Ch. 1: The Lost Princess
Once upon a time in a cozy town called Bunnyburrow a mother rabbit was expecting. This was nothing new of course, female rabbits were always expecting. What made this different though was that days before her litter was suppose to be born she got very, very sick.
Realizing she was running out of time her mate and their forty-one litters traveled to find something to help. They journeyed through all of Bunnyburrow, and even the enormous neighboring city of Zootopia. And just when they were about to give up the mate and a handful of his older children visited the City Hall, where they noticed the assistant mayor, a sheep by the name of Dawn Bellwether, had a plant that they recognized as a very rare species that had healing properties nicknamed the Lucky Flower. They had begged for it but the assistant mayor had refused, telling them it had taken her years to find it and she didn't plan on ever giving it up.
However the mayor, Leodore Lionheart, had overheard this and felt sorry for the poor bunnies (and annoyed with his assistant for never canceling his Fridays when he asked), so when Bellwether wasn't paying attention he snatched the Lucky Flower and gave it to the rabbits who were overwhelmed with gratitude, even saying he could be the new litter's godfather.
Just as they had hoped the Lucky Flower brought the mother back to health, though to her surprise she had only given birth to one bunny, a beautiful gray-furred baby girl that they named Judy, she was welcome into the family with open arms and huge smiles and for just a moment everything was perfect.
But it was just a moment.
Little had the family known the Lucky Flower didn't only have healing properties, but magic as well, casting good fortune to all those near and young Judy had obtained that luck, and although the bunnies thought it was a simple coincidence, one mammal did not. Bellwether, furious that the rabbits had stolen her flower, her luck, decided she'd pay them back. So one night she traveled into Bunnyburrow and snatched Judy away, hiding her at the top of the tallest skyscraper in Zootopia. There she fashioned a collar for Judy that would help control her luck instead of it scattering all over the place to any random mammal.
Years passed and Judy grew up in the apartment, never going out to the outside world while her family searched and searched but never found her. So Judy stayed up in the room she didn't realize was a prison, and every night on her birthday she would open the window of her 'tower', poke her head outside and, if she listened very carefully, heard music…
Judy checked under the table, the bed, in the closet, even the refrigerator.
She skimmed the room; it was full of bright colors, pinks and blues, the tile floor checkered black and white, full of wicker furniture. However it was a small apartment, a refrigerator, stove and table making up the kitchen that was basically part of the living room. There were three other rooms, the bathroom, her bedroom, and the guest room that her mother slept in whenever she came to visit. It was tiny, but it was home.
Judy's lips turned up in a grin when she noticed the basket of yarn next to the armchair shake slightly.
"Well," she said loudly, quietly stepping over to stand on the chair, "I guess he's gone for good. I'll go to my room and read now."
A second later two large, pointy ears stuck out of the basket and Judy grabbed them with a triumphant 'Ah-ha!'
The head of a fennec fox popped out of the basket and glared up at her, "You always do that!"
Judy giggled and released him, "Sorry, Finnick, your ears are just so big and fluffy."
He scowled, "You're one to talk; you're a rabbit!" He had clearly taken the words as an insult.
Two years ago during a vicious thunderstorm that had kept her up all night, Judy nearly had a heart attack when a small animal (the first she had ever seen besides her mother) crawl out of a vent, soaking wet and half starved. She had nursed the fox back to health all the while telling him her life story (which would've made a very short book) while he only offered his name and species. However he decided to stay with her for a while to offer her temporary but much needed company. The 'while' turned into weeks which turned into months which turned into years. Judy came to the conclusion that Finnick didn't have a home to go back to, but she wasn't complaining, if he left she'd be all alone again.
"Okay, let's play something else," she offered.
But Finnick sent her a sour look, "Not a child, Judy, just small."
"Fine, fine, Mr. Grouchy Ears, what do you want to do? We can read or bake or make a dress…"
Judy's voice dwindled off as she looked at Finnick's expression. Everything she listed was what they had done everyday for as long as she could remember. But tomorrow would be different.
"Just be patient," Judy insisted. "Mother will be here soon and I'm finally going to ask her to let me go out and see the concert. I'm eighteen now, she has to let me go, right?"
Finnick picked up a magazine about knitting from the basket and opened it, not saying a word. Judy didn't need to read minds to know how Finnick felt about her mother, even thought Judy continually told him everything she did she did for Judy's safety.
Judy walked over to the large glass window, the only window of her home, and pushed it open, the fresh breeze blowing in and ruffling her fur. As she looked down at the city below her, looking so small from her viewpoint, her paw instinctively went to her collar that was an eggshell blue, matching her fur. She had worn it for as long as it could remember, her mother telling her never to take it off, otherwise her luck could spread to very bad mammals and they'd never be able to control it again.
Her ears suddenly stood erect as she heard footsteps, she turned around to see Finnick twitching his ears back and forth; he heard it too.
"Hide, hide," she whispered fiercely.
"Judy," a familiar, chipper voice called out and Finnick was off the chair and scurrying into Judy's room where he crawled under the bed. They both knew if her mother ever found Finnick she'd kick him out and Judy would never see her friend again.
Hearing the door unlock Judy ran over to the chair Finnick had been sitting on and plopped down, picking up the magazine and pretending she had been there all day.
The door unlocked and in stepped Dawn Bellwether who shut and locked the door behind her before scanning the room, she smiled when she spotted Judy and the rabbit noticed she was carrying a grocery bag and a small vase of flowers.
"How's my little Lucky Charm today," she asked, placing the flowers and bag onto the table.
"Good, Mother," Judy replied, jumping out of her seat. "How was your day?"
"Same old, same old," she replied with a dismissive wave of her hoof. "As usual I'm the only one who takes her job seriously."
Judy nodded; she knew all about how her mother felt underappreciated when it came to her job as the assistant mayor, or in her words a 'glorified secretary'. But visiting her adoptive daughter always put her in a better mood.
When her arms were free Bellwether spread them out for a hug and Judy quickly walked over to embrace her. "I missed you."
"I've missed you too, dearest," Bellwether cooed before pulling her back at arms length. "It's like you get bigger every time I come and visit."
Judy smiled, seeing an opportunity, "Speaking of getting bigger, Mother as you know tomorrow's my-"
"Here, Judy," Bellwether picked up a thorn-less rose from the vase and tied it around Judy's right ear, "Don't you look gorgeous."
Judy, as always, would have to take her word for it, she had never once seen a mirror (her mother insisted they'd bring bad luck if one ever broke); so she relied on figuring out how she looked from her mother and Finnick.
"Mother, I wanted to ask-"
"Why's that window open," Bellwether demanded and at once her warm personality faded into something sharp and cold.
"Oh, uh," Judy began awkwardly, "That's what I wanted to talk to you about."
Bellwether slammed the window shut, making the rabbit jump. She turned around sharply, "You know I don't like you having that window open. Some terrible animals could see you and try to get you."
"Mother, this is one of the tallest buildings in Zootopia. I doubt any animals even with really good eye sight could see me."
"Judy," Bellwether said firmly and walked over to the kitchen, putting the groceries in the refrigerator.
She could practically hear Finnick in the other room urging her on; she took a deep breath and spoke in a rush, "Iwanttogototheconcert!"
Bellwether slowly turned around to look at her daughter, "What?"
"For my birthday, tomorrow, there's an annual concert and I really want to go."
"What concert," the sheep demanded.
Judy pointed out the window, "Every night on my birthday I see this group of lights on the other side of town and I can hear music coming from there, it's a concert and I-I think I'm old enough to go and see it for myself."
"Oh, sweetie," Bellwether sighed and walked over to caress Judy's cheek, her hoof landing on the collar, rubbing it before pulling away, "Don't you remember what I told you happened the day I found you?"
Judy did, she was told how her 'power' had caused the death of her birth parents by predators wanting to get to her to get her luck. Only the timely arrival of Bellwether and the ZPD had saved her and the sheep had graciously adopted the baby bunny and raised her as her own.
"But those predators were arrested," Judy reminded her, "Not all of them can be that bad?" After all there was Finnick, he was grumpy but he hadn't shown the slightest interest in her good luck when she had told him about it.
"Predators are rude and arrogant," Bellwether replied with a steely look in her eye. "If any found out about your special gift they will take it. You're safer up here."
"But Mother, I can't stay up here forever, can I?"
Bellwether shook her head, "Of course not, sweetie. But I just don't feel safe sending you out there on your own. I wouldn't be able to watch you because of my job, and imagine what the awful predators would do if they got a hold of you? They'd break your collar, or tear you to pieces. Remember what I said about the lucky rabbit's foot?"
Judy fought back her shudder; her doubt over this whole plan was starting to return. "Can you at least…think about it?"
Bellwether sighed sadly but nodded, "Very well, I will. But right now I need to go back to the office before I'm missed." She pulled Judy into another hug and the bunny returned the embrace.
"I love you, Mother," she muffled into the sheep's soft wool.
"I love you too, my Lucky Charm," Bellwether cooed, kissing her ear.
Judy felt a tugging on her ear and pulled back to see Bellwether put the rose that had been on Judy's ear in her own wool, she smiled at her. "Let's hope enough good luck rubbed off on this rose to get me a raise."