A/N: Super short. I reread The Two Princesses of Bamarre for the five trillionth time yesterday, and I've only just thought about their ancestors. I was feeling particularly sadistic last night, so I decided to (figuratively) kill a six year old and crush a fifteen year old girl's dreams.
"When you least expect me, I'll be there – and when you most expect me too. Your children will know me well. It's been a long while since a human child has had a fairy godmother, but your children will have me, and your children's children will too. And I'll be with you when there's trouble. Visible or invisible, I'll be with you – and Drualt will as well. One or two merry spirits will always be standing by."
So spoke my great-great-great-great-lord-knows-how-great aunt to my great-great-great-good-gracious-great grandmother.
That little tidbit had been passed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter for centuries in my family, along with the rumor of sorcerer blood. We Rhysons even had the gall to claim relation to the Princess Adelina of Two Princesses, a poem as ancient and impossible as The Odyssey. It was as ridiculous a thing to say, that we were related to Princess Adelina, as it would be to declare ourselves descended from Odysseus himself.
Well. I would have known if I had a fairy godmother. And I didn't. So that was that. I had no fairy godmother, and I was not related to a sorcerer.
A fairy godmother wouldn't have let little Drew be killed, would she?
And Drew was dead.
At the age of fifteen, I was finally accepting that fairies didn't exist.
What a dishonor, then, to be named after this fictional woman. Meryl. She had killed Drew, and I would be stuck with the reminder for a lifetime. The reminder that fairies didn't exist. The reminder that Drew was dead. The reminder that my mother kept crooning in my ear: "Hush, hush, Meryl. Your namesake has him in her arms."
Drew had been gone for a while now. He had died five years ago, when I was ten and he was six. Such a death, for one so young! He'd drowned in the ocean, pulled under by the current and disregarded by this fairy that should have saved him.
We'd all been promised, every single Rhyson that had ever been born, that Meryl and Drualt would save us from harm.
How insulting, for him to be named after that imaginary creature, to die with that false hope flopping around like a dead fish in his dead heart: Save me, Dru. I'm here.
How insulting, for Drualt to ignore the child's pleas.
I visited that ocean often. I'd sit and stare at the waters, full of yearning to see Drew's tiny body, unchanged by the years, cresting the waves and waving giddily at me.
In those moments, in those gut-wrenching moments of sadness, it was like I could feel him, sitting beside me, holding my hand with his tiny fingers.
Six years old.
It was our fault, for believing in fairies.
Say Meryl and Drualt did exist. Say they were here, with us, watching over Princess Adelina's innumerable offspring.
What kind of sadistic demons would watch a six year old drown?
I felt like a sour-faced, petulant child arguing with her God.
And what of the sorcerer husband, then? What of Rhys? We believed in him enough to take his name. Rhyson. An insult. Why wasn't Rhys with us? He was supposed to live an eternity, unchanged by the years, ploddering forward until he turned five hundred.
Surely he couldn't be five hundred.
Surely he was alive.
Surely he was ignoring us, just as steadfastly as our fairy godmother was.