Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Harvest Moon and therefore own none of the characters or places used in this story. Furthermore, I am not affiliated with and do not own the rights to The Swan Princess and therefore none of the heavy references in the story.
The lovely cover art was designed and drawn by the wonderful Mishaay! Thanks so much! Doesn't it look amazing, everybody?! :D
Hello! Welcome to my first fairytale. Are you excited? I'm pretty excited. I mean – this is a happy story! Well, maybe.
There are two possibilities here. Quick history lesson: the story of The Swan Princess has a dozen endings and about two or three of them actually end happily. Most of them consist of the main characters committing suicide or dying in terrible, lonely ways. So I haven't quite made up my mind which way this will swing quite yet. I have two endings planned. One is a sweet happily ever after. The second is a tragedy.
So until I've made up my mind, that's how I'll have to leave you. I hope you're curious enough to stick around! :)
There are thirty-four chapters planned for this story. This chapter is boring. Yay, build up!
Luna looked at the clock again and rolled her eyes in annoyance. Selena carelessly dipped her finger in the mug full of tea across from her. "Lukewarm."
"Figures," Luna sat back in her chair, crossing her arms and legs at the same time. "She's almost never on time."
"But this is one of the first times she's let her tea run cold," Selena observed. The tanned beauty played with the noisy bangles on her wrist as she commented on their missing friend absent-mindedly. "Probably held up with him again. It's happening more and more frequently."
Against her will, Luna looked up at the clock again and let out a huff.
Selena smiled mischievously, showing her near-perfect teeth behind the red lips. "Well, look at it this way. She'll come with a story now."
Just as Luna was about to retort her story couldn't possibly beat the one she was dying to get out, the bell on the door of the Ocarina Inn jingled merrily and fresh air from the late spring afternoon swept in. Both girls at the table straightened their posture and adjusted their hair and outfits, attempting disinterest in the newest girl's tardiness.
The young farmer strode in with excuses: "Sorry I'm late! Gill and I went for a stroll – oh, thanks for ordering for me – and I lost track of the time. By then I realized I was halfway around the island and ten minutes late!" She took a long sip of the strong herb tea in her ceramic mug. When she set it back down on the table with a grimace at the stale taste, two pairs of eyes were watching her. "What?"
Luna fondled one of her pink ponytails and forced a grin. "Oh, nothing! Just catching up with Selena."
"She hasn't said a single interesting thing in the past half hour," Selena tattled. "So, Molly, what's new with Gilligan? Any steamy stories for our gossip hour?"
Rolling her eyes at her friend who was simply purring like a cat at the idea of a romantic encounter, Molly stirred her tea with her pinkie finger. "Nothing steamy to report! You know him better than that. And don't call him 'Gilligan,' his name is just Gill and you know it."
"Jeez, you've become such a snob dating him!" Selena complained. "What happened to the live wire we used to know? Giggling all the way down the street when there wasn't anything funny and doing headstands with me on the beach?"
"Selena, that was when we were children," Luna chided, resting a hand protectively on Molly's forearm. "I personally like the new Molly."
"New Molly? I'm the same!" Molly argued.
"Same?" Selena asked. "Pfft!"
"Dear, you're not the same," Luna shook her head in agreement. "But you're grown up! It's a good change."
Frowning, Molly licked her finger clean and leaned on the table. The bell at the counter went off and the spunky waitress Maya skipped to fill another order across the room. "Let's not talk about me and my apparent transformation. What's up with you guys? I've barely seen you since last week."
Selena shrugged, resting her chin on the table. In order to do so, her chair was pushed out behind her against the wall of the part restaurant part inn. "Dancing. Food. Television."
"Sewing," Luna shrugged. "But I had big news. Now it doesn't seem so big anymore."
Selena and Molly both knew what this was. Luna did it all the time. They gave each other knowing looks. Luna always liked to downplay everything to she did so that her friends would have to practically beg to get whatever it was she wanted to say out in the open. Even then, it was rarely anything at all.
Molly tried first. "Is it a rumor?"
"Is it a guy?" Selena perked up.
Molly and Selena looked at each other again, but this time they were both interested. They both scooted their chairs forward.
"A boyfriend?" Molly asked.
"A one night?" Selena ventured.
"A new guy?"
Luna smiled and tapped her chin in thought. "Hm… one of you said it."
"Which one?-!" Selena reached out and hit Luna's arm impatiently. "Was it the one night stand? Huh, huh?"
"Luna wouldn't!" Molly defended, but quickly turned on her. "Would you?"
"Don't be ridiculous!" Luna shook her head. "Silly geese, it was the new guy!"
"Oh," Selena said and rested her chin on the table again.
"So who is he?" Molly asked. She forgot her tea was cold and sipped it again, making a wry face.
"His name's Julius—"
"Julius? He's not new!" Selena interrupted.
Molly nodded. "Yeah, we knew a Julius back in grade school. Didn't he move away?"
"Ugh, he went to college, guys!" Luna sunk back even deeper into her chair. "So he's kind of new. We haven't seen him in years! Point is, he's back and he's got great new fashion designs for Grandma's shop and he's positively fabulous."
"Is he built?" Selena asked, cocking her head to the side.
Luna wrinkled her nose. "Nah. He's tall and just so polite—"
"Uninterested," Selena cut her off.
"Cool!" Molly interjected. "When do we get to see the new and improved Julius?"
Luna smiled at her. "Hopefully soon. He comes in the shop all the time; if you stop by, you have to give me your opinion on him."
"Ugh, this isn't fun. Where's the drama? The action?" Selena complained, sprawling her arms out in front of her, nearly knocking over the tea mugs. "We should make Molly feel uncomfortable about Gill. It's so easy."
"No! No, we shouldn't!" Molly protested.
"Mmkay," Luna winked. "You know, I think he's going to propose soon."
"If he won't, I will," Selena threatened jokingly and licked Molly's hand.
Recoiling and rubbing the spit away, Molly said: "Guys, don't be dumb. Gill's far from that. Besides… it's not like I care. I can wait."
"Wait for your baby maker to shrivel to dust, yes, excellent," Selena prodded. "If you guys don't tie the knot soon, he's going to lose his chance at you."
"What do you mean?" Molly frowned.
"I mean if I were you, I'd be heading for the next big thing. A big thing that isn't afraid of commitment and a little action."
"He is not afraid of commitment."
"Then why aren't you engaged?" Luna argued. "You've been dating for over three years!"
Molly shrunk. "I don't know… I guess he's just busy… Or he wants to pick a good moment. Like a Festival or something."
"Aw, that would be so sweet!" Luna clapped.
Selena made another noise of displeasure. "Guys on this island are so cliché."
"Yes, that's why you're going to elope," Molly nodded, knowing this story well enough.
"Damn right I am! Adventure, romance, and rebellion all packed into one lovely package."
Maya suddenly interrupted the conversation, swinging a silver tray just over Molly's head. "Is that it for you guys? I can get you some cookies or something if you want!"
"Nah, I'm good."
"Yeah, let's be done."
Maya nodded. "Okay, I'll get the che—"
The bell on the door jingled and in walked Owen and Kathy arm in arm. The three girls were silenced and stared in renewed awe at the beautiful blonde and the muscled miner as they found seats on the opposite side of their room for an obvious date. Immediately, the girls were twittering and giggling and gossiping about the possibilities.
Maya rolled her eyes good-humoredly and made her way to the pair of interest to take their order, letting the friends chatter on as usual.