The Moon Princesses

Summary: This is movie-verse. Maria Merryweather has a sister who is a year younger and the two sisters go through the adventures of the movie together and discover secrets that neither one knew.

Lutressa- Tressa Merryweather-carefully combed out her pony, Sparkle, carefully. Tressa had always loved horses since before she could walk and was more at home in the stables than in the townhouse that she, her sister, Maria, Miss Heliotrope, their governess, and their father lived.

"That does, it, Miss. Just be careful how you groom 'er," the stableman said in his kind Cockney accent. Tressa smiled and blew a lock of her dark, mahogany hair out of her eyes. It was at times like this that she wished that she didn't have a vast quantity of dark, curly hair. It was always getting in her face and caused a lot of bother and mayhem when she took care of Sparkle or any number of stray animals that came to her. Maria didn't have that much of a problem and her hair stayed put when she pulled it back.

"Miss Tressa! Miss Tressa!" A young serving girl came running into the barn, her face flushed and her voice agitated.

"What is it, Doris?" Tressa asked, putting down her currying comb.

"Miss Heliotrope and Colonel Merryweather's solicitor sent me to get you. They're in the study," Doris panted as Tress picked up her skirts and ran into the house and into the study.

Tressa stood in front of her father's grave two days later next to her father's grave, right beside Maria and Miss Heliotrope. Tressa felt as if her insides had frozen when her father's solicitor had told her and Maria that the Colonel had been killed a few days ago.

It was true that their father had rarely come to see her or Maria and acted as if he never wanted to be a father or loved them like he should, but both girls had loved him dearly. Tressa was only a year younger than Maria, but both girls were the best of friends and had cried when the news came. Maria and Tressa didn't really look alike. Maria's hair was medium brown with reddish tints and she had blue eyes, while Tressa had dark, almost black curly hair and dark brown eyes like their father. Maria's looks had come from their mother.

Tressa toned the minister out as she and Maria tossed roses in their father's grave and placed two roses on their mother's tombstone. Their mother had died shortly after Tressa was born, so Miss Heliotrope was the only one who had been a mother figure in their lives.

Tressa and Maria both looked in the same direction and nearly jumped out of their skins. A thin boy with outlandish clothing and curly red hair that was jammed under a hat stood staring at them with a deep frown on his face.

They went back to Miss Heliotrope's side and looked back at the gazebo where the boy had been. Tressa nearly jumped out of her skin a second time. The boy had vanished completely!

The rest of the funeral passed a little too quickly and Tressa, Maria, and Miss Heliotrope climbed the marble steps in the house to listen to the reading of the will by their father's solicitor.

"Ah, Misses Merryweather," the solicitor said as the heavy oak door banged shut behind them. Maria and Tressa sat and Miss heliotrope stood behind them. The solicitor picked up two sheets of paper. "This being the last will and testament of Colonel George Herbert Merryweather of London."

"Uh... he...he...he...he lost it all," Miss Heliotrope stammered.

"Mm-hmmm," the solicitor concurred.

"Including the house?" Miss Heliotrope asked. The solicitor didn't even have to answer to confirm the dreaded question.

"No," Maria and Tressa both exclaimed.

"No. Papa can't have been in London," Maria said brokenly.

"She's right. He wrote to us and said that he was coming home," Tressa said in a small voice. Maria usually did all the talking and Tressa would agree. "He wouldn't arrive and not-" Tressa started to cry softly.

"Ah. Well, your father did leave the both of you this book as your inheritance," the solicitor said, handing a book to Maria. Both sisters looked at the cover. It was old with tarnished gold lettering on it; The Ancient Chronicles of Moonacre Valley. Maria read the letters out loud before looking up.

Maria looked at her sister and both got up without saying a word. The two of them were so close they didn't need words when they were upset and wanted to cry without anyone seeing them.

Tressa went out to the stables were Sparkle and her father's big roan waited patiently. Both horses nickered gently as she touched the blazes on their velvety noses.

It was times like these that Tressa loved animals more. To Miss Heliotrope's shock and dismay Tressa had brought every kind of animal home, even the ones not meant to live and the frightening ones. Tressa remembered well the scream of fear when Miss Heliotrope discovered a mouse on her pillow.

"We're all alone now, General," Tressa said, taking comfort in the strong horse smell in the barn. The smell was a catharsis to her and calmed her grief. The horse nudged her chin gently. Tears sprung to her eyes again as she wrapped her arms around General and Sparkle and cried hard.