Title: In a Different Light

Rating: K+

Summary: It had been four years since Dorothy left Oz behind, but the memories never left her. Now, at the age of fourteen, she wishes to go back. However, she will soon learn that things in Oz are not as they appear, as old friends are reunited and her whole perspective is changed for the better.

OK, so I know that writing a sequel to the musical is the most obvious and overused plotline out there, but I've wanted to write this for a while and it's been bugging me. I tried to score at least a few originality points by throwing Dorothy into the mix. Therefore, I am writing this and hoping that I can at least get a bit of positive feedback. If not, well I had fun writing it.

Right, so in the loosest sense this can be considered a 'sequel' to my first Wicked story 'The Inside Story'. I use this term tentatively considering that story leaves off in the same place the musical ended. I will call it that because background information and some minor aspects of the plot have been taken from its plot. However, you honestly have no need to read that fic to understand this one, although it is only nine chapters long and I wouldn't be opposed to people checking it out.

Well anyway I should probably stop rambling now and post the first chapter. It's pretty uneventful, it's just a prologue to show where we are when the story begins. Enjoy.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Dorothy Gale's life was going nowhere fast. At the age of just fourteen years old she felt so completely and totally alone in the world. It had been four years since she had traveled to a place called Oz, and she had never quite let those memories go. No one she had spoken to believe her fantastic tales, but they always smiled and laughed when she told her stories. She'd even heard Hunk, the farm hand, telling her aunt that Dorothy would probably grow up to be a writer. However, even though her family and friends brushed her stories of as the imaginings of a child, she knew the truth, and the thoughts of Oz had always served the purpose of making her smile when she was down. Now however, even thoughts of that magical place couldn't bring even the faintest ghost of a smile to her lips, even though she spent every moment of her waking life wishing she could return.

It hadn't always been like this. In fact, when Dorothy had first returned from her trip to Oz her life couldn't have seemed brighter. She helped out around the farm and lived each day with a new found vigor and energy. She fed the chickens, milked the cows and did other chores, all the while thinking of the wonderful lives her friends in Oz must be living since the Wicked Witch had been melted. Her wicked neighbor Mrs. Gulch had also been incapacitated by her broken leg, and soon after she moved away, giving Dorothy no reason to fear trotting around her neighborhood with her little dog Toto at her heels. After taking that trip to Oz, she had begun to believe that anything in life was possible. After all, if there were such things as magic and talking scarecrows, who knew what else in life was possible. Dorothy's life seemed to be looking up and she her life couldn't have been happier.

Then Auntie Em had died.

It had been about a year and a half after her adventure when her aunt had suffered from a sudden heart attack. Her Uncle Henry had been out in town at the time and Dorothy had been in the field playing with her little dog Toto. There had been a sudden crash and Dorothy had rushed inside to find her aunt's body lying limply on the floor next to a stack of broken plates. Dorothy, shaken to the core by the sight, had rushed outside screaming, causing the three farm hands to come running. They had called an ambulance immediately, but by the time they had brought Auntie Em to the hospital it had been too late. She had died mere hours later, and that was when Dorothy's life had begun to fall apart.

Her Uncle Henry had been shocked by the news, and he hadn't been the same since that day. He became more distant and almost always shirked the company of others in favor of sitting alone in his room. Dorothy, who had been closer to Auntie Em than anyone else, had taken an even harder blow than her uncle. Her innocent idealist lease on life had been stripped away, and suddenly not everything was magic and rainbows. Dorothy, who had been eleven at the time, could not understand why this had to have happened to her, especially when her future seemed so bright.

Over the course of the next three years the three farm hands, and Dorothy's only friends, had begun to leave, all for different reasons. Zeke was the first to resign when his mother fell ill and he was forced to return to his neighboring hometown to care for her. Hickory was the next to go when he found a job in the city and left to move on to bigger and better things. Hunk was the last to leave when he got married and left the farm to start his new life. All three expressed their grief at having to leave, but it did nothing to dull the pain of having to watch them go. Her uncle had hired two new farm hands to keep the farm going, but Dorothy wanted nothing to do with them, still feeling the pain of having to say goodbye to her old friends. The only friend she had left at that point was her little dog Toto, and she hardly ever let the little dog out of her sight anymore for fear of loosing him too.

The life that had once seemed so full and adventurous was now an empty shell. Her Uncle Henry, once so full of life, now walked around like a human robot and said hardly four words a day to her if she was lucky. She knew he blamed himself for what had happened to her aunt, even though it was in no way his fault. He felt that if he had been home with her that day they could have gotten help for Auntie Em sooner. Dorothy tried to convince him countless times that this was not true, but each time he brushed her off and went off to sit by himself.

Dorothy herself had changed as well. She was no longer the ignorant ten year old girl that she had once been. Her life had been cruelly flipped upside down, and these days she rarely smiled or talked to anyone but Toto. The only thing that got her through the day was a dream that someday, somehow she would be able to return to Oz. She longed to return to that place so full of friendly and familiar faces, where she could smile again and be truly happy. Thoughts of Oz kept her awake at night, the last threads of hope she could grasp at in an empty void.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

What Dorothy did not know was that things in Oz had changed since she had returned home. With the Wizard gone, a grief stricken Glinda had taken his place, still in shock over the sudden death of her best friend. The Scarecrow had seemingly vanished into thin air, and no one had seen him since that day the Wicked Witch had finally been defeated. The Lion had left the city in favor of becoming King of the Forest, and Glinda had appointed the Tinman the new governor of Munchkin land, since there were no remaining heirs to the throne.

It had taken a full year before Glinda could hear any sort of reference to Elphaba without having to lock herself in her room and sob silently into her pillows. Each year, she plastered on a smile and waved to the crowds as the celebrated the anniversary of the death of the "Wicked Witch of the West". She had no idea how the Ozians had not seen through her pitiful fa├žade. She felt as though her pain and sadness was displayed on her face as plainly as a large neon sign.

However, slowly over the course of time the excruciating pain in her heart became a stabbing pain and finally faded to a constant dull ache. Glinda, though she knew she would never get over her friends death, knew Elphaba would not have wanted her to mope forever. Instead of letting herself sink into depression, she instead used her new title and political power to make changes in the laws that she knew Elphaba would be proud of. Slowly but surely, and so little at a time that the Ozians hardly even noticed, Glinda began restoring the rights of the Animals. First it was lifting the band that banished Animals from the city, which Glinda did under the guise that they were cheap labor. Soon however, she was building a small town for the animals to move into and creating a few public schools where the younger ones could receive an education. She gave them small jobs so that they could support their families, even though they could not work alongside the Ozians. Some Ozians opposed these reforms, but most so trusted their beloved leader that they decided to grin and bare it. So far she had done a lot for the Animals, who viewed her as a sort of hero, and she knew that Elphaba would be proud. However, she still had not made the final and most radical reform, which was making segregation of Animals illegal. Though she hated to admit it, she was afraid of how the Ozians would react to the when she finally went through with it. After all, having the Animals living in a small town on the outskirts of the city was one thing, but Glinda didn't think the Ozians would welcome them back into society with arms wide open.

However, Glinda's reign had not all been smooth sailing. In fact, she'd had her fair share of problems, the biggest of which had been Madame Morrible's escape from prison. About a month after Glinda had had her old headmistress locked up, the horrible woman had escaped by unknown means. The guards had gone down to the dungeons one day to find her cell empty, with no evidence that anyone had ever been there. For months after Glinda had slept with one eye open, terrified that Morrible would try to assassinate her in her sleep. She'd sent out search parties to scour the land, but nothing every turned up. The months turned to years, and Glinda convinced herself that Morrible was just hiding out somewhere and would not try to cause anymore trouble.

Another problem had been trying to get Munchkinland back on its feet after the death of its former leader. Although Glinda had been friends with Nessarose, she couldn't deny the fact that the girl had become a tyrant. The Munchkin's rights had been severely restricted, and it had taken some time to get things running smoothly again. However, after a year the Munchkins were living a tranquil life under the leadership of the Tinman.

Glinda had also been doing her best to improve her magical skills. Once she had been able to look at the Grimmerie without sobbing uncontrollably, she had begun to study it. Unfortunately, she was not nearly as naturally gifted as Elphaba, and discerning the seemingly meaningless scrawl had proven to be an extremely difficult task. She kept at it because Elphaba had asked her to, and Glinda was determined to honor her friend's memory in any way possible.

However, what Glinda did not know was that her old friend was really alive and well. After fleeing from Oz, Elphaba and Fiyero had found a very small cottage on the outer edges of society, almost out in the desert. They knew that no one in Oz ever traveled that far out because there was nothing there except for a few scraggly bits of forest. They'd been living together peacefully, although Fiyero's condition as a scarecrow made their situation a bit awkward. Elphaba had wanted to change him back, but she had left the Grimmerie with Glinda, and without she had no hope of finding a spell that could achieve such a purpose and so he'd been forced to remain a straw man However, they would not let each other's exteriors phase them, for the only thing they had was each other. That and an extremely makeshift little cottage they had managed to construct using a few trees and a little bit of magic that Elphaba had memorized. Elphaba had taken care to memorize quite a few useful spells before passing the Grimmerie off to Glinda for safe keeping and, with her high IQ and photographic memory, the knowledge had easily stuck.

At first it had taken a while for the two of them to adjust to their reclusive life, but they had each other and eventually they learned to live with that. Being so far away from civilization, they never heard any news of what was going on in the Emerald City, so the practically lived in their own little world. Elphaba would have been perfectly fine with this arrangement, had it not been for extreme guilt and anguish she felt at having to leave her best friend behind to mourn the death that everyone believed Elphaba had suffered. She hoped that her friend was living happily in the Emerald City and, although she knew it was foolish, she clung to a hope that she would somehow see her friend again someday.

On the whole, the current situation in Oz was tranquil for the time being, but that should have been the first sign that things were about to happen.

And that's the first chapter. As I said, it's uneventful since the real story doesn't begin until the next chapter. I'm not sure I love that last line, but I couldn't figure out how to tie it together and just leaving it hanging there didn't seem right. Anyway, I'd really appreciate any reviews, so please leave one mp matter what you thought of this. I've already written this entire story out, so I'm just going to be posting chapters at my leisure. The more reviews I get, the more inclined I may be to post the next chapter a little early.

Thanks for reading. Till next time-S.P.