This is an idea I've had for awhile now, and this story is an experimental test. I'd appreciate it if you would review this and help me out.
Lady Glinda roamed the hallways of the palace calmly, running her small, perfectly manicured hands along the cracked marble walls that were just as old as she. They had been constructed for the Wizard as a part of his redecorating project the year she was born, in fact. However, in contrast with the white marble that looked a dingy gray compared to her brilliantly sparkling layered dress, she did not show her age. Except in her eyes. Lady Glinda the Good was 826 years old, and the only signs of her age was the wisdom and pain in her glittering blue eyes and her detached manner of speaking.
Lady Glinda was sociable and all around pleasant to everyone, mind you, but very few people in recorded history had the pleasure of calling her a close friend. Any one who said so was either lying or was the envy of all of Oz. It was hard to have a true friend when you know that any friend you have will age and die in front of your eyes, while you remain perfect and untouched by time. Aside from that, Lady Glinda led the model life. She was the person every female wanted to be, and the person that every male had secretly wanted at least one point during their lifetime. Anyone was pleased when they got a chance to talk to her, but her detached voice made even the oldest of her conversational partners feel like a child. She had seen a lot through her years, and that particular trait was an inadvertent side effect.
Yes, Lady Glinda was loved. She had been loved unconditionally for 800 straight years. And she was happy. She had been hurt deeply in her early years, true, but time healed most wounds, and she had learned to cope after a couple hundred years. After all, she still had her bubbly disposition and optimistic outlook. What else did she need to be happy? Time? She had that.
"Lady Glinda?" A girl's timid voice echoed down the hallway, startling Lady Glinda out of her reverie. She turned to face the girl with a pleasant smile on her face, but the back of her rather large dress hit the wall of the narrow corridor and knocked her off balance. The girl's eyes widened as she rushed to to help, but Lady Glinda quickly regained her balance, putting her hand to her mouth and giggling conspiratorially, winking at the shy girl. The girl grinned. More ice broken, Lady Glinda thought, mission accomplished.
"Did you need something Lilla?" Lady Glinda asked pleasantly, pretending to take great care in fixing herself after her 'fall'. The girl continued to smile, thrilled that Lady Glinda the Good knew her name.
"Yes, Lady Glinda. It's just about time for your Laurus Day speech!" Inwardly, Lady Glinda's heart sank a little. She had gotten over crying for Elphaba long ago, but that didn't change the fact that she disliked the holiday that celebrated her best friend's death. Or the fact that she was forced to participate, as the news-bringer of Elphaba's death. She wasn't even sure that any of the Ozians remembered what they were celebrating. The fourth ruler of Oz had ordered all history books containing information on the Wicked Witch of the West burned, and had banned any further printing. He was one of those fools who thought that the best way to solve a problem would be to pretend it never existed. Then, Lady Glinda had a sudden and brilliant idea. An epiphany, as it were. It was wonderful really, and she was sure that it would solve one of the few problems she had left.
Lady Glinda smiled broadly, and Lilla found herself doubting that the shadow she had seen passing over Lady Glinda's face was real. It had lasted only a millisecond really, so Lilla discarded it as imaginary. "Yes it is, isn't it? Thank you for reminding me Lilla," Lady Glinda said, flashing her trademark grin. She paused, then added as an afterthought, "Lilla, do you know why we celebrate Laurus Day?"
Lilla shook her head and looked down at her feet, blushing fiercely. "I don't think anyone remembers anymore, Lady Glinda. Your speeches are awfully vague." Lady Glinda arched her eyebrow in surprise, an effective trick she had learned from Elphaba, and Lilla, mistaking it for anger, rushed to clarify, "But your speeches are always beautiful and motivating!" Lady Glinda smoothed her skirts, grinning from ear to ear. Her speeches had always been vague, but back when the celebration mattered to people, it had been plenty specific for them. She was never one to insult her friends, so of course she was vague. Luckily, that was something that played to her advantage today. She was suddenly very fond of the fourth ruler and his ignorance.
"Well, I shall certainly make things very clear in my speech today," Lady Glinda said reassuringly, well aware that she was going to break the oldest promise she had ever kept, "Thank you for your critique Lilla!" She tossed her blonde locks behind her with her hand and started walking hurriedly, but still gracefully, towards the Center Balcony.
"Wait, no! I wasn't critiquing you Lady Glinda!" Lilla called desperately after the blonde's retreating form. She considered chasing Lady Glinda down the hallway, but that would be unladylike, even for a palace servant.
"Of course you didn't, deary!" Lady Glinda called amiably, her voice echoing back through the corridor and reminding Lilla distinctly of her grandmother. If she didn't know both of their voices inside and out, she would have sworn it was. Lilla sighed heavily and dashed through the palace. She didn't want to be late for the speech after all.
Lady Glinda glided out onto the Center Balcony to thunderous applause, with quite a few people chorusing the old saying, "Looook! It's Glinda!". For a long time, she was greatly annoyed by that act, but she realized with some horror that it had become a popular saying and would never go away. Once she finally resigned herself to her fate, she found that she became accustomed to it and even a little happy with it. It was one of the few things that never changed around her.
"Fellow Ozians," she began, her voice ringing throughout the square to more wild cheering, "Today is the 800th celebration of Laurus Day, and what an enchanting day it is!" The cheering continued, and for the first time in a long time, Lady Glinda began to get nervous in front of crowd. This is where she risked quite a few things for Elphaba's sake. She wasn't good at masking nervousness. She had never needed to. Luckily, the Center Balcony stood high enough above the crowd that her features were rendered indistinguishable to the Emerald City. For that, she was eternally grateful. The two guards behind her were just that. Behind her. They couldn't see her face either. Yet another thing to be grateful for. Lady Glinda took a deep breath to calm herself before speaking again, and her Ozians seemed to sense that something was off. Before anyone could worry, however, she smiled broadly and surveyed the crowd amiably.
"It has come to my attention today," Lady Glinda said, allowing a subtle hint of disappointment to creep into her voice, "That quite a few people are unaware of the origin of Laurus Day!" She finished by setting her hand her hand on the railing, as if the very idea made her faint. 800 years of life was more than enough time to learn how to make her point heard. The crowd dutifully gasped, and a few gallant men positioned themselves below her balcony, should she fall. Lady Glinda was pleased to note that underneath the gasping, there was an air of uneasiness. She could sense that very few Ozians, if any, actually knew the true origin of Laurus Day. Lady Glinda appeared to find solace in the crowd's apparent knowledge, and she waved away the men sweetly.
In a way, Lady Glinda was surprised by the men's behavior. Did they not recall that she had her bubble to save her? Were they not gallant, but simply dimwitted? Or had it really been that long since she had used it? Either way, they surely must've heard of her magic bubble. How peculiar. Lady Glinda realized with a start that she had let an uneasy silence fall over her audience. Oops. She held up her hands imploringly and spoke again. "Would any brave soul in the crowd be kind enough to reeducate us all?" Her voice rang out nicely through the silence, and all through the city. Bless the seventh ruler and his amplification spells. Then, one man near the back of the crowd piped up.
"It's to celebrate the ancient downfall of the wicked green," Lady Glinda bit her lip nervously. If even one person still knew of Elphaba's history, her plan would have to wait another couple of centuries, "Giant serpent that used to reside in the Vinkus Lake!" the man finished in all seriousness. Nobody in the crowd laughed. In fact, quite a few people were voicing their agreement.
After a few seconds, Lady Glinda recovered from her initial shock, and her heart soared in happiness. Not a single soul remembered! Not one! Sure, there were people strewn all across Oz, but her speeches were linked directly the heart of every city, and everybody heard them. She was almost like a deity to Oz now, and everyone worshipped her. She was also the only credible source of information pertaining to matters of over 400 years ago. She could now easily convince those who may still know that they were wrong. Keeping with her famed personality, instead of breaking out into raucous laughter, she raised her hand to her mouth and giggled. The crowd murmured in confusion. The same man spoke again, confident from his seeming success, "Lady Glinda, if I may ask," he said awkwardly, "What strikes Your Goodness as humorous?" Lady Glinda raised her hand calmly as she regained her composure. Her audience immediately fell silent, listening reverently.
"Sir," she said cautiously, not eager to offend, "Pardon my contradiction, but your statement could not be further from the truth!" The confusion in the air was almost palpable, and Lady Glinda's heart started to race. She never liked to lie, but she told herself that this was a very important lie, one that was close to her heart. That, however, did not change the fact that lying was not her forte.
"Laurus Day," she said in what she hoped was a smooth voice, "Was created in honor of a very dear friend of mine, who died 800 years ago today. Now, hear me out fellow Ozians, while a death may not be anything to celebrate, my friend..." Lady Glinda trailed off, the pain and circumstances of Elphaba's death rushing back to her in a sudden flash. "My closest friend in the whole of Oz..." Glinda began to tear up, something she hadn't done in a few centuries. The crowd suddenly felt sympathy for their beloved Lady Glinda, and each person wondered who this friend was that had the immense privilege of being so close to her heart.
Lady Glinda shook herself off, tears falling onto her dress. Now was NOT the time to lose composure. She steeled herself and continued. "My dear friend was a very unique person," Lady Glinda said, her voice shaking treacherously, "And widely loved-" Or at least, that's the way it should have been, Lady Glinda thought bitterly, "-but she did not want people to mourn her, so I reluctantly agreed to make Laurus Day a cause for celebration. Forgive me, fellow Ozians, for failing to make this clear. I still remember the events quite clearly, and it had not occurred to me that you all may not recall as much as I do." Lady Glinda smiled warmly. Now her whole fake story was out. Her Ozians could take it or leave it. Thankfully, none of the Ozians seemed suspicious of her hastily made-up story. A few people cheered her on encouragingly.
All at once, a huge weight was lifted off of her shoulders, and Lady Glinda grinned in a way reminiscent of her days at the highly esteemed Shiz University. Could this plan have gotten any better if Lilla had warned her earlier and given her more time to plan? She doubted it. Elphie's name was finally cleared! "And now, fellow Ozians-"
"Hnmh?" Now why did that sound oddly familiar?
"Please, tell us more about your close friend! We want to know more!" Oops. This was not something she had intended. What was she to do now? There was no graceful way to get out of this. Unless... well, why couldn't she tell the Ozians about Elphaba? They deserved to know all about how wonderful she really was. All Lady Glinda would have to do is leave a few things out of her story.
"Very well," Lady Glinda said softly, and she smiled fondly. This might turn out be be a good holiday after all. "My friend," she said, falling into her storytelling voice as several Ozians made themselves comfortable, "Was a wonderful person with an unusual skin color. Her name was Elphaba. But secretly, she abhorred that name! Hated it! She demanded to be called Elphie." Well, what was wrong with bending the truth a little bit here and there?
Fiyero Tiggular wasn't exactly the calm, faithful type of man, but something about the world outside of Oz and living with Elphaba had changed him. He had mellowed over these eight years of an essentially nondescript life in America. He sat down at the kitchen table, looking down at his hands to make sure they hadn't miraculously turned to straw before picking up a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. This was a daily ritual for him, and he was always up around 6:30 to watch the sun rise and shine into the eastern window. He would effectively have half an hour to himself before Fae would wake up, and they would start their day together. Just like Fiyero was no longer straw, Elphaba was no longer green, and while Elphaba had been beautiful in her own skin in Oz, she was breathtakingly gorgeous with a "normal" shade of skin.
Yes, he liked this world called Earth more than he ever thought he would. They hadn't had to get jobs at all, because Fae's spells were remarkably useful for forging their own money. It wasn't exactly the honorable thing to do, but they had no information or birth certificates to speak of. They needed those, and how Fae had managed to wrangle them a house out of all this was beyond him. Still, he lived a pretty nice life. It was rather boring at times, but according to their next door neighbor, work was just as boring. Fiyero was pretty sure that his next door neighbor thought he and Fae were the two weirdest people on the planet, but that might be true, so Fiyero didn't mind. He and Fae weren't limited to anything in this world. Once, they went skydiving, and that was a mind-blowing experience. Fae was really into it now, because it reminded her of flying on her broom.
For some reason, Fiyero had adapted to the new way of life much easier than Elphaba had. Everywhere she went, she kept expecting people to stare at her. Every time she wanted something, she couldn't just stare down the cashier and have it handed to her. He loved Fae, and the things she did never failed to make him laugh, but she was clearly having a hard time on Earth, even after eight years of living there. He could always tell when Elphaba was thinking about her old life, because her face would periodically brighten and darken. It had gotten to the point where he could tell exactly what she was remembering by the look on her face. He hated the look on her face when she thought of the witch-hunts. It was a mixture of despair, loss, and fear, and Fiyero hated it. She had been thinking about it more often, which worried Fiyero, and he wished there was something he could do to make her feel better.
"Yero?" Elphaba called through the house, her voice unusually alert for this time of day. In the background, Fiyero could hear the morning news announcing the latest fashion trends. His eyebrows shot up in surprise. Fae was hardly a morning person, and she was awake half an hour early. This could only mean one thing.
"What do you want?" he called back, sipping his coffee carefully. After eight years, he was still afraid that he might stain himself if he spilled.
"I've been thinking..."
"God help us," Fiyero muttered under his breath.
"I heard that," Elphaba said sharply as she turned into the kitchen. Fiyero immediately stopped to stare. He couldn't help it. Fae was just so beautiful in the morning. Her long black hair was loosely tied up and her blank tank top and black pajama pants made her look irresistible. He found himself grinning. Elphaba, however, was not amused. "I've been thinking," she said quietly, sitting down across from Fiyero and slinging her arm casually over the chair, "That we should go back to Oz."
Fiyero immediately sobered. "No," he said in a firm voice, hoping that, for once, Elphaba would take that as an answer. No such luck.
Elphaba's eyes visibly hardened the way they usually did when she wasn't going to give up something. "I know you don't want to be straw again Fiyero, and trust me, I've enjoyed being normal," Fiyero flinched at the scathing tone in her voice, "But I need to see Glinda. We left her with the Wizard. She could be in worse shape than ever before, especially with Madame Morrible on her case. I-I just want to check." Elphaba finished her plea with a very worried voice, but Fiyero was onto her. "It's been eight years Fae. Glinda's either fine, or it's too late for us to do anything about it. Besides, while things have probably settled themselves, if the Wicked Witch of the West shows up again, what'll you think will happen? You'll be hunted again. I just can't risk losing you. Give it up Elphaba, it's not happening." Fiyero tried this point of view, and it visibly shook Elphaba, but she didn't crack. Of course she wouldn't. She never did.
"Just a check," Elphaba pleaded, "Glinda was my best friend. I need to see that she's okay. We could just go back through the portal for a second. We'd land in Kiamo Ko, I could shield us with an invisibility spell, and off we'd go on an invisible broom to check on Glinda. That's all. We don't even have to show ourselves to her." She had subconsciously leaned forward while she spoke, a habit she had to entice people into doing what she wanted.
"You want to go directly to the Emerald City to check on her?" Fiyero hissed, "Forget it. It's suicide and we're not doing that."
"This isn't about us Fiyero!" Elphaba said in a slightly raised voice. "This is about Glinda! I never should have left her like that! What if something happened to her? We could bring her back here with us!"
"Elphaba, we have a life here. We have friends and a future. Back there, you only get pain. Don't think I haven't seen the looks on your face lately. Those witch-hunts were terrible, and they would most certainly happen again."
Fae bit her lip. "I'm fully aware of that Fiyero. I know what could happen to me if we went back. But Glinda and Oz haven't gone away simply because we left Oz. Both are still very real, and both could be in trouble under the Wizard's reign."
"Fae. It's not happening. Glinda's a force to be reckoned with, trust me. She'll be just fine, no matter who's ruling. Maybe she's in charge now. I can't imagine her standing there and letting your death roll by smoothly."
Elphaba looked at her hands let a tiny smile sneak onto her face. She could imagine Glinda scolding the Wizard to no end. Maybe even hurting him. Then she heaved a deep sigh and frowned again. She looked up at Fiyero, and a surprisingly tired look was in her eyes. Not the sleepy kind of tired. The… off kind of tired. "Fine, Fiyero," she said as she pushed her chair back and stood up, "We don't have to go back to Oz today, but mark my words, this conversation is far from over."
Fiyero shuddered as Elphaba wandered back into their room after grabbing a cup of coffee. He had thought, knowing Elphaba, that this argument would last a lot longer, but he was definitely fearing the next time she would broach this subject. By then, she would have a thousand irrefutable reasons to go back to Oz.
Fiyero hated it when he was right. Fae began waking up every morning at the same time he did, and each morning she would present him with another reason to go back to Oz. He would listen to her with what he claimed was open ears, but she never believed him. Although he was staunchly against putting her in danger, her arguments were getting harder and harder to discard, and his resolve was wearing out.
"Fiyero, just hear me out today!" Elphaba said excitedly, slinging herself onto the chair and leaning forward. She did that when she was really engrossed in something, and Fiyero feared that hearing her out today would mean going to Oz tomorrow. However, he wasn't one to refuse her something she wanted very often, and he reluctantly agreed.
"Alright, here it is." Elphaba took a deep breath and began, "Remember the first week we were here, and we were wandering around Yellowstone Park with no idea where we were? Of course you do, I knew you would. Well, remember when the Grimmerie appeared in front of us at just the right time to save us from that wild Grizzly Bear? Of course you do, don't shake your head. It scared you and the Bear half to death! Well, there was something I didn't tell you," Fae paused for a breath, and Fiyero hated himself for leaning in with interest, "The Grimmerie wasn't supposed to come to us. I put a spell on it. If something were to happen to Glinda, and the Grimmerie was in danger of falling into the wrong hands, then it would appear in front of us in a big flash of green light so that we wouldn't miss it. The other option was that it would come to us after two years of disuse, but that can't be the case. Now, that means that something has happened to Glinda."
Fiyero was about to object, but Elphaba's eyes flashed and he fell silent under her glare. "We have to go Oz for her sake. I fully realize that it's been almost eight years since then, but if something happened to her, I need to find out what. If… if the worst has happened, I want to pay my respects. If she's in a dungeon somewhere, I plan on getting her back and taking her to a therapist for whatever psychological issues she's facing."
Fiyero looked at her silently, and she held his gaze pleadingly. As much as he hated to admit it, he thought it was a really good reason. However, he still did value Fae's life over all others, no matter how much he cared for Glinda's well-being. "Fae," he began with a sigh, and she leaned in hopefully, "That is the most crack-pot reasoning I've ever heard."
Elphaba's face fell with a heart-breaking and almost audible swiftness. "Fiyero-"
Before she could even form a protest, Fiyero cut her off, "But you know what? I've always been one for crack-pot logic." Fiyero smiled his handsome-prince smile, and Elphaba jumped up and punched her fist in the air with a loud, victorious war call. It was something she had picked up from her skydiving teacher, Amy, and it never failed to make Fiyero smile. In the back of his mind, he felt that he was making a horrible mistake, but he wasn't up for arguing with himself.
"Oh, Fiyero, you are the most dazzling, wonderful, splendiferous husband in the history of Oz!" Elphaba cried uncharacteristically.
"Please don't say that!" Fiyero cried dramatically, "You sound too much like Glinda!"
Both of them fell out laughing, Fae out of happiness, and Fiyero out of the certain conviction that he had gone insane. The laughter didn't last long though, because Elphaba stood up and began walking towards the bedroom. "Come on, Fiyero. We're going now."
Fiyero jumped up in alarm. "What? Now? Are you insane? Wait, don't answer that, I know you are. We can't just go now! We need to pack, to prepare, to get ready, to eat!" He listed off the various reasons to delay departure on his fingers as he raced down the frustratingly long hallway towards their bedroom. Elphaba leaned out of the doorway, holding a finger over her lips and waving the Grimmerie in front of his face with the other hand.
"Durability spells and Conjuring spells, darling. I've been practicing," she said warmly, bringing her husband's objections to a sputtering halt. "Now hurry up, love, I'm doing the spell now. You might want to turn off the lights. Don't want that killer electric bill when we get back."
Fiyero could see no other course of action. Now that he had agreed to this, he could see that Elphaba was not going to waste anymore time. Glinda was a lucky friend to have Fae on her side. He muttered angrily to himself as he went through their overly large house turning off lights, and by the time he got back to the bedroom, he had hit himself on several pieces of furniture and was in an even worse mood.
"I know why you're doing this," Fiyero said as Fae chanted out the spell, "You just want to be called Elphie again," He grinned as she flinched, but her speech continued on. "Well, I can do that all the time if you want. Elphie, Elphie, Elphie."
Fae abruptly stopped chanting and slammed the book shut. She leapt off the bed and strode over to him as a green, shimmering light began enveloping them. "I'm ripping out your straw when we get back," she said, grinning ominously, and Fiyero immediately regretted his taunts, "And boy, it's going to huuuuuurt," she finished in a low whistle. Fiyero, in any other situation, might have shuddered, but he was suddenly preoccupied with his stomach's objections to being torn violently from the bedroom, having his skin turn to burlap in a very painful instant, and crash landing in the middle of a very large crowd with a very loud, very noticeable bang.
Well, that's pretty much it. I've been turning over this idea in my head for awhile. If the fact that Glinda's oh… 826 years old, confusifies you, I sincerely apologize. If I make this into a multi-chapter story, it'll be explained next time via my favorite character, Ozian Guard Number One. Right now, however, I need you to click that little review button down there and tell me if this idea holds any water, because I'm not going to write anymore if the story isn't interesting. Please, help me out here.