemingly talking to herself as no one answered.
"That's a rather open ended question," Neal chuckled. "Is it more 'what's wrong with everyone' in that you're wanting to know why we're celebrating two seventeen year olds getting engaged or is it more 'what is wrong with everyone' in that you're wanting to know why no one has questioned why your grandmother is standing right next to you even though everyone knows that your mother has basically disowned her for what Ben's council found her guilty of?"
"What one do you think?" Audrey growled.
"Back away bro, just back away," Emma told Neal, pulling him closer to her and glaring at Audrey.