Cupid never really believed in the idea of destiny. What was the point of living if your life was already laid out in front of you? What made her shudder even more was their idea of love…or rather the complete disregard of it.
Cupid knew better than anyone that love wasn't something you could just sign onto, and expect to come later. Love was spontaneous. Love was uncontrollable. Love was rebellious by its own nature. You can't chain it to someone's destiny and expect it to obey. That was the problem with Ever After High.
"Everyone was always so busy following their destiny, that they forgot to follow their hearts."
Eros, her father, had told her that love was the only thing that could protect people from their own loneliness. Love of a family member, love of a friend, love of an experience. That's why it was always worth protecting and fighting for.
It was the stuff of fairy tales.
So why, in this world of magic and Happily Ever Afters, was love so scarce? She knew, student after student, had forgotten to listen to what their hearts were telling them and only listened to what the world told them to be. Follow your story. No exceptions.
She hated it.
She hated every part of that philosophy, every inch of that ideal chipped away at what Cupid knew was most important. Love for the sake of loving. Love for the sake of finding that one person who gave your heart song. She closed her eyes and smiled. That's what love was.
Cupid knew of Apple White and Daring Charming. How they followed their story with no thought to their own feelings. Apple did not care for Daring, at least, not in the way she would like to, and Daring was the same way.
There was no passion for each other, just the motions of a destiny that was planned for them. That's not love.
Briar Beauty was content to wait for someone who may never come, all for the sake of destiny. That's not love.
Hopper may have feelings for Briar, but Cupid knew that the young prince would abandon his feelings if it meant his own story was in jeopardy. That's not love.
Cupid looked onward as the students of Ever After High made their way to their homes. Legacy Day was over, but that did not stop the lingering eyes, and the quickened heart thumps that passed between each student as they said goodbye. Cupid knew those looks too well.
Cupid knew of Hunter's feelings for Ashlynn, she knew of Ashlynn's fear of false passion. She knew of the stolen glances in hallways between students who could never be together. She knew of the secret whispers, and love affairs, jeered at as if they were crimes. It was ironic in its own way, that for True Love to be achieved, real love must be lost.
Those whispers made her ill. Thoughts of forgotten love notes and closed hearts made her hands shake. How could this be anyone's destiny? To live in a world where love was a rebel act that shook the walls and scared the people?
By her very nature, Cupid was an outlaw in this world of determined paths.
With a swift wave of her hand, Cupid had returned to her own home. It was tradition for students to return to their families after Legacy Day to reconnect with their destines. Cupid was not a fairy tale, but a myth, so she was not bound to the same rules as her classmates. She was free to follow any path she liked.
Cupid walked through the halls of Olympus, her wings floating on the breeze. As a child she was left on Eros' steps. He raised her, fed her, taught her the meaning of love. Taught her of its spontaneity, it's charm, it's power to mend hearts on a whim.
Love was to be embraced.
Eros stood amongst his rows of statues. He always had an eye for the extravagant, and it showed in their home. Curtains hung from every window, and columns filled the halls live guards.
"Cupid, my daughter. How are things at your new school?"
She told him of Legacy Day. Of the idea of destiny, and how Ever After dealt with matters of the heart.
"How could anyone treat love so…flippantly?" Cupid asked.
Eros only sighed. "Sometimes people lose their way. People build walls around their hearts to protect it, and by the time they realize the danger they've caused, their hearts are already trapped in a prison of their own making." Eros rested his hand on his daughter's shoulder. "It comes from fear. Fear of the unknown. But my daughter, love and fear cannot dwell within the same place. One must choose."
With those words, it became obvious. The world of Ever After had chosen fear.
But, there was one person who didn't. One person who took a chance and lived life for herself…
When Raven tore her page out of the book she had…changed something. Cupid couldn't put her fingers on it, but something was different as she walked down the halls of Ever After High.
As if a locked door had been pushed ajar, revealing a small glimmer of something…warm. Faint and small like the beginnings of a new love.
"Cupid. I sent you to that world for one purpose. Do you remember what it was?" Eros asked.
Cupid nodded, "Yes."
Her purpose was to spread love in all its forms.
"Do you know what you have to do?"
She nodded. "Yes."
But then again, she always knew.
From the very beginning, love was a rebel. A fleeting spirit that refused to bow to any one destiny. Destiny meant nothing, her father had taught her that. The only thing that mattered was what was inside the heart…
"I won't let you down father."
…and she would remind everyone of that.