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Letters from an illiterate heart

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The heart is not a literate beast, and it turned out that neither was Aurora. Fitting, then, that she held Maleficent's heart in her hands, or between her pretty white teeth, as it sometimes seemed. Why else would her smiles send her heartbeat racing so, otherwise?

Still, while it so happened that the princess knew how to read and write and count, she held even less love for them than she did for taxes, which was what rulers were meant to do, barring any idiotic wars or unseemly dalliances. Usually with hapless housemaids, but apparently Aurora's tastes ran more towards tall, dark and ... horned. It could have been worse than Maleficent. It could have been bulls.

Maleficent could not stay in Aurora's kingdom forever, however. She had a kingdom of her own to rule, well or not. She had a life of her own and a home of her own and while the fairy lands changed so slowly that mortals thought they were forever eluded by time, that was not so. (Change and death are the only constants in life, even for the fair folk. If time does not touch the outside, then it must surely slip inside where it does more damage than a poison ever could.)

Still, away is not gone, and Maleficent was ever in Aurora's heart and mind, much like she was in the other's. It was Aurora that sent the first letter, painstakingly penned on a much maligned piece of parchment that finished its life being more scratched out words and ink stains than anything else.

The soldier that came riding sent first fear and then worry through Maleficent's cold and sluggish heart, but there was nothing but pleasure by the time that he explained himself and handed her the letter. She'd sent him back without her reply, of course. A bird can travel much faster than a tired man on a tired horse, and the crows living in faerie were nothing if not motivated.

Aurora's letter was awkward, swinging between cautious and effusive with the wild abandon that she usually infused everything in her life with. The writing was a horrid and mistake filled abomination, truly, and no letter seemed the same size as those before it. Why, some even seemed to be turned the wrong way around! Maleficent would have cursed the fool that dared subject her to such butchery of communication with hoofed feet and mouse teeth, had it come from anyone else.

As it was, she smiled fondly and caressed the ending salutations, "Love, Aurora" having replaced a heavily censored "Yours truly". Surely no other had laid eyes on the words except Aurora, and now, her. It meant something, even if Maleficent's heart could not put it into words that her mind knew.

Not everything must be understood in order to be, however. Or in order to be accepted and cherished for itself. Love drowns the fools and draws them alive from the water, after all. Lungs full of butterflies and stomachs full of frogs and not one animal harmed but the heart.

So Maleficent smiles benignly and sits to pen her on letter. "My dearest Aurora," begins the beginning of the middle of love, full of fond and heated letters, and much looked forward to visits, and an alliance born not of war or arranged marriage or convenience, but of... well, of the reason that reason knows nothing of.

There are worse reasons to start alliances, or put up with terrible writing, thought Maleficent with a smile.