Title: Crab Apple Dumplings
Summary: I tell her it is a bad idea but does she listen? No. And so, we all have to suffer the consequences of my unstable magic.
Character (s): Emma
Genre: General
Rating: K
Fandom:Tales of the Frog Princess


I stare at the lumpy white batter laid out in front of me. It looks like it had been cooked by an inexperienced page with no knowledge at all on the matter.

It is safe to say that it is a sorry excuse for a crab apple dumpling.

Slowly, I look up at aunt Grassina. She is beaming like I just won the Nobel Prize for Spells. I think she nods twice at me, encouraging me to proceed but I am not so sure because I catch Mother glaring at me and my attention is deteriorated. Unlike her sister, she is frowning and shaking her head. She purses her lips but doesn't say anything; she doesn't need to. I can practically read her mind and it is notbecause of my magic.

Do not do it. I will send you to that convent we talked about.

I glance at aunt Grassina and I do my best to send her a telepathic SOS. Because even though I can't say getting away from Mother is a bad thing, it doesn't mean living in a convent is any better.

She takes the hint. "Chartreuse, I have heard some... rumours that I believe requires your attention immediately." Aunt Grassina smiles at her in that it is not something I wish to discuss in front of childrensort of way. Usually, I would give her a disapproving look of my own (I am hardly a child any longer) but she is trying to save my sanity.

Mother looks even more unconvinced now. "I am sure they can be attended to at another time."

"Really? They have been quite vivid and involves-" she glances at me quickly and away, "-certain relations of ours."

And as if to back up her argument, a page runs in. Evan -I think his name is- starts speaking in low and rapid tones to Mother. Her doubtful demeanor disappears in an instant and she briskly heads towards the door before Evan even finished his report. I let out the breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding and grin at aunt Grassina.

Unfortunately, Mother chooses that time to glance back and shoot me a sharp look. "Be careful."

I understand exactly what it means. Guard yourself, for you could be in the said convent this very afternoon.

I choose to avoid her eyes and turn back to the crap apple dumplings.

The heavy wooden door closes with a loud bang and the tense atmosphere Mother always seemed to carry with her disappears.

"Thank you," I say, backing away from the table. "She threatened to send me to a convent, did I ever tell you that?"

"Yes," aunt Grassina says. "You mentioned it once."

I nod, inching my way slowly to the door.

"Emma."

I sigh. It was worth a try.

Crawling back unwillingly to the dumplings, I mutter, "these look nothing like crab apple dumplings."

Aunt Grassina chuckles, amused. "It was made by one of our chefs-in-training. Luckily, I mentioned to him what a talent you are and he requested me to ask you to fix them up for next week."

I stare at her, mouth agape. "Aunt Grassina, I can't."

She disregards me. "Nonsense. I've written the spell for you. All you need to do is read it." Brushing past me, she reaches in the cupboard to our right. Sticking her entire arm in, she searches for the paper in which she wrote the spell.

"You know that the castle will explode if I try," I protest. "Please, Aunt Grassina. " I tug on her sleeve in growing horror.

She only spares me a second. "Don't exaggerate. I made a promise to that chef that you would fix it. Promises should not be broken."

"Chef-in-training," I correct. "Did you tell him I was the princess of Greater Greensward?"

"Yes."

"And where does he come from?"

"Jurland."

I throw my hands up. "Well, of course! I've never even heard of Jurland, and he has never heard of the infamously clumsy Princess Emeralda!"

Aunt Grassina resurfaces, carrying a little slip of paper. "Have more faith in yourself Emma." She does not listen to my warnings of you'll regret it!and hands it to me. "Go on now. It's a simple task. I doubt you'll do major damage."

"You don't know me as well as you thought," I mutter under my breath.

"Just try," she says, a little exasperation in her voice.

I relent. It will make her happy for now and she will never stop badgering me about it until I try. I shoot her a look. "Fine. But this is your last warning. Are you positive you want to clean up after my mess afterwards?"

"Emma!"

"Okay, okay." Glaring at the spell, I say it out, strong and loudly.

"These soft and squishy excuses,

Turn them into something more.

Make them into real delicious crab apple dumplings,

Something to look at and adore."

We wait.

And nothing happens.

"See?" I say, feeling a little disappointed. Aunt Grassina had said I had magic so something should have happened. Maybe she was wrong, though that is higly unlikely. On the bright side, I hadn't blown up the castle. "I tried. Now can we move on?"

"Emma, I think you should turn around."

I do, reluctantly. What I see makes my eyes bug out.


A week and a half later, the crab apple dumplings are finally in the garbage.

The pages and servants shoot me resentful looks whenever they can. I can't say I blame them but aunt Grassina didmake me do it.

Slowly, I walk up to her room.

"Come in!" she calls before I can even knock.

"Everyone's giving me the cold shoulder," I say. "Nobody will stop flaunting their blue hands at my face."

She grins sheepishly. "You can tell them it was my fault. The spell was not perfected."

I shrug, unconcerned about it. "I don't care that much, actually. It's better this way. They leave me alone. Maybe I should try magic more often."

Aunt Grassina laughs. "I doubt Chartreuse is going to believe that I made a mistake the second time."

I sigh in acknowledgment and nod. "Yes, everyone knows I did it even though you insist otherwise. After all, you are the Green Witch. You don't make mistakes."

She is about to protest when someone knocks. "Yes, who is it?" She calls back.

I make a face because now we both know who she is. There is only one person aunt Grassina doesn't use magic around.

"Emma," Mother says curtly as she shuts the door behind her. "Prince Jorge is here. I suggest you go put on something nice and go attend to him."

I nearly groan out loud. I had forgotten about his appointment. I follow Mother as she leaves. When she is down the hall and out of earshot, I stick my head quickly back into aunt Grassina's room.

"By any chance, do you have any more of the crab apple dumplings?"