The Golden Age of Unlikely Friendships

Author's Note

Welcome, one and all! This is one of the newest stories I have adopted from WanderlustandFreedom. She is leaving for a trip and I was able to take in several of the Descendants stories she hasn't been able to finish. She is such an incredible writer and individual and I hope you'll read her other Descendants stories! You can find her on A03 and FFN at her penname, WanderlustandFreedom. This first chapter was written by her.. I hope you guys enjoy this one- it was one of my favorites from the ones I recieved!

**This story was given to me by WanderlustandFreedom. The majority of the ideas/outline and the first several chapters are ALL HERS..**

Year 1

"Belle, I want to have Ben start attending the Summer Solstice Meetings with me," Adam announced over dinner when Ben was eight. Ben looked up at the mention of his own name and Belle almost choked and spilled a bit of her drink onto her book, which she had been hiding under the table.

"What?" She exclaimed, staring in something that expressed horror. "Adam… he's just a boy! Why on earth would you want to bore him with all that legal drama when he's still a child?"

"The representative from the Isle of the Lost is bringing her daughter to the meetings as some sort of bizarre training," Adam announced, lip curling.

Belle stared, processing what she'd been told, and then set her drink onto the table. "Maleficent?" She asked. "Maleficent has a daughter?"

Ben watched the exchange in silence. He couldn't understand everything, but he did hear enough conversations to kind of get an idea of what was going on. This was the first year that Adam was allowing villains from the Isle to have a say in what was going on with their tiny 'Kingdom of Misery', as his mom called it. And the villains had elected Maleficent to go, even knowing that she would have magical shackles and escorts 24/7. And apparently, now Maleficent had a daughter.

"She's just a little thing," Adam scoffed, reaching over and pouring himself a glass of some type of tea that his mom liked a lot. "Shorter than Ben, has messy hair. I think they're close in age. Oh, and on her hair, it's purple! The child has naturally purple hair."

Ben frowned and reached up to pat his own light-colored hair. Purple hair sounded interesting. His mother glanced over, and Ben put his hand back down to make it less obvious he was listening to them speak. Even if they were having the conversation in front of him, he didn't want to invite himself in.

"What are you hoping to accomplish?" Belle asked. "You think they'll become friends?"

"No, I want to show Maleficent an example of what a real heir looks like," Adam snorted. He gestured to Ben. "Look at him. He's absolutely perfect. Perfect hair, perfect eyes, perfect teeth, perfect manners. Nothing like the Isle. He's a perfect example of what a future leader should be."

Part of Ben preened as he listened to his dad's praise. The other part of him frowned as he imagined what could possibly be so bad about this girl that King Adam would want to show him off. Belle hesitated and then turned to him. "Would you like to sit in a few of Dad's meetings with him?" She asked.

Ben straightened up and nodded, and Adam clapped his hands together. "Wonderful!" He declared. "I'll put you in the seat right beside me. Everyone will love you!"

The next day, Ben sat fidgeting in his seat, ten minutes before the meeting started. People wandered past and smiled at him, commenting to Adam about what a great little prince he was. He tried to keep from sneezing – the room was dusty and for some reason, no one wanted to open a window.

King Phillip and Queen Aurora stopped to shake his hand. He liked Phillip and Aurora. They were Audrey's parents. Phillip proclaimed, in a booming voice: "Glad to see you here, Ben. The room needs a little more common sense. If I'd known you would be here, I would have brought Audrey so you could entertain each other."

His dad laughed. "Maybe next time," he offered.

Ben reached up and put a hand on his dad's forearm. His little fingers looked like threads against Adam's large muscles. "Dad," He asked in a quiet voice, "Where's the other girl?"

"Maleficent's daughter?" Phillip asked, smile faltering. "Oh, son, you don't want to be her friend. She, uh, she's a little scary."

Ben frowned a little. "That's not very nice," He told King Phillip. "Mom says that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all."

Adam laid a hand on Ben's shoulder. Ben started to look up, but he was distracted by the appearance of vibrant purple in the doorway. A girl with a black jacket and wings sewn on was walking in. She had bright, vibrant purple hair. "Mom also says to not talk back to adults," He reprimanded sternly. "What do you say to King Phillip?"

Ben patted his Dad's hand. "Look!" He exclaimed, drawing everyone's gazes over to him. "Look! Look, dad! There she is! She looks just like me!"

She didn't, really. Ben was dressed in a starched yellow and blue woven shirt with brown pants and tiny dress shoes. His hair was combed flat and slightly to the side, and his face and hands were clean. This newcomer, however, had ratty hair piled around her ears like gigantic matted sideburns. Black soot was smudged on her nose and on her cheek, and rusty stains on her hands. Still, Ben couldn't be more excited to see someone his age. "Hi!" He exclaimed, raising his hand and squirming in his chair as he waved to the startled girl. "Hi! I'm Ben! Want to come sit by me?"

Adam clapped a hand down on Ben's shoulder. "Now, Ben," He exclaimed through gritted teeth, "She has her own place beside her mother."

"That's okay," Ben accepted. "Her mom can sit beside us too! What's your name?" He called, waving ecstatically to the small girl.

The girl frowned, as if she were simultaneously confused and annoyed, and then turned to ignore him. She walked back down to her place in a chair set far, far from Ben's, and Ben's face fell. He felt his lower lip stick out on instinct as the girl folded her arms, slouched back in her chair, and began to ignore him. Adam winced as if he was beginning to think that this wasn't such a good idea after all.

"She didn't like me," Ben mourned, and a couple of the queens let out little 'aw's at his heartbroken expression. "What did I do wrong?"

"I'm sure it wasn't you, Ben," Adam sighed. "She's just like her mother, you see?"

"Don't let it bother you, son," Phillip declared. "Next time I'll bring Audrey and the two of you can sit together."

Ben shook his head. "I wanna sit with her," He declared and then set his lip. "I'm going to be her friend."

"Son, I don't think it'll go quite as you hope…" Phillip trailed off, but Ben held up a hand like he'd seen his dad do when King Adam wanted someone to stop talking to him. Adam looked horrified.

"I'm gonna be her friend," Ben repeated, voice hard as he, too, crossed his arms and slouched back into his seat. He ignored all of his dad's reprimands up until the start of the meeting.

**This story was given to me by WanderlustandFreedom. The majority of the ideas/outline and the first several chapters are ALL HERS.**