CHAPTER TWENTY TWO - KINGDOM
Somehow, Evie had managed to force Maddy into another dress, and even a tiara. Grumbling at the restricting skirt, Maddy tried to tug it down to make it a little bit longer but had her hands smacked away by Evie.
"Stop fussing, you look beautiful." Evie chided, smoothing down the fabric.
Mal and Ben's engagement party was decorated beautifully, as expected from Belle. Just like all royal events, the people of Auradon had to sit through a speech from their King and future Queen before they could enjoy the festivities. Boredom quickly settled in and Maddy resisted the urge to groan when she realised this was her life now. However, when the happy couple appeared, Maddy knew she would be forever grateful that she was a part of the journey. That she had the chance of a good education, a warm bed, and a happy family.
"Hi." Ben greeted, smiling at the happy crowd before him. " Lady Mal and I want to thank you for celebrating our engagement with us today. I couldn't be happier or prouder to call you my Queen." Ben brushed a kissed to Mal's knuckles. "So, raise your glasses to our future Queen of Auradon."
"Speech, your Specialness." Carlos jeered, causing Maddy to bump him with her shoulder.
"Speech, your Fancy One." Jay echoed, raising his glass.
"I can't be Queen of Auradon." Mal announced, shocked whispers rippling through the crowd. "I can't turn my back on the Isle. We made a decision to close the barrier forever. It was my idea but it was wrong. I've learnt that you can't live in fear because.. It doesn't protect you from anything. Bad can come from anywhere. Heroes can be made in the most unlikely people. Without Uma and her pirates, Auradon would be gone. Without Hades, my father, Audrey would no longer be with us. We are all capable of good and bad, no matter which side of the barrier we come from. I am proof of that! That's why I can't be Queen of just Auradon. I have to be Queen of the Isle, too."
"And it's time we take the barrier down forever." Ben added, shocking the citizens of Auradon.
After a hushed argument with his father, Ben turned to face the crowd and he looked down at the VKs stood at the front of the crowd. He looked straight at Maddy before announcing that the barrier would be taken down forever.
Shocked and ecstatic, Maddy pulled Carlos in for a tight hug. Cheering together, all four VKs ran up the stairs to join Mal on the balcony. Clasping each other's hands, they brought down the barrier together.
"To make the world a better place, we have to do it face to face." They chanted.
Gasping, the kingdom of Auradon watched as the dark cloud above the Isle dispersed and the sun shone down on the previously gloomy place. The glittering gold barrier fell down slowly until disappearing in a shower of gold dust. The barrier was gone and the Isle was free.
Stood at the beginning of the bridge, the five VKs stared at the pirate trio and Celia waiting for them on the other side. Slowly, they began dancing towards each other, meeting in the middle.
As the distance closed between them, Harry and Maddy sprinted towards each other. Picking her up and spinning her hand, Harry beamed at the joy on his True Love's face. Sliding her down, he pressed a kiss to her lips. Finally, they could be together.
Placing her back on the ground, he clasped her hand and spun her around in a circle before pulling her tight to his body.
"What the hell are you wearing?" Maddy chuckled, pulling on the ruffles of his top.
"I wanted to look nice when I met your friends." Harry blushed.
Grabbing hold of the ruffles, Maddy pulled her tall boyfriend down for a kiss, touched by the sweet gesture. Pulling him off into the dancing ground, she couldn't stop smiling as she looked around at the people of Auradon mixing with the people of the Isle. Dancing together, the two separate kingdoms became one.
Shuffling over to Uma, Maddy pulled her best friend in for a tight hug.
"We're going to be roommates at Auradon Prep."
"Of course! I wouldn't have anyone else."
Giggling together, the two girls smiled at how far they had come. No longer were they the forgotten ones, left behind on the Isle. They were Maddy and Uma, the two girls responsible for saving Auradon and reuniting the estranged people of the Auradon and the Isle. They had achieved so much and were now able to relax and enjoy their hard work.
Maddy stopped short once she saw Mal stood next to a tall God with electric blue hair.
Grabbing Harry's hand, she dragged the poor pirate through the dancing crowd.
"Daddy?" Maddy asked, launching herself at Hades.
Catching his daughter with ease, Hades relished in the feeling of hugging his daughter. He had missed out on sixteen years of her life but now he had the chance to be there for her for the rest of her years. He had a chance to make it up to his girls by showering them with love, and being there when they needed him.
"Welcome to Auradon."
Stood in the presence of Maddy's father, Harry had taken a subtle step away from his girlfriend, terrified that he was going to do something to anger the older man (much older).
Slipping her hand into her father's, she pretended not to notice when he squeezed slightly, checking to see if she was real. Mal held his other hand and the twins pulled their father into the crowd of dancing people, introducing him to the other VKs. Glancing over his shoulder, he glared at the pirate and the King, eyes flaring blue. Both men gulped and busied themselves with talking to the other.
It wasn't that he anything against the two men. In fact, Hades knew he should be grateful to both of them, they had made his daughters happy and Ben had given them a better life. Harry had been there for Maddy when she needed him most and he had been devoted to her, even whilst they were apart. He just didn't like the idea of his daughter's growing up; getting married, finding their True Love, and leaving him when he had just been given the chance to be with them. In his mind, the two VKs would always be his little girls. Boys should be the last thing on their mind. However, he had to accept that neither Ben nor Harry were going anywhere.
Gil and Jay decided they were going to explore a whole new world together and visit jungles, and icebergs. Whilst Jay would miss Auradon, he was excited to explore, and experience new things. Gil was a great person and Jay was glad he had the opportunity to get to know the man who had taken care of Maddy.
Uma and Evie began bonding, Uma deciding she liked Evie's cheerful nature.
Once the party had died down, Ben began temporarily housing all the new VKs until he was able to build new accommodations for all of them. Hades had been directed towards the palace, where he had been given a large room for him to stay in. Uma would be staying in Maddy's dorm room whereas Gil would be sharing with Jay, and Harry with Carlos.
Stood alone in the quiet courtyard, the original five started down the empty, permanent bridge to Auradon. Whilst many people had come to Auradon, their parents had opted to stay on the Isle.
"Do you think they miss us?" Carlos asked.
His mother petrified him, he had no desire to see her but he couldn't help but mourn the childhood he could've had. After seeing the reunion between Hades and the twins, he couldn't help but wish to have that with his mother. Cruella had struck fear into Carlos' heart, convinced him that dogs were the devils. Left him to fend for himself for days.
Slinging her arm around his shoulders, Maddy pulled the younger boy in for a squishy hug, pressing her cheek against his.
"Of course they do, because we're awesome. And we are so much better than they will ever be."
Maleficent had pitted the twins against each other, forcing them to fight for her love and affection. She had rewarded them with harsh words and fierce glares. She had separated them and controlled every aspect of their life.
Now, Mal and Maddy stood hand in hand staring at what they had created. Peace. Harmony. Freedom. The bond between them was stronger than ever and nothing would change that.
The five VKs didn't need their parents because they had each other. They were a family. They taught each other about love and affection.
"Hey, last one over the bridge is a rotten apple!" Evie cheered, taking off in a run.
Kicking off their heels, Hades' twins chased after her, hooting in joy as the boys quickly caught up.
And they all lived happily ever after.
~ The End ~