Legacy Day was ruined by Raven Queen. In the aftermath, fairytales in Ever After High are beginning to question their destiny. Minuette's friend, Duchess Swan, is planning on brewing up some trouble for those Royals with their Happily Ever Afters. And as a fellow ballerina, Minuette is hexpected to help her friend really let out her Black Swan side.
It was a beautiful day in the world of Ever After. As Minuette made her way down to the Enchanted Forest, she hummed a cheerful tune to herself which was reminiscent of the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy. As the daughter of the Twelfth Dancing Princess, she made sure to schedule aside some time to dance everyday. Ever since she had formed a, somewhat precarious, friendship with Duchess Swan, the daughter of the Swan Queen, on her fairy first day at school, she had been going down to the Enchanted Lake to dance pas de deux.
The young princess had heard plenty of rumors about Duchess - most of them bordering on the negative side. But Minuette didn't pay any attention to them. She knew Duchess had a bit of a wicked attitude, but who wouldn't if they had such a Happily Never After? Minuette herself was destined for nights full of dancing with Prince Charmings and a Happily Ever After, so she wouldn't know the feel. And the last time she had tried to talk to Duchess about it, the Swan Princess had practically chewed her crown off. Needless to say, Minuette hadn't tried talking to her about it again.
Really, any time Minuette tried to talk to Duchess about anything other than dancing, the conversation quickly turned wicked. It seemed as if Minuette still had yet to fully gain the ballerina's respect and friendship. And that was hexactly what the young princess was going to do! Why else would she have completely disregarded her Princessology thronework as soon as she had gotten Duchess's hext message?
She eagerly followed the famililar cobblestone path down to the Enchanted Forest. The more she neared the forest, the more she could see fluffy woodland critters scampering about and chattering. Minuette wasn't as much of a nature girl as, say, Ashlynn Ella was, but her princess magic still worked on woodland critters whenever she danced. And even though Minuette couldn't speak animal, she had a feeling they were all greeting her as she entered the woods.
The Enchanted Forest boasted a plethora of nature. There were tall trees and short trees, flowers with sweet scents and flowers with not-so-sweet scents, bushes dangling with berries, and little fairy houses made out of mushrooms and leaves. It was no wonder it was called the Enchanted Forest - There was always something magical to be found somewhere within it.
Minuette's personal favorite place in the forest was the Enchanted Lake. A huge span of crystalline water, the Enchanted Lake was tranquil and almost mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-like. Only the occasional lilypad and frog disturbed the lake's shiny surface. There were also the rare sightings of swans swimming across the water, but normally there was only one Swan occupying the lake.
Minuette carefully pushed aside a hanging tree branch and hopped over a log which currently housed a family of mice. After passing an oak tree (which had the initials HH + AE carved into the bark for some reason), a clearing stretched open before her with the Enchanted Lake waiting there peacefully. The shiny blue water was as inviting as ever. However, a few ripples in the water's surface hinted that there was most certainly somebody else who was already there, which is hexactly what Minuette had been hoping for.
"Duchess!" Minuette smiled brightly as she pushed her way past the tendrils of ivy curtaining a willow tree's spindly branches, allowing her to get a full view of a certain black-and-white haired ballerina who was elegantly pirouetting atop the lake, "I got your hext message! And I came as soon as I could!"
The Swan Princess twirled gracefully, finishing her dance with a flourish as she spread out her arms like the wings of a bird. She held that pose for a moment longer as she instinctively sized up Minuette with a quirk of her eyebrow, "It's about time you got here. You really shouldn't keep a swan waiting. It's rude, you know."
"Sorry!" Minuette apologized sincerely, "But I'm here now! So... What did you want to talk about? Your hext sounded sort of urgent."
Duchess finally stepped off of the lake water and approached Minuette with lithe steps, "It is urgent. And it's something that I need your help with. And you can't tell anyone - Got it?"
The strawberry blonde princess suddenly felt a rush of dread. She knew that look on Duchess's face - It was about as wicked as an Evil Queen's cackle. And it usually meant that Duchess was cooking up some sort of elaborate scheme, and that usually never bode well for any fairytale.
"Well? Are you in or what?" Duchess pressed, narrowing her eyes as she gazed at Minuette. Her arms were crossed over her chest and she had popped a hip in a very sassy manner. But by the way she was holding herself made Minuette feel as though she wasn't hexpecting "no" for an answer. Personally, Minuette would rather take fighting a fire-breathing dragon over saying "no" to Duchess any page of the chapter.
Chuckling a bit nervously, Minuette nodded her head in agreement, "I'm in!"
"Wonderland-iful," The monochromatic dancer's grin grew, "Let's just say that I have a not-so-fairest plan for some of those Royals with their stupid Happily Ever Afters. I mean, did you even see Apple at Legacy Day? Ooh I'm Apple White and I'm fairy freakin' perfect and everybody loves me~" Duchess said with a fairy bad and high-pitched impersonation of Apple White, "Ugh. I can't stand her."
"Oh..." Minuette didn't like where this was heading, but she knew better than to interrupt Duchess, especially when she was in a mood like this.
Duchess turned around with her hands on her hips, "That's hexactly why I plan on taking Little Miss Fairest down a few pages. Oh, and I wouldn't mind getting back at Raven Queen, too. Just who the hex does she think she is with her whole "rewriting destiny" propoganda? I bet she think she's all that, just like Apple." She let out a disgruntled snort of disapproval.
Minuette fiddled with the hem of her skirt. She knew how Duchess felt - Sort of. Maybe. Okay, not really. She liked Apple a lot, for one thing. And she thought the Rebel cause Raven had started was spelltacular! She loved the idea of all fairytales dancing to the beat of their own drum! But she still sympathized with her friend, and there was no way in the world of Ever After that she'd turn her back on Duchess. If she put herself in Duchess's pointe shoes, she might feel the hexact same way. And that's why Minuette decided to help her! She just hoped to Grimm that what-ever-after Duchess had planned, it wasn't going to be too big, bad.
Of course, there was no way Minuette could have known just what Duchess truly had in store.
"I need you to distract Blondie tomorrow after school while I "borrow" her MirrorPad for a while, got it?"
The words Duchess had told her yesterday afternoon still rung in Minuette's head the entire day during school. Why Duchess was interested in Blondie's MirrorPad was an elusive thought to her. Maybe Duchess really wanted to see the next footage of Blondie's MirrorCast show "Just Right" before everyone else did? Even Minuette could tell that that wasn't true at all.
So then why was she now walking towards the tech club room, where Blondie had been rumored to be? She had no idea what Duchess planned to do with Blondie's MirrorPad, but it couldn't be good.
"Psst! Minuette!" Minuette hesitated as she looked around for the source of that sound. She spotted her familiar dancing buddy leaning just around the corner, whispering to her dramatically.
The strawberry blonde princess approached as Duchess continued to talk, "Finally you're here. For a second there, I thought you were going to be a no-show." She sneered lightly.
"Of course not! I mean, you asked me for help and that's what friends forever after are for, right?" Minuette piped up cheerfully.
"Right, right," Duchess agreed airily, "Listen, Blondie's in the techie room right now talking to Humphrey about graphics on her MirrorCast show or what-ever-after. What I need you to do is go in there, firstly get rid of Humphrey so that he doesn't get in the way, and then distract Blondie with something - But not something that's so spelltacular that she'll want to record you using her MirrorPad! Because while you're distracting her, I'm going to swoop in and take that precious MirrorPad of hers, just for a pixie-sized amount of time. And by The End of your distracting, her MirrorPad will be back where she left it, and no one will suspect a thing!"
As Duchess debriefed Minuette on the plan, she couldn't help but notice that the Swan Princess had a mad glint in her eyes - And we're not talking like "Wonderlandian mad" but like mad-mad. Minuette suddenly had the feeling that maybe she shouldn't condone this ever after all. Plus, what if they got caught? They'd totally get in trouble for sure!
Minuette sucked in her breath. She had to tell Duchess how she really felt, even if Duchess would probably go all Black Swan on her.
Minuette had to think about her words carefully. If she didn't, she might end up ruffling Duchess's feathers even more than Apple did - And that would not end well for the dancing princess. Plus, Duchess was still her friend, even if she was going a little mad with her revenge schemes for the Royals. Minuette figured it would be best to let the Swan Princess down as easy as possible - For both her own sake, and the sake of Duchess.
"Duchess, I don't--"
"Shh, Minuette! Don't say anything more - The plan's perfect already. Just go!" Duchess grinned as she herded Minuette towards the door of the tech room. Minuette flailed slightly, trying to stop herself from moving towards the door, but Duchess was a lot stronger than she looked.
Duchess grunted behind her, "Listen, if you're nervous about it, don't worry. You're a... "smart" princess. I'm sure you'll figure something out!" With that said, the ballerina said then pushed Minuette towards the door with one last great shove.
Minuette sighed. It looked like she didn't have much of a choice ever after all. She glanced over her shoulder to catch a peek of Duchess's hexpression - Maybe she changed had her mind in the last few seconds? However, Duchess was standing there with her arms crossed and an expectant gleam in her eyes, silently egging Minuette on.
Oh, this is just fairest! I just hope Duchess isn't going to break Blondie's MirrorPad or something - Every fairytale knows how much it means to her! Minuette thought to herself. A thousand ideas of what could possibly go oh-so wrong flashed in the young princess's head. Her hand was on the doorknob now - She could feel the cool touch of metal on her skin. But she hadn't opened the door quite yet. She could still get out of this while she had the chance. Hex, maybe if she stopped this right now, Duchess would understand and even thank her later...
Minuette had just managed to convince herself to do the right thing when suddenly, the door to the tech room opened.
Minuette looked up slowly. Oh, no. Those punk rock clothes and the obsession with the color green - Minuette knew who it was before she even spotted the mop of light ginger hair hidden underneath a his signature hat.
"Sparrow?" Duchess snorted from behind the young dancing princess, "What the hex are you doing here?"
Minuette clamped up. She wasn't entirely sure why, but she always felt butterflies in her stomach whenever she was around Duchess's rocker "friend". Maybe it was because he had helped her on her fairy first day of school here, or maybe it was because he looked like he belonged in her favorite band 5 Chapters of Summer, or maybe it was because she had accidentally tripped over herself the second time she ever talked to him and spilled charmberry juice on him (Minuette was starting to think that charmberry juice and her would never got along). Well, what-ever-after the reason was, she couldn't help but feel her heart skip a beat as he glanced over her before looking at Duchess with a snarky grin.
Sparrow was cradling his green guitar, as usual. Minuette knew that he was the lead singer and lead guitarist in his band, the Merry Men. She liked dancing to their music, even though she was more of a pop sort of princess. Still, she could appreciate all forms of music, just like she appreciated all forms of dancing.
"Blondie wanted to ask me if she could drop by the Enchanted Forest sometime and record one of the Merry Mens's songs. She'll probably hit me up for an interview too. Y'know, for all my fans out there." Sparrow grinned. Duchess couldn't contain her laughter when he mentioned his "fans" while Minuette geniunely congratulated him.
Having had his ego stroked, Sparrow then posed the two ballerinas a question of his own, "So, what are you two doing down here? Got some kind of dance interview with Blondie?"
Duchess smiled innocently, "Actually, Minuette here has something she wants to show Blondie. I'm just here for, um... "moral support"... or what-ever-after." She batted her eyelashes in a fake innocent manner.
For a second there, Sparrow looked as if he didn't believe her one bit. But then he shrugged, "Well, okay then!" Then, he let out a shred of his - very loud - guitar and "peaced" himself out of the conversation. For a second there, Minuette thought she saw a devious smirk on Sparrow's face, but she figured she just imagined it. Hopefully.
Duchess let out a heavy sigh, "That was close. I don't want Sparrow knowing about my plan. Trust me, I know him and if he did, then he'd probably find a way to ruin it," The black-and-white haired female impatiently rolled her eyes. Then she ushered Minuette towards the door once again, "Well, now's your chance. Go!"
Minuette frowned. Well, she might as well get this over with... The young princess opened the door to the tech room once again - glanced over her shoulder to see Duchess urging her on eagerly - and stepped into the club room. Inside, there was all sorts of electronic equipment and gear piled up in the corners, with microphones dangling and cords bunched up in neat coils. A few computers flashed with bright-colored graphics, and one screen even reflected a scene from Ginger Breadhouse's Spell's Kitchen MirrorCast. In the corner, Minuette could see Humphrey Dumpty fiddling with something that was shaped like a remote control with a tiny screwdriver.
"Oh, hey there Minuette!" Blondie's cheerful voice rang out suddenly, making Minuette look over to the bushy blonde-haired Royal. Minuette felt a sinking feeling in her gut as she plastered on a fake smile and approached her friend.
She had a plan. She knew what to do. Now, it was time to execute it.
"Hi Blondie!" Minuette piped up, offering the daughter of Goldilocks a wave of greeting. She glanced over at Humphrey again - That's right, she had to get him out of the room first before anything else. Minuette cleared her throat, "Oh, um, by the way Humphrey, I think Apple was looking for you. She's down in the Castleteria, and she mentioned something about scrambled eggs...?"
If there was going to be any way to get a guy to leave a room in zero seconds flat, it was mentioning that Apple White was looking for them. That was easy, Minuette thought to herself, watching as Humphrey looked up hexcitedly from the device he was working on, set it down carefully and excused himself from the room whilst using his hands to comb down his hair and fix his glasses in an effort to look more "princely". In a way, Minuette almost felt bad that she had gotten the boy's hopes up, but at least this way it would be easier for Duchess to do what-ever-after she planned to do with Blondie's MirrorPad.
"Why does Apple want to see Humphrey? Is this a story I'm missing out on?" Blondie piped up, reaching for her MirrorPad on the counter behind her. Minuette frantically stopped her with a loud "No!" which definitely got Blondie's attention back on her.
Noting Blondie's bewildered look at her sudden outburst, Minuette chuckled awkwardly, "Uh, no... I don't think you're missing out on anything, really. A-anyways, I have something to talk to you about! It's a story I have for you!"
"Oh really? Mind if I record you?" Once again, Blondie reached for her MirrorPad.
Once again, Minuette had to stop her, "No, no, no! I, um, I get stage fright really easily, so I'd really like it if you didn't record me. At all. Just leave the MirrorPad on the counter. Behind you." Only after Minuette had spoken, did she realize how dumb that sounded. She was a dancer, for Grimm's sake. She danced in front of an audience almost all the time. Who the hex would believe she actually had stage fright?
"Oh, okay then!" Blondie smiled, "Just feel free to tell me the story then. And if it's just right maybe I'll mention it in my MirrorCast - I bet it has something to do with dancing, right?"
"Uhh... Right! That's just right!" Minuette found herself nervously fiddling with the hem of her skirt. She had never really lied to someone like this. It felt so wrong, especially since she knew Blondie was a good person - A little gossipy here and there, but she really did have a heart of gold, "Yesterday I was dancing with Duchess... We were at the Enchanted Lake and, um, we saw this huge dragon in the sky!"
As soon as Minuette had started her story, she spotted the top of a feathered tiara sneaking behind the counter which held Blondie's MirrorPad. So, Duchess had managed to sneak in without anyone noticing after all. Minuette had to say she was impressed.
"And the dragon swooped down towards us, and it was breathing fire and roaring and acting like a dragon and stuff," Minuette continued, continuing to sneak subtle glances towards Blondie's MirrorPad, which had been swiped away by a well mani-cursed hand moments ago, "Duchess and I ran - duh. I mean, what else we were going to do with a dragon coming at us, right?"
To her utmost surprise, Blondie looked genuinely interested, and she was hanging onto Minuette's every word. Suddenly, she gasped, "Oh, wait! I should probably be writing this all down! Hold on, let me grab my MirrorPad!"
Minuette stood there, horrified, as Blondie reached back for her MirrorPad the third time. But how would she react when she realized that her MirrorPad wasn't there where she had left it? Was this plan fairy-failing already?
TO BE CONTINUED...