Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
AN: So, this is my entry to the Once Upon a Twilight contest. Hope you enjoy it!
Dragons and Witches and Knights – Oh My!
"Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who lived in a beautiful castle with her parents, the king and queen of the kingdom. But one day, an evil wizard came along and –"
I sighed, closing the huge, leather-bound book of fairytales. I hated the things; they were stupid, unrealistic, and full of ridiculous romances where the princess fell in love with the knight in shining armour as soon as she saw him. They all had a princess that was trapped, or kidnapped by some evil enemy of her parents, yet still had the luxuries of gorgeous gowns and amazing food. Either that scenario, or she had a spell put on her by a witch, who also doubled as her step-mother, who was probably just jealous that her young, knight boyfriend was gorgeous, and she was stuck with an old, haggard king for a husband. Like that ever happened in real life.
I got up from my couch, adjusting my long, pink gown and walking slowly to the window of my tower room in the castle. I looked down, used to gazing down from this distance, having been confined to this tower room for the past few years or so. My father and step-mother locked me up here when I refused to marry the prince of their choice. Well, I was hardly under room-arrest, but they kept me here for the majority of the time, and I had to have one of the guards accompany when I went outside. The guards were never armed, though, not after last time... No knights in shining armour needed here.
There was a knock on the huge, oak door. "Enter," I called.
Angela, my serving maid walked in. "Your highness, your parents request your presence for dinner," she said, curtseying as she spoke.
"Thank you, Angela."
"Her royal highness, the queen would like you to wear a formal gown. You have company, miss."
"Oh. Who is this company?" I asked, intrigued. We often had visitors to the palace, but not so important that I was to wear my most formal dress. Most of my dresses were finer made than my piers', so they would usually suffice. Being the daughter of the king of the richest land in this small world had its advantages.
"I do not know, your highness, but there are rumours among the staff as to who it is. Why, Cooken says that it is King Carlisle, and his son, Prince Emmett and his wife, Princess Rosalie. His daughter, Princess Alice is allegedly coming, too, with her suitor!" Angela replied, excitement lacing her tone.
"I see. Very well; tell my father and step-mother that I shall be down shortly."
Angela left, with a final curtsy, and I strolled over to my giant closet. I leafed through all my dresses, picking out any that might be suitable for such formalities. I finally came across a beautiful, hand-woven gown of emerald green, with a gold trim around the edges. This should be perfect, I thought. I changed quickly, braiding my brown hair intricately around the back of my head and putting in emerald earrings. When I deemed myself appropriately dressed, I left the tower and descended the stone stairs down to the dining room.
The dining room was a large, fancy affair, with a mahogany wood table and chairs; velvet covered seats on them, and diamond chandeliers dangling from the regal ceiling. Only my step-mother was there, looking shiftily at a bottle of bright green liquid, studying a piece of paper. If this were a fairytale, I would have assumed she was trying to poison me – she never liked me.
"Step-mother," I greeted.
She jumped, hiding the little vial hastily in the pocket of her dress – a blood red coloured one, emphasising her long, black hair and eyes. It seemed that however she had her hair cut, it could never disguise the giant wart on her chin...
"Isabella," she said. "I trust you are ready? Good, be ready to greet our guests in the entrance hall in five minutes."
"Who is coming? Why am I dressed so formally?" I asked, curiously.
"King Carlisle. I hope that his sons and daughters will be able to teach you how a proper child of royalty behaves. Refusing proposals... disgraceful," she muttered, shuffling off.
Ignoring her rant, I made my way to the great hall. Servants were rushing about the place, carrying various items about, all looking panicked. My father was there, shouting at one of the grooms from the stables.
"Father, leave the man alone, you should calm yourself before the guests get here," I told him soothingly. He glared at me.
"Isabella, a princess should not be so bold. You should be seen and not heard, and I trust that you will behave when our guests arrive," he scolded. Honestly, he was never like this before he married. It's as if he's under a spell or something... Oh, yeah, likely.
"Yes, father," I replied, my voice monotonous. I was about to say something else, but there was a knock on the door. My father gestured for a servant to open it, and there was a page at the door. I hadn't noticed how late it was, but the sky was dark outside. He looked at my father after bowing low.
"Your royal highness, his highness King Carlisle has arrived, with the prince and princesses," he said timidly. I noticed Angela staring quite obviously at him.
"Excellent," said my step-mother, sweeping in from the dining room, though it was as if she had appeared by magic. "Bring them in."
Within two minutes, a tall, blonde man, elegantly dressed walked gracefully up the steps to the palace doors, a woman by his side. The woman was tall, but not quite his height, with caramel coloured hair and a pretty complexion, complimenting her eyes nicely. Her dress was a pure gold colour. A man and woman followed behind them. The man was huge, a beast, almost, with a mane of dark, unruly hair and jovial eyes. The woman was a goddess, Aphrodite herself, with a length of blonde hair braided over her shoulder.
"My old friend," the blonde man greeted, walking forwards to shake my father's hand. "You remember my queen, Esme, I presume?" he greeted.
"Of course," my father replied. "It is a pleasure to see you both again." He kissed Esme's hand after shaking the man's hand. "This is my daughter, Bella and my wife, Una."
"This is Bella? My goodness, I haven't seen you since you were a child. And Una, it is simply charming to meet you."
"The pleasure is all mine, sir," I replied.
"My apologies, I must introduce my son, Emmett, and his wife Rosalie," Carlisle said, gesturing with his hand to the huge man and who I now recognised as his wife. We exchanged greetings, and as we finished, another couple walked in the door.
The girl was short, pretty and sprite like, beautiful in a way opposite to the blonde splendour stood across the hall from her. Her hair was long and black, giving her an ethereal look. Her partner was the male equivalent of Rosalie, blonde and beautiful.
"I assume this must be Alice?" my step mother interrupted as Carlisle opened his mouth to speak. "And her... suitor," she added, disdain in her voice.
"Yes, this is Alice and Sir Jasper Whitlock of Hampshire," Carlisle replied. That explained my step-mother's derision; the man was a knight, so beneath royalty – at least in her eyes. "And this," Carlisle added, "is Sir Edward Cullen of Kent."
I had been ignorantly picking at my nails as Una spoke, my usual small act of defiance around her, but I looked up to see this newcomer – and I was not disappointed.
The man was tall, well over six feet, with untidy, windswept hair of a shining bronze colour, and piercing green eyes. His lean body was clear, muscled yet leonine. He ducked his head in greeting, a common response for a knight, much higher than most of society. If I believed in fairytales and all of that rubbish, I might have said it was like love at first sight.
"Your highnesses," he added in a voice that echoed velvet, chocolate and fire. I stared at him for goodness knows how long before the servants came to inform us that dinner was ready. We all made our way into the dining room; I followed at the back of the group, staying close to Sir Edward. I noticed that he smelt divine.
We were seated, and I was lucky enough to be placed next to him. Unfortunately, my step-mother was on my other side. I was startled when – before the food came out – Una gathered the glasses and poured everyone a glass of wine. I noticed the green bottle again, but shrugged it off as just a tonic for one of her many health problems.
"A toast," she began, "to what I hope shall be a beautiful set of friendships." Everyone echoed her, and drank. I raised my glass to my lips, but it was knocked out of my hand and spilled onto the table suddenly.
"Your drink was poisoned, Princess Bella!" Sir Edward exclaimed. "Your step-mother added poison into it!"
"Don't be ridiculous," Una soothed. "I did nothing of the sort." She smiled menacingly at him.
Everyone looked at Edward with raised eyebrows, and most of the guests regarded her with suspicion until she stared them down, her black eyes glowing creepily.
Everyone settled down again, and the rest of dinner passed without incident. I found out that Jasper and Alice were to be married at the end of the month, and Edward was Jasper's cousin, visiting from some land far away. He was available, having not found a suitor yet. The hour turned late, and everyone left to go to bed, tired from having travelled such a long way.
I was lying in my four-poster bed two hours later, trying to sleep and rid myself of unclean and non-virtuous thoughts of Sir Edward Cullen, when a light knock on my door sounded. I got up, pulling on a normal dress in case any of the men should be at the door.
"Edward, what are you doing here?" I whispered.
"I had to come, Princess, I fear your step-mother is trying to kill you!" he whispered back. I had no idea why we were whispering in the far wing of the castle.
"As much as I hate her, I doubt she would try to kill me. It's not like we're in a fairytale or anything," I replied.
He looked taken aback for a moment. "We're not? But this is the Once Upon a Twi- never mind, I have proof! Look!" He pulled out the little green vial from before, and I noticed something I hadn't before – a giant skull with the words poison written in red ink below.
"Oh my!" I exclaimed.
"There's more. I saw her on the balcony looking at the full moon. She was chanting, spells, I think."
"How do you know she was saying spells?" I asked.
"She was holding this. I stole it from the bookcase when she went to sleep." He held up a huge leather book, similar to my fairytale book, and the words 'Ye Olde Book of Spells' were printed on. I opened it, flicking through the ancient pages. When I was done, I stared up at Edward in horror.
"She is trying to kill me!"
"Yes, I think she might be a witch."
"A witch? But that's not possible..." I said. A witch? No, that couldn't be. This was real life!
"Princess, you must run away. I will help you. We can run away together, somewhere far away where she can never bother you again. I have only known you a short time, but already I am in love with you," Edward confessed.
I looked at him. This was turning out to be completely ridiculous. "Oh, what the hell," I said, throwing my arms around him and kissing him passionately. "Let's go quickly. We can steal one of the horses from the stables."
"Brilliant! Let's go!" Edward exclaimed, grabbing my hand and leading me over to the window. He produced a rope from his belt and tied it to the curtain pole. He jumped onto the window ledge and started to slide down it. I stared at it, completely confused. We were away from everyone else in the castle, my tower being deserted. Surely it would be quicker to go out of the door? Ah well, when in Rome. I jumped up, following Edward and slid down. I lost my grip right at the end, but was fine because Edward caught me.
He set me down, and we ran hand in hand to the stables. We picked a large, white stallion and mounted him, me sitting behind Edward. Setting off at a gallop, we left the gates and were soon into the depths of the forest surrounding the castle. We had stopped to let the horse rest for a moment when suddenly the sky was lit up with a bright orange light. Fire.
We both spun around, and saw a dragon flying low through the forest, knocking over trees on either side of it.
Edward pushed me behind him as he drew his sword and squared himself, facing the huge black beast.
"Edward, no! Let's just run, we'll escape!" I cried.
"No, Bella, we have to fight it!"
Just then, the dragon flew forward, spotting us and flames surrounded me, a fiery wall separating Edward and I.
"Bella!" he yelled.
But that was all he could say, as the dragon headed forward, knocking him a few metres away with its giant wing. I closed my eyes, not wanting to watch, but I could still hear the shouts and sounds of the fight.
"No, I won't let you hurt her!" Edward shouted. The dragon roared in anger, and I looked over.
Edward's left sleeve was on fire, but he ignored it. He stared at the dragon, aimed, and plunged his sword deep into its heart. It let out a final roar, falling heavily to the ground. Then, much to our surprise, the dragon's body turned into that of Una, a large wound bleeding at her chest. Upon the transformation, the fire around us ceased – Edward's arm too – and the damage done by it was reversed.
I ran forward to him, threw my arms around him and kissed him again.
"Oh, Edward, I was so scared! Don't ever leave me!" I sobbed.
"Never," he vowed. "I love you."
"I love you too," I replied, mentally burning the book of fairytales sat in my bookcase. To hell with it, I guess fairytales really do exist.
"We should go home," Edward said.
"I guess so," I replied.
We mounted the horse once more, setting off at a gallop again, riding towards the castle and the rising sun.
And guess what?
We lived happily ever after.
AN: Thanks for reading!