Disclaimer: Anything affiliated with Ella Enchanted is not mine- I'm making no money from this whatsoever. So please don't sue. :)

Summary: This is the story about how Char's parents, King Jerrold and Queen Daria, met and "fell in hate". They can't stand the sight of one another, so what happens when they find out that they are engaged? As always there is a quest involved...R&R

Author's Note: I simply adore my reviewers. Thanks for reading my story - you guys get me motivated.


Chapter 5:

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Departures

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Daria hastily picked up her skirts and chased after Jerrold.

She had to say something to him. She could see that he was angry. Dangerously so. It was frightening.

"W-where are you going?" she nervously called after him and then cursed herself at her own stupidity. Where else would he be going but back to the ballroom?

"Back to the ballroom you halfwit." He said scornfully, not even bothering to turn around.

Daria ran faster, "Can't you just slow down. Its hard for me to keep up with you when I have these skirts restricting my movement."

"Well then maybe you should reconsider the kind of clothes you wear. Better yet, just don't wear any clothes at all." He said sarcastically.

"Ha ha. Very funny. I'm so amused." Daria paused. "You know, I did have every right to slap you. So don't know try and act all noble, as if it was all my fault and I'm the guilty one."

Daria halted running as Jerrold whirled around, looking ready to pounce on her.

"Of course you're not the guilty one. You're just little Miss Perfection. Us lower mortals are supposed to bow down before you and worship you and obey you're every command. Well guess what Princess, I'm not like that." He stopped talking, he was almost panting and his cheeks were red with indignation. He looked like he immediately regretted what he had said.

Daria opened and closed her mouth several times, clearly stunned. "I never knew you felt that way." She spoke quietly and looked mortified. "I'm sorry for being the awful person that I am." She said slowly and turned away so that he could not see the hurt expression on her face. Then all of a sudden it was she who was walking away. Except this time Jerrold was not chasing after her and calling her back. Instead, he stood there where she had left him, confused. What exactly have I done?

Daria did not know how she made it through the night. She had walked back to the ballroom and reluctantly entertained the guests. She barely looked at Jerrold all night and he seemed to be avoiding her.

Though there was one point when she was dancing with Sir Maximillian (the odious man had cornered her and forced him to dance with her again) that she felt somebody's eyes upon her. She looked up to where she felt the gaze was coming from and saw that Jerrold was watching her intently.

Daria blinked in surprise and then saw that Jerrold had in fact not been looking at her at all but was laughing and joking with Charles and Charlie. Perhaps she had been imagining things?

Sir Maximillian looked curiously at her. "Is anything wrong?"

His kindness shocked her. He almost sounded gentlemanly. "No, nothing is wrong." But then Daria silently added. It's just that my whole life is falling down before my eyes and I'm powerless to do anything about it.

She also noticed that Jerrold spent quite a large proportion of the night dancing with Katie.

See if I care. Daria thought. You better not hurt Katie or I will kill you.

At least the twins provided some entertainment that night. Both eagerly flirted with her.

"I do quite like that dress you're wearing." Charles softly whistled (or was it Charlie?) and the other twin nodded eagerly.

"Yes, quite smashing. Jerrold seems to be quite breath taken with you."

Daria snorted loudly and was just about to add her rather inappropriate thoughts on this but stopped herself – they were good friends of Jerrold's after all.

"Y-yes." She agreed unconvincingly.

Charlie raised one eyebrow. "Anyone can see that he is head over heels in love with you, Princess. You two will make a lovely couple."

"Yes," agreed his brother and he gave Daria a wink. "Once you get past the tough exterior and façade that he puts on, the man underneath is quite different."

Daria could not help but snort again, and louder this time.

She suddenly felt a warm hand on her shoulder.

"Charles and Charlie, but do you two not have anything better to do than harass this girl?" Jerrold cut in.

Daria groaned. "What do you want?" She didn't want the twins to leave; they were fun to talk to…as long as they were not discussing her and Jerrold, of course.

She looked at the twins pleadingly, silently begging then to stay. But they smiled apologetically at her and left.

Daria glared at Jerrold furiously. "What do you want?" she repeated.

"I just thought that I should probably let you know that I will be leaving tomorrow to start on the quest." He informed her abruptly, almost in a bored manner, as if he wanted to be anywhere else than here at that moment.

"You're leaving?" Daria did not seem to be able to think properly.

"You're definitely a girl of many words. Yes, I'm leaving." He sneered.

"But what about all the other engagement preparations and the like? All the celebrations that we will have to go to?" Daria said almost desperately. He couldn't leave her like this.

Jerrold smiled meanly, clearly satisfied by her reaction. "The sooner I can get away from you, the better."

"But where will you start your search? Have you even packed?" Daria started to list all the reasons that Jerrold should not leave but then stopped. Why should she even care that he was leaving anyway?

"Fine, leave. See if I care." She placed both hands on her hips and tore past him to where the twins had relocated.

"The nerve of that man." She muttered and stomped the ground with her feet.

"Are you alright?" Asked Charles concernedly.

"Is Jerrold always so stubborn?" she asked bitterly.

"He was worse when he was younger, I like to think that he has improved with age." He said jokingly but then when he saw the thunderous expression on Daria's face he became serious.

"Jerrold's had an - um - awkward childhood to say the least. He's had to suffer a lot." Charlie confided in her.

"Like what?" Daria scoffed.

"I think that's for Jerrold himself to tell you, not us."

They quickly changed the subject but Daria's thoughts kept on turning back to what they had said.

He's had to suffer a lot. Now what was that all about?

She also saw Charles and Charlie at one point chatting again with Jerrold. They seemed to be deep in conversation and she decided to edge closer, trying to hear what they were saying yet without actually being caught eavesdropping.

She could make out what one of the twins was saying, "She's the one, Jerrold."

Who were they talking about?

"That brat? I don't think so." Jerrold protested.

Oh, her. They were talking about her.

"I even had a dream about it. And you know that if we say something, we're never wrong." The other twin spoke.

What does that mean? Daria wondered.

"I know you two are different and are able to see things that others aren't but I do seriously think you are mistaken this time. Her and me? Together? Yes, sure. I'd rather die than spend the rest of my life with her." Jerrold rolled his eyes and then spotted Daria before she could move away.

There was an awful moment when their eyes clicked together and Daria just wanted to curl up onto the floor and disappear.

He'd rather die? By the time I'm through with him he certainly would.

Jerrold looked like he regretted what he had said and he tried to tell her this with his eyes but Daria turned away. See if I care. I'll show you Prince Jerrold, I swear I will.

And it was then that she concocted her plan.


The following morning, Daria woke up early for some peculiar reason, and when she heard the neighing of a horse outside she immediately knew why. Only clad in a nightgown and not even wearing any slippers, she ran as fast as she could down to the stables.

As she had guessed, Jerrold was already there and he was saddling a horse.

He looked alive and bright, considering the early hour it was. He tenderly handled the horse and coaxed it into letting him saddle her.

"So, you're leaving." She said loudly.

Jerrold whipped around. "You're very observant, you know that?"

Daria ignored the jibe. "Have you even said goodbye to your parents?"

"Yes, for your information I informed them of my plans ever since I found out that stupid plan of yours to send me on this quest. In other words, yesterday morning."

Daria fumed. "You've been planning on leaving and only last night did you bother to tell me. Thanks a lot. You could've given me some warning and maybe prolonged the journey a couple of days."

"Why do you even care?" he fleetingly looked at her as he walked around the stable, collecting his belongs and assembling them abouts the horse. He was having difficult and Daria snatched the satchel he was attaching to the saddle away from him.

"Here, let me." she said and without any difficulty, she tied the satchel to the saddle.

Jerrold narrowed his eyes. "You didn't answer my question."

"I don't care about you. Just Katie. She's going to be upset." She said lamely, not daring to look at him.

Jerrold rolled his eyes and swiftly mounted his horse. "Don't worry your pretty head over something like that. She already knows, knew before you did too."

Daria let out a cry. "Did I have to be the last one to know everything?"

Jerrold did not make a further comment and instead urged his horse to move with the heels of his boots and it broke into a gallop.

"Goodbye Princess." He called firmly back over his shoulder, leaving Daria standing there alone, surrounded by a cloud of dust that he had left behind.

She felt fragile and small. Without Jerrold, there was no one else to help her think of a way to thwart their parents' plans to marry.

Then she realized something.

Did he just call me pretty?

Daria unsteadily made her way back into the palace as if she was in a drunken stupor.

He was gone, and he had left her alone. "Coward!" she called out angrily after him and even shook her fist but she knew that it was no use. It would not bring him back. What's the real reason as to why I care so much anyway? She asked herself.

She walked back up to her bedroom; relieved that everybody in the palace was still asleep and so nobody could see their Princess in such improper clothing. Or so she thought.

She opened the door to her bedroom and saw a hulking figure sitting on her bed.

"Daria, but I do believe that the little display put on just then was not exactly ladylike." her father scolded, his face severe.

Daria jumped what she swore was almost a foot into the air. She could have sworn that he had just taken ten years off her life.

"What, father, have you come to see me about?" Daria asked warily.

"I want to tell you now that while Jerrold is on his quest, it has been decided by your mother and I that after attending a few of the customary Engagement celebrations, you will be sent to Finishing School."

Daria gaped. "Finishing school?" The torture of going to a place like that!

"Don't try to argue with us. Your appalling behaviour and lack of etiquette have come to our attention. When Jerrold returns from his quest, you will be waiting there to receive him dutifully as any bride-to-be would and will act like the appropriate future wife of a future king."

Daria clenched her jaw. Sometimes she felt like she barely knew her father. All this for the sake of an alliance with Kyrria? What about what she wanted?

"What about what I want?" she voiced aloud her thoughts.

"What you want does not matter. What you will do however, is go to Finishing School in a few days time. Is that understood?" he stood up and towered over her for a menacing effect.

"Perfectly." Daria murmured quietly. She then made what would turn out to be one of the most important decisions of her life. Tonight, she would indeed put her plan into action.


Dressed in brown riding pants, a loose white shirt and black boots, Daria surveyed herself in her mirror in her bedroom later that night. She had bound a strip of cloth around her chest, squeezing her breasts together so that her chest almost looked flat.

Her clothes were not tight so as not to draw attention to her feminine figure. Her lovely hair had been cut so that it hung shortly about her face.

She looked so unlike herself that it was amazing. However, just in case she was recognised, she had dyed her hair so that it was now blonde.

It meant that her skin now seemed darker than normal and her face looked somehow more masculine. She could barely recognise herself.

She had already packed her travelling bag and a horse awaited her in the stables and from there she would make her escape.

Daria gazed at herself one last time in the mirror and smiled slightly before leaving the room.

Jerrold had better watch out because she was going to get her revenge.


A/N: Now please review and tell me what you think!

Replies:

potterwoman: More will be revealed about the twins' gift in the upcoming chapters, I think that there was pretty much a hint of what it was somewhere in this chapter. Glad you liked the chapter.

Blue-hello-kitty: Yep, he was angry. This chapter kind of showed that.

Ariadne: I actually had that idea in my head from the beginning of sending Daria on the quest with Jerrold – you read my mind! Thanks so much for your review, it was really sweet!

awaiting impatient person: lol. Jerrold is a jackass, I agree. But of course he is going to turn out good. Original, isn't it. Anyways, thanks for reviewing.