AN: I mention "last year's tragedy"—this will be explained in future chapters.
This chapter is mostly letters from Madame Morrible to various concerned characters; this is needed to set up the story, but I promise more action in future chapters. The scene at the beginning is taken from As If By Magic which was replaced by Something Bad. It takes place shortly before Dillamond's arrest and the lion cub scene. I didn't include the end of the song because there is a confrontation that wouldn't fit within the cannon of this story.
There was silence in the lab, as Dr. Dillamond, Fiyero, and Elphaba stared at their creation.
"Crystalization?" Elphaba asked, her voice as shaky as the experiments the three had been conducting.
"Dear Oz, I can't believe it, can it be . . . we've really done it!"
"Looks like you have," Fiyero said, almost laughing.
"But . . . how?" Elphaba murmured.
"It must have been . . ." Fiyero began, touching Elphaba's hand.
"The heat of our hands," they whispered together. A warm, brown blush crept across Elphaba's cheeks and Fiyero grinned.
"Children, no matter now, who could have imagined when this night began, we'd see the success of our plan . . ."
"As if by magic," Elphaba breathed.
"As if by magic," Fiyero repeated, staring at the green girl beside him.
Fiyero twirled Elphaba in a makeshift waltz around the lab table as Madame Morrible, unseen by the three scientists, snuck away from the window where she had been watching. Fortunately, she didn't stay to see the toast: it would have been one more reason to condemn Dr. Dillamond, corrupting the students as he so clearly was.
"Damn that girl and her affection for the old goat," Morrible muttered.
Already, Elphaba was disappointing. Her power was a hundred times what Morrible had hoped, after that first demonstration, but her will was strong and her morals stronger. Elphaba was—in a word—a failure. The green girl's honesty and compassion would keep her tied to the world the Wizard wanted to disappearate: the old Oz, with its Animals and freedom. Morrible was forming new plans for Elphaba Thropp . . . .
Dear Sir and Lady Tiggular—Morrible wrote, smiling smugly. This would knock Miss Elphaba Thropp off her high horse.
I pray this letter is not too bold. In the aftermath of last year's tragedy, it has come to my attention that you are searching for a bride for Master Fiyero Tiggular. My humble opinion is that his choice—Miss Galinda Upland—is merely hunting for the title of Princess. However, Master Fiyero has found a friend and tutor in the studious Miss Elphaba Thropp. She is the daughter of the Eminent Thropp of Munchkinland, and therefore of the proper status for Master Fiyero's bride.
Unfortunately, Miss Elphaba rooms with Miss Galinda and is sensitive to her friend's feelings: she cares deeply for Master Fiyero, that much is obvious, but she will not "steal" him from her flighty friend.
Perhaps you, as Master Fiyero's parents, may remedy the situation and rid yourselves of the fortune-seeking Miss Galinda in favor of Master Fiyero's dear friend, Miss Elphaba.
Head Mistress, Shiz University
As Elphaba and Fiyero whispered their goodnights, both pretending parting didn't hurt, the headmistress formed their future for them.
Please accept my sincere apologies in the situation surrounding Miss Elphaba. She is truly a magical wonder—in all my years, I've never seen such power—but twined with her power is strength of will even I cannot master without breaking her beyond repair and beyond usefulness. Miss Galinda Upland, despite her lesser powers, will make a wonderful substitute. I am training her as we speak. If all goes according to plan, Miss Elphaba will soon have other matters to occupy her mind and will no longer be free to join you, were it still your wish that she come. I have destroyed your invitation. Have no fear—none will ever know it existed.
The letters were posted—via owls—from the main office of Shiz University. On the west side of campus, both Fiyero and Elphaba sat in their dorms, lonely and thoughtful. Fiyero's lights glowed warmly, barely showing through his thick curtains—but the owls noticed. Elphaba lay shrouded in darkness, itching to lose herself in a book and forget Fiyero but unwilling to wake her sleeping roommate. The owls did not notice her, but if they had they would have seen something few mortals ever have: Elphaba Thropp was crying. The high of a successful evening in the lab had burst and left her longing for a boy she could never have, a boy she could never admit to loving.
"There's a girl I know, he loves her so . . . I'm not that girl," she whispered to the stars. The owls did not hear her.