A/N: I do not own anything other than my OCs as they come out to play. Everything else is owned by Disney or the Greek Myths.
smh why do I even tell myself I'm going to try to stick to a schedule for this story? One chapter in and it's already blown to smithereens! Well better that than having a big ol' backlog I guess! Plus this chapter practically wrote itself—which is always a good thing in my book!
Katie2001: Oh I'm so glad! :D Yeah Mal and Uma certainly are awesome cousins aren't they?
AmethystDragon14: Oh yay! I don't know if I have magic but I know after planning it out, the chapter just wanted to write itself! We certainly do love Harry and Mal does need to be worried about Freddy…
shortanamx: I'm so glad you liked it!
Tracie Adams: Yep Freddy and Audrey are working together!
Guest: Oh thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter!
Snowwhite45: Oh I'm so glad to hear that! You're not wrong, he'll be coming up soon!
61394: Oh thank you!
twilightgirl587: Well I mean Audrey did turn off the cameras so maybe they didn't want to jump to conclusions…thank you so much! :D
Urmimala Hazra: I'm so glad you liked it! I don't want to spoil anything but I can promise Freddy will get what's coming to him.
OceanBlueSeaEyes: lol I'm sure Henry would like to be in Auradon with Claudine. And oh I recognize that reference! I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.
Summer: Ask and you shall receive! :D
TR Lara Croft: Yep, Ben is really going to have a shock when he finds out. I'm so glad you're enjoying it!
billyandkimfan1994: I would definitely recommend reading Choosing Love!
ScoutGinevera: Oh I'm so glad! :D
Hope you all enjoy the chapter! Let me know what you think! :D
Harriet sighed as she looked at her little sister as she prepared to leave the Isle once and for all. The invitations had been sent out, and only one Hook girl had gotten a ticket off the Isle. Harriet had been disappointed but CJ had…well she had simply been resigned.
"I'm not surprised," CJ said as she looked at Harriet's invitation.
Harriet shook her head. "You're younger CJ. You should be the one going to Auradon not me. I'm a Captain after all. I need to look after the crew."
"Harriet, everyone knows Harry hates me," CJ said and the almost blasé way her little sister had said that broke Harriet's heart. "He's hated me since I was born…and I don't know why and frankly I don't care!"
"If you didn't care, you wouldn't be angry about it," Harriet told her, trying to push back the memory of a four year old Harry declaring to her that he hated their sister because CJ had taken their mama from them. Had made their papa hate him. Well more than he already did because, according to Harry, he had mama's eyes and the girls didn't.
Harry had already not been that fond of CJ when she'd been born, because of the numerous nights their father had sat with him before CJ had been born. The Captain had waxed poetically about what having a little brother was like. Of course, Harriet had to wonder just how the Captain had known that—he had been the little brother after all.
"Harriet, he's had what fourteen years to get over the fact that I was born," CJ scoffed. "He moved into Lord Hades' place as soon as he could! If not for the fact that you dragged him to the once a month family dinners, I'm pretty sure the only time I'd see Harry would be on the ship!"
Harriet couldn't help but give her little sister a sad smile. She had no idea how much she resembled their mother. There were days, especially as CJ grew up, that it hurt for Harriet to look at her. To be reminded of the good days.
For Harry, who had almost been the definition of a mama's boy if such a thing existed on the Isle, trailing after their mom during her pregnancy with a dagger the Captain had given him to protect her because the baby didn't have a dagger? Losing her had been hard enough, especially as the Captain changed to the hardened man the three Hooklings knew him to be. Knowing her death could have been prevented had some vile bat hadn't thought them not deserving of actual food would have crushed him. So seeing CJ, a walking reminder of what he'd lost, around Auradon?
She wasn't defending him and chances were she'd be chewing his ear off for forcing her to make this decision but she understood his thinking.
"I'll talk some sense into him," Harriet promised. "You'll be in the next group."
"I doubt it," CJ muttered. "It's more likely Sammy will be than me. After all, her brothers are going with you."
Harriet sighed. She wasn't going to lie, the idea of her and Sammy alone in Boreadon together…? It sent chills down her spine at the thought of being in an area where the Captain couldn't find out.
They had been together, the two of them, at Ursula's the day Mal took down the Dragon—the rest of the crew preferring Lord Hades' restaurant at the time. Harriet still didn't know what had gotten into her but at that moment, she'd grabbed Sammy by the shoulders and kissed her.
To that day, they hadn't talked about the kiss. But Harriet couldn't deny the butterflies that fluttered in her stomach every time she glanced at her best friend…the goosebumps that would rise on her arms every time Sammy murmured in her ear about Harry's denial of his feelings for Uma.
She wanted nothing more than to be with her. But it wasn't safe, not after Dustin had been jumped the year before. He never said why four Angels jumped him and Jace Baddun, though the fact that it was four Angels said enough. But Harriet didn't want to put an even larger target on Sammy's back.
She couldn't do that to her. Not as her captain. Not as her friend. Even if that was all she'd ever be.
"Harriet?" CJ asked, her voice faint and Harriet shook her head slightly to pull herself out of her thoughts.
"Listen to me CJ," she said pulling CJ into a hug. "You give Sammy the same respect you give me, understand?"
"Oh come on Harriet. I like Sammy more than that," CJ told her, roiling her eyes. "But I'll behave slightly better for Sammy. You're minding her brothers, it's the least I can do."
"I'll watch her back cap'n, don't worry," Sammy told Harriet, giving the dark haired girl a small smile as she stood near the door to try to give the two Hook sisters some privacy.
"I know Sammy," Harriet said, looking over and returning the smile; shoving down the butterflies that threatened to break free. "I'll look after Squeaky and Squirmy when we're across the bridge."
"Just warning you now, they might be a bit clingy. But you look after my siblings and I'll look after yours…and I'll shut up now."
"You're fine Sammy," Harriet said as she knelt down in front of CJ. "Listen to Henry and listen to Sammy alright? Don't do anything stupid CJ and know if you need it, Harry and I can come running as quickly as it takes us to get transport back here."
"I know," CJ said softly.
"I promise you CJ. You will get off this Isle," Harriet told her. "You, me, and Harry. We'll all be together again. I will come back for you."
"Like Harry would let you," CJ muttered. "He's probably celebrating that his favorite sister got picked. Gods, he probably picked you from the pile."
"I know, I know," CJ rolled her eyes. "You're going to say he doesn't hate me…but Harriet, when he left, he gave you a hug. All I got was a 'see ya runt'. I've heard it all before."
Harriet let out a small sigh. Harry, you and I are so having a talk, she thought. Leaning forward, she brushed a bit of CJ's blonde hair out of her eyes. "I'll see you soon. I love you CJ."
"…love you too," CJ muttered.
Harriet smiled slightly as she stood up and went over to Sammy, pulling her into a hug. "I will get you off the Isle too," she whispered.
"I know cap'n."
Harriet nodded before breaking the hug and slung her bag over her shoulder. "I'll see you guys soon."
"Go," Sammy said, her voice a near whisper. Harriet nodded and headed out, making her way down the gangplank and into the pipe where the limo waited on the other side.
Harrison James Hook! Be prepared for a long conversation on the way to Auradon!
"Ready to go lassie?" Harry asked as Harriet stormed toward the limo. Uma had already gone to get Celia while Jay had the twins secured in the limo, with some help from Sammy and Gil. In fact they had been the first ones to go as Harriet had been arguing with CJ all the while. Mal was the last one back but she didn't mind it as she walked up with Dizzy chattering away eagerly by her side.
"We need to talk," Harriet growled as she tossed her bag into the limo.
"I didn't do it!" Harry said as Dizzy giggled, gently putting her bag in the trunk.
"Your grandmother told me you'd forget this," Mal stated, holding out a glue gun. "I have to say, Lady Tremaine is a lot nicer to me ever since Ben proposed."
"It's because you've been elevated in rank," Dizzy said, grabbing her glue gun with a big smile that threatened to split her face in two. "Thanks Mal."
"Don't mention it. Now…get your butt in that limo. I think Evie will squeal so loudly it'll deafen us all when she sees you."
Dizzy grinned once more and scurried into the limo, sitting next to Celia and the two girls began to chatter away at what they'd do once they got to Auradon. Mal sighed. They deserved a big crowd and send off. But since Freddy was still out there somewhere, they couldn't risk the Angels attacking and holding one of the girls, or one of the twins, hostage.
"What did I do?" Harry asked Harriet, keeping his voice low from their spot by the trunk. "I haven't heard that tone in a while."
"I'll tell you about it in the car," Harriet growled. "But if you want a hint, think about your other sister for a millisecond."
"What? CJ? Is she okay?"
"Oh she's fine and she'd be amazed to hear that you actually know her name," Harriet said as she slammed the trunk of the limo down. "She just thinks you hate her Harry! And I am not having this conversation in front of the entire Isle so get in the Gods damn car!"
"Harry, don't make me pull rank on you!"
"..okay, okay," Harry muttered as he climbed into the limo. Harriet sighed and followed him.
Once inside, she turned and looked at her little brother. "CJ thinks you hate her."
"I heard you the first time."
"Then you should know I have tried to convince her otherwise but the fact that I'm getting off the Isle and she's not might be what breaks her!"
Harry shook his head. "I don't hate her. At least, I don't anymore. Ben…he made us go through these therapy sessions when we first got into Auradon. Apparently, blaming your kid sister for the death of your mother when she died in childbirth is really messed up. At least according to my shrink who told Ben I should have a lot more sessions."
"And did you?"
"…they wouldn't let me be around swords if I said no," Harry muttered and Harriet shook her head. Sparring would always be the way to get Harry to do what you wanted. Or have Uma be in favor of it.
"Well you might want to tell CJ that you don't hate her," Harriet said with a sigh. "Giving me a hug when you left for Auradon while only saying 'see you runt' to CJ doesn't give the impression that you don't hate her. She cried over you not being at home Harry!"
Granted the last time she cried was when she was ten but Harry didn't need to know the details.
"What was I supposed to do Harriet? Stay there and be the Captain's punching bag?" Harry hissed, trying to keep his voice low enough so that the others couldn't hear him.
Harriet shook her head. "Of course not. I lost a mother Harry, do you really think I want to lose my brother too? But it wouldn't hurt to use her name from time to time or even write to her! Harry, the only letters you send are to me!"
"Because you need them more," Harry said and Harriet tilted her head. What in in the world was he on about?
Harry sighed. "Dustin wrote me, a couple of days after Cotillion. He didn't say much, only that you needed to get off the Isle and fast, that something had happened with Sammy during the coronation," he said. It was all he needed to say though as Harriet's eyes grew wide in understanding and fear. Dustin had…he had seen them? He knew? But he hadn't said anything, though granted she was a Captain and he was only crew. Would Harry…?
But all he did was wrap her up in a hug, his hook resting on the seat as to avoid stabbing his sister in the back with it. "This was why I fought to get you off the Isle first," he whispered in her ear. "Yeah, CJ's younger but you and I both know what those Angels would have done to you if they found out. I lost one mom to the Isle Harriet, I'm not losing another."
"You…you don't mind?" Harriet whispered back.
"What, that you love who you love? Who do I look like, Freddy?"
"How'd you know anyway if Dustin didn't say anything in his letter? I…I haven't even told Sammy yet."
"I'm pretty sure watching the Smeelings for her is a pretty clear sign, Harri," Harry said, using his old nickname for her he'd use when he was a toddler and 'Harriet' was too much to pronounce.
Harriet gave him a small smile. "I thought I was the older sibling? You don't have to protect me."
"Yeah well you've been protecting me and CJ all our lives. Let me protect you."
No one noticed the small smile on Jay's lips as he heard Harry and Harriet talk. Something told him the youngest Hook was going to be making her way to Auradon soon enough. They made their way to the bridge without incident or accident. However, that all changed as soon as they crossed the barrier.
"Jay…is someone on the bridge?" Mal muttered, leaning forward to look through the windshield.
"Looks like it," Jay nodded, as he stopped the limo. Sure enough there was someone standing on the golden bridge, more than likely having just appeared after the bridge was formed. "Stay here Mal. I'll—."
"Not on your life Jay."
"You can't swim Mal!"
"Neither can you! Stay here with the new VKs," Mal stated. "Harry, Uma, you're with me."
"Harriet, got a sword?"
Harriet chuckled. "When don't I have a sword Mal?"
"Then you're with Jay and Gil," Mal stated. "Four kids are a lot for two people to protect."
Harriet nodded. After all, she'd promised Sammy she'd look after her brothers and that's just what she'd do.
Mal, Harry and Uma climbed out of the limo and stared at the figure in shock as it approached them. It…it couldn't be…
"Audrey?" Mal gasped, sounding more than a little taken aback. "What..what are you…?"
"Miss me Mal?" Audrey smirked as she did a small twirl, her cape swirling around her as she moved.
"Why does she have the Dragon's scepter?" Harry asked, looking over at Mal.
"Yeah and that crown doesn't look like it's part of her regular accessories," Uma nodded, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Oh see I wanted them so I took them," Audrey smirked. "Being pirates, you must be familiar with that concept."
"Audrey, where were you? Did you escape from where…" Mal asked and then trailed off. "Wait…you took the scepter?"
"Slow on the uptake aren't you Mal? And I thought dragons were supposed to be smart? Then again it did take your mother sixteen years to figure out my mother was living as a peasant woman and not as a baby!"
"Maleficent's goons are not the best in terms of measuring intelligence," Mal growled. "And for the final time Audrey, she is not my mother!"
As if to punctuate her point, Mal bought up a lilac flamed fire ball in the palm of her hand. But before she could let it loose, Audrey shot a beam from the scepter causing Mal to duck out of the way.
Unfortunately, there were no handrails on the section of the bridge they were on so Mal found herself teetering on the edge. Her face went pale white as she looked down at the water.
"Mal!" Uma shouted and tried to rush to her but another blast from the scepter prevented it.
"I've had two months to perfect using my scepter Mal!" Audrey growled as Mal fell forward to her knees in order to stay on the firm platform. "Funny how easy it is when you've got the right ally."
Mal and Uma locked eyes, hoping that the conclusion they'd come to was incorrect. She wasn't…not Freddy?
Audrey, I'm really really sorry about this! Mal thought as a cloud of purple smoke surrounded her just like it did at Cotillion. When it cleared, a dragon stood where Mal had been. Quickly flapping her wings to get stability before climbing into the air, she turned to face Audrey.
Without missing a beat, Audrey fired a blast of energy from the scepter causing Mal to dive out of the way to avoid being hit. Audrey smirked as she fired another blast.
"Get back to the limo," Uma muttered to Harry, both of them unnoticed by the two combatants.
"Not on your life cap'n," Harry muttered back.
"Harry, which one of us is descended from the Gods and therefore is much harder to take down?"
"Uma, which one of us is more important in terms of Isle hierarchy?"
"Uma, Harry, you two might want to duck!" Gil's voice cut off whatever it was that Uma was going to say and the two of them dove to the ground just as a…glue gun flew through the air and hit Audrey in the head.
"Leave Mal alone!" Dizzy's voice called out, sounding more angry than Uma had ever heard the younger girl. Raising her head slightly and looking over her shoulder, Uma could see the redhead poking her head through the sunroof; Gil standing on guard in case he needed to pull her back into the safety of the limo.
"And Uma and Harry!" Celia added, her head popping up to glare at Audrery. Mal quickly took advantage of Audrey's distraction and hit her with a whirlwind attack. She hadn't been sitting idle the past two months after all but practicing whenever she got a moment. However, she couldn't do a whirlwind for very long before it started to develop into her regular fire breath.
Thankfully, just as it felt as if it was going to transition from hot air to fire and she'd have to explain to Ben why she barbecued one of his oldest friends, Audrey disappeared in a cloud of pink smoke. Mal landed and transformed back, a cloud of purple smoke offsetting the pink that still lingered in the air.
"Go. Now." Mal stated, her voice hard as Uma bent down to get the glue gun for the young Tremaine girl. "We'll drop the new VKs over at Evie's castle and then we can regroup with Ben."
"You gonna call him?" Uma asked as the three of them climbed into the limo.
Mal nodded and dialed Ben's number, only to get his voice mail. Seriously Ben?! Now is the time you decide to have your phone off?! It'd better be because of a dead battery!
Maybe it was better this way though. Better he get the news in person than finding out over the phone that Audrey had stolen the scepter and the Queen's crown.
"Drive," Uma told Jay and Jay nodded, making sure to keep the car steady while going faster than he normally would as Harriet and the other VKs tried to comfort the terrified Smee twins. Meanwhile, across the bridge, Ben knew nothing about the attack on the bridge. He knew nothing about what Mal and the others had discovered. He was preparing himself for a different conversation all together.
"Mom?" Ben asked, knocking on the door to her office.
"Hello Ben," Belle said, smiling as she saw her son. "How can I help you? Need something for the wedding? A something borrowed so to speak?"
Ben shook his head and gave his mom a small smile of his own, holding out the wrapped present. "I was going to give this to you for your birthday but I think it works better as a reverse engagement present. Besides, we've got years to get the something borrowed."
"You know it's normally the parents who give the kids the present right?"
"Just open it," Ben chuckled.
"Well it's too small to be a book," Belle teased as she unwrapped the box and opened it. "Oh Ben! It's beautiful!"
The locket itself was an antique pendant with a rose etched in the center of it.
"You…you might want to open the locket," Ben said. "I put a picture in there for you."
Belle gave her son another smile and opened the locket. The smile turned to a gasp as she stared at the picture. The picture she thought she would never see. "Ben…is…is that…?"
"Mal took me to the Isle to help one of her friends," Ben said. "But she also…she also let me see Abigail. Carlos did a bit of technical magic to get her to be a bit clearer but otherwise, it's the same photo as when I took it."
Belle didn't say anything but raised a shaky hand to her mouth. "She's beautiful…"
"I know dad never got a chance to grieve her and I was more than happy to take the throne to give him that chance," Ben said. "But I know how hard losing her was for you. I may have only been three but—"
He was cut off by Belle gently but forcefully pulling him into a hug.
"I take it this means you like it?"
"I love it," Belle whispered, her tears running down her cheeks and causing the shoulders of Ben's suit to become damp. "Oh Ben!"
"I'll get one for dad too but—"
"Hush you. Your father will know you weren't playing favorites. How did I raise such a selfless, generous son?"
"I think Mrs. Potts might have helped there," Ben quipped causing Belle to give him a shaky chuckle.
"It'll be okay mom," Ben promised. "We'll find Freddy and wherever he's keeping Audrey and soon the only thing we'll worry about is the wedding prep."
"How are you so hopeful Ben?"
"It's one of my christening gifts mom. I don't really have a choice," Ben told her. Realistically he knew there'd be more to worry about once they found Freddy but for right now he was going to hold on to hope.
He needed to hold on to it.