Apple White couldn't believe what just happened. How could Raven Queen have been so selfish? So…evil? With one swift rip she had torn their destinies asunder, leaving nothing in its wake but uncertainty. Every year after Legacy Day, the second year students return home for the weekend to meet with their parents and discuss the future of their story. When Apple was younger, she didn't think those meetings were necessary. You pledge your destiny, sign the book and let fate take its course. There was always something comforting about that thought: Destiny. Fate. A life that could never be altered. But now…there were no such things.
The carriage ride back to her home was short, there the seven dwarfs stood to open the carriage and usher her towards her mother.
Her mother. Snow White. The woman she adored more than anything. The castle looked the same as ever. Same laced curtains that welcomed the sunlight, same red carpet that warmed the floors in winter, and the same throne room she and her mother played in when the weather was too damp.
There, upon the throne that Apple had hoped would be hers someday, sat her mother, Snow White. Her lips were as red as any flower, and her long dark hair flowed to her shoulders like a veil.
She smiled. "Apple, darling you're home." She rose and outstretched her arms, waiting for a hug. "You must tell me all about your Legacy Day. You must be so excited."
Apple felt her hands tremble. How could she tell her? The horrible deed that Raven Queen had done. How she placed them all in jeopardy, how she ruined the timeless tale forever and forever after that.
"Mother…there is something I need to tell you. It's about Raven Queen."
Snow White removed her hand from her daughter's shoulder. She had met Raven Queen, daughter of the Evil Queen and The Good King. There was always something wrong about Raven…something not right. When others were in trouble Raven would do her best to help, when people made fun of her, she did her best to shrug them off, and there were times when Snow White saw the young enchantress singing by a field of wildflowers…as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
"What of her?"
Snow White did her best to make Raven feel welcomed when she and her father did visit, but there was this gnawing suspicion in her mind that Raven would turn out to be one of the vilest enchantresses that ever cast a spell, and she always feared for her daughter's safety when the witch was around, as sweet as Raven appeared, she was still destined to be the next evil queen.
"Raven has done something horrible."
Snow White's heart sank. What could she have done? Was she really that anxious to fulfill her destiny? She really was like her mother?
Snow White bent down, trying to calm her daughter as much as possible. "Please, my darling, tell me what happened. What has she done?"
Apple held her head high, trying to fight back her tears. She steadied her breath and straightened her back. She needed to be brave. "She refused to become the next evil queen."
Somehow everything froze. Was that even possible? To refuse one's own destiny? Raven was a very sweet girl, from what Snow White had witnessed, but evil was what Raven truly was. How could she fight her own nature? How could she willingly put the story of Snow White in danger? Even her own mother, the woman who sought to rule Ever After, wasn't so cold hearted.
"Mother…everyone at school saw Raven rip her page out of the Storybook of Legends. She…she's ruined our story, and now, these Rebels allied themselves with her. The school and all of Ever After are in so much danger." She fought hard not to cry, but the tears just wouldn't stop. "I-I don't know what to do." Apple closed her eyes, the Happily Ever After she wanted was gone and now…there was nothing left.
Snow White rose. "There is only one thing to do my daughter." She smiled. "You must return the story to where it once was. You must return Raven to her rightful place was the evil Queen so that you can take your place as the heroine of the story."
Apple sniffled. "I've tried, but she won't listen and now-"
Snow White placed her hand on her daughter's shoulders. "I know, but as the future queen you must be ready to face all challenges. Big or small." Snow White kissed her daughter on the cheek (an old way of comforting her) "I know you can do it. I know you can save the story."
Apple White took a deep breath and nodded. She had to return Raven to her proper role, only then could everything return to what it once was. She was to be the next queen and it was her job to keep everyone safe.
She would not let Raven destroy anyone else's story.