We always assumed that Sleeping Beauty was a damsel in distress, one who was cursed from birth and hidden from her loving parents for a majority of her life so she could be saved. But when she went to go in search of her prince, she had pricked her finger upon a spinning wheel and fallen deep into a slumber. Her brave knight in shining armor (who, mind you, she has never seen before but fell in love with him after a 5-minute dance in the forest), fought the villain, slain Maleficent and kissed her.
"Is how they SAID the story went," Alex huffed, rolling her eyes, and slamming the book down on her nightstand, all while she threw herself on her bed.
The REAL reality was she was no beautiful, enticing, enamored princess of her kingdom, she thought bitterly. No that's only for a fairytale, as hard as that is to admit. No stupid winged creatures blessed her with beauty, no neighboring king wanted to arrange a marriage between their son and the young princess, and even her own parents were ashamed of her. The fact that she was a girl and nothing to offer to her kingdom of monetary value.
This was reality, not those made up hypes in fairy tales. Women were considered a bad luck to royal families who hoped to continue their blood line. A woman meant you had to marry her off and usually bribe the groom's family into accepting your daughter. They are seen as vacuums for your personal wealth. Justin and Max were seen as heroes while she was seen as a leech. The moment she was born, she was locked away in a basement. Almost like how Rapunzel was living in a tower most of her lives. They both spent their lives in isolation.
A soft knock sounded on her door, and it opened to reveal Harper, her maid and nanny. The only person who really didn't reel in disgust at her presence.
"I came with your food," Harper said, nervously, "You should eat something."
"Starving to death sounds wonderful right now," Alex sighed dramatically, "For a cursed girl like me."
"Don't say that," Harper admonished the young woman, "Remember what Crumbs said? A true love's kiss can save you."
"Harper, that kind of shit exists in fairytale books," Alex retorted, "No one will want to save me."
Harper huffed and retorted, "Well if you think love doesn't exist then what's with all this witchcraft and wizardry you do all the time with that stick-"
"It's called a wand, silly," Alex rolled her eyes.
"-Don't interrupt me and don't speak with your mouth full! Anyways, if all these crazy things such as magical powers, centaurs, ghosts, vampires and so much more can exist, then why not love?" Harper asked, exasperated.
"Because… when Crumbs cursed me, he did so under the pretense that love doesn't exist," Alex sighed, "He cursed me because my parents want to get rid of me."
"I think there is someone who will take you away from here, this locked up prison," Harper said after a moment of thought, "You just have to be willing to let that person in."
With that, she left, allowing Alex to ponder on her words. But when she couldn't dissect the meaning of her sentences, the raven-haired girl simply snorted and blew away a hair from her face.
"True love exists… but not for me," Alex decided.
The food was cold, mushy and overall just unappealing. Alex detested it, not in the fact that it tasted bad, because rest assured, Harper cooked her meals with precision. But it was more so the fact that it kept her living in this world. In a society which viewed her as a commodity than a real human.
She was even sure that some people in her own kingdom didn't know she existed. Some thought she was a miscarried child the Queen lost a couple of years ago. Some thought she was a baby who was kidnapped by a pack of cheetahs and grew up to be a feral child, just like Mogli in Jungle Book. All of those were untrue but they were products of lies spread by her parents to hide the shame of giving birth to a girl. It really was a punch in the gut.
Alex wondered about so many things. She wondered what the outside world looked like. She wondered how bright the sun was, and she wondered if it could damage your eyes if you looked at it too much. She wanted to visit those picturesque illustrations in her books, run around free and roll in the grass. She wanted to drink water straight from a stream and climb a tree. So many things the villagers in her kingdom did on a regular basis but she was still envious of them for it.
"But who would want to rescue me, anyways? It's not like some prince is gonna pop out of nowhere to save me," Alex shrugged.
Just as this young princess lamented her fate and her limited days until her 18th birthday, in the poorer part of her kingdom was a small, shabby village. Crime rates were high with homicide, rape and abuse a common occurrence in public.
A little boy had been caught trying to salvage the scraps of food from the nearby dumpster and got whacked on the head by the restaurant owner and was told to go home. He sighed and picked up his glasses from the ground and placed them on, glad that they didn't get chipped or cracked.
It was an unsuccessful day of salvaging food to eat for dinner, since Uncle Vernon threw him meager scraps for dinner. It wasn't enough to support his starving form, so he decided to sneak out while his foster parents and stepbrother were asleep to go scavenger for more food. Heaven forbid if he politely begged for more scraps; the beatings he got the first time he did so marked the last time he ever asked for more from them.
He crawled through the doggy door of the front house door and deftly padded to his small room which rested underneath the stairs of the house. It was not spacious but it was enough for him, really. He could've been given the basement and sleep within the rows of wine of his uncle's wine cellar that he had as a part of his business. He wouldn't want to wake up to find rats nibbling on his toes and fingers. A disgusted shiver worked its way up his frame.
Harry sat down on his bed and sadly looked at his family photo with his mother and father. Lily and James were happily cradling their only son within their arms. Every few seconds Lilly would sneak a kiss on top of Harry's head and James would tickle the baby's sides, eliciting a giggle. A couple of tears rolled down his cheeks as he sadly remembered he could hardly remember his own parents. Thanks to some mysterious giant named Hagrid, he knew he is a wizard and his parents did NOT die in a car crash.
But really, he could just practice magic in secrecy, since there was no school to go to (In this fanfic, Hogwarts doesn't exist and Voldemort is just some minor villain who only seek revenge against his parents). He swore his uncle and aunt hated magic so much because of his mother, because once they caught him practicing magic during the day in his own bedroom instead of cooking lunch he got a huge punishment.
"Lumos," Harry whispered and the tip of his wand lit up, almost like a flashlight. This night, he wasn't particularly interested in practicing magic. He was more interested in reading a fairytale. Thumbing through his books, he settled on Sleeping Beauty.
He just looked through the pages of the old gilded book. The illustrations were pretty and he wondered if the rumors were true, that the King and Queen had a baby girl? But no one knew because rumors circulated about her some said she was dead, some said she escaped to live in the jungle and some said she had gone insane and was sent to a mental asylum.
He wondered if this 'Aurora' was as beautiful as she was in the books: beautiful golden hair, pale skin, lips the color of roses, beautiful blue eyes and a voice that could be sweeter than sugar.
But even if she is that beautiful, he wondered why would the king and queen be so ashamed of her? Why would they lock her up? Wouldn't neighboring kings and queens be stumbling over each other to arrange a marriage between her and one of their sons?
He never knew but one thing is for sure: he would've loved to have met someone to be friends with. Maybe this Aurora is as lonely as he is. Maybe she's misunderstood like he is. Maybe she has magical powers like he does. Maybe they could sympathize with each other and talk about how unfairly they get treated. Maybe they could run away from this hell and never look back.
There were a lot of things that only just ended with one word: Maybe. He would never know what it would be like to be in love especially when he's too busy trying not to get beaten to death by his uncle and aunt as well as his cousin (who is as fat as a pig).
An hour or two passed and he decided he couldn't sleep anymore. Then he decided to just get up and go outside, but froze in his tracks when he heard someone arguing in the living room, not too far from his own room. It was his aunt and uncle.
"We're running low on money, Petunia, what should we do?" Vernon yelled.
"This house is all we have, we can't give that to the tax collectors!" Pentunia screamed.
"Maybe we can sell something else," Vernon said after a moment of thinking.
Petunia gasped in horror and snarled, "If you are thinking of giving those monsters our precious little Dudley, then I'll-"
"Not our sweet little Duddly-kins!" Vernon roared, the nickname making Harry mentally puke, "I meant that scrawny boy we have living in our house!"
"But why would you want to sell him? He cooks and cleans for us," Petunia argued.
"He doesn't pay rent for us; therefore, he should be sold," Vernon argued, "It doesn't matter that he does all the housework. Sometimes that's not enough to contribute to the household."
"I guess," Petunia said hesitantly and said, "I guess we'll hand him over tomorrow morning when the tax collectors come."
"See? Problem solved," Vernon said jovially, "We still have our house and Duddly-kins. All is good."
"Let's go to sleep now," Petunia suggested, "They will come bright and early tomorrow morning."
Harry held his breath as the two padded up the stairs and closed the door behind them. He knew now that he couldn't stay in this house any longer. He didn't know what they would do if they found him, and he honestly wouldn't be willing to sacrifice himself just so Dudley could have a comfortable lifestyle, not when those monsters beat him to death a couple of times. They deserved to suffer as much as he did.
So, he took a worn-out backpack, and used a charm that would make the backpack bottomless; a charm that his friend Hermione taught him before she moved away along with Ron. It basically made his backpack able to fit anything and there was no limit to how much he could put in it. He stuffed everything in his backpack except his bed, nightstand and closet. After his room was bare and clean, he slid out the doggy door of the house and then apparated (another difficult spell he had to learn on his own), to a forest.
It was a strange forest, and he honestly didn't know where he was. From the signs surrounding him, he wasn't too far from the kingdom, maybe on the outskirts. But he was most definitely lost, and he would never in a million years go to his old home, one filled of abuse, neglect and near-death experiences.
He was aimlessly walking when he came upon a girl his age of 15, running through the forest barefoot. She looked like a person from the noble class. From her well-developed frame, silk nightdress and gold jewelry, she fit the aristocratic image.
She froze when she saw him, panicked and ran into the forest, deeper and deeper. Suddenly he didn't want to be alone and so he decided to go after her, yelling, "WAIT! WAIT FOR ME!"