The assembled teaching staff of Auradon Prep gathered in the library for their annual end of the year meeting. A low hum filled the room as they talked amongst themselves. Most were discussing the goings on in their classes, comparing notes and trading stories about both their more starred and disruptive students. All in all, the atmosphere was light and most of them were just waiting for the meeting to start in order for it to get closer to being finished.
"Good afternoon, everyone," called the Fairy Godmother as she finally walked in. There were a few returned greetings, but mostly the teachers just sat up at attention. Most of the teachers near the front of the room tried to catch a glimpse of the executive folio grasped in her right hand, the assumption being that its thickness might help indicate the meetings length.
"Alright," she continued as she reached the podium and opened the folio, "I want to keep this short since I know we all have other things we'd rather be doing." There were a few chuckles at the offhand comment. "First and foremost, I just wanted to say once again, thank you all for another amazing year."
A few of the teachers proceeded with a light applause, and Fairy Godmother gave a brief nod in thanks. They watched her shuffle through a page or two before settling on something. "Now for just a few quick announcements; I'd like to offer a congratulations to Coach Jenkins and his staff for their championship year on the tourney field," she smiled as nearly every teacher applauded this time. Coach Jenkins stood from his chair and smiled.
Once he sat back down, Fairy Godmother continued, her additional announcements covering the usual gamut that the teaching staff had come to expect; possible changes to the curriculum, rules that were going to be changed or done away with, new rules to start the next academic year. In total, it was nothing that none of them hadn't heard before.
But as they were listening to Fairy Godmother as she let them know about a new expansion planned for the library, the meeting took a strange new turn as they watched Belle enter the room. The staff had been listening in silence before, but now with the entrance of the Queen Mother, an almost eerie silence filled the library.
"Ah, Your Majesty, thank you for coming," Fairy Godmother said, her tone and posture relating to the gathered staff that this visit was far from unplanned. "Well, as you can see, we have a guest," she told the staff as she turned to them while Belle took a position next to her. "Her Majesty has an announcement that she'd like to make."
"Thank you," Belle told her friend as Fairy Godmother stood aside. She took the podium and cleared her throat. "As you all know, we hosted four children from the Isle of the Lost, and that during the coronation all four of them chose to renounce their parent's upbringing and choose the side of good. They proved it by coming together to defeat Maleficent.
'However, Ben, Adam, and I feel this also brings us a new problem. You see, the coronation was aired on television and shown on the Isle and by now, word has spread of the children's actions."
"You'll forgive my interruption your highness, but maybe I'm not seeing the problem," said an overweight teacher in the back.
"The Isle of the Lost is the home to our land's villains; the worst of the worst. Since their parents live back on the Isle, they too need to go back and our concern is what will happen to the four of them once they go back now that the school year is over."
"You're afraid they might be hurt?" Mr. Deley, the school's chemistry teacher asked.
"That's Ben and Adam's fear. Mine is that they'll be killed." The words resonated throughout the room, once again causing a tenuous silence to fill it. "However, I feel I have a solution," Belle began. "Just like we offered them the chance to come and be educated here, I felt it would only be fair to offer them the chance to stay here as well."
"Wouldn't their parents need to be informed of this?" Coach Jenkins said with a raising of his hand.
"Yes; well at least in the case of Evie, Jay, and Carlos. For obvious reasons, Mal's situation is different. But I've already made contact with their parents and gained approval."
"All three of them said yes?" Fairy Godmother asked in surprise.
"Actually, only the Evil Queen and Jafar said yes; Cruella just sent back a message calling Carlos an ingrate and left the decision to the Evil Queen, who then said yes for Carlos Which brings me to all of you. While I have no problem letting them stay at the palace, I feel staying in separate homes would be beneficial, in order to let them see what a more…traditional home setting is compared to what they're used to."
"You want us to take them in?" came a female teacher's question.
"This will be voluntarily only. If I have no volunteers, they'll be housed at the palace," Belle explained.
Belle looked on as the teachers began to whisper amongst themselves. After a moment she began to become afraid that no one would volunteer. That maybe the four villain children hadn't made enough of an impression that these teachers couldn't find it in their hearts to open their homes to them. After a short time longer and still no one speaking up, she was beginning to lose hope.
"I'll take Mal," Fairy Godmother finally said. When Belle and teachers looked over at her, she merely smiled. "After seeing her being able to get my wand away from her mother, I have a feeling that she may be its next wielder. It's only right that I show her how to use it. Besides, fairies take care of their own," she finished.
"Thank you," Belle said to her. "Are there any other volunteers?"
Once again, the room was silent, until…
"I suppose Evie can come to stay with me and my wife and daughter," Mr. Deley finally said. Despite deciding to take her in, Mr. Deley was still surprised at his action. It was common knowledge that he almost considered having her expelled, but that was because he assumed that she was the cheater that Chad had made her out to be. She then shocked him by proving that she was fully capable of using her mind instead of that mirror, or her looks, to get good grades.
Maybe, he considered, if she had a stable home, she might see that she can use that intellect and become more than just a pretty face, and why not see if he could have a hand in her realizing that.
"Thank you Mr. Deley," Belle smiled. "And I do apologize for this oversight, but Evie was the only one not needing to be volunteered for. Snow White has already said she'll take her."
A small murmur of conversation immediately broke out. "Are you sure?" came a question from the crowd.
"Yes, in fact, Snow insisted once I told her of my plan. She's anxious to get to know her sister," she answered. "That just leaves Carlos and Jay."
It was no secret that while Mal was initially considered the worst of the group upon their arrival, that Jay and Carlos proved themselves to be the biggest handfuls, what with Jay's aggressive nature and Carlos's connection issues. Placing them would be the hardest and many of the assembled staff knew it. Coach Jenkins sat in his seat and waited to see if anyone else was considering taking them in since the thought had crossed his mind.
As he continued to watch and wait, his mind went back to the conversation he'd had with Jay, and the way the boy had looked almost fearful when telling him about his "family dinners". It was obvious that he never got the normal family experience, and that saddened the coach. It might do him good to see what a normal family setting would be like through his family and his children. But he knew that Jay wouldn't want to leave unless he knew Carlos was safe, since he knew that Jay viewed the younger boy as a little brother.
"Do they have to be separated, or can one us take both of them?" Coach Jenkins asked.
"Is that a request to take both of them?" Belle questioned. Coach Jenkins nodded. Belle breathed a sigh of relief as she realized that her people had once again come through for her. "I can arrange for both of them to stay with you, sir. And thank you, I'm certain they'll enjoy the summer with you."
"It's the least I could, ma'am," he answered back.
"Well, I want to thank you all for your time and help," Belle said as she cleared her throat, wanting to sound as at ease as possible despite wanting to cry tears of joy at the success of her plan. "I'll now hand the meeting back over to Fairy Godmother."
"Actually, letting you speak was the last thing on my agenda. I'd also like to extend my thanks to all you for coming and for those of you who volunteered for her majesty's proposal. Meeting adjourned."
Almost immediately the teachers stood and began to file out, bowing politely as they passed Belle. Coach Jenkins hung behind in order to speak with the two women. "So when will all this be arranged?" he asked, a slight touch of nervousness in his voice.
"We'll start the process as soon as I get back to the palace," Belle answered. "And Coach, thank you again for what you're doing," she said.
"It's no problem, Your Majesty," the coach smiled as he bowed his head and then made his way out of the library.
"You really think this will work out?" Fairy Godmother asked.
"Completely; those children deserve homes where they'll feel love instead whatever it was they got on the Isle. Besides, if it didn't have a chance, would you have volunteered the way that you did?"
Fairy Godmother looks plaintively at Belle before finally nodding in agreement. She'd be lying to herself if she didn't admit to some reservations over Belle's plan, but she didn't question its possible outcome, the chance for those four children to finally have a good home where they were given the things they never had. She just had one nagging concern.
"I'm just anxious to see what Jane's reaction will be when I tell her that Mal's coming to live with us," she voices, causing herself and Belle to begin laughing.