The fairy tale in this story is from Mary Sharratt's book Summit Avenue. I HIGHLY recommend the book. I have a soft spot for fairy tales, and I felt this fit quite well with Elphaba and Glinda. :]
"Glinda, what are you doing here? I thought you were going to that dinner with your sorcery class," Elphaba said, as she walked into the room and dropped her bag onto her bed.
Glinda was curled up in front of the fireplace. Going to the sorcery dinner meant socializing with Madame Morrible, and Glinda didn't want to be anywhere near her. "No, Elphie, I decided not to go. It's rather cold outside away, and I'd prefer to stay inside."
"But Glinda, you worked so hard all semester. You haven't exploded a sandwich in weeks."
Glinda turned around to look at Elphaba and laughed, her cheeks darkening slightly. Elphaba smiled at her and Glinda reached her hand out and beckoned Elphaba to come sit with her. After kicking off her boots, Elphaba obliged.
When Elphaba was seated, she noticed that Glinda had a book opened in her lap. It was old and dusty, but the words on the pages seemed to glow in an elegant loopy script. She reached out to run her hand over the pages and Glinda took a finger and slowly traced the veins visible on Elphaba's hand. Elphaba looked up at her and smiled.
"I was going through Ama Clutch's old things," Glinda said softly. "I know they'll have to be moved soon. She didn't have much beyond clothes and shoes, but she loved to read."
Elphaba turned her hand and grasped Glinda's, urging her to continue.
"She loved fairy tales, Elphie. She would read them to me when I was very young and I loved them, too. We began to drift apart the older I got and she stopped reading to me. I thought fairy tales were for little kids. When I found this book, I realized I was wrong."
In the firelight, blue eyes shimmering and golden hair ablaze, Elphaba thought Glinda looked like she had come straight out of those pages. She was a fairy tale princess herself.
Elphaba pulled her hand from Glinda's and reached to brush some of her fiery blonde hair behind her ear. "Why don't you read one to me?" she whispered.
Glinda smiled at her. "I just finished reading one before you came in, and it's always been one of my favorites. I think you'll like it." Elphaba watched her turn back the pages until she saw a picture of a beautiful witch holding a mirror and looking out into the night sky. Reflected on the mirror was the sun, glowing fiercely. It was the color of Glinda's hair.
Elphaba nestled in closer to Glinda, resting her head on her shoulder, and listened to Glinda's soothing voice.
"A long time ago," Glinda started, "there was a poor farmer's son who was in love with a beautiful rich princess. The farmer's son went to this rich princess and threw himself at her feet asking her to marry him. The princess, though, was very proud and she demanded that he bring her the sun, the moon, and a star. Only after would she marry him."
Elphaba raised her head to look at Glinda, her brows furrowing. "Well that's terrible. She must know that he's poor, and how could anyone ever capture those things?"
"Hush, Elphie, it's a fairy tale," Glinda said, gently grabbing Elphaba's chin. "Plus, wouldn't you capture the moon if I asked you to?" Elphaba bit her lip and turned away defeated. Glinda giggled and continued.
"Any other young boy would have told her, 'I'm very sorry,' and gone away, but this boy was in love. He had more love than sense, so he set out on a long journey through faraway lands to bring the princess back what she had asked for. He met people who were rich and who were poor. The rich people could not help him because they were mean and not very clever. The poor people could not help him because they had too much work to do. He made friends with gypsies and tramps, and although they were the smartest people he met, they could not help him either. Finally he came to a very old tower on a hill.
"From the tower he heard someone crying in terrible pain. The sound was like nothing he had ever heard, and he went to the tower door to see if he could help whomever was inside. As he reached for the door handle, a village man stepped in his way and said, 'Do not go in that tower, young man. A sorceress lives there, an evil with. She is dying and the devil has come to take her soul!'"
Glinda stopped reading after she heard Elphaba sigh. "The witch is always evil, isn't she?" Elphaba said, looking into the fire. Glinda looked at her, smiling sadly. "Elphie," she said, "I've not reached the end." Elphaba turned to meet her gaze and then rested herself against Glinda's shoulder once again.
"The boy did not care about what the village man said because he wanted to help the witch. He climbed the steps of the tower until he entered a small room, and there on the floor, on a bed made of straw, was a woman. Once she has been very beautiful, but the boy could tell she was dying. When she saw the boy, she stopped moaning and turned her head to him. 'Finally you have come,' she cried, 'I have been waiting for you for so long. I will give you what you have been seeking - a star, the moon, and the sun itself - if you promise to help me. The second I die, you must take my hands and bless me. Then you must take this bottle of holy water and throw it at the foot of my bed, because that is where the devil is waiting to take my soul. The contents of this bottle will chase the devil away.
"The boy took the holy water and promised to do exactly as she had said. Then, in terrible pain, the witch got up from her bed and went to get her three magic mirrors. 'Open the window,' she said. 'I must be able to see the path of the sun, the moon, and the stars as they move across the sky. Now give me your hand.' She held the boy's hand, and with her other hand, she began drawing funny symbols in the first mirror. She started mumbling things the boy could not understand, and then she cast a spell. After a while, there was a bright point of light in the mirror that got bigger and bigger until it turned into a star.
"Here is your star,' said the witch. Then she took the second mirror and began drawing symbols and whispering secret words, but this time it took much longer. She did not have much strength left, and this was a harder spell than the first one. But very slowly a silver point appeared in the mirror and the silver point grew bigger and bigger until it grew into a moon.
"'Here is your moon,' said the witch. Her lips were white. The boy saw how close she was to death."
Elphaba turned then, pressing her face into Glinda's shoulder. "I know what happens to the witch," Elphaba said softly. Glinda took her left hand from the book and wove it around Elphaba's shoulders, resting her fingers in her hair. "Do you?" she asked, bringing her head down to lean against Elphaba's. "Don't be so sure," Glinda whispered, and she brought her head up and began reading once more.
"'Why did you come so late?' she asked, nearly breathless. 'I don't know if I have enough strength left for this last spell.' She took the third mirror, drew the symbols, and whispered the words. This one took much, much longer than the last one. This was the hardest spell of all. The boy had asked her for the light of the world. He felt very sad as he watched her struggling. This spell would kill her. He wanted to tell her to stop, but it was too late. He began to sweat, and his face went as white as the witch's. Just as he had given up hope, there was a golden sparkle in the mirror, and that golden sparkle grew until a golden sun filled the whole mirror.
"The witch gave him the mirror and said, 'My heart is breaking. Remember your promise.' The boy's heart was breaking, too. He helped her to bed, held her hand, and blessed her. Then, the second she died, he threw the bottle of holy water and it hit the devil. The devil screamed, but he did not get the witch. Her soul was safe. The boy knew it was time for him to go home and give the mirrors with the sun, the moon, and the star to the rich girl so that she would marry him. He would be a hero and she would finally love him back. But suddenly he knew that he did not love her anymore. She was too selfish and spoiled. He sat for a very long time in the tower, holding the dead witch's hand and thinking about what he had seen."
Elphaba stopped Glinda from reading any further, placing her hand flat against the page. Her eyes were wide as she looked at Glinda.
"He loved her," Elphaba said. "He loved the witch."
Glinda smiled at her shyly. "Yes, Elphie. He did love her."
Elphaba stared at her, her mouth agape. "And the witch, she died for him. She gave him the moon, the sun, and a star." She shook her head. "He loved the witch."
"She didn't know he loved her, did she?" Elphaba asked.
"No," Glinda replied, closing the book and putting it beside her. She pressed Elphaba back against the couch and placed one of her knees in her lap.
"What happened to the sun, the moon, and the star?" Elphaba asked, as Glinda kissed her cheek.
"He kept them," Glinda said between kisses. "He kept them with him always."
"Always?" Elphaba asked, finding Glinda's lips with her own. She pulled Glinda until she was sitting completely in her lap.
"Always, Elphie," Glinda whispered. "He would always have a piece of her with him. When he looked at the mirrors, he would remember that he loved her."
"He loved the witch," Elphaba said, taking Glinda's face in her hands.
Glinda smiled at her, closing her eyes as Elphaba's lips brushed against her own.
"She loved the witch," Glinda whispered.