This story began with one simple item: a music box. The trinket was small and black with dark blue ravens in flight across its round walls. Two small figures, a man and a woman, slowly spun on top as a rhythmic lullaby played before the platform started to sink and the lid closed on it, the music stopping with it. An old woman, with her raven hair, streaked with grey, tied neatly into a bun atop her head and hazel eyes, carefully grabbed said item and slipped it into her coin-purse before walking outside onto the snow covered ground and into a horse drawn carriage.
It carried her across Jump City to a fantastically structured building where a party was being held. This party just happened to be celebrating the woman's family's 300th year of rule. As she walked inside, her intricately woven cream colored dress trailing on the ground, she was greeted by the sight of a beautifully lit ballroom filled with people of all ages, twirling and dancing across the floor to the rhythmic sound of the orchestra.
She gracefully walked through the dancing crowd to a small platform where her throne waited. As she sat down someone called a greeting to her, which she returned. That's when she spotted a girl with long silky black hair and shining dark blue eyes that in the right light seemed to turn violet, dancing with an older woman with similar features.
The young girl spotted the woman and ran up to greet her where she sat. "Grandma Azar!" she exclaimed. The woman smiled.
"My dear Raven," she said gently. The girl hugged her grandmother with glee before releasing her. "I see you and your mother are enjoying yourselves," she continued fondly. Raven nodded.
"Wont you please join us, Grandma?" Raven asked. Azar shook her head.
"I'm sorry my dear, but I can't dance as well as I used to."
"But this may be our last chance before you leave for Azerath," the child protested. Azar sighed at the eight-year-olds sad face.
"I know Sweetheart. That's why…" – she dug out the music box from her coin-purse - "I had this made for you." Raven's blue eyes widened in delight at the wonderfully crafted gift.
"Really? For me?" Azar chuckled.
"Yes. And I was hoping that this would make the separation easier." For both of us, she added mentally. She pulled the necklace she'd been wearing, over her head and used the charm on the end to unlock the trinket and make the figures rise out and twirl in their petrified dance. Raven gasped in awe.
"It plays our lullaby!" she exclaimed. Azar nodded with a smile on her face.
"I made this so when I leave, you can play it at night before you go to bed. And pretend it's me singing."
"On the wind
Cross the sea
Hear this song and remember
Soon you'll be home with me
Once upon a December"
Azar twirled the young princess, singing the song like she'd done a million times before. She handed Raven the necklace. "Read what it says." Raven took the item and squinted at the charm.
"'Together in Azerath'," she read aloud. She smiled once the meaning of the words sunk in. "Really? Oh Grandma!" The small girl threw her arms around Azar and they both laughed.
But I'm sad to say that even the happiest of times, can be ruined by an unforeseen shadow.
*********The doors to the palace opened and everyone instantly felt the atmosphere of the room grow colder as a dark power swept across it. In strode a figure, hooded in black and silver robes, an orange reliquary swayed from a rope around his wrist. As the figure passed, people stepped in either fear or surprise as he made his way toward the thrones. However, Arella, the Empress, stopped him from advancing any further.
"How dare you show your face here, Slade!" she hissed. "What business do you have?" The man, Slade, lowered his hood to reveal white hair and a goatee. He had one blue eye while the other was covered with a patch. Slade's good eye stared evenly back at the shorter woman, a smirk playing on his lips.
"Surely your confidante is allowed at a party as grand as this, my dear Arella." The Empress's eyes narrowed.
"Confidante? You are nothing but a traitor to the royal family. I suggest that you leave."
"You really think you can banish me so easily," he asked, amusement showing on his face. He chuckled darkly. "No my dear, it is I who will banish you with a curse more powerful than Hell." The crowd gasped and Azar drew Raven closer to herself. "Mark my words. You and your family will perish. I will not rest, and neither will any of you, until I see the end of the Roth line," he finished.
He grabbed his reliquary and shot a fiery orange blast at the chandelier, causing it to come crashing down onto the marble floor.
*********** The gates to the palace were being stormed by rebels, upset with the royal family's rule. No one noticed, as they tried to break down the gate, the orange fog that unlocked it and let the rebels come flooding into the palace courtyard. Inside the palace the royal family and servants ran toward the exit, trying to flee from the soldiers. Among the crowd were the Grand Duchess and the Princess.
"Hurry Sweetheart!" Azar urged her granddaughter. Raven suddenly stopped.
"My music box!" she cried. Raven turned on her heel and headed back toward her room, ignoring Azar's pleas for her to come back. Raven ran into her room and hurried over to a small dollhouse, grabbing the music box from its place and shoving it in her coat pocket just as Azar rushed in.
"Raven, we need to go!" An explosion went off as she said this and she started to lead the girl back toward the door when someone grabbed her sleeve, gently.
"That way's blocked!" Azar turned to see a boy with spiky jet black hair and cool blue eyes. Probably around her granddaughter's age.
"Yeah, come this way! Out the servant's entrance!" urged a boy behind him with sandy blonde hair and brilliant green eyes. He looked younger than the other boy. They ushered the girls toward the tunnel in the wall as the voices outside the door grew louder. In all the commotion, the music box was accidentally nudged out of Raven's pocket and landed on the floor with an inaudible thud.
"Hurry!" the blonde headed boy urged. Raven noticing the missing trinket tried to get back in the room.
"My music box!" she pleaded.
"Go!" both boys shouted as they pushed her back in and shut the passage just as the soldiers barged in.
*********** The royals ran across the snow covered ground, Azar leading Raven. "Keep up with me darling!" she instructed. They had just made it under an archway when the Duchess felt Raven's hand slip out of hers. Azar turned to see Slade holding the girl by her forearm.
"Going somewhere?" he asked in a deadly calm tone as the princess continued to struggle in his grasp.
"Let me go!" Raven yelled, panic clear in her voice. Slade chuckled but stopped once he heard something. He looked down to see the ice cracking beneath his feet. Taking advantage of the sorcerers' distraction, Raven yanked her arm free of his grasp just as he fell through, into the icy water. He started to try and claw his way out, sending a glare the same temperature as the water at the royal duo before he sank below the water's surface. The royals left, never noticing the young girl who walked over and grabbed the, no longer glowing, reliquary Slade had left behind.
************ The train station was crowded with people. Azar and Raven dodged them as they ran to catch the train that was already pulling away. Azar quickly hopped on, thanks to the help of some other passengers, and turned to help Raven on, but the locomotive was already picking up speed. The Duchess grabbed for the Princess's hand.
"Hold onto my hand! Hold tight," she yelled.
"Don't let go!" Raven yelled back. But as the train sped up their hands began to slip till their grip was completely lost, and the eight-year-old fell back into the crowd.
"Raven!" The Grand Duchess tried to get off the now, fully moving train but her fellow passengers wouldn't allow it. "Raven!" she yelled again, but there was no response.
And the Duchess feared there never would be.
*************************** So…what'cha think? I absolutely love this movie…and there aren't that many of these Anastasia/Teen Titans fics. So that's where I come in. LOL R&R suckas!