A/N: I do not own anything other than my OCs when they come out to play. Everything else belongs to Disney!
Alright you guys, here we go! First chapter-and no you're not dreaming! I honestly had nothing to do all day yesterday so I figured I'd get some writing done! Helps when you legitimately can not get a chapter out of your head!
Thank you all for your support in the last story! Hard to believe we got over eight hundred reviews!
Oh! To answer a question I got in the last chapter of Crossing the Water, if there is a fourth Descendants movie, I will do a reacting to it fic. I promise. I don't know if there'll be one but if there is one, I'll do a story for it!
Now...on to the fic! I hope you all enjoy! :D
Mal sighed as she watched the back and forth between Ben and Zeus. It'd been a few days since the viewing and still there'd been no agreement made in changing Steph's agreement with Zeus and Beast.
The first thing they had done was arrange the meeting, actually. They even pushed back the date of their engagement party, something Evie was all too happy about as it gave her time to finish up some orders for gowns for the party. As well she was helping Audrey rebuild her wardrobe, a request made by Aurora but all decisions would be okayed by the former Queen of Mean.
They would still need to figure out what her punishment would be for stealing the scepter and the crown but for right now, Mal was more concerned at making sure Audrey was alright. That she knew that despite the actions of her onscreen self, she would have an ally in the VKs. Well maybe not Uma but then again, it hadn't been Hadie Audrey had held captive and it hadn't been Ben Audrey danced off with.
They would also need to figure out a punishment for Leah and Natalie for pushing Audrey so hard that she would even consider stealing the scepter and the crown—both of which had been returned to the museum. The Blue Fairy had handled the scepter as to avoid anyone else falling under its curse. It now stood back in its spot but now it was surrounded with the same level of protection as Fairy Godmother's wand.
Gods, it's not as if there's anyone else who I see as the Ambassador to the Isle, Mal thought as the meeting continued, shaking her head slightly as Beast opened his mouth. He, Belle and Fairy Godmother were also in attendance though they had yet to say anything until now. Nope. As much as I love Ben and I don't want there to be any bad blood between him and his father, this is one meeting I'm not going to let anyone pressure me into making a different decision. Nor am I going to let him undermine Ben's rule.
"Forgive me for interrupting as you both have made excellent points over the past few days," Mal said, cutting off whatever Beast was going to say. "However, Lord Zeus…uncle, would you be in agreement that Lady Persephone would be the best fit to be an Ambassador to the Isle and bring us an updated list of kids to be invited off?"
Ben had already sent off a few invitations the moment they had been put back in their respective locations. Harry, Gil, Hadie, Sammy, and Harriet should have gotten their invitations to Auradon by now—and Ben had an invitation ready to hand to Uma personally whenever her cousin was able to arrive in Auradon.
Gods…her cousin. It'd been years since Mal had even felt comfortable thinking the word and now she was able to restart her friendship. She wasn't going to lie, it was a weird feeling not having to think about Uma or Harry with hatred. As much as she loved her cousin, it had been eight years of thinking about her as her rival. As her enemy.
That wasn't an easy thing to shake.
"Lady Mal, you are not wrong in that Lady Persephone would be an excellent fit to be an Ambassador to the Isle," Zeus nodded. "However, that agreement has been in place since before the creation of the Isle. To change it now—."
"To change it now would allow more kids the chance at a better life while we wait for Fairy Godmother and the Good Fairies to find a way to slowly remove the barrier," Mal stated. "A barrier that was reinforced by the Gods, if I remember correctly."
After all, Gods forbid Hades somehow escape, she thought with an internal eye roll. Knowing what she knew now, the only reason her father would have tried to escape would be to get a better life for her or her brother.
Or you know, to connect her to the ember and ensure she had the ability to use her Godly talents.
"Lady Persephone's powers are rendered useless on the Isle by the almost complete urban setting, why torture her to sit and watch as kids continue to suffer? Yes we've fixed the food issue and yes there's now a medical system on the Isle but they should still be allowed to come to Auradon," Mal continued. "To know there's more out there than just the constant looming cloud of evil."
"As Dizzy and Celia pointed out in the viewing, there's no even distribution of food," Ben chimed in. "Children are still suffering based on their alliances and the nature of their birth. If we had an Ambassador to the Isle, someone who was well familiar with the kids and their needs—."
"Ben, every time we open the barrier, we run the risk of a villain escaping," Beast pointed out and Mal had to fight the urge to roll her eyes as she heard his words. "Maleficent has already escaped and attacked your coronation."
"And who was it, dad, who stopped her?" Ben asked, looking over at his father. "Lord Hades and Mal. It wasn't any of our guards, it wasn't any of the heroes of Auradon. In fact, I seem to remember most of us were frozen."
"Maleficent is also a lizard and calls a fish tank 'home'," Mal added. "We are not talking about Maleficent. We are talking about the scores of children who have yet to see sunlight because Auradon thought it better to lump them with the crimes of their parents rather than give them a chance."
Turning back to Zeus, Mal continued to talk. "Lady Persephone spends six months out of the year on the Isle, she frequently walks around it. Giving aid to any and all she can. Unless you'd rather have Uma be the Ambassador to the Isle?"
Mal had no issue giving that title to her cousin but she knew it would rankle her uncle, the memory of yet another one of his nieces who was forced to suffer for years under a barrier that he had reinforced.
"Lord Zeus, in doing this, you would be in the debt of all the VKs of the Isle. You would be lauded as a hero, someone who would be admired by most of the Isle."
"Some of the VKs don't acknowledge the Greek Gods as actual Gods," Mal explained, looking at Ben, who nodded in understanding. It really wasn't the time or place to get into that sort of discussion. They would have to have it at some point but not now.
Beast opened his mouth again but Belle gently rested her hand on his forearm, as if to remind him that they were out of their depths here. This was a conversation between Gods. The only reason Ben had any real business interjecting was because he was a: the King and b: going to be marrying into their family.
Gods, it truly was hard to believe Ben would be getting married in a few years, she thought. At first, when Ben came to them and said that he wanted to propose to Mal, she had thought he was too young. After all, his father had proposed to her when she was twenty eight. But after Ben had explained Lord Hades' stipulation, that he would only give his consent to Ben proposing if the wedding occurred after both of them were over the age of eighteen, Belle had to admit they were a perfect match.
Mal brought Ben out of his shell while Ben allowed Mal to see that she didn't have to try and please everyone, or at least please those with authority over her. That was something she still wanted to talk to Mal about. Mal was going to be Queen after all. She would soon learn that there would be no pleasing everyone…and she would be the most powerful person in the room if Ben wasn't there.
"Lord Zeus," Mal stated, looking at her uncle who still looked unsure about the whole thing, and inadvertently bringing Belle's attention back to the matter at hand. Mal hated to play this card but if it was for the Isle, then it would be worth it. "Would you do this as a favor to me? Your niece? The niece that you spent sixteen years not knowing existed?"
The room grew quiet at that and Mal almost regretted opening her mouth. Had she just blown it? Was the Isle just doomed to suffer until they found a way to remove the barrier without blasting the kids with sunlight?
But to her surprise, Zeus just seemed to chuckle slightly. "As blunt as Artemis," he said, shaking his head.
"Probably just as deadly too," Mal said with a small smirk. After all, her cousin was a Huntress.
Zeus nodded and sighed. "Very well Lady Mal. I'll talk with Lady Persephone and make sure she would be alright with being an Ambassador to the Isle."
"'An' Ambassador?" Mal asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Surely you don't intend on only having one?" Zeus asked and Mal had to admit, that was a legitimate point her uncle had made. Huh, who knew Zeus was capable of such a thing?
"Queen Rapunzel sent me a letter the other day," Ben spoke up, fishing the letter out of his desk drawer and setting it on his desk. "Cassandra Gothel is on the Isle but she was put there by her own volition. Something about wanting to keep an eye on her mother, I believe. She might be a good person to ask about being an Ambassador."
Mal gasped softly as the memories of her youth came flooding back. The few times the Rotten Four would target Ginny Gothel, for instance, there was always an older woman ready to chase them off. Mal never knew her name but knew the woman was quite skilled with a sword, even if she was limited by only using one hand.
"Cassandra wouldn't have short black hair and hazel eyes, would she?"
"Yeah," Ben nodded. "You know her?"
"We've met a time or two," Mal nodded, making sure to keep her face neutral as she had no ill will toward the Gothels, even if Mother Gothel had been one of her teachers back at Dragon Hall. Gods, how'd I never pick up on the fact that she was Gothel's daughter? Though she was one of the few adults who didn't really have an alliance and really she did try to avoid Gothel as much as humanly possible. It was truly like she was only there to make sure Gothel didn't escape.
"Think she'd be a good fit for an Ambassadorship?"
"Let's see if Steph…I mean Lady Persephone says yes first," Mal stated. "If she does, then we can approach Cassandra about sharing the load."
After all, Steph would want to help with my wedding, Mal thought. There's no reason to put so much stress on her in that regard and if there was another Ambassador, then Steph won't feel like she has to play double duty. Plus what if she and dad want another kid?
"Fair enough," Ben nodded. "Lord Zeus, do you agree to those terms?"
"I do indeed King Ben," Zeus nodded. "I believe that this does conclude this meeting then. Unless anyone else has anything they need to address?"
"Nothing that comes to mind, Lord Zeus," Mal stated with a nod of her head.
Ben nodded as well and gave a smile to the King of the Gods. "Please let us know if there's any assistance we can offer you."
"Or I you, King Ben, in dealing with the other matter at hand," Zeus told him. "My brother was right during that viewing."
"Lord Hades was right about a lot of things," Ben agreed, trying to keep himself from inadvertently offending Zeus in some way.
Before anyone could say another word, there was a knock on the door.
"Come in!" Ben called before looking over at Mal in confusion. This was a private meeting after all, and they were not to be disturbed unless there was an emergency. Had something happened?
"Forgive me your highness," Dean stated as he opened the door. "I know you said you weren't to be disturbed unless something of importance came up but I thought Lady Mal should be informed of this as soon as possible."
"Informed of what, Dean?" Mal asked, standing up from her chair; Ben subtly reaching for her hand as if to let her know that he was there if she needed him.
"Your cousin has arrived, my Lady. She's being housed in your old dorm due to the meeting but—."
"But she grew bored of being there and figured she'd follow this dude to see where they were keeping her cousin," Uma said with a smirk as she waltzed in. "Benny, Zeus."
"Uma," Ben greeted her with a chuckle.
"Uma," Zeus nodded, a little more subdued than Ben. Mal quickly made her way from her spot at the desk and rushed to her cousin's side.
"What are you doing here?" Mal asked, unable to hide the grin that had formed. She had no doubt that had there not had been an audience consisting of Beast, Belle, Fairy Godmother and Zeus, they would have embraced in each other's arms.
After all, Ben hadn't been the one to insist children were to be imprisoned on a penal island for the crime of sharing their parents' genetics.
"You offered me a spot in Auradon, and I can't get past the barrier to return to the Isle," Uma told her. "I figured that offer was still good? I know it's been a few days since the viewing but I got all turned around by some turtle over in the EAC."
"There was no time limit on the offer," Mal assured her and the grin on her face grew. "Welcome to Auradon, Lady Uma."
"Yeah, that, that's not going to be a thing."
"You're the granddaughter of a God and my cousin. It's going to be a thing."
Uma sighed and then pointed at Mal. "It's not going to be a thing from you though. If we have to do titles, it's 'captain' or nothing. Got it?"
"Got it," Mal nodded.
"I think this definitely concludes today's meeting," Zeus muttered to Ben, who bit back a chuckle before nodding.
Dean coughed softy, causing everyone to look over at him. "The limo driver you sent to pick up the new VKs just radioed in sire. They should be here within fifteen minutes."
"Well then, this is a good stopping point," Ben grinned as he stood up, shaking Zeus's hand.
"New VKs?" Uma asked, looking over at Mal. "But you just had VK Day. I thought it was going to be an every month thing?"
"You really thought I was going to let Harry stay on the Isle longer than he had to?" Mal whispered to Uma. "Ben sent him an invite the minute the Blue Fairy released us from the viewing, along with Harriet."
"What about CJ? Mal, you know as well as I that Harriet won't let CJ just stay on the Isle."
"I know," Mal nodded. "That's why I sent her an invite. Harriet deserves to be here in Auradon with Sammy but I know she wouldn't accept the invitation if either one of her siblings was on the Isle. I'm Ben's fiancee, if I overstepped he can tell me."
"Does Ben know?"
"No. I slipped it in with the rest of the post. Ben only knows that Harry, Hadie, Sammy, Harriet and Gil were invited."
"I thought you weren't keeping secrets from Benny after the whole mess of that second viewing?"
"I think of this more of a surprise. Ben wants to get kids off the Isle, I want to get kids off the Isle, and you want to get kids off the Isle. It's a win-win-win."
Uma grinned though Mal had to wonder how much of the grin was for kids getting off of the Isle and how much of it was for the fact that she'd be seeing Harry again. "Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's go greet some VKs!"
"I think that sounds like an excellent idea, Lady Uma," Belle nodded, causing Uma and Mal to start slightly as they hadn't realized they were still in the room.
"I agree," Ben nodded, walking up to Mal and taking her hand. "Lord Zeus, would you like to join us?"
Zeus smiled but shook his head slightly. "As much as I would love to greet my nephew, I should go and reach out to Persephone. The sooner I do, the sooner I can have a response for you King Ben."
"I completely understand," Ben said. "Please give my best to Queen Hera."
"I will," Zeus stated before disappearing in a flash of lighting.
Ben sighed. "I wish he would have done that outside."
"At least he always leaves in the same spot so there's only the damage done to that one area," Mal pointed out. "Plus, there's no more meetings so no more lightning."
Ben chuckled. "You have a point there Mal. Let's say we go greet us some VKs huh?"
"Hold on," Mal said and fished out her phone. "I promised Jay, Carlos and Evie I'd let them know when the limo was coming."
"Good idea, Carlos and Jay can bring Squeaky and Squirmy," Uma grinned. "Those two are going to flip when they see Sammy again."
Mal couldn't help but return the grin as she fired off a quick text. "There. They'll meet us by the statue."
"Ben, would you like us to attend as well?" Belle asked.
"Only if you want to mom," Ben told her. "I know you and dad have a lot on your plates."
Not to mention Hadie might not be all that thrilled to see Beast after the whole 'dad in chains' thing from the viewing, Mal thought with an inward frown.
"I think we should be okay for half an hour," Belle stated, giving Ben a small smile. This was their mess their son had to clean up, the least they could do was be there to see it done.
"Okay, okay, can we get this show on the road now?" Uma asked, resisting the urge to tap her foot.
"Eager to see someone Uma?" Mal teased as they began to walk out. "Hmm, possibly Harry maybe?"
"I don't have to dignify that with a response."
"Because you know I'm right," Mal smirked. She had to admit, it felt good to verbally spar with her cousin like this again without worrying about what it would look like if she lost. It was like getting the best of both world.
The freedom of Auradon but the bite of the Isle. And she wouldn't trade it for anything.