"Aria!" Elizabeth called as the doorbell rang. "Vanessa's here. Are you ready?"
"Almost," Aria answered, standing by the mirror fixing her hair, which had been dyed black by a color rinse. "Could you send her up here, please?"
Tonight, the girls planned to go to Sheerwood High's Halloween dance. A couple weeks ago, it was agreed that Aria would remain in this world to finish high school and visit Galatia during the holidays and sometimes weekends. After that, she will move to the kingdom to begin her training to rule and visit her friends and family in Norfolk on occasion. It seemed like the best solution for her situation.
Vanessa entered Aria's bedroom and asked, "So, what do you think of my fairy costume?"
She looked over to her best friend, dressed in a shimmering light orange gown. Vanessa's cheeks sparkled in glitter and she held a bronzed plastic wand.
"You look absolutely dazzling!" Aria answered.
Vanessa's face fell when she saw what Aria decided to be. "Really, Aria, you're going to be the witch?"
"Technically, I'm an evil fairy," Aria clarified as she tied her choker around her neck. "Besides, I am saving my princess dress for the Homecoming dance. That way I will not have to buy one next month."
Vanessa shook her head. "I still can't believe you took Myrtle's choker."
Aria put her fingers upon the tiny black stone she wore around her neck. "I'm not stealing, I'm just borrowing. Besides, it's not as if she'll be back for it any time soon."
"Are you going to take the wand?" Vanessa asked, eagerly.
Aria looked at her and raised her eyebrow. "Really, you are concerned about me stealing a harmless necklace, but you want me to take some magical device we don't even know how to use."
Vanessa shrugged. "Well, whatever consequences we face from that will be more worth it."
Aria sighed knowing just where this would lead. "Okay, for the one millionth time, we are not using magic to put warts on Kendal's face, or make her hair fall out, or whatever else you suggested."
"How about just one wart?" Vanessa tried, holding her finger up.
"No." Aria then turned around to look at her and asked, "Do you remember in Harry Potter when Ron tried to curse Malfoy to make him spit out slugs, or something gross, but then the spell backfired on him. Well, since we are inexperienced with magic, something like that could happen to you if you try to curse Kendal."
Vanessa let out a huff. "I guess since you put it that way. I don't really want to risk warts popping up all over my face."
Aria let out a relieved sigh the matter was finally dropped even though part of her felt a fraction of her friend's disappointment. This would have been a good way to get Kendal back for the gum incident, but Aria knew she was not that kind of person.
When the girls arrived to the school's gym, they observed what their classmates decided to be. There were only a handful of actual scary costumes. Most students chose to dress as popular fictional characters, rather skanky devil or angel costume, or the most common, celebrities. Aria noticed Karin Wales wore regular clothes, but the second she noticed her skin was drenched in glitter from head to toe, she could only conclude, Twilight vampire.
"I bet Kendal thinks she's so cool in her Lady Gaga costume," Vanessa commented as the two girls passed her.
"I wonder if she realizes she's probably one of six million girls wearing that same thing on Halloween," Aria added.
"Well, well," Kendal said as she approached them, "What are you suppose to be, some sort of freakish gothic queen?"
Aria tilted her head up, unaffected by her tone. "Actually, I am an evil fairy who curses the people I don't like."
"And I am the good fairy," Vanessa added and then smirked at Kendal. "I only curse those who are very bad."
Kendal returned the smirk and commented, "You're the good fairy? I would have thought that would be the other way around."
As she left to rejoin her girl posse, Vanessa turned to Aria and said, "She definitely hates me more than you. You know, I don't think Kendal has ever really liked me at all."
Aria just let out a heavy breath. "You know that is not true… not that it really even matters now."
"You did seem a lot more confident around her just now," Vanessa pointed out.
Aria let out a small chuckle. "Yeah, I guess finding out you are a princess is a good confidence booster."
"Yeah, but no one here knows that," her best friend reminded her, briefly lifting her eyebrow.
Vanessa's statement was indeed true. As far as her classmates were concerned, Aria was the same average high school girl so even she did not completely understand her sudden change in attitude. Aria supposed that she finally understood that what other students thought of her just really did not matter. Whether she moved to Galatia one day or even stayed in this world, there would be no reason to dwell on these four years. Now, she just wanted to make the best of what she had.
"Hey, look, there's Walter!" Vanessa pointed over by the table with the punch bowl.
As the girls approached him, they saw that their friend, who wore a grayish brown 1800s style suit and hat, with a magnifying glass sticking out of his pocket. Once he saw them, Walter smiled and waved his hand, which held a fake pipe.
"Hey!" Aria greeted first. "So who are you supposed to be?"
"Sherlock Holmes," Walter replied with a grin.
"Nice," Vanessa commented as she briefly scanned him head to toe. "Clever detective. That's like perfect for you."
"Thanks!" He glanced back and forth between the two girls. "So what are you two supposed to be?"
"Good fairy, bad fairy," Vanessa answered as she pointed to her then Aria.
"I see." Walter briefly lifted his eyebrow and grinned. "So Aria is supposed to be the bad fairy?"
"You sounded surprised!" Vanessa accused, placing her hands on her hips.
"No I didn't," Walter protested, while Aria giggled.
"Yes you did," Vanessa insisted as she playfully smacked his arm. "You think I would be better as the bad fairy."
Still laughing, Walter rolled his eyes. "Okay, now you are just putting words into my mouth."
Vanessa folded her arms, apparently trying hard not to laugh. "I can tell what you were thinking."
"Oh, I see. So apparently you can read minds now. Did your psychic teach you that?"
Vanessa rolled her eyes and grabbed his arm. "Oh, just shut up and let's dance."
As Aria watched her friends enter onto the dance floor, she laughed, glad this time their comments remained on a playful jesting level. She then decided to go look for her own dance partner. Since Derek never told her what he planned to dress as, Aria was not entirely sure who or what to look for. Instead, she happened to hear familiar voices.
"I still think it's ironic after that day in English you chose to dress up as Prince Charming of all things," Aria heard Ian saying.
Aria turned her head and saw the two boys chatting on the side of the dance floor. She could only see Derek's backside, but she saw that he wore a red velvet shirt with puffed sleeves with a black cape and sword to complete the look.
"Okay, this is coming from someone dressed as a gladiator," Derek retorted.
"Hey, some may say gladiators' sport evolved into football. In a way I kind of am…" Ian's eyes moved past Derek and he waved. "Hey Aria."
Derek turned around and grinned when he saw her but said, "Well, I thought I would be meeting my princess here, not the evil witch."
"Evil fairy," Aria corrected, as she walked closer to him.
"Well, I guess Aria went even further from what she really is, considering she's not even close to evil," Ian acknowledged.
"It's Halloween. You are supposed to dress as something you are not," Aria pointed out with a shrug.
"That's true and you sure did," Derek laughed, winking at her. He then extended his hand to her. "Well, my evil witch, will you dance with me?"
"Fairy," Aria corrected as she smiled and took Derek's hand and the two began to dance.
Aria still could not believe this was actually happening. At the beginning of the school year, she would have never predicted any of this. Aria could not believe how much everything has changed this year and only in a few months.
As it came to the time for the dance to end, Aria re-located Walter and Vanessa, who were both still laughing and joking around with each other.
When people began collecting their possessions, preparing to leave, Ian announced, "Alright, party at Kendal's. Everyone's invited!"
Annoyed, Kendal grabbed his arm and shook her head.
"No, Ian, not everyone." She shot at hard look in Aria and Vanessa's direction.
Aria just shrugged, for once, not feeling put out by not being invited to one of Kendal's parties. As she thought about it, going home or somewhere else with her own friends seemed to feel more right.
Aria turned to Vanessa and Walter. "Hey guys, how about we go back to my house and have own celebration?"
Vanessa exchanged glances with Walter, who nodded, and shrugged. "Sounds great."
"Hey, do you think you have room for one more?" Derek asked, stepping behind Aria.
Vanessa bit her lip and answered, "I don't know, Derek, we're a pretty exclusive group."
Derek's face fell while Aria giggled. "She's kidding, Derek. Of coarse you can come!"
All four of them laughed as they made their way towards the exit together.
That night turned into one of the best nights of Aria's life. No longer did it seem to matter whether or not she was popular in high school or even have a boyfriend just for the sake of it. The most important thing to Aria was being around the people she cared about and who cared for her in return. She honestly did not know what would happen between her and Derek in the future romantically. Aria did, however, know for sure, that Vanessa, Walter, and now Derek, would be her friends, forever and always. To Aria, that fact unescorted, is what made her know that she will live happily ever after.
A/N: Thank you all for reading this! A special thanks to Fanofallthings, Pockemochen, Miss Papillon, and all those who have been reviewing. I want you to know I will NOT be doing a redux of the sequel so if you have not read it yet go right ahead. If you see any mistakes please let me know either by PM or review. I will likely re-title this Crossover: Another World since I am leaving the old one up for those who want to compare the two.