A lake, so gracious and still in the moonlight with hundreds of fireflies further illuminating it...

A warm night, a star spangled sky, bedazzling and intricately laced with mystery and awe.

A princess, she pirouettes in silence, a serene sense of sheer and utter disembodiment from the world and its troubles is evident in her elegant and effortless posture as she continues her dance.

Her dance is intoxicating, and melancholy as she twirls and tiptoes along the surface of the enchanted lake without a single ripple, for her grace is just as extraordinary as that. It defeats all laws of science, and hypnotises the minds of those who watch her.

Then again, this is enchantment. This is magic of a delicate and sophisticated kind, and the spellbinding ritual of her midnight dance could lull anyone into a sense of otherworldly peace.

And yet the underlying tragedy and despair so evident in her face, and tainting her grace and beauty can instantly drown one too absorbed in her spell. It suffocates you, pulling you under the water's motionless surface and with every step she takes the essence of your life is drained from your very being.

Duchess Swan, a complicated and forever cursed princess whose dance of despair has the power to engulf one into the abyss of-

"Hey, Rot-Barf, can you turn the darn light off? I'm trying to sleep here!" Sparrow snarled exasperatedly.

Rotbart Von Schwarz slammed shut his book and his enchanted feather quill dissolved into the air as he begrudgingly gave in to his roommate's insistent nagging. For about an hour now he had been deeply engrossed in his poetry and prose, documenting every fleeting emotion which overcame his dark soul as he longingly spied the beautiful Duchess from his window.

However, his roommate found poetry and late night lamenting of cursed and unrequited love to be useless and annoying. Funny, however, as that is what Rotbart thought Sparrow was a good percentage of the time. He glared especially hard at him as he recalled the way the petty criminal to be would effortlessly laze about with her, his beloved, as though it were nothing. However, Sparrow Hood belonged to another story and so there was nothing he could do about that.

Besides, in the morning he would be facing something more important than his rival in love. Another persons story.

He slid down and sighed, the memories of what he had seen in the crystal ball came flooding back and the drowning sensation filled his heart. While Duchess was most certainly his true love, despite their destinies stating otherwise, there was another whom he had ties to.

His half sister, although none would be aware of their complicated heritage, Raven Queen had just a year ago sparked a major revolution in the fairy tale world, encouraging people to go forth and write their own stories. At first he was spiteful of her, daring to do such a thing when other villains like himself had long ago committed to accepting their doom and demises respectively.

He resented that she could follow her 'true heart' and just be free. He had already signed the book of legends and would be forever expected to curse his precious Duchess while he watched her pine for another man, and then destroy him, thus leaving her a swan forever.

Had his little sister just decided to rebel a year or so earlier...

Yes for the longest time he resented her, but it wasn't until he had seen for himself what cruel future lie ahead for her that something stirred in him.

Seeing her cast away and discarded on the streets, left to rot in chains forever made his soul feel human again. He looked at his own story and at that moment felt as though perhaps he knew exactly how Raven felt about this so called destiny.

He finally accepted the fact that he didn't WANT to curse Duchess. He didn't WANT to murder her lover, no matter how his jealous heart might try to sway him. And he didn't want to DIE...Not knowing what harm he had done to someone he cared for... And not knowing the horrific life the world was trying to force upon his sister.

He confronted Raven about her story that day and confessed he had seen it all. He told her his intentions and he begged her to let him take her place, in the hopes that then she would be truly free from the pressure to poison Apple White.

Although she initially refused to let him take her place, eventually he convinced her and they sealed their fates. Raven informed him that as it turned out the story book he signed hadn't been the real one, and so there was still time to make amendments to their destinies.

That vile headmaster seemed less than pleased that Rotbart would do such a selfless act to ensure his sister wouldn't suffer, but nonetheless accepted their explanation, albeit suspiciously. After all, the story of Snow White was in fairy tale standards a far more important tale than Swan Lake.

In the morning he would officially be what was quite likely one of the most controversial rebels in Ever After High history.

"For Duchess...for Raven..." He muttered under his breath as the water crept over his head and drowned him with sleep.

To be continued~